November 20, 2020
In today’s ultra-competitive restaurant industry, you can’t bank on great food to lead you down the road to long-term success (although, it certainly doesn’t hurt!). To keep those seats filled and your bottom line healthy, it’s imperative to create and implement an intelligent marketing strategy to ensure new customers keep coming in, and the old ones keep coming back for more!
And if restaurant marketing isn’t your expertise, we’ll break down how partnering with Bolt Food can help you set your content marketing strategy on autopilot so you can focus on what you do best — preparing delicious food!
Having a clear cut concept for your restaurant can make all the difference when it comes to attracting and retaining a loyal base of customers. So if you feel like you’re just another pizzeria in a sea of pizza restaurants, identifying a unique selling proposition or USP will do wonders to help you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few characteristics to consider to help you get started:
Recognition: Your gourmet cuisine has won awards and/or has pages and pages of 5-star reviews.
Value: Your restaurant specialises in giving customers, “the most bang for [their] buck.”
Signature Dishes: There are one or two dishes on your menu that are completely original and/or customers are willing to travel significant distances or wait in long lines to have a taste.
Traditional Cuisine: All the food on your menu is made from family recipes; you use specific techniques and truly authentic ingredients in the creation of your menu items.
Sustainability: You use only organic, locally-sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.
Ambiance: Your restaurant’s décor and “vibe” is distinctive (i.e. romantic, stylish, upscale, family-friendly, cosy, etc.)
Convenience: You’ve streamlined operations so that customers can expect to get in and out in no time at all!
Once you’ve identified your USP or Unique Selling Proposition, the next step is to identify which kind of customer it will resonate with. So while it can be tempting to try to accommodate the masses, any marketing person will tell you that if you’re pleasing everyone, you’re pleasing no one. And in the ultra-competitive restaurant industry, that just won’t do!
For example, If your restaurant’s USP is the ultra-stylish ambiance and craft cocktails, it’s safe to say you’ll be looking to attract a younger, more upscale crowd of the “hipster” persuasion. Conversely, your ideal customer will not be families with young children who will be looking for a relaxed atmosphere with a play area and kids menu where they can be comfortable having a meal with a fussy toddler in tow.
Once you’re crystal clear on what sets you apart from your competitors (your USP) and who your ideal customer is, it’s time to communicate it through consistent branding! This will include:
Brand Personality: Identify your brand voice (Formal and upscale? Playful and friendly?) so you have consistent messaging across all channels. This includes your social media channels (more on that later), ad copy, website copy, and even your menu!
Brand Assets: Consider working with a graphic designer to create assets that are consistent and reflect your brand personality. This will include logo, graphics, colour scheme, fonts, and don’t forget some gorgeous photos of your entrees that will have your potential customers drooling!
Now that you’re working with some drool-worthy photos and gorgeous graphics, make sure you get some return on that investment by using these assets on your website. You may want to consider hiring outside help if web design doesn’t come naturally to you. However, if you’re inclined to give it a try, companies like Squarespace, Wix, and GoDaddy specialise in fully-customizable website templates made specifically for restaurants.
The vast majority of restaurant searches come from mobile, so make sure your website is mobile friendly and responsive (so the design adjusts to all devices). When in doubt, keep it simple! As long as you have the essentials — updated, easy-to-access menu, your operating hours, contact information and location — you’ll be good to go!
Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram are fantastic tools for restaurants when it comes to enticing and engaging potential customers and developing your brand personality.
Be consistent with posting beautiful, engaging photos of your food and your restaurant, and encourage your customers to do the same. Social media is also a fantastically effective platform for creating buzz about promotions, events and much more! Don’t forget to be creative and have fun!
Creating an effective restaurant marketing strategy takes time, money, and most important of all, consistency. It’s a full-time job and many restaurant managers will be inclined to put their content strategy on the back-burner while they focus on the more immediate responsibilities that come with operating a restaurant.
So if you’re short on the time and/or the skills necessary for creating a comprehensive marketing strategy for your restaurant, partnering with Bolt Food can be a great way to automate your marketing efforts while still reaping the benefits of new customers and increased order volume!
Here’s how Bolt Food can help you with your restaurant marketing:
As any business owner will tell you, it’s much more cost-effective to keep a loyal customer coming back than it is to keep finding new ones. Top-notch customer service is an important part of a full-circle marketing campaign, as it’s imperative for retaining happy customers who will then write positive reviews, feature you in glowing social media posts and/or tell their friends, family, and colleagues about you!
When you partner with Bolt Food, world-class customer service is part of the deal. We have a hyper-local army of highly-trained professionals ready to handle whatever issue inevitably comes up, from missing entrees to spilled soup. All of these issues are handled in real-time so your customer always walks away with a positive impression and you can focus on getting those orders out the door!
So what are you waiting for? Become a Bolt Food restaurant partner today!