16 Restaurant Marketing Trends and Ideas in 2021

Modern Restaurant Marketing Techniques to Help Grow Your Restaurant Business in 2021

Restaurant Reputation Management

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16 Restaurant Marketing Ideas, Tips, and Trends in 2021

 

Restaurant marketing in today’s highly competitive environment requires accurate, reliable, and comprehensive customer data. Online and offline marketing campaigns can even use data collected around your actual customers.

As technology evolves and consumer preferences are modified, successful marketing strategies need to be tested and adjusted.

While the still tried-and-tested traditional marketing strategies are still valid, digital marketing strategies are consistently evolving. This evolution challenges marketers to come up with new, smart customer-engaging campaigns.

 

Restaurant Marketing Infographic

 

These digital marketing techniques are not solely attached to your website and what you can do with it.

Digital marketing techniques include other channels, such as social media pages, website pages, search engine results, and mobile apps.

You can even use guest WiFi as a powerful restaurant marketing tool.

Marketing a restaurant in the restaurant industry today is as competitive as ever.

With stiff competition, it is imperative to be on top of your marketing game at all times. You can gain an advantage over your competitors.

Professionals must learn how to market a restaurant to find success in the new year.

Below, you’ll find 15 smart ways to market your restaurant in 2021.

As you branch out into various marketing channels, it is imperative to keep a consistent brand voice and personality.

Likewise, aim to keep your look and feel as consistent as possible, including imagery.

 

Restaurant Marketing

 

1. Restaurant Marketing Starts with Your Website

 

Your company website is the virtual epicenter of your brand.

Customers go online to see your menu, order take-out, discover upcoming specials and events, and more.

Your website should also be the source of your brand identity in terms of look, feel, and personality.

 

 

2. SEO

 

You can maximize website traffic and gain new customers by focusing on website rankings.

The process of improving website rankings is known as search engine optimization (SEO).

Providing original, educational, entertaining, and compelling content for your customers is crucial.

Make sure to include keyword phrases that your customers would be searching for, such as Italian Restaurant in Atlanta. Make sure the keyphrase flows naturally in a sentence and doesn’t sound forced.

Just write naturally, and you should be fine.

It is also important that other websites are linking to yours. Find local directories and other websites to link to yours.

A smart way to think about SEO link building is that if you publish entertaining, educational, compelling content, others will naturally link back to it.

 

 

How to Use Google My Business for Restaurant Marketing3. Google My Business

 

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.

It allows you to manage your information, which will appear when someone searches for your brand name or your Google Maps location (see image).

Plus, businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.

All you need to do is create a free Google account (if you don’t have one already), log in and claim your business.

You’ll immediately be able to enter all of your company information. You can even create events and posts that will appear in your search results.

You can also post your menu, use Google’s free online ordering for pick up or delivery, or even schedule reservations.

If you are going to market a restaurant, this is an integral part of your marketing strategy. This strategy is also great for attracting new customers.

 

 

4. Newsletters and Email Marketing

 

If you’re not building a customer list with contact information, you might be leaving money on the table.

Place a form on your website that allows customers and potential customers to sign up for a newsletter.

Then, send out an email newsletter to them consistently with relevant, compelling content.

Some restaurateurs will include coupons or specials in the newsletter to entice readers to visit. Newsletters are an effective form of email marketing.

It is crucial to remain consistent. If you choose to send emails monthly, make sure they are sent out on the same day every month.

Try to gain as many email marketing subscribers as possible.

So, consider adding an incentive, such as a free dessert, to all new subscribers. Also, make sure the sign-up form is displayed prominently on every website page, if possible.

 

 

Get New Restaurant Customers

 

 

How to Use Social Media for Restaurant Marketing

 

Social media is a necessary part of running any business today.

Even if you do not have pages on any of the popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, you can bet that your customers are out there posting, tweeting, and Instagramming things about your restaurant.

You can also bet that potential customers are reading it.

The more engaged you are with your clientele, the more loyal they become, and the more they’ll spread the word.

A well-developed social media marketing plan can bring a large percentage of business through your door.

 

5. Facebook

 

From making improvements to driving sales, customer engagement is imperative when you market a restaurant.

What if you do not have a social media audience?

There are many ways to engage fans over social media. Here are some tips for boosting your Facebook followers:

  • If you do not have a Facebook group, consider making one. If you have a Facebook group but do not participate, start. This engagement gives you a built-in audience to respond to the content you share.
  • When you need people to like your page or join your group, one thing you could do is host a contest. To get 100,000 likes on their Facebook page, Qwertee gave away 1,000 free shirts in a week. This approach works when you have multiple platforms to expand your content. Create graphics, videos, blog posts, and more that people can share to spread the word. 35% of fans on Facebook like a page so that they can enter the contests.
  • Videos less than a minute can have significant results. The best length for Facebook engagement is around 1 minute and 30 seconds, and Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video each day. Your videos could be about anything from promotional content, to food and drink items, to a behind-the-scenes look at your restaurant.
  • People like sharing their opinion, especially if sharing is easy and fun. Before you start innovating, you could have fun polls. You might ask people to decide between your two most popular desserts. For one option, people could like the post. For the other, they could share it.

 

 

6. Instagram

 

Photos and videos are a win-win for social media, especially Instagram.

Obviously, you should use them on your networks, but try these tricks for an added bonus:

  • Attract customers with shareable photos and videos on your Wi-Fi landing page. It’s the first thing they see, so make it worth the sign-in.
  • Make your splash page social-friendly with like, share, pin and tweet buttons.
  • Spread the word by asking customers to check-in with social sites when they sign into your Wi-Fi.
  • Engage customers with shareable deals, customized for each social media site so their friends can share, too.
  • Retain customers and gain new ones by asking for reviews.

All of these capabilities are native features in the Bloom Intelligence platform, and they help build positive connections between your customers and the members of their social networks.

 

 

7. Twitter

 

Twitter is another great platform for restaurant marketing. It allows you to post images and text, so you can share a quick message with any image you’d like to share.

Twitter gives you the opportunity to engage with your guests using quick, simple messages.

If you’re short on time and want to get started, Twitter is a great option.

More strategies below!

 

Restaurant Marketing with Online Paid Advertising

This is more of an advanced strategy and one that will require an investment.

Paid advertising is most often done using Google (Google Ads) and Facebook (Facebook Ads).

These can be quite powerful, as they can be configured with unique targeting features, personalized ads, and a thorough dashboard to monitor and analyze results.

You can even tell them the type of person you want the ads to be displayed to, based on their internet browsing history, or their demographic information.

 

8. Google Ads

 

Google Ads is the most used and most popular online paid advertising platform to market a restaurant.

When you do a search in Google, many times you will see advertisements at the very top and/or the very bottom of the results page. These are Google Ads, and you can advertise your restaurant in this space.

Google allows you to configure where you want your ads to be seen, meaning you can display your ads only to searchers who are in a specific distance of your restaurant(s).

Once you’ve created your ads, you can tell the system which searches you’d like your ads to appear on.

There is no limit to the amount of search phrases you can enter. When someone searches for any of the phrases, your ad will appear.

Then, you set a budget cap. You’ll never pay more than the monthly cap you set, and you can adjust it or pause the campaign anytime.

Ads are displayed in order using a Google algorithm which considers the relevancy to the search term, and the maximum bid per click you have set in the system.

As mentioned above, this is an advanced strategy for most restaurateurs.

It is necessary to keep a constant eye on the performance of your account. You’ll want to tailor your settings to be as high on the search page as possible, without spending too much per click.

Results can be powerful using Google Ads, but if attention is not paid to the account, your monthly budget cap can be spent with very minimal ROI.

 

 

9. Facebook Ads

 

Facebook Ads is very similar to Google Ads. Configuration can be as simple, or as complex as you’d like it to be.

With more than 2 billion people using Facebook every month, it is entirely possible to narrow down your desired audience to the specific type of customer you want the ads to appear to.

Facebook Ads are generally less expensive than Google ads. However, Google Ads can reach a much larger audience.

 

You Must Know Your Audience

 

With any type of marketing campaign, knowing your audience is crucial. The best campaigns start and end with the audience in mind.

Since paid advertising takes a bite out of your marketing budget, you obviously want to make sure you gain the highest ROI possible.

To do this, you need accurate, reliable, and comprehensive data about your actual customers.

For brick-and-mortar business owners, WiFi marketing and analytics can gather this powerful data for you – whether customers log into your WiFi or not.

Then you can sort and filter the data to make accurate, data-driven decisions about who your ideal customers are, and for whom you should configure your paid advertising audiences.

 

Using Customer Profiles for Restaurant Marketing
10. Ratings and Reviews Websites for Restaurant Marketing

 

In today’s digital age, reviews on sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp are archived and available instantaneously to anyone with an internet connection.

In fact, when searching for a restaurant or hotel online, customer reviews on these popular sites are among the first to pop up in the search results.

Because of this, many potential customers make up their mind about the quality of an establishment as soon as they see the highlighted rating appear on their screen, before they’ve seen any marketing materials, visited the location’s website, or even visited the location itself.

TripAdvisor tallies up a staggering 390 million unique visits a month, with 435 million available reviews on nearly seven million restaurants, accommodations and attractions.

Yelp, though not at quite the same level, still attracts an impressive user total, about 174 million figuring in monthly mobile and desktop visits, with about 115 million posted reviews.

The popularity of these sites speaks clearly to their importance.

Given these numbers, it is obviously important to stay on top of your ratings and reviews on these powerful websites.

So, whenever you see a bad rating or review, respond with T.A.C.T. And whenever you see a great rating, respond in T.I.M.E.

 

11. Create a Ratings Feedback Loop

Using the Bloom Intelligence advanced automated marketing suite of tools, it becomes quick and easy to create a ratings feedback loop.

Bloom users create the initial message that is sent to their customers. This message will typically thank them for a recent visit and ask them to provide a rating of their experience – from one-half star to five-stars.

The message can be configured to be sent after a specific amount of visits to your restaurant so they do not get the message after every visit.

Then, a rating threshold is configured for which a follow up message will be sent.

For instance, if the threshold is set at 2 ½ stars, then if the customer gives a rating of 2 ½ stars or less, a follow-up message can automatically be sent.

In this case, the follow up message would offer an apology for providing anything less than stellar service. It can include an incentive to get the customer back through your door for that valuable second chance.

The idea is to grab the customer’s attention and offer some kind of resolution to their issue before they get to an online ratings website.

If they know their issue is being addressed in a friendly and positive manner, they will most likely refrain from complaining online.

Over time, this will mitigate many negative reviews that would have been sitting online – damaging your reputation – for years to come.

Likewise, if the customer gives a good rating in the initial message, you can follow up with a message thanking them, and include links to your pages on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, or any other online ratings website.

Over time, this will greatly increase the number of positive ratings and reviews you have online. As a result, you’ll see more new customers coming through your doors.

 

12. Aggregate Ratings into One Platform and Offer Social Proof

With Bloom, you can not only create a ratings feedback loop, but you can send an email to customers with links to Google, Facebook, or Bloom ratings websites. When they leave the rating, it is recorded in the Bloom platform.

With Bloom integration with Google and Facebook, you can have access to see both the individual ratings or the aggregate total of all ratings collected, all in one place.

Even better, you can respond to all of the ratings directly from the Bloom restaurant marketing platform.

Bloom will also generate a small piece of code that you can place into your website that will display an unobtrusive pop-up to show your website visitors your aggregate rating on Google, Facebook, Bloom, or any combination of the three.

This is a great way to show social proof to your website visitors, driving more net new business and helping to improve your restaurant marketing results.

 

13. How to Create Customer Loyalty Programs

 

Customer loyalty programs are enormously popular in restaurants all over the world.

Owners and operators know this customer-engaging marketing strategy has a potent capability to expand their customer base and extend the overall average lifetime of their customers.

When executed properly, a loyalty program can turn your occasional customers into frequent patrons, increase your per-person-average, and elevate your bottom line.

The audience may be smaller in terms of your overall marketing efforts, but that shouldn’t discourage you. These participants have opted in.

They expect and are ready to receive your offers, updates, coupons, and messages. And they are the ones who are going to actively engage with them.

Are you currently offering a customer loyalty program? Is it truly working for your establishment? Are you seeing a positive ROI? Do you have the means to collect and measure the data that can tell you these things?

A WiFi marketing and analytics platform can act as your loyalty program. For instance, Bloom can track your customer visits for you and can trigger an automatic message with an offer or rating based on individual customer behavior.

You can send them an automated message once they reach your predetermined visit count, for instance. You literally set it and forget it, and Bloom will handle the rest.

When a customer redeems the offer, Bloom will track that data too. This allows you to measure the tangible ROI you need to manage your loyalty program effectively.

 

 

Other Online Restaurant Marketing Ideas

 

If you or a member of your team have a knack for writing, try finding an online food blogger who accepts written work from other authors.

This a great way to get exposure for your restaurant while also demonstrating your love for food and great customer service.

While you will most likely not be permitted to directly promote your restaurant, you will likely be able to provide an author bio that will be published on the page. That is where you can let the world know how great your restaurant is.

Plus, you’ll be able to add a link to your restaurant’s website. This can increase your website traffic through direct visitors from your link.

Also, it can provide a boost to your website’s search engine rankings, since they will see a link from an authoritative website pointing to your website.

You can also seek out food bloggers in your area who do reviews on local restaurants. Contact them and ask them to review your place of business.

Finally, get your restaurant listed in local directories and on food apps. This may require some legwork.

Find apps that list local restaurants and make sure you are in their database. Also, find online directories for your area and create listings for your restaurant.

 

Customer Segmentation and Personalization for Restaurant Marketing

14. Local Media, Magazines and Newspapers

 

By taking your marketing efforts offline, you are covering all your bases, so to speak.

Publishing in newspapers and local magazines can sometimes be pricey. So you want to make sure your advertisement gets in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

The best days to have your ad run are Sundays and Fridays.

On Sundays, coupons are the main attraction, so you might consider adding a coupon or special in the Sunday paper.

Likewise, Fridays are the days when local event and happenings are published. So, you might think about Friday as another option.

 

 

15. WiFi Marketing and Analytics for Restaurants

 

One of the fastest-growing marketing strategies in the restaurant industry is WiFi marketing and analytics. We’ve mentioned WiFi marketing several times earlier in this guide.

A WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence can quite literally fuel every strategy on this list.

When deciding how to market a restaurant, WiFi marketing should be at the top of your mind.

Utilizing your existing WiFi access points, the platform will be able to sense every visitor who enters your place of business with a smart device. This will be a very large percentage of your customers.

You’ll have real-time (and be building historical) footfall metrics like dwell times and repeat visits. This is even if they don’t log into your WiFi.

If they do log into your WiFi, a detailed customer profile will be built containing the customer’s data.

This data includes contact information, demographic data, and all of their past behavior data.

Over time you’ll build a customer list of thousands of your actual customers.  The list can be sorted, filtered and analyzed to discover who your best customers are.

You can then send automated marketing messages to these segmented lists, increasing ROI and decreasing costs.

16. Restaurant Marketing Attribution

 

Restaurant marketing attribution is the term used for assigning credit to individual marketing tactics and messages, and then applying ROI to them.

When done correctly, it allows marketers to apply more focus on tactics and messaging that are working well.

Likewise, it will identify where less focus is warranted.

According to Gartner, the typical outcome of implementing attribution is a 20-30% gain in media efficiency and corresponding increases in ROI.

It only makes sense to apply marketing attribution to your marketing campaigns. But you’ll need accurate, reliable, and comprehensive customer data that is updated in real time.

A WiFi restaurant marketing platform can do this for you, tracking attribution all the way down to a customer walking back through your door.

Likewise, Bloom now integrates directly with POS systems allowing you to place a much more accurate dollar amount to the ROI of every individual campaign you execute using Bloom.

Learn how to market a restaurant in 2021. Find out how Bloom Intelligence can do it all for you.

 

Testimonials

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Memphis Garrett

“Our marketing efforts have been much more focused and effective partnering up with Bloom Intelligence. I find some of the things that they can do with our data to be nothing less than amazing. Looking forward to tracking the results of our Holiday campaign.”

Mark Parente

“Bloom is the only company to provide us with the necessary tools to compete with the e-commerce businesses. Without this company there is no way of knowing (or at least having a general understating) of what our attribution rate was, life time value of customer (LVT), dwell time, etc. Frankly, I didn’t even know what that stuff even meant until I met with one of their sales reps. Without this data, brick and mortars will always be step(s) begins.”

Serge Osaulenko

This tool has proven useful in collecting data for many aspects of what we do. Not only can we provide our customers with more of what they want using this data, we can grow our brand through targeting for franchise development, too.

Janene Krueger

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Brittany

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Francisco Iniguez

“We use this service for our business and it is amazing. Measuring customer behavior and automatically marketing to them based on those behavior triggers is truly a step in the right direction for retail technology. Thank you, Bloom Intelligence!”

Jeff Catherell

“We’ve been using Bloom Intelligence for our business for a few years now, and it’s been really great! We started using them at one location, but have recently expanded into three more. They provide useful metrics to help us understand our customers better, and their customer service team has been really helpful anytime we’ve needed something. They continually make improvements to their product and easily keep you up to date on the changes. Working with them has been great!”

April Bocchieri

“I’m blown away by Bloom Intelligence’s marketing/software platform! The team is super reliable, efficient, professional and knowledgable about every aspect of the system. I’m new to the platform, and I would like to call out Edward Kennedy for being so patient and doing an outstanding job in walking me through the platform. The team of 5+ members took the time out of their day and held a Zoom conference to train me. I can’t wait to use Bloom Intelligence for my marketing campaigns moving forward.”

Sydney Dixon

“I am currently working with Bloom Intelligence with Matt Ronay and Edward Kennedy. They are great to work with, respond quickly, and provide great support for noth my company and my clients. I have used other WiFi platforms but never received this level of service. I was looking for a service that would make it easy for me to sell WiFi lead generation and analytics to my clients without a lot of problems. They have provided this above and beyond. I highly recommend them to any agency looking to add this type of program to your services.”

Jacqueline Martin

They do a great job for us. Excellent company to work with!

Brandon Graham

“These guys are so supportive, talented, and responsive. A great partner indeed.”

Owner, Good Karma

“I highly recommend restaurants, dental/medical offices, and other businesses look into Bloom Intelligence as 1) their marketing technology is very powerful and 2) their team is AWESOME. As a marketing agency, Bloom has helped several of our clients grow their businesses via building their database and re-targeting them at the right time. Thanks Again!”

Austin Eggleston

“Pal and Theresa have been so informative and so kind! They were wonderful at explaining Bloom and dang, the amount of things this platform can track for your business is amazing!”

Amanda

“We’ve been using Bloom Intelligence for our business for a few years now, and it’s been really great! We started using them at one location, but have recently expanded into three more. They provide useful metrics to help us understand our customers better, and their customer service team has been really helpful anytime we’ve needed something. They continually make improvements to their product and easily keep you up to date on the changes. Working with them has been great!”

April
Best support team we have worked with. They are quickly responsive and keep us updated constantly with all our restaurant locations! Best way we have found to collect customer data.
Peyton Kraus

We have been extremely happy with our partnership with Bloom Intelligence! Their marketing analytics provides invaluable information, and the customer service is top notch!

Angela Fallen

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross

“Our company uses Bloom Intelligence as a WiFi log-in service and we really like what they do. They offer great personalized customer service. The analytics are extremely useful and the aesthetic in the marketing scheme homepage is great once the guest logs into WiFi with some options to market specifics for the business or post beautiful photography. Highly recommend.”

Loren

“Working with Bloom Intelligence has been amazing. They assist you every step of the way and work with you hand in hand to make sure you are optimizing your advertising potential. We are excited to use this tool to help learn more about our customers so that we can personally engage with them and understand our strengths/weaknesses.”

Ariel

They are really easy to work with and have helped us to capture a tremendous amount of customer information. Thanks Bloom!

Michael Brown

“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”

Ron Murray

 

“Fantastic personalized customer
experience. Definitely a big help
with the growth of our business.

how wifi marketing works

SAVE TIME, INCREASE CUSTOMER LIFETIME VALUES, CREATE NEW CUSTOMERS

What our happy customers
are saying

Austin Eggleston
Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations
Ron Murray
Matt Thompson, Managing Partner
Jacqueline Martin

“I highly recommend restaurants, dental/medical offices, and other businesses look into Bloom Intelligence as 1) their marketing technology is very powerful and 2) their team is AWESOME. As a marketing agency, Bloom has helped several of our clients grow their businesses via building their database and re-targeting them at the right time. Thanks Again!”

Austin Eggleston

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

Atlanta Bread Company

“This is an integral part of our local store marketing program. We use the e-mails we collect to tell our existing customers about various promotions, specials and discounts, and the analytics tools are amazing at capturing and displaying smart device activity in and around our store.”

Ron Murray

Atlanta Bread Company

“They have always been attentive through whatever needs and questions we have.

They go above and beyond to make sure our team and customers stay connected while helping us with our marketing efforts.”

Matt Thompson, Managing Partner

Madison Social

“I am currently working with Bloom Intelligence with Matt Ronay and Edward Kennedy. They are great to work with, respond quickly, and provide great support for noth my company and my clients. I have used other WiFi platforms but never received this level of service. I was looking for a service that would make it easy for me to sell WiFi lead generation and analytics to my clients without a lot of problems. They have provided this above and beyond. I highly recommend them to any agency looking to add this type of program to your services.”

Jacqueline Martin

How to Market a Restaurant: FAQs

What is the best marketing strategy for restaurants?

Of all the restaurant marketing strategies, perhaps the most efficient and effective strategy is using a WiFi marketing and analytics platform. It allows you to collect customer contact information, segment your customer list, create targeted, personalized messaging, and remarket to them for maximum results.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing and Analytics

What is restaurant remarketing?

Restaurant remarketing is a powerful way to connect with visitors to your website or customers who have logged into your WiFi. It allows you to send targeted advertising, behavior driven promotions to those people through online advertising or email marketing. It’s a key marketing concept that should be a primary focus of restaurant owners and marketers.

Learn about Restaurant Remarketing Here

What is restaurant marketing segmentation?

Restaurant customer segmentation refers to the process of subdividing a customer base into specific groups based on similar demographics, psychographics, and/or various behavior data points. This information can guide restaurant marketing professionals when developing new marketing campaigns for each group, or optimizing existing ones to personalize the customer experience online or at their physical locations.

Discover the Power of Customer Segmentation for Restaurant Marketing

How do you use smart coupons to market a restaurant?

The best and easiest way to implement and maintain a digital smart coupon program is to use a WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence. The platform allows you to easily create and send customers a unique, one-time use code that they can redeem at their next visit. The coupon is stored on their mobile device.

See How Digital Smart Coupons Can Improve Your Business

The Power of Restaurant Marketing with Bloom Intelligence

Optimize restaurant marketing in 2021

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Track restaurant marketing in 2021

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customer campaigns

wifi marketing for new customers

Trigger marketing
campaigns based on
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how wifi marketing helps

Measure the health
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Compare locations or
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quickly identify opportunities
or threats

Are you ready to grow
your restaurant business with
Wifi marketing?

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behavior and builds customer loyalty.

It’s time to start leveraging your guest WiFi to gain
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