Calling all Restaurants!
Restaurants have an uphill battle at acquiring customers; it is harder today than ever before. Rarely customers will come into your restaurant without checking your online presence and later telling their friends about their experience.
What can your restaurant do to increase customer traffic?
Upgrade Your Social Media
- People love photos of food, and their first stop for them is social media. From customer favorites to daily specials, show off your chefs’ creations. No need for a professional camera; you can use the one on your phone. Make sure to focus straight on the food and find indirect natural lighting for the best results (Serious Eats, 2015). Don’t forget to encourage customers to tag your restaurant in their own foodie photos!
- Have a special event or promotion? Social media is the easiest and cheapest way to communicate this information to potential and current customers. Online-only promotions can help increase your customer following.
- Viewers welcome and expect creativity on these platforms. Your account must have a variety of post types; without it viewers will lose interest and unfollow you. Whether you introduce one of your staff members or show a chef making a recipe, any ideas can improve your following and customer base (Thompson, 2017)
Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty
- Once you gain a customer, keep them! Retaining customers saves money as they are cheaper than acquiring new ones (Gallo, 2014). Also, these loyal customers often spread good words about your restaurant and bring in new customers without any cost to you.
- Make a loyalty program. Not only can customers receive rewards from visiting your restaurant or purchasing food or drinks, you can include social media tasks in that programs. For example, have them check in at your restaurant, tag the restaurant in their photos, or like/comment on the restaurant’s posts.
- A customer loved your restaurant? Ask if they will write an online review. Not only will this add to your positive reviews, the reviewing customer is more likely to hold their opinions of you for longer and spread them on to others (Cialdini, 2001).
- A customer didn’t love your restaurant? Offer them ways to express their negative opinions before they take them online. Whether you distribute review request cards or speak with them in person, reducing their negative opinions before they leave the restaurant will also reduce their negative online reviews (Wenzi, 2016). Any press is not necessarily good press for restaurants.
Overall, restaurants need strong and creative social media accounts to bring in customers. To retain them, rewarding loyalty and feedback goes a long way. To learn more about specific restaurant branding and marketing tactics, learn more here!