10 Restaurant & Bar Marketing Ideas to Boost your Business
Restaurant and Bar Marketing is a tough task because of the high level of the competition, so you’ll need the best online strategy to stay in this competitive market. Finding the best bar and restaurant ideas can save you time and money.
But you got to this point, and you got to do the job that you love and put your whole effort into creating a beautiful bar or restaurant (by choice). You’ve gathered all the details that make is a place where people could see what you desired to create: a place made with love to hang out with friends or with the loved one, to have a unique experience, a culinary explosion or a taste out of this world.
Integrate technology into your business and make it go to the moon and back. Studies show that 95% of restaurant owners say using technology improves the overall efficiency of their eateries.
We put together a collection of restaurant and bar marketing ideas to create a successful strategy and get you all the juicy marketing results, which could be clients, revenues, visitors, website traffic, clicks, social fans and much more.
- Set Up Goals and Marketing Plans
- Create a Brand Image and Pull KPIs in Front
- Build Appealing Content
- Be Visual and Create High-Quality Foodie Pictures
- Integrate Social Media in the Flow
- Optimise for Local SEO
- Organise Themed Events & Parties
- Have a Sleek Menu Online
- Partner with Delivery Services
- Create a Powerful Online Reputation Using Reviewing Websites
1. Set Up SMART Goals and Marketing Plans
It all starts with goals and planning. Not always pretty but necessary, goals and marketing planning make up for a successful bar or restaurant.
Running an online marketing campaign without setting up goals would be like driving the highway with your eyes closed.
Every good marketer or business owner knows that goals are paths we create to achieve higher results. Your restaurant or bar makes no exception. In order to support your whole ideas and needs, you have to set up SMART goals, meaning:
Specific – Can you detail the information sufficient to identify problems and solutions?
Measurable – Use numbers and percentages to quality your goal.
Actionable – Can you make it, implement it?
Relevant – Can the information be applied? Would it bring you any value?
Timely – Put it into a time frame.
Your goals can be related to a part of your business, to the team you’re working, to the everything you want. An example of a SMART goal can be to “achieve 10% online revenue contribution within two years”. When you’re setting your marketing goals ask yourself this question “is it essential?” to keep only those that worth the investment (time, money, and people plus many more resources depending on your objective).
2. Create a Brand Image and Pull KPIs in Front
Whether you have a bar or a restaurant, it should have something people associate it with. It can be related to a location, to the logo, to a story, to a country, to a type of cooking the food, or making the receipts for drinks, to the interior design and more.
Your name brand can decide your destiny and create your brand image. A good story will sell. If you don’t have something authentic you can rely on, and your business is new, then come up with a story.
History, on the other place, can be used to build your brand image by relating to facts, things that happened and are present as we speak – and that is legacy. It can’t be changed but will be thought to generations that will follow.
Take Atomic Liquors in the US. One of the oldest bar in Vegas. It would think that those liquors will make your head make “boom”, but no. It was another different story attached to it.
The manager says that back in the ‘50s, customers would go on the roof and watch atomic bombs go off at the Nevada Test Site like they’d watch fireworks. The ‘Liquors’ – part of the name comes from the bar and the packaged liquors store that was at that time. Years passed by, time’s changed, but the name remained the same. It is part of the city’s history, untouched, touchable history. Moreover, there’s partnered with the National Atomic Testing Museum.
When you decide what makes your place different, think of the KPIs, they will give you some strong ideas.
3. Build Appealing Content
As I mentioned before, having a story is a goldmine for every restaurant, bar o pub. Well, that will help you when you start creating a blog and deliver content to your readers. Beside’s receipts and other ideas, share the story about your secret receipts, where it came from, talk about your passions, how it all started. Create connections with your readers through your words. You need to create curiosity.
Storytelling keeps the visitors active. It intrigues them and entices them to stay more on your blog.
Jon Taffer, an American entrepreneur and television personality, says that we are in the business to create reactions, and people, especially Millenials, react to a good story. Is your brand telling a story? Or it has a story behind it? Then, your target market needs to hear it.
The most powerful asset to marketing is to have a story.
4. Be Visual and Create High-Quality Foodie Pictures
Pictures speak louder than words. But if you created a great story around your bar/restaurant, would look suspicious if you have lousy pictures or no pictures at all? Would it look fabricated? People can lose trust and faith in your brand if you don’t share a visual representation of what you’re saying.
Studies show that brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text will so start posting mouth-watering food and drink pics. Create dynamic pictures like the picture below. It has a higher effect on customers.
Use pictures as a mean of communication. Use it to express a feeling or a message. Check out the next picture from an opening campaign for a doughnut place. The message was simple: It is so good, you doughnut want to share it.
5. Integrate Social Media in the Flow
The online world dominates the food culture. Social media is a great medium to promote your bar/restaurant.
Let’s take Instagram, for example. Food for Instagram is like kryptonite for Superman. Instagramming drink and food might be some of the most desired types of social content and an easy restaurant or bar promotion idea. The classic hashtag #foodporn is used in over 200 million public posts.
Instagram has lots of cool features you could use to find influencers and boost your online presence. For example, you can search for a specific hashtag and follow it. Moreover, you can find people in top posts that have thousands of followers.
If you search for a hashtag with your city, or another place/one of your competitors, let’s say, and you find a person has lots of followers and likes for that top post. You can send them a message offering coupons, gift cards or an invitation to your restaurant or bar to test your best recipe. An instant connection is created, and curiosity is triggered.
When that person comes to your place and posts a picture with the food or the cocktails, it is created word-of-mouth. You can try and test.
Some people have particular businesses and can’t use Instagram. Think of that. Use social media because your business needs it. If you don’t use social media is like you didn’t start your marketing campaign.
Think of all the things you could do, videos, pictures, real-time how-to stories mixing all sorts of cocktails or food receipts. Add before and after photos and start to create curiosity so people what to step your door and taste it. It is that easy.
Check out the video below:
View this post on Instagram
Do you appreciate an intricate garnish on a cocktail?⠀ ⠀ This chocolate work by @michele__venturini_ is particularly impressive, created on top of a giant ice block. It’s the crowning glory of this fruity and creamy whisky cocktail from @cahootslondon. #DelightfulDrinks
More than that, take advantage of your location, the city and the other activities that happen there. It there a national football team, a national city day, a celebration that happens yearly? Then take advantage of that and connect it to your business. Create a national cocktail day or themed Halloween cocktails, make special menus for Queen’s Day.
When posting on social media, timing is also essential. Find out the best time for your business, check out when your competitor ar posting, test out to find the best options. If you own a restaurant may be the best time to post is when people are eating and looking at pictures on their phones. For bars, the best times would be in the evening and more posts on weekends.
You need to increase your frequency. If you’re hungry for your business, you got to start acting like you’re hungry. Built a robust social media plan and act upon it.
6. Optimise for Local SEO
Don’t forget local SEO. People search for near me places. You need to be there when they look for food, for a place to hang out and have a nice time. Create a local community.
Local SEO is an integrated part of the whole marketing campaign.
For starters, create a Google My Business account. Add there your NAP information (name, address, phone), pictures, menu, website, ads, reviews and many more. If you have a GMB account, then you’ll business will be featured in Google maps.
A great profile, with sleek pictures and accurate location setup, will attract people and they might leave you a review. Encourage people to leave a review if you’re new.
You can also optimise your local SEO for your blog articles. Make sure you place your name and the location. But even so, Google is pretty smart to show local results to people based on their location, not their browser setup.
7. Organise Themed Events & Parties
Experiential advertising is one of the purest forms of helping consumers experience the brand. Restaurant and bar marketing events and parties are an excellent strategy to attract the audience and deliver experiences. There are lots of options you could take. Create exclusive events when something really important happens: launching event, new receipts added or concept launch, change of decor, famous chef or barista joins the family, and so on. For these kinds of private events, you should invite food bloggers, visual food designers, influencers, partners & a few of your biggest fans and loyal customers.
Another option would be to create weekly events or festive parties with live bands, music bar, karaoke night, stand up comedy and more. Check out the example below from a bar:
Everyone loves a good laugh, so why not create an event for Stand Up Comedy and bring the funny guys and galls up on the stage on your bar? People will have a nice time, drink a few bottles and maybe come back again.
8. Have a Sleek Menu Online
There’s no business if you don’t have something good to put people on the table. And the first step to getting their food is to find it on your menu. Depending on your local specific your menu can, you are really creative with how you design your menu. The internet is full of ideas. Only by having a simple search you can find your perfect match. Below you can find some examples:
RAGU Cafe, Novosibirsk
It is crucial to add pictures, allergens and any other legal information.
9. Partner with Delivery Services
In this era, easy-of-use comes naturally and starts to be a necessity. That’s why delivery services can save a lot of time and effort and bring you lots of benefits. Lots of online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and many people like to take advantage of this option. It is faster and simply better because it offers multiple locations in a single place.
Just Eat is maybe one of the most used apps in the UK and quickly become the favourite place to order food online. These are only of the few numbers for 2018 that shows the popularity of the app:
- 105k partners;
- 26.3m active users;
- 221.2m food orders processed by Just Eat.
10. Create a Powerful Online Reputation Using Reviewing Websites
Studies show that 25% more people urn to consumer reviews on sites like OpenTable, Yelp, Foursquare and TripAdvisor. More than that, 60% read reviews before going out for a meal, before even getting directions to the restaurant.
Having positive reviews on food rating apps is like having a flock of golden geese. These websites have great power and can do wonders for your business. It is apt for you to make a positive impact on your potential customers and respond to their feedback in a polite manner no matter if you get positive or negative feedback. On more sensitive situations, contact the reviewer privately and ask for more information to get the problem solved.
There are websites where you don’t set up an account, and people can review it. On Yelp, for example, people can add reviews.
The whole marketing strategy of your location should have a consistent voice. Social is the trigger that attracts targeted audiences. But a good story, great food, a sleek menu, real high-quality pictures, beautiful events, appealing content, friendly staff are the ingredients to success for creating a frequency.
Get better and always deliver quality!