How to Market Your Online Restaurant – Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re in the restaurant business, you know that it can be hard to stand out from the competition. You may have to resort to using costly ad campaigns or paying for sponsored posts on social media to secure enough business to make it worth your while. However, all that could be avoided if you knew how to market your restaurant online.

With the right information and tools, it’s now possible to stand out from the competition with minimal marketing spend. What’s more, you could even grow your business organically without having to pay for adverts. You’ll discover how in this detailed guide.

Create a website for your restaurant

If you want to market your restaurant online, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up a website for it. The design of your website is completely up to you, but ideally, you want to avoid using complex, expensive frameworks and use a simple, yet elegant design that is engaging to your audience.

You could consider using Squarespace, which is a popular and cost-effective service that many big brands use. Alternatively, you could use WordPress to set up a completely bespoke site. Whichever you choose, make sure that you use a popular and scalable CMS (content management system) so that you can easily find the web developers and designers you need to help you get the site launched.

Establish yourself as an expert in your field

As the owner of an online restaurant, you’ll be able to take advantage of the many specialized tools that can help you market your business. You don’t have to be limited by Google’s search results, and you can actively promote your expertise in your chosen field by creating and curating content, whether that’s an e-book, an infopage, a blog post or an online video – whatever format will be most engaging to your target audience.

For example, if you’re a caterer, you could start by creating recipes that you know will be popular and then go on to establish yourself as an authoritative source on various topics related to weddings and special events. You could build a following across platforms, from your website to social media channels like Instagram and Twitter, to promote your business and gain more customers.

Get Social

Now that you have a website up and running, you can start to build your social media following. Your social media accounts will act as a digital billboard for your restaurant, so make sure that you build a small community of engaged followers on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as soon as possible.

You could consider using tools like Hootsuite, which will allow you to schedule content across platforms and engage with your audience at a time that suits you.

Create email campaigns

Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and engage with new audiences, whether that’s through newsletters, bi-weekly or monthly emails or something altogether more sophisticated, like a weekly digest that combines content from across various platforms.

You could use a tool like Mailchimp to create and send out your email campaigns, which will make the whole process incredibly simple and straightforward. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tactics and see which ones work best for you.

Make Your Site Search Engine Optimized

When it comes to attracting potential customers to your website, all you need is a good search engine optimizer. A search engine optimizer will help improve your website’s search engine ranking, making it easier for potential customers to discover your establishment when they are searching for recipes or restaurant reviews.

There are many reputable companies that specialize in search engine optimization, so don’t be afraid to contact these firms to get the ball rolling.

Curate Content for Online & Offline Consumption

If you want to attract potential customers to your restaurant, you’ll need to provide them with content that is both compelling and also fits their intended purpose. This could be recipes that they can cook at home, a blog post about a new product or service that will interest your target audience or even a short video outlining the different dishes you offer at your restaurant.

Whether you’re publishing your content online or offline, make sure that it’s engaging and fits with the intended audience. You could consider using tools like Growthoid, which will help you curate content that is both compelling and useful, or HubSpot, which is specifically designed for content creators, bloggers and digital marketers.

Build an Email List

An email list is one of the most valuable marketing tools you can have. Not only will it allow you to regularly send out informative and compelling emails, but you can also use it to cross-promote with other platforms, like social media.

You could use tools like MailChimp to build a list of email subscribers, or you could contact companies that specialize in customer acquisition to see what tools they use and how you can get on their mailing list.

Monitor & Measure Results

It’s important to track the results of your marketing efforts so that you can make the necessary adjustments and ensure that your investment is paying off.

You can use tools like Google Analytics to track the traffic to your website, or you can use tools like Hootsuite to see what platforms your target audience is using and to which ones they are most engaged with.

Choose a couple of key metrics that will allow you to measure the success of your campaign, like the number of orders that you receive per week or the amount of social media traffic that leads to a registration or purchase on your site.

Make sure to track these values regardless of whether you use online or offline marketing tools so that you can clearly identify the source of the traffic. Knowing which channels work best to gain new customers is vital, and you can use the insights from your analytics to inform your future strategy.