4 Ways to Increase Your Restaurant Marketing ROI
Customer habits influence a large majority of restaurant operations. For operators, attracting new customers and making sure they stay loyal is the key to success – and it has never been more important than in today’s post-pandemic landscape, when money from consumers is up for grabs, but consumers’ needs are different from what they were previously.
Ryan Gromfin, author, speaker, chef, restaurateur and founder of The Restaurant Boss, has helped hundreds of operators grow and scale their businesses. Recently, Gromfin offered innovative marketing strategies to help operators grow their customer base in the “Reaching New Customers and Maximizing Marketing” webinar, hosted by the National Restaurant Association Show. Here’s a look at four of the restaurant marketing best practices for ROI that he shared during the session.
Identify the ideal client
The reality of any customer base is that it is constantly changing, even for the most loyal customers. For example, a child in a family could change schools and the family would no longer pass a certain restaurant on the way home. This natural change in customer retention is called attrition – the natural loss of some customers. The idea, says Gromfin, is to get more customers to start and keep coming in than to abandon the restaurant.
Gromfin notes that identifying the ideal guests is the first step in attracting them. Operators need to imagine the demographics of their ideal customer, including their age, gender, income, marital status, and education level, as well as more specific factors such as which magazines they read, what their platform is for. favorite social media and what TV shows they watch. . By identifying the ideal guest, operators can identify the best type of marketing to attract that demographic. For example, the marketing used to attract young families will be different from the marketing used to attract business leaders.
By identifying the ideal customer, operators can better structure their marketing efforts and attract those customers, thereby creating a lasting relationship with them.
Understand customers and optimize marketing efforts
The next step is to perfect the brand of the restaurant. Once the ideal customer has been identified, operators need to think about what their brand stands for and the brand’s competitive advantage. Why should the ideal customer eat at this specific restaurant? Is it well located? Are the prices lower than those of other restaurants? Is the food different from what other places offer?
Next, operators need to identify 10 places where their ideal customers hang out; this will help the restaurant determine who to partner with, where to advertise and more. For example, are customers hanging out in the next gym or working in the office building across the street? Either way, the more operators can identify their ideal customer base, the better.
Meeting the needs of consumers
Beyond identifying consumer interests, it is essential for restaurants to meet customers where they are. For example, customers might not have considered the importance of curbside pickup a year ago, but nowadays, they can only frequent places that offer it. Likewise, operators need to think about how their menus will look online – with the increase in online orders since the start of the pandemic, consumers are increasingly ordering with their eyes. Make sure to upload photos of menu items that look spectacular; food style and professional photography is a must. Customers are now looking for specific items – the best cheeseburger, for example – rather than just looking for burgers.
And online reviews also influence where customers order, so make sure you stay on top of what customers are saying about the restaurant and encourage customers to leave a review if they’ve had a good experience. In other words, optimize everything – from menu and menu item images to website and online order forms. Removing roadblocks means less chance for customers to get frustrated and click.
Strategy, don’t advertise
It is essential to ensure that current processes meet consumers where they are. Making sure services like delivery, curbside pickup, and even liquor delivery are available where possible is a great way to ensure customers have a good experience with a brand – exceed Dinner expectations are paramount when working towards building a loyal consumer base. Rather than just advertising, operators need to strategize their marketing plans and create a funnel. With this method, operators build brand awareness, attract new customers, and “automatically rise” ie strongly target these new potential customers to ensure that they become real customers. Unless the marketing campaign has a clearly defined goal like attracting new customers, it won’t work.
To truly improve the customer experience, operators must first identify who their ideal guest is, and then exceed that guest’s expectations with every interaction. Finally, restaurants should develop strategic marketing campaigns rather than ad hoc advertisements in order to more consciously attract and retain customers.
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