Five tips to help raise your restaurant’s public profile
Running a successful restaurant is competitive work. For any business, it is extremely important to have a high public profile. Without one, fewer customers will know your restaurant exists.
It is particularly important to think about new ways to raise your public profile given the recent changes in regulations due to Covid-19. With restaurants reopening after a lengthy lockdown period, customers may need more than the promise of a good meal to persuade them to dine out.
On average, the consumer services industry spends 18.9% of revenue on marketing per year. Having a high public profile is clearly worthwhile. So, whatever your budget is, here are five helpful steps every restaurant should take to raise its public profile.
Improve your Google ranking
When it comes to marketing any business, it is important to consider the benefits of utilising the internet - especially Google. A huge portion of the population use this search engine to look for a restaurant to dine out at.
In fact, people are at least twice as likely to use Google search than other online or offline sources to meet their needs. Thus, the higher you rank on Google, the easier it will be for customers to find you.
Your company can rank highly on Google either by paying for that ranking or by earning it.
Paying for a high ranking
Google is a business just like the rest of us. It encourages other businesses to sign up to its pay-per-click service Google Adwords.
While Google Adwords can increase your website ranking on Google fairly quickly, the cost implications are a major pitfall. It can become extremely costly to keep your ranking high in the long-term, particularly in competitive industries.
Earning a high ranking
The way people search and the terms they use are incredibly important. Google looks for these terms within the content of a company’s website. The more relevant the website content is to the search, the higher up the site will rank in a search—which leads us onto our next point.
Adopt a content strategy
A content marketing strategy sounds scary, but all it means is creating content—such as blog posts, photos and videos—to attract visitors to your website and increase awareness of your restaurant.
A good content strategy starts with gathering lots of information. Start by speaking to the people that usually answer the phone. Find out what the common questions are from potential customers, and then provide this information on your website instead.
In the digital age we are in, customers are looking for as much information as possible on the internet before they call to make a booking. Shorter and fewer phone calls mean your staff will have more time to focus on delivering great service to your existing customers.
Encourage positive reviews
Another way restaurants can boost their public profile, as well as their ranking on Google, is by encouraging their customers to leave reviews on popular review sites.
Many people rely on sites like Tripadvisor to choose a place to eat. According to the Local Consumer Review Survey, the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision.
If your restaurant has lots of positive reviews, you are much more likely to attract customers.
To encourage customers to leave a review, ensure your restaurant has clear sign to the review sites you can be found on. Some restaurants even offer incentives for those that leave a review, such as entering them into a prize draw or giving them a percentage off their next bill.
Use social media effectively
If you are already armed with great content and lots of positive reviews, why not share it with your online community?
Managing a social media page means engaging with your customers even when your doors are shut. By sharing the photos customers take in your restaurant and making it simple to view the menu, you will be encouraging more people to visit.
If you are looking to learn more about how you can maximise your use of social media, take a look at our social media best practices for restaurants.
Improve your signage
While the internet does play a huge part in bringing modern day customers into restaurants, you shouldn’t completely depend on it.
In a survey, 54 percent of shoppers say they have driven to a business and failed to find it because their signage was too small. If the signs to your restaurant aren’t visible, consider investing in additional signage on the main road to let potential customers know you are there and how they can get to you.
For instance, imagine you own a new restaurant that is situated just off a main road between two suburban villages. If your signage isn’t visible from that main road, you will not attract as many potential customers.
Whether you opt for one of these methods or a mixture of all of them, it is important that you always put your customer first. Even companies with the biggest marketing budgets and the flashiest strategies can still gain a bad reputation if they don’t treat their customers well.
Equipped with a high rank on Google, engaging content, positive reviews, effective social media, and eye-catching signage—your restaurant is almost guaranteed to attract customers.
But the truth is that word of mouth still reigns when it comes to marketing, and Nielsen reports that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. So, while marketing is extremely important, it should always come second to quality dining and excellent customer service.