If you have your own restaurant, cafe or bar then one of the biggest challenges is keeping it at the forefront of people’s minds. You want to create a space that people love and want to return to time and time again. If you find you have a space that you are proud of, but people don’t seem to be finding, then it’s time you looked at your strategies. Rather than get disheartened, instead, try and think about what you can do to encourage past customers to return and to entice new customers to try you out. If you are feeling stuck, we have put together some top tips to help you to leverage your restaurant business.
Ensure you have a stellar website
Your website is essentially your digital storefront and you want to give it as much care and attention as you would your physical premises. Ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing and easy for users to navigate, showing all the most important information in a simple way. You could get an external company to build it for you and they can also tackle your databases such as with MySQL Support. You will likely have a lot of customer details due to them signing up to your newsletter or booking tables, so you want to ensure their data is safe. Make sure the website is optimised for SEO, focusing on certain keywords that you want to target and that backend SEO is also done to a high standard. Have visually appealing images and be sure to keep your menus updated frequently.
Focus on your social media
Social media is another vital aspect for ensuring the success of your restaurant and while it might feel like it takes a lot of time, many people search for restaurants on things such as Instagram or Twitter before going. By having an active social media page you show that you are relevant and can give an insight into your establishment. People might be encouraged to visit by a dish you post and it’s a great way to stay relevant and keep yourself in people’s minds. You could post special offers on here as well as past reviews and testimonials for your customers to read. While you don’t need to be on every social media channel out there, try to focus on the ones that will be most relevant for your company. Restaurants are very visual, so things such as Instagram and even TikTok are probably your best bet, over more corporate ones such as Linkedin. Ensure you write separate captions for each social media platform to encourage optimum engagement and don’t forget to add relevant hashtags to help you reach the right audience as intended!
Create special deals (eg happy hour)
There’s nothing quite like a great deal to get people in and talking about your restaurant. This is especially a good tactic on days where you might be slower with customers. For example, weekends tend to be a lot busier than weekdays due to people not going out on work nights so much. Try to fix this with an offer such as happy hour on drinks, or a free dessert with every main. You can advertise these special deals on your website, in your newsletter and also on your social media pages. Try to switch up the offers and if you find one, in particular, isn’t having much of an impact, remove it and try something completely new.
Change up your menu regularly
While you might do this already, it’s always a good idea to update your menu as regularly as you can. By doing so, you can ensure you keep people interested and also always have new things that you can promote to your customers. It’s a good idea to focus on seasonal menus so try to cook with ingredients that are in season at the time and switch these up regularly. You could also create dedicated menus based on anything special that is happening at the time, for example when Wimbledon tennis is on you could create a dedicated strawberry and cream inspired dessert. The same can also be said for your cocktail menu. Instead of just sticking with classics, come up with some cool and contemporary ideas that you swap around throughout the year. Again, time these with events or seasonal aspects such as Christmas and Easter. You could promote your new menus on social media or even ask for people’s ideas on what they would most like to see on your menu. This can encourage engagement as well as give you some ideas too!
Ask for customer feedback
Customer feedback is one of the most valuable things within a business and could help you to see where you are perhaps going wrong or what you can do more of. You could put surveys and polls out on social media or newsletters or perhaps ask people in person when they come and visit you. Be sure to keep an eye on websites such as TripAdvisor or on your Google Business reviews and follow up on any feedback whether it is good or bad. By improving things people didn’t seem keen on you show you take their opinions seriously and really value your customers. This can help people to come back and also builds trust in you as a company.
These are just a few top ways you can help to leverage your restaurant business in no time at all. Running a business is hard and it can feel even more difficult when you aren’t achieving the success you feel you deserve. By following the above tips it should help you to get to the level you want to be at, just don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and keep in mind that it won’t always be quick wins. Promoting a business is often slow and steady but once you have the word out there you are sure to enjoy success. What are some ways you have looked to improve your restaurant business? Let us know in the comments below!No tags