As a restaurant owner, digital marketing can be a daunting task that takes up valuable time, energy, and resources. Day-to-day demands – coupled with all of the FOH and BOH duties – can be simply too overwhelming for many small restaurant owners. Most simply do not have the time needed to research digital marketing strategies, let alone implement them. Creating and deliver engaging content, maintaining customer communications, establishing an online presence, reviewing data-driven analytics, setting up paid advertising initiatives…all of these important steps take time. This often means marketing and advertising efforts are done on-the-fly or simply 86’d.
However, having a strategic and effective digital marketing plan in place allows local restaurants to attract new customers and retain the ones they already have. While traditional advertising can be effective – about 30 percent of restaurant owners say they still pay for newspaper and magazine ads – having an online and social media presence in today’s digital world is essential to keeping the doors open, especially considering that 90 percent of guests research a restaurant online and more than half view a restaurant’s website before selecting where to dine.
Think for a moment about your restaurant’s current online presence. Can customers find you? Can they view your menu online? Can they read about weekly specials or see photos of your most popular dishes? With the pandemic overhauling the restaurant industry in every way, 53 percent of adults now say purchasing takeout or delivery food is essential to their daily lifestyle. Customers want the ability to order online, set up delivery, view seating, and book tables through the convenience of a mobile phone. This is a trend that is sure to remain even after the pandemic is finally behind us. Not having strong online visibility and mobile-friendly options could likely mean that you are losing diners to the competitor across town who does.
The great news is that an effective digital marketing strategy can be designed and implemented to fit just about any marketing budget. Here are five additional benefits to outsourcing your restaurant’s digital marketing activities:
Cost Savings: Instead of hiring an in-house digital and/or social media manager, outsourcing marketing efforts to an agency will ultimately be the better investment. Doing so will free up more money for your restaurant to spend elsewhere – exterior and interior fixes and renovations, bonuses for staff, community and team sponsorships, and more.
Time To Do What You Do Best: Restaurant owners bogged down in marketing efforts can lose focus on what is most important to them: Providing high-quality and delicious food to customers and their families. Outsourcing digital marketing efforts ensures owners can stay focused on what they are most passionate about.
Expert Team: A digital team of experts can create customized marketing campaigns that are unique to your restaurant and your local customer base. Experts know how to engage customers and create communications that emphasize your restaurant’s unique offerings such as specialty and new menu items, loyalty programs, community involvement, and more.
Growth: Outsourcing digital marketing allows restaurant management to focus on growing their restaurant, not stressing over marketing efforts. A digital marketing agency’s job is to deliver timely and engaging campaigns that help grow your customer base and increase restaurant profits. A double win!
Results: Digital marketing experts provide data-driven insights and marketing metrics that deliver meaningful results. It is important to recognize and share when digital marketing has worked, along with indicating areas where there is room to improve.
Most digital marketing agencies offer many important solutions for small to medium-sized restaurants, including:
- Website design, monitoring, and maintenance
- Website SEO – Ensure your website ranks higher in search engines and that your customers can find you.
- Google Rankings and Google My Business
- Customer communications – Email and Text
- Establishing, monitoring, posting, and maintaining social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook.
- Reputation management – This includes anything from addressing a review left online to soliciting reviews from past customers.
- Mobile-Friendly Options – online menus, reviews, ordering, reservation options, etc.
- Paid social media advertising that directly targets your local audience.
All of these digital marketing services allow restaurant owners to have better control over their online presence, build their restaurant’s reputation at the local level, and increase their restaurant rankings on numerous search engines. With more than one million restaurants across the country, ensuring your restaurant is reaching the right customers is critical to turning tables and, more importantly, keeping the doors open.