We recognize a lot has changed over the past few months – and the hospitality industry is feeling this shift particularly strongly. While we are disappointed we won’t be able to connect with you in-person during the National Restaurant Association Show, we wanted to provide some of that helpful information you would have received from us in the form of a tool kit covering digital marketing for restaurants.
Below, we’ve included some low-cost and high-impact ways to make the most of this time utilizing resources you already have to assist your business in adapting for now and creating strategies to ease back into operations in the coming weeks.
- Update the Basics and Use Delivery to Grow
- Kick-Start Your Digital Transformation in the Restaurant Industry
- Build Your Online Presence, Ask for Feedback and Respond
- Foster a Community And Attract New Customers with Social Media
- Harness Your Online Reputation and Acquire Customers
To start, check out this quick video from Kat O’Quinn, senior account executive at ReviewTrackers, regarding some of the major areas you can focus on to quickly make an impact with your customers and discover ways to easily iterate for the current landscape.
One of the most important things to consider during this time is continually building trust with your community. In order to build that trust and prioritize your customers, be sure to update business information and keep lines of communication open. Doing so reduces customer stress as they prioritize new daily routines while you provide solace with a supportive brand experience during these times.
Here is a quick 5-step checklist you can follow to make sure your online profiles are up to date to reflect any changes in business hours, operations and contact information.
It might also be a good time to further expand your online presence by listing on other noteworthy restaurant review sites, which is essential to attracting and retaining customers. Employing the use of local listings services along with your reputation management efforts can help you gain better brand visibility while you continue to acquire more patrons.
Even though people are staying home, they still want food from their favorite restaurants, and optimizing the delivery experience goes a long way to keeping fans happy while also attracting new business. Specifically, you can lay the foundation for a great delivery experience by providing details about your efforts to local consumers in numerous ways.
Digital Transformation of the Restaurant Industry
Speaking of delivery services, there are a number of different restaurant technology platforms out there that establishments can use to evolve their operations in an increasingly tech-focused landscape.
From point-of-sale (POS) integration and guest experience management to restaurant analytics, these digital services will allow establishments to adapt to changing consumer behavior and position themselves for growth now and in the future.
Ask for Feedback
The 5-star rating is highly coveted, yet always out of reach, but that’s okay. No restaurant is perfect, but a smattering of 4- or 4.5-star ratings (as opposed to 5 stars) is enough to tell an interested diner that your restaurant is satisfying customers and constantly finding ways to improve the experience. To that end, it’s important to learn how to get customer feedback in a restaurant (through email, text surveys, etc.) because it’s the barometer by which restaurants can tell if a strategy is working or if changes are necessary.
It’s also vital for restaurateurs to have a system in place to respond to feedback, especially if it’s negative. People want to be heard and more importantly, valued. Taking the time to address concerns and providing details about new efforts is key to not only retaining diners, but attracting new ones.
Foster a Community
The shift to pickup and delivery services and overall, a more digital-first landscape, means that online community management is the most effective way to engage with customers. With the right tone and awareness, you can easily apply tactics related to digital marketing for restaurants and transfer your unique brand voice to the digital space – especially when it comes to your community.
Creating a digital community is just one way to evolve the customer experience during turbulent times. Constant engagement and feedback is key to creating the type of relationships that turn one-time customers into lifelong fans.
Harness the Power of Online Reputation to Acquire Customers
One of the most vital parts regarding growing your online presence and engaging in reputation management are customer reviews. The words of current and past customers are valuable forms of social proof to those who haven’t had a chance to try your food yet, but you shouldn’t stop acquiring reviews after a batch of positive feedback.
In addition to attracting customers, use it to find ways of improving the experience and create a strategy to gain more feedback to accurately gauge changes. You can leverage your online community and social media accounts to get the feedback you need to attract more customers and rank higher than the competition in local search rankings.
Here is a list of some of our favorite resources that will help you build your online reputation and acquire new customers:
- 5 Steps to Getting Started with Restaurant Reputation Management
- Social Proof: How Online Reviews Influence Customers
- Social Media Marketing for Restaurants: 12 Tips to Attract Customers
- How to Rank for Near-Me Local Searches
Whether it’s digital marketing for restaurants, evolving for a new normal, or growing your business in the long run, we hope this collection of resources and tools is helpful for you. Interested in checking out the ReviewTrackers platform, which can help with some of these areas, for yourself? Head over here to start a free trial! We are here to help in any way we can – we are just a quick phone call or email away.