April 14, 2021
As restaurants reopen, operators will need to promote latest operations to drive business through website, email and social media
The last year has challenged restaurants and operators to adapt, pivot and overcome unfavorable circumstances to continue operating. While some chose to operate takeout only or navigate outdoor dining through the winter months, many decided to turn off the lights until Spring. Now, with vaccinations and warmer weather, restaurants are reopening their doors for on-premise and off-premise dining. Part of reopening is having a clear strategy in place. In order to drive diners back to the restaurant, operators will need to exercise their marketing muscle.
Restaurant marketing is important to drive much-needed business and revenue. And as more diners are looking at restaurant websites for information on reopening hours, seasonal menus and online ordering, it’s important to stand out from the competition. Here are a few marketing tips for restaurants to drive more business.
Diners are relying on restaurant websites to provide the most up-to-date information about the restaurant. Write an announcement around reopening similar to how Bernies did. An announcement should link to new seasonal menus, updated hours of operation, to make a reservation or as Bernies does, link directly to online ordering to start an order for pickup or delivery.
Once a restaurant decides on when and how to start back up, they need to get that information out to diners quickly. Newsletter subscribers are already loyal diners to a restaurant — making them the first audience to engage. Restaurants can send a marketing email highlighting reopening, including how on-premise dining will operate, new seasonal menus and any updated hours of operation.
It’s equally important to link to takeout options as recent data suggests that 80% of diners will continue to order delivery at the same frequency despite warming weather, vaccinations and the ease of dining restrictions. To drive more online orders, incentivize diners with promo codes. Ensure that each email has a clear call-to-action that drives the guest to the website to convert into a paying customer. Read more email marketing strategies for restaurants.
As business ramps up, operators will be busy focusing on on-premise operations and managing staff. This is where automated marketing solutions can help streamline operations. Automated Campaigns, part of Bento Ordering, is a free tool that sends marketing emails to previous takeout or Dine-in guests to drive reorders. It’s a simple way to increase sales, save time and focus on other important matters.
Even more, operators can turn on Repeat Rewards, a customer loyalty program, that is included with Bento Ordering which incentivizes repeat customers to reach milestones and receive promo codes or a free item — all with the goal of driving more repeat orders.
Google is an important part of a diner’s lifecycle. For restaurants who haven’t established their Google My Business page, it’s a powerful way to provide key information to diners. When a potential diner uses Google to search for a restaurant, they will find the restaurant's address, phone number, website, hours of operation and more. Restaurants can add links to their reservations, online ordering and merch store pages as well. For restaurants that already use Google My Business, ensure it’s updated with the latest information.
Updating information across the restaurant’s channels is a time-consuming process. Fortunately, there are solutions to this problem. With LocalSync from BentoBox, updating core information across varying platforms is easier than ever. When restaurants update information such as menus, hours of operation, address and phone numbers, LocalSync automatically updates the restaurant’s Google My Business, Facebook pages — saving them time and ensuring cohesive information across all channels. Read about more ways restaurants can optimize Google My Business listings here.
Social media is essential to marketing reopening and driving business. A well-constructed strategy should promote all dining experiences and menu offerings in a way that is accurate, catches the diner's attention and prioritizes health and safety. Here are a few content suggestions:
Highlight safety — Show and talk about measures the restaurant has taken to ensure safety for staff and diners.
Spotlight the dining experience — Sidewalk seating? Digital ordering and payment? Indoor? Highlight how diners can experience the restaurant upon reopening.
Menu item spotlights — Highlight new menu items and specials with photos and descriptions.
Employee features — Celebrate staff with images of the team in the act of cooking, plating a dish or shaking a drink. This builds an emotional connection with diners— increasing engagement and loyalty.
Remember that most diners are finding information about a restaurant via their website. To build more in-depth relationships with those visitors, ensure that the restaurant’s social media channels are present and linked from the website. It’s a simple way to get more followers and convert them into paying customers. Read more social media marketing tips on our guide.
As restaurants begin to fully reopen operations in a new era, they need to plan on how they can drive needed business their way. Operators will need to reengage their audience by promoting their latest operations through their website, to email subscribers and social media channels. Read more tips in our Restaurant Marketing Guide or talk with a BentoBox specialist today.
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