8 tips for marketing your restaurant

In a sector as competitive as the restaurant industry, effective marketing is crucial if you want to stand out and attract customers. Here, Zenchef shares eight tips for impactful restaurant marketing management. 

1. Define a marketing strategy

First off, you need to ask yourself a few questions to set out the guidelines of your marketing strategy. This preliminary step is key for creating a strong, coherent identity for your restaurant:

  • Who are your target customers (average age, preferred marketing channels, consumption habits, socio-professional category, etc.)?
  •  What key values define your business?
  • What is your restaurant’s visual identity?
  • What is the competitive landscape like in your sector? What are the strengths of your direct competitors’ digital strategies, and are there any areas for improvement?
  • What tone do you want to adopt in your marketing materials?

Start thinking about your marketing strategy as early as the market study and business plan phase.  

→ Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a web marketing agency to manage your restaurant’s marketing.

2. Design an attractive, functional and responsive website

Whatever your restaurant type (traditional, fast food, bar-restaurant, café, food truck, etc.), designing a website is an essential step for maximising the visibility of your establishment. 

Your restaurant’s website must be visually appealing, with a graphic charter in line with your brand image. The interface should be ergonomic and responsive, and the navigation intuitive. 

A restaurant website should include:

  • Opening hours
  • Menus
  • Address 
  • Contact form, email address and telephone number
  • Several high-quality photos (restaurant frontage, dining room, dishes, etc.)
  • A booking module, such as the solution developed by Zenchef, enabling customers to reserve online in a few clicks
  • Services and amenities offered (bar, terrace, home delivery, parking, etc.).

To boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimisation) and achieve leads, consider writing thought-provoking blog posts and producing other value-added content. You can also send regular newsletters to your customers sharing your content, keeping them up to date with your news, letting them know about any special offers, and so on.  

The best solution is to hire a professional web designer to create your restaurant’s website. This will guarantee you a visually appealing and powerful online showcase.

3. Be active on social media

Instagram and Facebook are invaluable social media platforms for restaurant owners.  

On Instagram, post high-quality photos and videos of your best dishes, behind-the-scenes shots of the restaurant, your kitchen and restaurant staff, your restaurant decor, etc.

Create a professional Facebook page: make sure you properly fill in all the necessary practical information (opening hours, address, menu, etc.). 

Post regularly on Facebook: news, upcoming events, special offers, new menus, articles about the restaurant sector, photos, videos, descriptions of your star dishes, surveys and customer satisfaction questionnaires, etc. 

To get your customers to interact and become true ambassadors of your brand, encourage them to post on social media, leave reviews, take photos, etc. 

If your budget can stretch to it, why not launch sponsored campaigns on Instagram and Facebook?

Google AdWords is also a powerful tool for paid SEA (search engine advertising). 

Depending on the market positioning of your restaurant and your customer profile, you could also use other social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Snapchat, WhatsApp Business, etc. 

→ Don’t hesitate to hand over the management of your social media to a professional community manager.

4. Create a Google My  Business account

Google My Business is one of the most important digital tools for restaurant owners. 

Take the time to fill in all the information requested (opening hours, address, website, description, services offered, menu, telephone number, etc.) so that your customers can easily find you. This will have a significant impact on your local referencing! Make sure you keep your listing up to date, particularly if you have to close exceptionally. 

5. Respond to customer reviews

Whether on Google My Business, Facebook or online restaurant platforms, make sure you respond to all reviews left by your customers – both positive and negative. This way, you show that you are listening to your existing customers and can gain the trust of future customers. 

Reviews also help you better understand the expectations of your customers so you can adjust your service offer accordingly, building customer loyalty as you do so. Make sure you talk to dissatisfied customers and try to make up for their bad experience, if need be.

6. List your restaurant on online platforms

Specialised directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Pages Jaunes or Petit Futé, are extremely useful for boosting your restaurant’s visibility, improving your referencing on search engines and strengthening your e-reputation. They also allow you to take on board your customers’ opinions and better understand your customers’ needs. 

To increase your sales, also consider delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo or Just Eat

7. Collaborate with bloggers and the media

More and more restaurant owners are choosing to collaborate with influencers, food bloggers or specialised magazines – strategies that can significantly boost your restaurant’s visibility, improve its e-reputation and attract customers. 

8. Do not neglect offline communication!

Although online marketing is vital for a restaurant, offline communication tools should not be neglected.

You could, for instance, organise events in your restaurant (cooking classes, wine classes, live music, tastings, etc.), take part in markets, trade fairs and outdoor events and encourage word-of-mouth by offering your guests a top-notch experience!

For more tips on running a restaurant, check out our other articles: 

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