Five tactics you can use right now to get your ideal customers back into your restaurant post-pandemic.
Your restaurant has a lot of competition. Out of the 8,390 restaurants in London your ideal customers are spoiled for choice. With over 55% of businesses saying they are planning to reopen this month in a recent survey, you must communicate effectively with your target audience with meaningful messages resulting in sales.
It is tempting to acquire for everyone’s taste. Even if you have the budget to reach everyone in the UK with your advertising and marketing efforts, not everyone is going to jump on what you have to offer.
In this post, we will be bringing you through the tactics used to garner the right attention your business deserves.
1) Your ideal customers are in a moving parade.
When you are marketing and advertising you do so to a moving parade, not a standing army. If you know who your ideal customer is, it is like specifically calling out, “Hey Bill!” in a parade, instead of, “Hey everyone.” Even if you are advertising, not everyone is going to listen, so get specific about who you want to see the advertisement. Let’s start by narrowing down who your ideal customer is.
It’s understandable you may want to cater to everyone, but being all things to everyone will not help you garner repeat customers. In fact, people want to align themselves niches, it takes away the confusion. In doing so they are communicating something about themselves. We’ll be discussing this type of communication in tip two.
At this stage, you have gathered enough experience to know who your ideal customer might be: marry this with some of the data from your social media channels and you’re ready to make an informed decision. Other questions you need to ask are these:
Example: Ideal Buyer ‘A’
Gender: Ex. Male (60%)
Age range: Ex 18-24
Publications they read: Ex. Buzzfeed, AJ+, Mashable
What are they watching: Ex. Netflix, Hulu
What shows are they watching: The Witcher, Peaky Blinders
Where do they hang out?
Where do they hang out online? Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, & VSCO
Make sure to get as detailed as you possibly can. You can have multiple ideal buyers that suit different parts of your restaurant which will help sales.
2) Your ideal customers are easily confused.
Bunsen in Dublin is one of those businesses that really own who they are and what they do. They do burgers and that’s it. Such is their dedication to making one thing, they have located their whole menu to the real estate of a business card. Before Bunsen’s next customer walks in they know what kind of service, experience and food they are getting. It is all based around this thing we humans love called certainty.
Humans hate surprises (seriously). We are beings of certainty, meaning we want to know what we are getting every time. Surprises are nice now and again but adapting to change is stressful. Cut the confusion with effective messaging of what you do and how you do it. You can do this through pictures and videos on your social media. By posting pictures of a beautifully lit table and some of your delectable goods, your ideal customer will be visualising the experience they could have at your restaurant.
Do you know how much Generation Z and millennials hate surprises and love certainty? A staggering 99% are more likely to rely on social media and online reviews before making their decision of where they are going to eat. Generation X and Boomers rely heavier on their friends and families to make that decision.
Take Leon Restaurants for example. A simple picture can help a customer visualise the experiences they could have in the future.
3) SEO and Grow.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is optimising your website to get unpaid or organic traffic to your website from search.
Google is the loudest and the defining voice when families or groups are debating on where to eat. Google helps people get what they are looking for with its powerful search engine. If you rank well and are relevant to Google there is a greater likelihood a customer will choose your place to eat.
There has been a 150% growth for people searching [insert business type] “near me now”, with a 900% growth for phrases like “near me tonight/today” an example is “restaurants near me today/tonight.”
Regardless of how your restaurant’s website has done to date with search engines, there is always room to improve to increase the likelihood of you acquiring a customer online. Improving your SEO may mean your hungry customers will order online to sit in or to go in your place.
Doing it right:
4) How to post on social.
A picture of pasta or pizza on Instagram means nothing to no one. It all starts with a story. Make sure you take wonderful pictures to entice your ideal buyer into stopping on their feed to read your post. But a picture without context means nothing.
Research has found that three quarters (73%) of Gen Z adults (18-24 year olds) use Instagram, followed by Snapchat (63%) and then Youtube (62%). Facebook largely caters to an older audience of family members trying to keep in touch.
More people are interacting online than ever before. Vodafone reported a 50% increase in internet usage during the lockdown with more people spending more time on social because of they are working from home or are out of work entirely.
Some great examples
As mentioned, one of the top tips you can do is try and get your ideal customers to imagine themselves either sitting in your restaurant or getting an order for delivery or collection. Honest Burgers practice sensible content marketing on their Instagram feed delivering mouth-watering pictures of what they are known for.
Fischer’s in London is a cafe that offers an informal experience in Marylebone. Fischer’s customers use their laid back and interesting 20th-century setting to their advantage on Instagram by posting pictures of themselves and tagging the location online.
Effectiveness: User generated content or customer generated content is when customers post on their own social channels about your restaurant. It works in advertising your restaurant in a completely free way to other individuals on social media.
How to do it: Provide a space where your customer can take a picture of themselves enjoying your food and ask them to tag you in return for a discount or something free in return. Social proof improves your brand trust married with the likelihood of acquiring new customers through social.
Championing your employees:
Camino, the home of Spanish Tapas based in Bankside, London celebrates their staff with effect. Showing appreciation for employees not only increases performance, it also boosts team morale.
Effectiveness: Showcasing a passionate and ready workforce on your socials shows the customer what kind of experience lies ahead. In Camino’s case feeding both the body and soul.
How to do it: Take a picture of a member of your workforce and simply celebrate their excellent service and hard work.
5) Converting your marketing efforts.
Once you have effectively communicated on all fronts to get your ideal customers to your website, from content to social and SEO, now is the time to convert.
Open Table has become a necessity for online booking worldwide, helping 60,000 restaurants get people on seats in their establishments. Their plans range from as little as $39 to $499 a month depending on your restaurants needs.
Seven Rooms provide a reservation widget for your website that “eliminates fees for direct bookings”, giving restaurants the ability to market themselves while selling an authentic guest experience.
Res Diary helps businesses navigate through these abnormal times by allowing restauranteurs set up for delivery and collection while also providing pre-ordering and online payments.
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