Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
To succeed in the food industry, you need a steady stream of customers. And, to get a steady stream of customers, you need a marketing strategy in addition to good food and great service.
Customers won’t know about the food until they see an advertisement. Just handing out business cards isn’t going to cut it here and you need more creative ideas.
Use more than descriptions
When someone describes a dish, it puts images in your mind. But, you never know what the food looks like until you see it on the plate. Unfortunately, everyone has ordered a dish that sounds good but fails to impress. Most people don’t trust descriptions on the menu. To negate this issue, show a photo of the dish. Not a generic photo that doesn’t resemble the product, but a sharp image of the dish coming from your kitchen.
Part of your ‘traffic’ is people who walk in off the street. They will feel hungry and decide to come in for a meal. However, they won’t choose your establishment if you don’t have a posted menu. This is particularly true in tourist areas. We often found some of the best meals on vacation by walking by a menu and seeing something that caught our eye.
Most people can’t be bothered going inside to ask for a menu. They would rather check out the menu outside and make a decision. As a result, you will lose custom if you don’t have an easy-to-read menu board in a visible location. Plus, you can use the board to advertise your catch of the day or other special features. If the board stands out, people will likely come in out of curiosity.
Social media plays a role in every business. From Yelp and Google reviews to a Restaurant Facebook page, the options are plenty and most of the platforms are free, they each only cost time. What you need to do is tailor your strategy to you niche industry. Social media marketing for restaurants is different from traditional social business marketing. The trick is to keep your following engaged and aware of your brand. Then, you will always be at the forefront of their minds when they go out for dinner.
Apps are a popular form of advertising for lots of businesses. Instead of going online, many consumers want to click on an app for menu previewing and table reservations. After all, many application stores all of their data, so they only have to press a button instead of typing out the information each time. It is also worth noting that the App Store and Play Store are two massive platforms. Millions of people use them on a daily basis. As a result, a percentage of that traffic could come across your app. Even if it is only a small percentage, it is still a lot of people.