Restaurant Marketing for Inflationary Times

Restaurant marketing revolves around making your business known. It combines different online and offline strategies to promote a restaurant and increase orders. But is it so simple to stand out from the crowd in 2022?

With high inflation and the rising cost of living, people  look to reduce spending on leisure activities. Restaurants, in turn, have to deal with skyrocketing prices on products and fuel. What you need is to have positive outcomes for every dollar spent. Let’s look at low-budget restaurant marketing ideas to succeed in inflationary times.

Three Tips to Promote a Restaurant on a Low Budget

1. Optimize the Website for Search and Usability

One of the best ways to become visible is to go online and create a website. Most prospects use Google search to find a local restaurant, so make SEO optimization a priority. SEO (search engine optimization) covers strategies to improve the website positions in search results. The best part is that this type of promotion lets you attract organic traffic, so you don’t pay for every click on your link.

What should a restaurant website have? Focus on enhancing customer experience, which is one of the decisive factors for converting visitors into clients. It also determines whether prospects would continue their interaction with the business offline. Other actionable tips for better SEO and conversions are as follows:

  1. Customize product site search to streamline the process of locating the desired content.

  2. Show restaurant contact details and address. Include such information in the footer to appear wherever visitors go on the website and make a dedicated page with contact details.

  3. Update local listings, such as Google My Business, Facebook, OpenTable, and other directories.

  4. Demonstrate genuine reviews and try to resolve issues to show your care for customers.

  5. Generate quality content and utilize keywords to drive targeted traffic.

  6. Optimize the website for mobile screens. Users should easily access the menu, book a table, and click on the phone number or other links without pinching.

  7. Leverage visitors’ data and personalize the experience. Offer relevant content based on previous views while ensuring data security and privacy.

  8. Implement a chatbot to assist users with making reservations, getting information, and answering frequently asked questions.

2. Communicate with Customers on Social Media

Meet your guests on social media. These websites are all about creativity and require little investment. Promoting a business on social media is as easy as taking a photo of your meals and clicking the “Share” button. You can share your identity and reach a wider audience through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

Post valuable content, such as recipes, interviews, advice from the chef, or news about your restaurant. The key point is consistency and frequency. It’s better to post once a day or at least several times a week. Your content should follow your branding for customers to distinguish the company from others.

You can also establish a lighter atmosphere and generate humorous content. For example, create a funny description or hashtags to add a human touch. Or you can partner with influencers, invite them to the restaurant, and ask them for a review on their accounts. This tactic will enable you to reach loyal followers of the public figure and attract them to your company.

User-generated content is another tool for expanding a customer base. UGC refers to photos, videos, and other types of content your visitors create with mentions of your restaurant. In short, customers do all the work for you. Such content showcases the brand favorably and works as social proof. It builds credibility and drives more clients to the restaurant.

Search for your brand mentions and repost images or videos. Remember to ask for permission and credit the original author to avoid any copyright infringement.

3. Send Relevant Emails

Restaurant email marketing is another cost-effective way to boost your brand. You can send messages on various occasions, from welcome emails to hot deals and even promotions. Does this type of marketing work in 2022? Despite the significant number of communication channels, email marketing isn’t as outdated as it may seem. Check the reasons why many brands should look into this marketing channel based on statistics:

  • It offers among the best returns on investment. You can expect $36 for every dollar spent on compiling and sending messages. 

  • 80 percent of businesses utilize email marketing to attract more clients. 

  • It also proves to be faster than social media in terms of reaching out to customers.

People already express their interest in the brand by subscribing to its newsletter. So don’t make them wait too long to forget why they did it. Send targeted emails and leverage personalizations tricks to stand out from dozens of generic messages:

  • Address customers by their names;

  • Offer products, meals, and events they might like;

  • Consider customers’ location and send deals relevant to their region;

  • Launch loyalty programs to inspire clients to accomplish different goals to receive perks.

How do you attract clients to your restaurant? It’s great when your food talks for itself and triggers positive word of mouth. However, what if your restaurant is at its starting point? The actual challenge is getting people through the door that very first time.

Even though the industry appears too crowded, promoting your brand doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can even use cost-effective techniques to stay afloat in inflationary times. Be creative and employ one of the methods above. From email promotions to UGC and influencers, digital marketing provides tools for various budgets.