Getting good restaurant word of mouth remains an essential part of any restaurant marketing plan regardless of marketing channel. Here are three restaurant marketing strategies that can get people talking about your business.
Capitalizing on Restaurant Trends Could Be the Key to Word of Mouth
Thanks to the current economy, the outlook for the restaurant industry is better now than it has been for several years. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant industry revenues were $825 billion last year. For restaurant owners looking for growth, conditions are very promising; the trick is getting those customers through the door. Whether it happens online or off, generating restaurant word of mouth through personal recommendations and rave reviews remains one of the most powerful referral tactics for restaurant marketing.
Restaurants with positive word of mouth often grow more quickly and become more profitable; perhaps more so than nearly any other type of business. Since eating out is often a social event, and many people like to try new restaurants as well as visit their favorites on a regular basis, an effective word of mouth restaurant marketing strategy could be the key to growing or expanding your business.
3 Ideas to Fuel a Restaurant Word of Mouth Marketing Plan
Give them Something to Talk About
Thanks to popular food shows like Man vs. Food that feature famous local restaurants with eating contests from most fiery to max quantities, today’s foodies are often on the prowl for local independent eateries to visit in their home towns or on road trips. Once they have conquered your restaurant’s food challenge, they are more than happy to share their experience with their closest friends and loved ones as well as the thousands of complete strangers their posts reach on review sites and social networks. Jump on this trend by creating a one-of-a-kind restaurant menu specialty item, giving patrons a food challenge, or sponsoring an eating contest of some kind.
Give Love to the Locals
Sourcing local ingredients has been among the top restaurant industry trends for the past few years, making it a trend that is not likely to fade away soon. In fact, as more and more consumers express curiosity and concern for what goes into the food they consume, this restaurant trend will only increase in importance. To take advantage of this trend, make sure that you are actually telling your customers about local ingredients you source and the local vendors, markets and suppliers you do business with.
Sourcing local ingredients is only one component of “local” that your customers may care about. For instance, local customers may be happy to find out how their support of your restaurant translates into economic benefits for the local economy including job creation and livable wages. They may be gratified to business with you when they know about the give-back programs and projects that your restaurant supports in the local community. You can even solicit their ideas and feedback relative to local causes they would want to help support or vendors and suppliers that might be of interest to your restaurant. The more engaged patrons feel with your brand and its values, the more likely they are to identify with your brand online and in person through word of mouth marketing and referrals.
Give the Nod to a Niche Market
Today’s consumers are in the habit of expressing themselves online and identifying with causes and businesses that reflect their lifestyles, values and worldviews. The more that people in your community that fall within your ideal customer types or general target markets see their own interests and preferences reflected in your restaurant’s menu, approach to service and brand values, the more likely they are to visit and refer like-minded friends, co-workers or loved ones your way.
This concept also extends to your restaurant’s décor. In particular, if you are considering renovating a restaurant or building out a new restaurant location, the ambiance that you create can – in and of itself – provide fodder for word of mouth marketing. Analyze the news feed on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other popular social networks and you will quickly find that the selfie generation is more than willing to tag themselves on your restaurant’s WiFi and take photos of your restaurant’s interior and entrees to share with everyone they know online.
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