Building a New Customer Base for Your Restaurant

Operating a successful restaurant is no easy task, and the fruits of your labor are dependent on a variety of factors. Quality food and top tier service with the incentivization of loyalty programs and a good location should be enough to get a good share of local customers. But what happens when you hit your local ceiling? Society Insurance has compiled three tips to help find new customers for your restaurant and bar.

Prioritize Alternate Audience Locations 

Opening up a new location may not always be feasible, but there are opportunities to target prospective customers in select geographic areas. Begin by researching a group of locations and identifying the potential size of the audience and competition in those areas. Once you’ve identified your priority locations, consider the following tips: 

Create Landing Pages

Creating specific landing pages with a map, call to action, and copy tailored to the respective locations can help your website rank for those related keywords without sacrificing the focus of the rest of your website. 

Add Locations to Google

Your Google My Business listing has a section dedicated to service areas in which you can plug in additional target locations. This will help your restaurant or bar come up in search results for IP addresses in those areas. 

Take a Road Trip

If you are able, consider hitting the road with a food truck or participating in food events, like local Chamber “Taste of” opportunities, where you can showcase your establishment.This can go miles in increasing awareness and visibility for your brand. 

Position Your Restaurant or Bar for More Reviews 

It is common for curious prospects to Google “food near me”, and one of the factors that helps your local ranking capability is reviews. Google is much more likely to display restaurants and bars with positive reviews and ratings than establishments with mediocre reviews and ratings. While you cannot incentivize reviews, you can certainly make the process easy. Make sure your establishment has links to “Review us on Google” throughout your website, social media platforms, and marketing materials. Have your staff encourage satisfied customers to leave a review. If you receive a negative review, be sure to have negative review responses ready. For example, it’s best to thank the person for the feedback and nudge the conversation off of the review platform.

Responding to positive reviews is just as important as negatives. Doing so in a timely manner not only makes the reviewer feel valued, but also lets others reading your reviews (potentially new customers) know that your establishment is engaged and grateful.  

Incentivize Sharing 

Your best restaurant and bar marketers are the customers themselves. According to a Referral Rock article and a study conducted by Talk Triggers, “83 percent of Americans say that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family members make them more likely to purchase the product or service.” It is important to engage with your customers and incentivize them to share their experience via social media and email marketing.

For example, offer a giveaway to those who tag a certain number of friends, provide coupons for email subscriptions, incorporate engagement opportunities in which customers post about their favorite memory at your establishment, and monitor any restaurant tags so you can repost and share, promoting a culture of engagement.