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Effective marketing in the restaurant industry

Key strategies and trends

Reading time: 6 min

Marketing in the catering industry is an important element of the success of every restaurant, cafe or catering establishment. In today’s competitive market environment, pursuing an effective marketing strategy is essential to attracting customers, building your brand and maintaining your competitive edge. In this article, we’ll discuss key strategies and trends that can help restaurants market effectively and succeed in the foodservice industry.

Effective marketing in the restaurant industry

How to do effective marketing in the catering industry - practical advice

1. Defining the brand and unique offer

The first step in conducting effective marketing in the catering industry is to define the brand and unique offer. A restaurant should have a clear vision and identity that sets it apart from its competitors. The brand identity should be consistent and reflected in all aspects of the business, from the name and logo, through interior design, menu to customer service in the premises.

2. Wykorzystanie mediów społecznościowych

Obecność w mediach społecznościowych jest niezbędna dla każdej restauracji. Platformy takie jak Facebook, Instagram czy TikTok pozwalają restauracjom na budowanie relacji z klientami, promowanie ofert i wydarzeń, a także udostępnianie atrakcyjnych zdjęć dań i wnętrz lokalu. Regularna aktywność na mediach społecznościowych pozwala utrzymać zainteresowanie klientów i zbudować lojalność.

3. Creating an attractive website

The website is the restaurant’s showcase on the Internet. It should be visually appealing, easy to navigate and include relevant information for customers such as menu, opening hours, location and contact details. The website may also contain a blog with culinary tips, event reports, customer opinions and the possibility of ordering delivery or booking a table at the premises. In addition to the attractive appearance of the website and its useful functionalities, a key issue in the catering industry is also its positioning in search engines. Therefore, the website should be planned and built so that its position in search engines, after entering selected phrases, is as high as possible. Who wouldn’t want to appear in the first place, for example, after entering the phrase “The best burgers in Warsaw”?


 

“Effective marketing in the gastronomy industry is not only about creative words, it is primarily about actions that create guest recommendations, make them taste good for longer than one visit and, as a result, increase turnover.”

Hubert Ulanowski – Co-owner of the Dobra Buła chain


4. Organization of events and promotions

Organizing thematic events, tastings, competitions and special promotions is an effective way to attract customers’ attention and increase sales. These events can also be a great opportunity to build relationships with customers and create a positive brand image. The restaurateur should also keep up to date with events taking place outside the premises in order to adapt his offer to them by conducting so-called “real time marketing”. These may be sporting events, more or less official holidays or “something” days, concerts and any other commercial and charitable “events” taking place near the premises or in a given city, if the restaurant allows delivery orders.

5. Loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are an excellent tool for building customer loyalty and encouraging them to visit more often. Special offers, discounts or rewards for regular customers can effectively motivate them to return to the premises and increase the value of the average bill. Loyalty programs can be run in many different ways depending on the communication channels and marketing tools the company uses, from simple stamps to a loyalty program in the restaurant’s mobile application.

6. Opinions and reviews

Positive reviews and customer feedback are extremely valuable to restaurants. Therefore, it is worth ensuring high quality of service, dishes and experiences to gain positive recommendations. It should be remembered that the greatest value and credibility are provided by opinions on objective websites, such as Google or Trip Advisor.

7. Local promotion and Google business card

Cooperation with local partners, participation in community and charity events, organization of tastings or participation in fairs are effective ways of local promotion that can contribute to increasing the visibility and recognition of the brand among residents. In local promotion, a professional and attractive Google business card is also important, which contains a lot of positive opinions, photos, menu, contact details, link to the website, etc., especially if you run a catering business in a city that is eagerly and often visited by tourists and visitors. for a short time, for example on business. We write more about local marketing in the article Top 5 marketing trends in 2024.

8. Paid online campaigns

As part of activities promoting a restaurant, it is also worth considering a paid online campaign containing, among others, Google ads, SEM, or social media advertising. Proper campaign settings and targeting will be key here. First of all, you need to choose the right target group and location, but it is also very important to remember about the settings regarding advertising display hours. It may be a bit pointless to display a restaurant’s banner when it is already closed.

9. Order aggregators

Using order aggregators in the restaurant industry has many benefits for both customers and restaurant owners. Aggregators are applications such as Pyszne.pl, Uber Eats or Bolt Food. Here are some reasons why you should use them:

Convenient Platform: Order aggregators offer a convenient platform that allows customers to browse multiple restaurants and menus in one place. This allows them to easily compare options and choose what suits them best.

Wide selection: With order aggregators, customers have access to a wide selection of restaurants and dishes, even if these restaurants do not offer their own online ordering system.

Ease of ordering: Order aggregator platforms are usually easy to use, which makes the ordering process quick and convenient. Customers can order food from anywhere and at any time.

Ratings and reviews: Order aggregators often include restaurant ratings and reviews to help customers make a choice. They can also serve as feedback to restaurateurs about the quality of their services.

Promotions and discounts: Some order aggregators offer promotions, discounts and coupon codes, which can attract customers and encourage them to use the aggregator’s services more often.

Easier order management for restaurateurs: Using order aggregators can make order management easier because they don’t have to create and maintain their own online ordering platforms. They can focus on preparing delicious food.

Increase Visibility: For smaller or new restaurants, using order aggregators can increase their visibility and reach new customers who might not discover these restaurants otherwise.

Using order aggregators in the restaurant industry can benefit both customers and restaurateurs by providing convenience, wide selection, ease of use and other additional benefits.

Summary

Conducting effective marketing in the restaurant industry requires diligence, creativity and commitment. The key to success is understanding customer needs and expectations and adapting the marketing strategy to changing trends and preferences. The use of social media, creating an attractive offer, organizing events and promotions, as well as taking care of customer relationships are the key elements of effective marketing in today’s catering industry.

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