Great Restaurant & Pub Marketing Tips

It’s not an easy job starting up a restaurant and surviving in such a competitive industry. Even with great food and a loyal customer base, certain measures with marketing must be taken to ensure success. These steps are easy and affordable for any business owner; they just require you to have computer access and a decent knowledge of social media.

To exceed your goals and establish more clientele, consider the following 15 marketing strategies for your growing business:

1. Tweets

If you don’t already have a Twitter account for your restaurant, this can be a very useful tool for attracting clientele. If your restaurant is tagged in a tweet, be sure to retweet or respond to what is being said about your restaurant. Jumping into conversations and being involved with customer feedback will make people feel heard, which will likely bring them back to your restaurant.restaurant

2. Respond to Negative Feedback

As much as it hurts, not everyone will have nice things to say about your restaurant, and those who experience notably bad service will certainly want to feel acknowledged. You may be able to win them over again by handling criticisms gracefully and offering something in return.

3. Post Photos

It helps if you have a good photographer for this, but specials and chef’s recommendations should definitely be posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Great photographs seem to have the magical ability to make people realize they want what you have to offer.

4. Business Cards

Social media is an excellent tool but never underestimate the power of face to face communication. Take a half hour at some point in the week to attend a local community event. Shake hands with a few new people and let them know what your restaurant has to offer them.

5. Foursquare Deals

Since everyone likes the idea of saving money, having deals available online will make your restaurant more desirable. Share these deals on more platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

6. Complimentary Items

If you offer complimentary appetizers to the first 25 Facebook users to like your post, you are increasing activity on your page as well as ensuring that more customers will be coming through your door.

7. Secret Menus

To get your customers even more involved, create some incentive with secret menu items that are only offered to those who mention one of your restaurant’s social media posts. This also makes customers want to check back on your page more often, ensuring you will be getting more “likes” in the posts to come.

8. Facebook Polls

Again, fan involvement and interaction is the key to your success. Creating a poll on Facebook takes mere seconds and can give you some very useful information as you go forward with your restaurant planning. For example, questions such as “which seasonal item should be added permanently to the menu?” should receive a great deal of feedback. Be sure to thank people who contributed their ideas on your Facebook page. Acknowledgement ensures loyalty!

9. Share Positive Press

If your restaurant was recently praised in an article or if a member of your staff was mentioned in a news outlet, you certainly want to share this recognition on your social media. Be sure to fully take advantage of any positive attention that your establishment receives.

10. Employee Recognition

Be sure to acknowledge your employee of the month on your Facebook page. Share stories of how positive employees have contributed great things to your restaurant. This will improve both morale and will also reflect well on your restaurant.

11. Promote Blog Posts

Look for local bloggers who would be willing to write about your restaurant and invite them to your restaurant by offering them a free appetizer or dessert. Always be sure to build good relationships with other local outlets, as you will be able to help one another in the years to come. The ever so successful Kingfishers Pub engages the local community and ensures that they promote themselves as a local business.

12. Google Alerts

Set up Google Alerts as a simple and free way to get updates about things that interest you. This will benefit you as a leader by being on top of events that may interest your business.

13. Recheck Listing

It is always good to be sure that your establishment is accurately listed online. When calling for hours or reservation, most people will most likely look up a restaurant on Google for a phone number.

14. Current Events

It’s good to see an establishment that has some character behind it. Using social media, weigh in on a non-controversial current event. This will allow your customers and staff to interact with one another, making you look like more than just a business. Pictures and videos will allow for more involvement and humanize your establishment.

15. Beat the Clock Competitions

To increase sales and get customers involved with your restaurant, host contests that entice people to come in at a certain time. For example, offer beers at 50 cents starting at 8 p.m. and increase the price by 25 cents each hour. This is an especially popular and efficient sales technique in bars.

Tips For Using Local Performing Talent At Your Restaurant

band performing at a club

Using local performing talent at your restaurant can be a fantastic way to draw in some extra customers. But if you’re going to do it, you need to get it done right. Far too many people get the idea that they can simply ask any old band to play, or even worse that they can offer “exposure”, and the live music will come rolling in.

That could not be further from the truth!

First and foremost, you shouldn’t just assume that local bands will play for free, for the “exposure”. If you can’t afford to hire a band, then don’t try to hire a band. By trying to offer exposure, you may think you’re saving on costs. But all you’re really doing is insulting the musicians. After all, would you offer free meals to people for “exposure” on the hopes that your name will get out there and it will bring in business? Of course you wouldn’t! That would be a quick way to go out of business!

Music is no different. These bands are trying to make a living. They deserve to get paid for their time and their training.

amateur dance school performingThat said, you could get local talent to perform at your restaurant while saving money by making it an event. For example, hire a live band on your busiest night. On other nights, offer “amateur performances“. Allow people who want to perform, but aren’t trying to make a living at doing so, to play for your customers. The quality of the performances will be quite varied, of course. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and get a great performance. Most of the time, you’ll get amateurs who perform as a hobby, with all that that implies.

Another alternative to music is local dancers and dance companies. Whether they supply back up dancers to your singers and bands, or they are the show themselves, this can be an affordable option that is just as entertaining. There are more amateur dancers that will perform for little to no pay, than musicians or bands, plus, it is a great way to showcase local talent while diversifying your performances also.

Still, it’s a question of whether or not you want high quality talent. If you want quality, you’ll pay for it. If you don’t want to pay for it, then you don’t want quality.

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