Restaurant Marketing Tips

Are you a restaurant owner? If yes you already know that marketing is key element for your success.

A lot of restaurant businesses unfortunately fail the first year and many of them because of lack of marketing.

When you open a new restaurant, a lot of customers want to taste your food and try your new concept. Usually you have also allocated a budget for the initial launch, and you are sure over the time your high quality service and food will be enough for your success.

After the first period, problems start to arise. People are not coming back and new people coming in less than before. This is the moment where only if you planned a good marketing strategy can you survive and become profitable. Don’t think that restaurant success is based only on quality of food and service.

Eating is a need. Eating out is not, but it could be. Therefore we need to understand why someone wants to go to a restaurant and why to yours.

We all know that customers are critical to your success. Well, let’s analyze them.



Let’s start from a new customer perspective

  • He finds you and then decides to come to you for one or more of the following reasons:
    • Location: because he lives/works close to your location  –> Local Marketing
    • Food proposition: because you have something special (food, service, atmosphere, layout…) –>  Marketing proposition
  • He heard about you
    • Referral: because someone else recommended your place –> Reputation

If he found you, it means he searched for a restaurant, therefore

  • Be visible so they can find you à SEO & Content
    • Be attractive so he can be interested in you –>  Website

If he heard about you, he probably will check your business

  • Be attractive so he can confirm his interest –> Website
  • Be consistent so he can have a confirmation about the referral–>  Reputation

You need to check where your business is listed

·        Check that all your information are consistent

·        Check that there are not any repetitions

·        Check that all the information is correct and complete




You need to make clear in all your communications what makes you unique

·        Create a clear claim

·        Focus your website and your printing on what makes you unique

·        Use Public relations to share your uniqueness to the local community

·        Create a visual marketing campaign (logo, corporate kit, printing material) that is consistent with your message



Don’t limit your Website to your “menu” online

·        Give the option for customers to interact with you (newsletter, blog, order online…)

·        Share your knowledge without unveiling your secrets

·        Focus on content: give customers a reason to visit your Website more often and come back to your restaurant



Customers love to review a restaurant where they have been especially if it has been either  an amazing or an awful experience

·        Monitor any review you find online

·        Respond to the bad reviews

·        In order to give customers all the information they need, publish the reviews on your Website

·        Ask your customers to review your restaurant


At the end of their experience at your restaurant, a customer can be:

  • Unsatisfied: something went wrong. It could be also that the level of expectations he had was too high for what his experience was. Obviously if he doesn’t want to come back, you need to do something to recover this customer –> Social Media
  • Satisfied: he has been satisfied but not enough to consider that experience as unique or special. The main reason why a satisfied customer doesn’t come back is that he forgets about you. With a lot of restaurant on the market it is easy to be attracted by something else –> Customer Interaction Management
  • Delighted: he is enthusiastic about the experience. This customer will come back for sure but pay attention that now the level to expectation is very high and he can disappointed very easily –> Social Media

Why is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so important?

·        Social media is the only way to keep in touch with customers continuously

·        You need to update them very often

·        Don’t post only promotional info: tell stories, involve customers

·        Social media is also the best channel to transmit emotions to customers: images, sounds. These are elements that cannot be transmitted through Web only

·        Social media is perfect to ease the interactions among the customers


6th TIP: Customer Interaction Management

Interaction with a customer is the perfect way to keep him interested

·        Newsletters: try to contact your customers regularly updating them about new offer, promotions

·        Printing material: update regularly your marketing material to keep high the level of interest

·        Blog: talk to customers continuously through your content, establish a dialogue and make them know you are there waiting for them

Fabrizio Cali
Small Business Manager
Advertising Business Consultants

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