5 Marketing Mistakes Restaurants Make

It’s not always easy to explain marketing to restaurant owners or help them understand the obvious mistakes they might be making with other aspects of their business. But without realizing what makes successful restaurant owners and what makes failed ones, a restaurant can’t thrive. Here are five marketing mistakes restaurants make.

#1 Having No Plan or Budget

First of all, you need to have a plan and a budget for your marketing campaigns. If you don’t have either of the two, you simply won’t be able to carry out successful campaigns. This is exactly why you need to think about your marketing plan in the first place and put together an appropriate budget for this plan. Here are some things to consider when doing so:

  • What types of marketing do you want to use in your campaigns (e.g. online marketing such as email marketing and social media marketing, offline marketing such as direct-mail marketing and billboards)? What will the focus of your marketing strategy be (e.g. mostly content marketing with a smaller amount of PPC campaigns and direct-mail marketing)?
  • Have you launched successful marketing campaigns before? If so, what do statistics show (e.g. which types of marketing are effective, which techniques were more efficient)?
  • How much money can you set aside for marketing? How will you distribute this budget between the different elements of your marketing campaign?

#2 Underestimating Social Media

Another mistake that is quite common among business owners and entrepreneurs is the dismissal of social media. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of social media platforms and social media marketing. In fact, a good portion of your target audience probably uses one of the popular social media platforms on a daily basis which means campaigns launched on such sites can be extremely effective. Moreover, social media marketing is considered fairly cheap and easy to manage.

As Anthony Goodwin from the writing service reviews site Best Writers Online says, “Nowadays, social media can be very powerful. You can grow your online following, establish your brand’s reputation, connect with customers, and so much more. Such sites as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. are all perfect for launching online marketing and advertising campaigns, even if you have a fairly small budget.”

When launching your social media campaigns, consider connecting with other brands like yours. You can also use influencer marketing to promote your products to different segments of your audience. You can also launch PPC campaigns with Facebook Ads (on Facebook and Instagram), but simply keeping a social media profile for your brand can make a difference.

#3 Neglecting Your Website

Your restaurant’s website is more important than you think. Neglecting it can give the wrong impression to those visiting your site to check your menu, get contact or address information, etc. Your website should have an up-to-date design, must contain the necessary pages, and be as informative as possible. If you neglect it, you might lose a fair portion of your potential customers. Moreover, your reputation can worsen just because your site isn’t as good as your competitors’.

You can either work on your website yourself or you can hire professionals to do it for you. With such site-building platforms like Wix and Squarespace, it has become much easier to create and manage your own website. But if you do decide to hire someone instead, you can get advice from an organization like Comparisun about the services you can use. Not every service is good to use which is why getting an expert’s opinion about the ones you can use is a necessary step.

#4 Forgetting About Your Customers

As it is probably evident by now, you need to be doing everything in the interest of your customers and you should never forget about them. After all, the success or failure of your restaurant depends entirely on how many customers you have. Having your customers as your number one priority isn’t something you do once – it’s a continuous process. You need to show them that each and every one of your marketing endeavors have their happiness in the first place.

As Suzanna Woodard from the paper writing service reviews site Online Writers Rating puts it, “Your customers need to see that you value them. This doesn’t only mean good customer service – it’s so much more. Discounts or sales, personalized marketing campaigns, etc. – all of this can help you establish a better relationship with your clients.”

Make sure that your customers receive good service in your restaurant and that you have a strong customer support team that anyone can get in touch with via email or phone. Have regular sales and discounts to attract more customers, but don’t forget about personalized gift cards that can help you turn your one-time customers into returning clients. Personalize your campaigns by targeting separate segments of your audience and get better results.

#5 Only Using Digital Marketing

Last but not least, you need to remember that digital marketing is not the only type of marketing you can use. Offline marketing is crucial for the success of your restaurant too. Anything from direct-mail marketing to billboards can help you attract the local population while online marketing takes care of wider audiences. Here are some things you can do:

  • Print Ads: Print ads can be placed in newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures, and so on. Giving out flyers can be particularly effective if you find spots where there is a steady flow of people.
  • Billboards: While flyers can attract pedestrians, billboards are best for attracting those traveling by car. Even two billboards on both sides of the road nearby your restaurant can help you encourage more people to check out your place.
  • Telemarketing: Telemarketing is still widely used by businesses of all sizes. Of course, not everyone has the budget for it, but you should definitely consider this type of offline marketing.
  • Direct-Mail Marketing: Direct-mail marketing is similar to email marketing because it delivers promotional materials directly to your potential and existing customers. The difference is that mailboxes are checked by everyone while there are still many people who don’t use email.
  • Live Demonstrations: Live demonstrations aren’t as common, but they can attract a lot of attention and can even get you media coverage. Live events can range from festivals and conventions to flash mobs and challenges.

Final Thoughts

All in all, marketing is definitely an important aspect of managing restaurants successfully, so it is crucial to understand how it works. Avoid the mistakes in this article and start marketing your restaurant effectively.


Written by Aaron Swain For Comaprisun

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