Restaurant Marketing Trends in 2023

Restaurant marketing is ever-evolving, and remaining up-to-date on its best practices can help restaurateurs keep up with their competition. Restaurant businesses that have been active for many years but have lately not been meeting their sales targets, as well as new restaurants promoting their brand, can benefit from adopting these practices. With social media and digital marketing for restaurants, there are many aspects that can be utilized to achieve business goals. This article identifies potential tools that are available to gain more traction and help drive success in the restaurant industry.

1. Social Media Management

As is well known, social media is a valuable source of communication in digital marketing. Restaurants can identify the relevant platforms to optimize their social media communication and create an account there to gain more noticeability. The use of content pillars for this would help restaurants create a consistent brand image and identifying key themes that align with the audience interests would make for a strong content strategy. Research cited by Lunchbox shows that 48% of US consumers follow a restaurant or food brand’s social media account, and 21% have chosen to dine at a restaurant or fast-food place based on social media posts or images. Social media management can therefore be very beneficial in gaining a broader customer base. Restaurants can also personalize their social media pages to accentuate their brand and make themselves stand out to attract their target audience. For example, posting relevant and exciting news regarding the restaurant or promoting custom offers can help them garner attention. A clever caption to accompany these posts can hook customers and have them looking forward to further communication from the restaurant/brand. But captivating visuals, whether pictures or video, are the key in engaging audiences and growing your social media followers.

2. Active response to online queries

Customer service isn’t limited to the restaurant. Another best practice in restaurant marketing is for restaurants to stay active in responding to online queries. These questions by customers can range from booking queries to venue timings to menu details. Even if the information is available online – active communication from the restaurant shows that they are willing to go the extra mile, which makes customers notice and feel that their business is valued. Many menu questions, for example, can be answered better through direct communication. Although these menu descriptions may be available online, diet restrictions and food allergies can be discussed before a customer even enters the restaurant. This way customers can know the best options for them within their dietary restrictions and alleviate any concerns they may have.

3. Influencer Marketing

Another aspect of social media management is influencer marketing which has a lot of potential for effective communication. Influencer marketing is used for a variety of businesses, and restaurants can attract the crowd they are looking for based on the influencers they invite and advertise with. This is a way to utilize digital marketing for restaurants and get a business trending online. When customers get good reviews from an online personality that they actively follow and trust, they will be motivated to try out their recommendations. GlobalWebIndex found that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase due to a social media referral; this shows the effectiveness influencer marketing can have.

4. Reviews

There are various platforms restaurants can use to promote their establishments, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, OpenTable, etc. Reviews are a large contributor to success on these platforms. Brightlocal found that around 76% of consumers “regularly” read online reviews when browsing for local businesses. Restaurants need to aim for a high rating online which is influenced by reviews from customers. Favorable reviews made 69% of consumers feel positive about using a business, and 87% of consumers reported they would not consider a business with an average rating below 3 stars. There is always a chance of encountering a negative review; however, responding to these reviews is good practice, shows consideration for complaints, and assures customers of a better experience in the future. This can also help other people visiting these platforms see that the particular restaurant they are viewing cares about customer experience and satisfaction. Brightlocal also found that 88% of consumers are likely to use a business if they have seen the business owner responds to all reviews, whether positive or negative. A little-known fact: many platforms also boost your restaurant’s rating based on how active you are with responses.

5. Events & Promotions

Restaurants should actively use events such as Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, etc., as an opportunity to promote their brand. An effective marketing tactic for restaurants is to utilize special holidays and events to hold promotions and invite more customers to visit their establishments. A survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 78% of millennials prefer spending money on an experience, such as eating out at a restaurant or other activities, rather than on store-bought items. Therefore, holiday specials and promotional offers can act as motivating factors for people to try out new restaurants. Advertising these events on social media will also help with communication and improve social media engagement.

These were some best practices on restaurant marketing, and further information can be found on this blog. Consult with Primi Digital to explore restaurant marketing ideas tailored to your business.

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