4 Mobile Marketing Strategies for the Modern Restaurant Owner
The restaurant industry is one of the biggest and thriving sectors of the US national economy. Projected sales for the industry in 2018 was $825 billion while also employing around 15.1 million Americans. However, it is also one of the most competitive industries out there. While tactics such as coupons, freebies, and cross-promotions have worked for many years, the modern food industry needs to adapt to the ever-growing digital landscape.
Here are four tips that will help you
leverage mobile marketing to promote and grow your restaurant in the digital
Set up a Responsive
With more than 52% of web traffic coming from mobile in 2018, setting up a mobile-responsive website is a must. Your website is at the heart of your mobile marketing. Traditional fixed (non-responsive) websites prove many browsing challenges for mobile users. For example, some of the site’s elements may remain hidden from view while others, such as images, might look distorted or get cut off on mobile devices.
A responsive website, on the other hand, can automatically resize images and text according to the screen size. Users can seamlessly browse it on any mobile or tablet device, making it easier to find and consume the relevant information. Google also gives higher priority to responsive websites, so if you want to be on the first page in search you need to change to responsive ASAP.
You can either turn your existing site into a responsive website or set up a new one. While doing so, make sure to keep your Call-to-Actions (CTAs) front and center. You should also hide secondary elements or CTAs to avoid clutter wherever possible. The ease of navigation always comes first on mobile. So, prioritize it over marketing visuals or graphics. Keep the text size large enough for users to easily read your menu and other content. Don’t forget to optimize your website for SEO and keywords.
Create Your Google
My Business Page
People primarily use their mobile
phones to find local businesses. For example, a user must have used a search
phrase like “restaurants near me” or to be more specific
“Chinese restaurants near me” to find restaurants on a mobile. This
is why your restaurant needs to appear in local Google searches as well as on
The easiest way to make this happen is to set up a Google My Business page (or GMB listing). GMB is a free and an easy-to-use tool created by Google. When optimized, it can provide increased visibility in search results for your restaurant, better user experience for your guests, and send more web traffic to your site.
The GMB page displays valuable information such as your hours of business, location, website, images, contact numbers, menu, and customer reviews. As this page shows up at the top in the search results, your guests can quickly take the desired action.
However, you have to make sure all
the necessary information is accurate and up-to-date. Now, along with your photos,
GMB allows you to add a short description as well. You get a total of 750
characters to talk about your restaurant, dishes served, and service, among
Restaurant in Local Listings
With the rise of digital media,
several different local listing apps have also surfaced. They are the next most
popular place for your restaurant to show up after the search engines. These
websites also offer you a chance to accumulate more reviews for your
Some of the most popular local
listing apps or sites include Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare.
like GMB, you will need to claim your business on these sites by filling out
the necessary details. However, you have to make sure the details such as name,
address, phone number, website, and category remain consistent across all
You can also link your social media accounts to these listings and vice versa. Just like the GMB listing, you can also add a detailed description of your business depending on the listing site. Make sure to optimize these descriptions for SEO with the desired keywords to increase their chances of showing up in online search.
Restaurant via Text Messaging (SMS Marketing)
Although some marketers may consider it personal or even invasive, text or SMS marketing remains one of the best ways to promote your restaurants on-the-go. One of the best advantages of text messages is that people read them instantly as opposed to emails and newsletters, which may sit unread in their inbox for days or even weeks.
Apart from being affordable, text messages can also strike a personal chord with your target audience, encouraging them to take the desired action immediately.
You can use SMS marketing to:
Send reminders of upcoming events such as food fests or discounts. Send live notifications of reservations and online orders.Send alerts about special dishes and items available for a limited period. Ask guests to share what they thought of a recent meal by providing links to your GMB or other listings, website or social media pages. Send out coupons a few days after a customer’s first visit.
However, you will first need to get
your guests to sign up to receive promotional SMS. While some of your patrons
will sign up solely because they love your restaurant, others will need a more
compelling reason to do so.
One way is to provide them with the right incentive. You can offer an opt-in discount for signing up to your marketing list. Alternatively, you can also offer a free appetizer, dessert or drink in exchange for signing up. Lastly, you can conduct contests to offer sweepstakes and giveaways in exchange for consumer’s contact number.
As mobile marketing has become a
necessity to grow your restaurant business, you need to find creative ways to
reach out to your customers. Hopefully, these four mobile marketing strategies
will help you get your campaign going right away. Have you considered using
mobile marketing to promote your restaurant before? What methods did you use to
improve your restaurant’s business? Do tell us in the comments section.
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