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Restaurant Marketing Basics

What is restaurant marketing?

At its most basic, restaurant marketing is the set of activities you engage in to communicate your value to potential guests, and to entice guests to return often. You want to tell them about your food, of course, but also about how the experience of dining at your restaurant is different. Depending on the size and reach of your establishment, this can include anything from dropping flyers door-to-door to mobile advertising. In today’s world, it inevitably includes some kind of social media presence as well as “in real life” engagement with your community.

What are the most effective restaurant marketing techniques?

Things have come a long way since the “Mad Men”-era of lunchtime whiskeys and magazine ads. Your customers are continually bombarded by marketing messages on an ever-expanding number of devices telling them what to wear, watch, buy, and eat.

Consumers have developed a sort of natural defense, often called ad- or banner-blindness. Essentially, this means that the more promotions people see, the less susceptible they become to the message.

So, you need to find innovative ways to increase your restaurant’s visibility. And since each restaurant concept and restaurant type has a different target audience, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. A successful restaurant marketing strategy often boils down to data — the more you know about your customer, and the more personalized you can be in your approach, the easier it is to attract their attention.

We’ve put together a series of expert guides covering how you can take advantage of the major digital marketing channels at your disposal.

Social Media »

Not just a place to share beautiful food photos, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help you attract both customers and staff.

Ads »

Digital advertising comes in all shapes and sizes. We look at the characteristics of each type and how they can deliver a good return on investment.

Mobile »

That rectangular device in your pocket is a powerful marketing tool when used in the right way. Read our advice on everything from apps to maps.

Email »

Take a look at the software and CRM techniques you need to understand to effectively manage and market to your email database.

We also have information on some of the more general online and offline restaurant marketing activities that you might want to try.

What are the risks of marketing a restaurant?

Marketing is usually seen as a positive activity, going out and attempting to find new customers. But there are two sides to every story. Understanding the risks is just as important as knowing the potential benefits.

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