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Restaurant owners: The Best 5 Ways To Promote Your Expanding Business

September 16, 2016 at 11:09 AM

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Competing in the food industry can be daunting. But fret no more! We are evolving towards hip new ways we can promote our businesses. You may already own a restaurant or thinking of starting one, either way you will probably face the problem of finding the most innovative way to promote your restaurant. It may seem like competition in the food industry can be difficult and can be an uphill battle to differentiate your restaurant from others in the food industry. However, if you use these 5 tips to promote your restaurant,  you will be well on your way towards being a trendy and successful business!

1. Offer Cooking Classes.

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Offering cooking classes is a great way to promote your restaurant. You not only show your customers exactly how you make the exciting food ideas your chef has come up with, but it is a great way to connect with them on a personal level. In addition, In addition, the profits could help offset some of the expansion costs for your multiple restaurant locations.

Having public or private classes opens up some options your customers can choose from. Private classes also encourages people to use this option for birthday presents, company events, or for family gatherings. Depending on the type of restaurant you own, possibly adding a wine tasting class can be very promotional and successful as well.

2. Brainstorm a fake happy hour.

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We all know Massachusetts does not allow a happy hour. However, it does not have to stop you from creating other fun promotional ideas just like a happy hour. For example, one promotional event would be having the option for customers sign-up at the door with their information and email. If they do this, they are awarded half priced appetizers. This fun event can influence returning customers to keep coming back with their friends. It builds up referrals, and not to mention, offers you customer emails that you can then send email campaigns to!

3. Social media like crazy!

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Well, aren’t we lucky we don’t live in the 1930’s anymore! The evolution of social media marketing has been claimed as a vital role in business’s brand awareness. If you do not have your company on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to start. It is easy to get followers through paid campaigns and it is a great outlet to let your customers know what your restaurant is up to.

Added something new to the menu? Doing renovations? Brunch special? All of these important events should be promoted through social media. It not only allows your loyal customers to keep up with your innovations, but it encourages them to share these updates with their friends.  Twitter and Google Plus are also effective outlets.

4. Email Campaigns.

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An email campaign can really come in handy when you have events. The easy part is getting their email, the hard part is keeping them engaged in your business. Sending weekly emails, either promotional or updates about the restaurant is a great way to keep your customers interested. Between these email campaigns and social media, your customers will be constantly engaged with your restaurant. All you have to do is keep the contact constant and relative.

If you feel overwhelmed, do not worry! At least you don’t have to write these emails on a typewriter. FishBowl is a great automated email service to help marketing emails and targeted campaigns.  It also analyzes industry-specific proprietary algorithms to provide insights about menus, pricing, media mix, and social media.

5. Do you have thoughtful website design and SEO?
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SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is a very important marketing tool that will help promote your website and thus, your restaurant. In search engines, like Google, only 10 links are allowed on the first page, these 10 web pages use SEO to rank them against the thousands of other websites out there. SEO helps rank your site on search engines so that there is a higher chance someone will see it than without it. The more people are exposed to your site, the higher the click through rate, and the higher chance someone will land on it.
Making sure you have a professional website for your restaurant is also very important. You need to build trust with customers, so creating a helpful and viable website will help with that. Adding the menu, a gallery, and even Opentable, so that people can make reservations online, all play a small role in a greater promotion campaign.
Now, this all may seem like a lot. However, by creating a plan and choosing what promotional ideas can work for your restaurant, your business should be well on its way to getting more known by future customers.

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