Take Off Your Restaurant With The Power Of Marketing

A few years ago if you had a restaurant you would Google listings, you would make one Facebook page and maybe invest in traditional marketing(brochures, radio advertising etc.). Today, unfortunately, these are not enough. We live in a digital world that runs at a fast pace and in years 2023 we are talking about specialized marketing, restaurant marketing.

here you go;

Yes, even if your business is a restaurant you should give a lot of importance to marketing and especially digital marketing(digital marketing).

May be “uncharted waters” but really they are simple moves that can give your business a boost, to increase your bookings and your earnings.

To be able to help as much as possible we will take things in order. In this article we will see what is restaurant marketing, because it is important to have specialization in terms of restaurants but also strategies you can use to set up an excellent presence and of course to increase your income.


What is Restaurant Marketing?;

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Restaurant marketing is a plan that helps restaurant owners increase their sales and profits. The goal is to attract customers to the restaurant.

Restaurant marketing strategies include advertising, Offers, customer service, the menu design, the invoicing etc. But there are many other ways mainly focusing on digital marketing.


Why it is important to have a restaurant marketing strategy;

If you want to attract visitors(and profits), you need to promote your restaurant. This is much easier to achieve through an organized restaurant marketing strategy. The good thing is that you don't have to spend a fortune to start advertising your restaurant.

Especially through digital marketing there are many ways to do it free or for little money and very efficient. These ways include social media, SEO, email marketing etc. which we will mention in detail below.


22 Tactics for successful restaurant marketing

1. Add booking links to Google Business

We imagine how you have already listed your restaurant on Google. If you haven't, you might want to do it…yesterday! The reason is simple: Who doesn't Google to find something; In fact, restaurants and eateries may be at the top of searches on Google Maps.

So if you've listed on Google Business, you've done a great job. But let's take it a step further. Google Business offers several features, such as adding contact numbers, hours and website. It also offers the possibility to have a reservation system. This is done by entering a link in the field “reservations”.

This is a great way for your potential guests to make their reservation directly, without procrastination and without effort. It has been observed that there is an increase up to 20% to online bookings with this simple addition.

We Greeks may not be fully familiar with Google reservations, but abroad it is used a lot. So., if you have a restaurant in a tourist area you have an extra reason to add the reservation option right away.

2. Upgrade your website

If you don't have a website we suggest you create one. A website enhances the image of your business(Yes, even if you have a restaurant) and shows reliability and professionalism.

Add or update your website with the menu, your opening hours and location. This is the main information customers look for from a restaurant website. But don't stop there. Add photos and videos. Take care to inform regularly about changes in the menu and also offers if you have. Encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list so you can use email marketing as well. End, don't forget to add a system for online reservations to make it easier for someone to book.

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3. Use email marketing (that works)

You may have heard the suggestion to adopt email marketing before and it is very likely that you are wondering how does this work for a restaurant.

Email marketing is a great one customer connection tool used by many companies, small and large, in all branches. Email marketing helps you convert ordinary customers to loyal customers of your business. And look at it like that: Simply sending a polite and interesting email once or twice a month won't hurt anyone. also, not being commonly used by restaurants gives you a great advantage!

What to include in this email; Send your news, a change to the menu that you suggest they try, even some prescription. You can also send offers or coupons to those on your email list. This will motivate more customers to leave their email.


4. Send emails on holidays and birthdays

This tactic is related to the previous one, but we will develop it a little more because it is worth it.


Because we have associated name holidays and birthdays with going out and eating. Yes, on certain days maybe people will want to go a little out of budget to celebrate. So this is no ordinary email.

To be able to send email you must first record the name and date of birth(the date is also not necessary) so that you have the data available. Ideally if you have a CRM management system you can record your customer details.

Send them a personalized email 1 with 2 weeks before their big day so they can keep you in mind if they want to celebrate. If you offer something more special that day (e.g. some sweet) let them know. End, you can make them some offer.

If you think you might be annoying with your email think how many people are looking to see what they will be doing on their birthday or holiday. So they will happily open the email and you might get them out of trouble. If they don't want to they will just pass it by. In general, you have nothing to lose.

You can follow the same tactic if you use the SMS marketing.

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5. Use online booking platforms

Online booking platforms have been a very popular tool in recent years. Not only abroad but also in Greece. It is used quite a lot in big cities but also to tourist places where booking on peak days and times is a difficult task.

Platforms like Open Table, the e-table and The List App they allow customers to choose the restaurant they want, day and time of reservation quickly and easily. also, they allow you to browse through the list of options if they don't have a specific restaurant in mind.

Why not be among these options;


6. Make your dishes more “Instagrammable”

The “Instagrammable sweet” is a relatively new phrase in the world of restaurant marketing. The basic idea is, as you might imagine, the presentation of a dish that challenges people(not just influencers) to take photos and share them on their social media. Especially on Instagram where hashtags like #foodporn they are extremely popular.

Creating Instagrammable dishes is an extremely powerful promotional tactic, because it leverages user generated content(User Generated Content) to advertise your business without spending a single euro. The same dish can appear again and again in a different way, by different users and to different audiences. Surely there is no better advertisement than this. In fact, User Generated Content is a very powerful marketing tactic. It is based on spontaneous and authentic content which users trust and can identify with.

Read this too: What Is User Generated Content(UGC) And How It Helps Our Business

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7. Run campaigns with coupons and discounts

Coupons and discounts are a very good restaurant marketing practice and one additional motivation to get people through the door of your restaurant. You can offer a free dish or dessert or give a discount for next time. In fact, once there is a discount, they may think to consume even more.


8. Create loyal customers

Keeping customers coming back again and again should be one of them main goals of your strategy. Loyal and happy customers don't just leave money. It is the best free advertisement for your business. They will return with a larger company but will also tell the best to acquaintances and friends.

How to turn a customer into a loyal customer;

It plays an important role here the service and the personal touch. A tasty food is always a tasty food. But when this food is accompanied by polite and knowledgeable staff about the menu and customer care, a simple table becomes a complete experience. You can also create customer loyalty programs where your customers will have exclusive benefits and discounts.


9. Ads at the local level

Unless your restaurant is on a remote island, the vast majority of your customers will be local. That means you should to give a basis to approach these people.

THE advertising is a large and important part of any successful marketing strategy. It should in no way be overlooked. Today, more than any other era, you have reasons to use the ads. First of all you can leverage local targeting with high precision. Through the online advertising platforms you can choose the geographic area that you want to target. In addition, electronic advertising(mainly through social media) it is for every budget and particularly effective.

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10. Take advantage of local SEO

We said above that the Google Maps it is used a lot when it comes to restaurants and catering establishments in general. Everyday there are many people searching for things like "restaurants near me". In fact, according to research, people search for terms related to "restaurants near me" 20 millions of times worldwide every month! Amazing;

How you can take advantage of this;

  • Updating your Google Business profile
  • Using accurate location information on your website
  • Reviews on Google
  • Site keywords in your website URL
  • SEO optimized websites


11. Create an awesome online menu

Your menu is your shop window. Is the most popular item on your website. It cannot be left to its fate. One easy to read and well designed online menu prompts people to book.

Be careful be prominently placed on your website and not buried in some page. You want your customer to be able to to find it easily. Also be careful to be optimized for mobile phones since now over the 90% of people will use their mobile phone.

Clearly the same applies to the catalog in your store, which should be tasteful and easy to read.

12. Use ad retargeting

What are retargeting ads?; It is re-displaying ads to people who have already visited your website. To have done it once means that they are interested in your restaurant. So maybe they need one ¨σπρώξιμο¨ to proceed with the reservation. The 90% of a website's visitors never make a first-time purchase. Retargeting is an effective way to do it though. Retargeting is also a very powerful advertising channel as these ads they are aimed at a warm audience, ready to go shopping. Here more specifically in reservation. All that is needed is for your developer to make some additions to your site.

13. Build a strong brand

A strong brand can influence how customers see you and also create loyal customers.

Maybe this gets a little confusing when talking about restaurants. What do we mean when we say branding in restaurants?: Create your identity. Consider Greek cuisine, restaurant for vegans; You are famous for offering healthy options; The more specific you become, the more specific the audience will be looking for you. You will also be easier to find.

Take care of the decoration, the catalogs, the colors bring out the character of your business. to be consistent with your image both in physical store and online(website, advertising and social media). You will make it very easy for the audience to be able to recognize and distinguish you. If you build a strong brand and your audience identifies, then you will surely have laid a solid foundation for your success.


14. Collect and use visitor data

In a few words keep statistics. Track when and how many people visit your restaurant. It's to celebrate some event; Which dishes do they prefer?; What are their observations(if they have); Corresponding to online bookings: When do they book?; From which platform;

All of these can be leveraged to make your restaurant marketing strategy even more powerful.


15. SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is particularly popular as SMS tend to have a lot high open rate.

It's a great way to communicate an offer or a new dish. But be careful not to do it abusive as no one wants to receive messages that do not interest them every three or so times.

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16. Show your ingredients

There are people like vegan or people who prefer the organic products. also, some love to support them local derivatives or the traditional products. Such people are passionate when they know that there are restaurants that operate like them. If your restaurant offers something special or special ingredients then it is a good opportunity to display it.


17. Use high quality images

It wasn't by chance that the phrase that came out “First it pleases the eye!”. A picture is worth a thousand words or in our case a thousand flavors! We are humans optics types. Yes, a great picture of a delicious pasta for example can make us want to eat it. The same will not happen if the photo of the same dish is taken sloppy and rough and the image is blurry. In today's visual age, High quality images are of utmost importance. If you are not able to take such pictures better hire a professional photographer.


18. Boost your PR

Public relations is not something outdated. It's something that strengthens relationships with your customers. When we say PR we don't mean some curvaceous girl or a charming young man who will stand at the entrance of the restaurant and place people on tables.

We mean them good relations with customers and companies. People who will get excited and bring other people. PR can also be the good relations with journalists and bloggers who will advertise your business.

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19. Incentivize online reviews

For many, online reviews are the most important thing when choosing a restaurant.

Try simply asking people to rate if they had a great experience at your restaurant. If you can go a step further and encourage people to leave positive reviews. It is good to leave a review in addition to an evaluation 5 stars.

also, don't forget to respond to online reviews, either positive, or negative. This way you show that you care about what your customers think. Respond even if the reviews are bad. This will show that you are taking all points of view into account and that you are interested in what might have gone wrong so that you can improve.


20. Use influencer marketing

The Influencers they already have their audience which follows them and takes their opinion into account. What you can do is invite an influencer to your restaurant. It can be done for a fee or in return by simply setting the table for him. From there, you don't need to do anything.

The influencer will make sure to show your dishes and your space to their audience and communicate their experience. It's a great opportunity to expose yourself to new people, new potential customers.

One piece you should look out for is the influencer address the audience you want to reach so you have a better chance of them becoming your customers. also, you can reach a local influencer that targets a local audience.

21. Use social media marketing

Social media marketing is not missing from any marketing strategy, nor from restaurant marketing. No, the moment millions of users pass by on average 2 with 3 hours on their mobile screen scrolling through social media. Organize your social media strategy and content. Use high-quality photos and eye-catching videos. Make stories. Leverage your stats and see what your followers love to see.


22. Give back to the community

If you are a local restaurant, it is important to focus on restaurant marketing strategies that will help you win over the local community. There are many ways to do this.

First of all you can get raw materials from local producers. You can also support a local social cause or a local foundation. Finally, you can arrange with a local food pantry to donate any leftover food. Of course, we mean the ones you cooked extra and didn't go out to the customers.

Show people that you care about the local community and you will gain their respect.



Maybe you have thought about some of the above, maybe some of you are already implementing them. But we hope we've given you ideas for even more things you can do. We also hope that we have solved any questions you may have if something went wrong. Restaurant marketing has evolved over the past few years and continues to evolve. If you want to go the extra mile for your restaurant, you have the weapons...all you have to do is use them! It's a shame to have great dishes and a welcoming atmosphere and not communicate them so people know about them, gain customers and clearly increase your restaurant's profits.


Read also:

8 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

How To Make Your Business Cards A Powerful Sales Tool


If you need help to organize your action strategy and make an effective marketing plan for your restaurant we will be happy to help you. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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