50+ Online Marketing Tactics for Restaurants
Our team of website marketing specialists know the latest digital marketing trends for restaurants.
For years, our team has assisted restaurants with their digital marketing goals. The strategies / tactics discussed in this section can help with digital marketing for restaurants and even:
- Fine Dining Restaurants
- Casual Dining Restaurants
- Fast Food Restaurants
- Family-style Restaurants
- Ethnic Restaurants
- Seafood Restaurants
- Steakhouse Restaurants
- Vegetarian Restaurants
- Food Trucks
- ...and more!
A Few of Our Digital Marketing Experts
1.) Lead Generation for Restaurants
Lead generation is an essential digital marketing strategy for restaurants looking to attract more customers and increase their reservations or foot traffic. By implementing targeted tactics, you can reach potential diners who are interested in your cuisine and offerings. Here are 5-10 specific strategies to help you generate more leads as a restaurant owner:
- Online Reservation System: Implement an online reservation system on your website and other relevant platforms. Allow customers to easily book a table and provide their contact information. This way, you can capture leads who are interested in dining at your restaurant and follow up with them to confirm their reservation.
- Food Blog and Recipe Sharing: Start a food blog or regularly share recipes on your website and social media platforms. Offer valuable content related to your cuisine, such as cooking tips, ingredient spotlights, or signature dishes. By providing valuable information, you can attract food enthusiasts and potential diners who are interested in your culinary expertise.
- Special Events and Promotions: Host special events, themed nights, or promotional offers at your restaurant. Promote these events on your website, social media platforms, and local event listing websites. By creating a sense of exclusivity or offering unique dining experiences, you can generate leads who are eager to try out your restaurant during these special occasions.
- Loyalty Programs: Implement a customer loyalty program that rewards frequent diners. Offer incentives such as discounts, freebies, or exclusive access to special menu items. Encourage customers to sign up for the program, providing their contact information in the process. By nurturing customer loyalty, you can generate repeat business and referrals from satisfied diners.
- Online Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and testimonials on popular review websites and your social media pages. Showcase these reviews on your website to build trust and credibility. Potential diners will be more likely to try your restaurant when they see positive feedback from others.
- Food Delivery Platforms: Partner with popular food delivery platforms in your area, such as Uber Eats or DoorDash. List your restaurant on these platforms and offer delivery or takeout services. By leveraging the customer base and reach of these platforms, you can attract leads who prefer the convenience of ordering food online.
- Local Influencer Collaborations: Collaborate with local influencers, food bloggers, or social media personalities who have a significant following. Invite them to dine at your restaurant and share their experience with their audience. Their endorsement can generate interest and attract new customers who trust their recommendations.
- Online Advertising: Utilize online advertising platforms, such as Google Ads or social media ads, to target potential diners in your area. Create eye-catching ads that highlight your restaurant's unique selling points, such as signature dishes, ambiance, or special promotions. By reaching the right audience with targeted ads, you can generate leads who are interested in trying out your restaurant.
- Cross-Promotion with Local Businesses: Form partnerships with other local businesses, such as hotels, theaters, or tourist attractions. Offer mutual promotions, discounts, or package deals to attract their customers to your restaurant. By tapping into their customer base, you can generate leads who are looking for dining options in the area.
- Food Tastings and Samplings: Organize food tastings or samplings at local events, community gatherings, or farmers' markets. Provide bite-sized samples of your popular dishes and distribute menus or promotional materials. By offering a taste of your cuisine, you can capture the interest of potential diners and encourage them to visit your restaurant.
2.) Social Advertising for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, social advertising can be a powerful digital marketing strategy to attract more customers, promote your menu offerings, and boost reservations or online orders. Here are five examples of how social advertising can help your restaurant business:
- Special Offers and Discounts: Run social media ads promoting limited-time offers, discounts, or happy hour deals at your restaurant. Target local audiences to encourage them to visit your establishment and try your food at a reduced price. Highlighting exclusive promotions can create a sense of urgency and drive more foot traffic.
- Online Ordering and Delivery: Use social media ads to promote your online ordering and delivery services. Showcase mouthwatering images of your dishes and mention the convenience of ordering from the comfort of their homes. Target busy professionals or families who prefer the convenience of food delivery.
- Seasonal Menu Showcases: Create visually appealing social media ads featuring your seasonal or holiday-themed menu items. Highlight the unique flavors and ingredients to entice customers to dine at your restaurant during special occasions. Target foodies and individuals interested in culinary experiences.
- Catering and Events: Run social media ads promoting your restaurant's catering services and event hosting capabilities. Target individuals or businesses looking to host gatherings, parties, or corporate events. Emphasize the quality of your catering and the ambiance of your venue for memorable occasions.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Develop social media ads that showcase positive customer reviews and testimonials about their dining experience at your restaurant. Use compelling visuals and authentic quotes to build trust with potential customers. Target local audiences to gain credibility and encourage more visits.
3.) Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for Restaurants
Conversion rate optimization is a powerful digital marketing strategy that can help your restaurant increase customer conversions, reservations, and orders. By optimizing your website and paid advertising, you can enhance the overall dining experience for your potential customers and boost revenue. Here are some examples of how CRO can benefit your restaurant business:
- High-Quality Food Photography: Use mouth-watering images of your dishes on your website and social media. High-quality food photography can entice potential customers, making them more likely to visit your restaurant or place an order for delivery or takeout.
- Online Reservation System: Implement an easy-to-use online reservation system on your website. Allow customers to book a table hassle-free, which can lead to increased restaurant footfall and reduced waiting times for guests.
- Mobile-Responsive Website: Ensure your restaurant's website is mobile-responsive, providing an optimal user experience for customers browsing from their smartphones. A mobile-friendly website can lead to more online orders and table reservations from mobile users.
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials: Display positive customer reviews and testimonials on your website. Positive feedback from satisfied diners can build trust and influence potential customers to choose your restaurant over competitors.
- Special Offers and Promotions: Promote special offers, happy hours, and discounts on your website and social media. Limited-time promotions can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take advantage of the deal, resulting in more reservations and orders.
- Easy Online Ordering: Streamline your online ordering process to make it quick and user-friendly. Provide options for delivery or pick-up, and offer secure payment methods. A seamless online ordering experience can boost the number of orders placed through your website.
- Visible Contact Information: Ensure your contact information, including phone number and address, is easily visible on your website. This allows customers to quickly find your restaurant's location and get in touch for inquiries or reservations.
- Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons: Use clear and enticing CTA buttons on your website and paid ads. Examples include "Reserve a Table Now," "Order Online," or "Explore Our Menu." Well-placed CTAs can drive potential customers to take the desired action.
- Google My Business (GMB) Optimization: Optimize your restaurant's Google My Business listing with accurate and up-to-date information. This can improve your local search visibility and drive more potential customers to your restaurant.
- Virtual Tours and 360° Photos: Offer virtual tours or 360° photos of your restaurant's interior and ambiance. Virtual experiences can create an immersive and engaging preview for potential diners, encouraging them to make a reservation.
4.) Sales Funnels for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, implementing sales funnels in your digital marketing strategy can help you attract new customers, promote special offers, and increase customer loyalty. Sales funnels allow you to guide potential diners through a personalized journey, from discovering your restaurant to making a reservation or placing an order. Here are 5 examples of how sales funnels can benefit your restaurant business:
- Online Reservation Funnel: Create a dedicated landing page where customers can make online reservations for your restaurant. Promote this page through social media and email campaigns. When potential diners click on the reservation link, capture their contact information and booking preferences. Follow up with personalized confirmation emails and reminders leading up to their reservation date. After their dining experience, send a follow-up email, thanking them for visiting and inviting them to leave a review or join your loyalty program.
- Special Offer Funnel: Offer a time-limited special promotion, such as a discounted meal or a free dessert. Promote this offer through social media ads and your website. When customers show interest in the offer, capture their contact details to unlock the promotion. Follow up with a series of emails, providing more details about the offer, showcasing your menu, and encouraging them to visit your restaurant before the promotion ends.
- Delivery & Takeout Funnel: Develop a seamless online ordering system for delivery and takeout orders. Drive traffic to this system through targeted online ads and email marketing. When customers place an order, capture their contact information and order preferences. Follow up with order confirmation emails and estimated delivery times. After the delivery or takeout, send a feedback email, inviting them to leave a review and offering a discount for their next order.
- Food Blog & Recipe Funnel: Create engaging food blog content, such as recipes, cooking tips, and behind-the-scenes stories about your restaurant. Share this content on your website and social media platforms. When potential customers show interest in specific recipes, capture their contact information to access the full recipe. Follow up with personalized emails, sharing more recipes and inviting them to subscribe to your blog for regular updates. Engage them with mouth-watering visuals and direct them to make reservations or order food from your restaurant.
- Loyalty Program Funnel: Offer a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat visits and referrals. Promote this program on your website and in your restaurant. When customers sign up for the loyalty program, capture their contact information and dining preferences. Follow up with a welcome email, explaining the benefits of the program and how they can earn rewards. Continue to engage them with exclusive offers and personalized recommendations based on their dining history to keep them coming back to your restaurant.
5.) Email Marketing for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, email marketing can be a powerful digital marketing strategy to attract and retain customers, increase repeat business, and promote your dining establishment. It allows you to stay connected with your patrons, share enticing offers, and showcase your menu items. Here are six examples of how email marketing can benefit your restaurant business:
- Welcome Offers: Use email marketing to send a warm welcome to new subscribers with a special offer, such as a discount on their first meal or a complimentary appetizer. This helps to incentivize first-time visits and introduces them to your restaurant's offerings.
- Weekly Specials: Send out weekly emails featuring your restaurant's specials and promotions. Highlighting limited-time deals or chef's specials can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to make a reservation or place an order.
- Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program and use email marketing to keep members updated on their points, rewards, and exclusive member-only offers. This encourages repeat visits and fosters customer loyalty.
- Event Announcements: Promote special events, such as themed nights, live music performances, or holiday celebrations, through email marketing. Inform your audience about the details and encourage them to make reservations or attend.
- Feedback and Surveys: Use email marketing to gather feedback from your diners. Send post-visit surveys to gather insights and reviews, which can help improve your restaurant's offerings and customer experience.
- Birthday Offers: Collect birthday information from your subscribers and send personalized birthday offers, such as a free dessert or a discount on their birthday meal. This gesture makes customers feel valued and encourages them to celebrate their special day at your restaurant.
6.) Search Advertising for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, you're always looking for effective ways to attract more customers and increase foot traffic to your establishment. Search advertising is a powerful digital marketing strategy that can help you achieve these goals and reach a wider audience of potential diners. By running search ads, you can connect with individuals actively searching for restaurants, cuisines, and dining experiences in your area. Here are five examples of how search advertising can benefit your restaurant business:
- Local Cuisine: Create search ads with keywords like "best Italian restaurant near me" or "Mexican food in [your city]." This strategy allows you to target individuals looking for specific cuisines in your area. Highlight your restaurant's unique offerings, authentic dishes, and positive customer reviews in your ad content to entice potential diners.
- Special Offers: Run search ads with keywords like "restaurant deals" or "happy hour specials." This strategy targets individuals looking for dining discounts or promotions. Promote your restaurant's happy hour deals, special menu items, or limited-time offers in your ad messaging to encourage more customers to visit during off-peak hours.
- Private Events: Advertise your restaurant as a venue for private events and gatherings. Use keywords like "private party venue" or "event space for rent." This strategy targets individuals planning celebrations or corporate events. Showcase your restaurant's ambiance, seating capacity, and catering services in your ad content to attract event organizers.
- Food Delivery: Create search ads with keywords like "food delivery near me" or "takeout restaurants." This strategy targets individuals looking for convenient dining options at home or work. Promote your restaurant's delivery service, online ordering platform, and quick turnaround time in your ad copy to encourage more orders.
- Local Events and Holidays: Run search ads with keywords related to local events or holidays, such as "Valentine's Day dinner [your city]" or "Mother's Day brunch special." This strategy allows you to cater to individuals planning to dine out on special occasions. Offer special menus, discounts, or complimentary items for these events to make your restaurant a go-to destination.
7.) Content Marketing for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, content marketing can be a powerful digital marketing strategy to attract and engage customers, showcase your culinary offerings, and build brand loyalty. By creating valuable and engaging content, you can entice diners to visit your restaurant and keep them coming back for more. Here are five examples of how content marketing can benefit your restaurant business:
- Recipe Blogs: Share some of your signature recipes on your restaurant's blog. Providing step-by-step instructions and tips for recreating your dishes at home not only delights your audience but also establishes your restaurant's expertise and unique culinary style.
- Behind-the-Scenes Videos: Create videos that take viewers behind the scenes of your restaurant's kitchen and introduce them to your chefs and staff. This kind of content humanizes your brand, fosters a connection with your audience, and builds trust in the quality of your food and service.
- Customer Testimonials: Feature customer testimonials and reviews on your website and social media. Positive reviews from satisfied diners can persuade potential customers to give your restaurant a try and help build your restaurant's reputation and credibility.
- Special Offers and Promotions: Use content marketing to announce and promote special offers, happy hour deals, and seasonal menus. Share these promotions through social media posts, email newsletters, and your website to create a sense of urgency and encourage repeat visits.
- Food Photography and Videos: Invest in high-quality food photography and videography to showcase your menu items in an appetizing way. Share these visuals on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to entice potential customers to visit your restaurant and try your dishes.
8.) Reputation Management for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, reputation management is a crucial aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Building and maintaining a positive online reputation can significantly impact your restaurant's success. Here are five examples of how reputation management can help your restaurant business:
- Monitor Online Reviews: Keep a close eye on reviews and ratings posted on platforms like Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. Respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews. By addressing customer feedback, you demonstrate that you value their opinions and are committed to providing a positive dining experience.
- Implement Social Listening: Use social listening tools to monitor mentions of your restaurant on social media platforms. Engage with customers who tag your restaurant in their posts, thank them for their support, and respond to any questions or concerns they may have. This active engagement can foster a loyal customer base.
- Showcase Mouthwatering Content: Utilize social media to showcase visually appealing and mouthwatering images of your food and drinks. High-quality food photography can entice potential diners and generate interest in your restaurant.
- Offer Exclusive Deals: Use your website and social media channels to provide exclusive deals and discounts to your loyal customers. Offering special promotions can incentivize repeat visits and encourage customers to leave positive reviews after enjoying a great meal at your restaurant.
- Host Engaging Events: Organize events or themed nights at your restaurant to create memorable experiences for your customers. Events like wine tastings, live music, or chef's table dinners can create positive word-of-mouth buzz and attract new customers.
9.) Video Marketing for Restaurants
As a restaurant owner, video marketing can be a powerful digital strategy to attract customers, showcase your culinary offerings, and create a memorable dining experience. Video content allows you to tantalize taste buds, showcase your ambiance, and engage with potential diners on a personal level. Here are five examples of how video marketing can help your restaurant business:
- Menu Showcasing: Create mouthwatering videos that showcase your menu items. Film close-ups of your most popular dishes, capturing their delicious presentation and preparation process. Menu showcasing videos entice potential customers and can help increase orders for dine-in, takeout, or delivery.
- Chef's Specials: Feature your chef or culinary team in videos where they introduce and prepare special dishes for the day or week. Chef's specials videos add a personal touch to your restaurant, showcasing the talent and creativity of your kitchen staff.
- Behind-the-Scenes: Offer a glimpse behind the scenes with videos that showcase your restaurant's kitchen operations, ingredients sourcing, and the effort that goes into preparing each dish. Behind-the-scenes videos build transparency and trust with your audience.
- Customer Testimonials: Film video testimonials from satisfied customers who have enjoyed dining at your restaurant. Testimonials create social proof, showing potential diners that others have had a positive experience at your establishment, leading them to choose your restaurant over competitors.
- Interactive Dining Experience: Create interactive videos that allow viewers to virtually explore your restaurant's ambiance, decor, and seating arrangements. Use 360-degree videos to give potential customers a sense of what it's like to dine in your restaurant, helping them envision their visit and increasing their likelihood of making a reservation.