Nowadays it has become really easy to extend your restaurant business online.

There are many solutions available for setting up a website with food ordering for pickup and delivery.

But in such a competitive space, just having a website and Facebook page is not enough.

It is up to you to put the salt and pepper on these ingredients and turn them into a revenue stream.

While working with the restaurant industry, we have noticed some patterns in the activities that successful restaurant managers focus on. We’ve put them together in this list of 6 actionable, inexpensive marketing tips.

1. Invest in some high-quality images

We cannot say this enough times: images are important. They speak a thousand words. They create an appetite, cravings… they sell!

Burger and a drink

Invest in a professional photo shoot of your food and rest assured that your money is well spent. Most of your marketing activities (and their success) rely on images and on how you present your food and your business.

People enjoying in a restaurant

And speaking of business, if you take some shots of your restaurant as well, make sure you have people in them. They need to say that others are visiting your restaurant and having a happy and relaxed time.

Where would you go?

2. Tell people that you accept online orders

Ideally your website ranks well in the search engine results and people get to see that you allow online ordering. But what about your existing customers that are used to dining-in or ordering via phone?

Print flyers that provide useful information for your customers. You can hand them out with the bill or slip one in each take away bag. They are not expensive to produce and if you have taken care of step 1 (your professional food images), it’s even simpler. There are tons of templates available online that you can just customize with your logo and images. Try searching through for a template that suits you.

And since you have flyers printed, why not deliver them to your neighbourhood? Just give it a try. But remember: mailboxes, not a random giveaway on the street.

3. Send regular newsletters

Building your email list should be a high priority for your restaurant business. People are willing to give you their email address to be informed about promotions, special deals or events. Not to mention that if you’re offering online ordering, you already have a good stream of clients for your emailing list.

Don’t think that email is dead. It’s still a very effective way of keeping in touch with your customers and remind them that you exist. Send out an email and most likely you’ll see a boost in your sales in the days after the email dispatch.

Of course, you need to make a couple of tests until you figure out how often to send the emails and what exactly to write, but it’s an exercise worth doing. Here is some inspiration to help you get started.

4. Create engagement on social media

Even with a good number of followers, online orders don’t automatically happen. You need to create engagement, drop a mouth-watering photo around meal time, be present, be cool…

Use those nice photos of your food, add some catchy messages and post, post, post. Also, make sure you chat with your followers as much as possible. Check out these concrete examples of how likes are turned into orders.

5. Ask for reviews

Reviews can make or break your business. And like it or not, Google, social media, the review portals – they are all trying hard to show your ratings to potential customers as fast as possible.

So do your best to provide great food, excellent service and maintain an impeccable restaurant image.

Provided you have this under control, the reviews can work to your advantage. Go ahead and ask, or (even better) request that customers leave a review of your restaurant.

There are many ways you can do this. Here are some ideas:

  • Hand a tablet to diners once they are done and ask for the check.
  • Ask people to write a review and get something for free (coffee or cookie) in return;
  • Send a follow-up email or SMS to people who have ordered online.

Enjoyed reading these restaurant marketing tips? Discover more practical tips for your restaurant in 126 Expert Ideas For Your Restaurant Business Plan.

Gloria food logo

Alsco would like to thank Oliver Auerbach, the founder of GloriaFood for this article. GloriaFood is an online ordering system that enables restaurants to take online orders from their website, Facebook page, and mobile app. In addition, the company also offers a restaurant website builder module, aimed to help restaurants get a sales optimized website for their business.

Revitalise your restaurant with elegant table linens that suits your restaurant theme. Learn about Alsco’s economic and hassle-free services for your restaurant here. Contact us for a free quote for your restaurant.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Images by Free-Photos