Good restaurant online marketing is very important for a successful business. This includes social media, a website, good customer reviews, a Google My Business listing, and SEO skills.
Visibility online is essential for restaurant businesses. Many guests start their research when choosing a restaurant online, such as on search engines like Google. With a digital menu and attractive photos, the guest can get a first impression of the restaurant and the food. In addition, he finds the current contact details and reviews on the quality and service, which helps in choosing the right restaurant.
Especially a younger, Internet-savvy audience can be picked up with an innovative Internet presence.
Successful gastronomy marketing includes several components, depending on the concept and budget, the optimal marketing mix varies. However, before you start with marketing measures, you should analyze your target audience.
Analyze your target audience for targeted marketing
A customer analysis is the starting point for any marketing strategy. If you don’t know your customers, you can’t connect with them. The following points are important for customer analysis:
Demographics: age, income, gender, education and location.
Psychographics: attitude, goals and beliefs
Behavior: Habits: how much money they spend, how much time they spend online, etc.
Why does it matter? As a restaurateur:in, you need to know the demographics of your customers. This serves as the basis for any further marketing strategy. For example, if most of your customers are between 20 and 30 years old, placing a newspaper ad may not be effective. Then it’s better to advertise on Instagram. The better you understand your target audience and tailor your marketing ideas accordingly, the more likely your business will succeed in being found quickly. Have you defined your target group? Then you can start with your marketing measures now!
As a hospitality business, it is recommended to have a website because 90% of all guests get information online beforehand. The numbers are higher than in any other industry. With a restaurant website you can inform guests about changed opening hours, company vacations or promotions. The website is also the best place to pick up new customers and make them enjoy the food in your restaurant. Here you can include features such as an interactive menu, your own web store or a reservation tool.
You can also integrate a webshop into your website. With your own online store, you can accept orders commission-free and make yourself less dependent on large delivery portals. The advantage: With your own webshop you create your own sales platform and can start marketing campaigns. An online store complements the sales of the offline business, serves as a flagship for your products and is a good channel to communicate with customers. SIDES’ webshop system, including its own ordering app, is specifically designed to meet the needs of delivery services and restaurants. Thanks to our many years of know-how in the field of e-commerce, the webshop system includes all the functionalities needed for a successful sales platform.
More information about the webshop
SEO is the optimization of your own website to appear in the organic search results of search engines. In order for your website to appear high up in the search results, you must produce individual content and constantly develop it further. For this purpose, use important keywords in your texts on the website, which are tailored to your target group and products. If your website contains high-quality content, it will generate added value for users and thus increase your positioning in the search results. You don’t have to pay anything for organic search. Alternatively, you can bid on specific keywords with Google ads to appear first in paid search results.
An optimized website should not only be fed with relevant content and important keywords, but also have a sensible structure. This helps to ensure that an optimized website is displayed preferentially in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) and is therefore clicked on more. Make sure that your website is clearly arranged. Users should be able to find their way around intuitively. A reader-friendly website is also important for search engines like Google. A clear website includes a logical structure of headings, internal links, user-friendliness and good meta descriptions.
Technology: The basic requirement for good rankings are, for example, loading times or SSL encryption of the website.
User signals: Various user data, such as click-through rate, bounce rate and time spent by users, also have an impact on the Google ranking
Backlinks: By purposefully building links on other websites that point back to your own site, your own website becomes a permanent fixture on the web. The link popularity of a website is a significant ranking factor for Google.
Google My Business (GMB) allows restaurateurs to create a virtual business card for free and manage their online presence through Google. With a Google My Business account you can make your restaurant visible on Google and Google Maps to attract even more potential guests. However, to get a good ranking, you need to invest some time in Google My Business.
Always try to keep all information (opening hours, contact details, etc.) up to date and use the free platform to present yourself ideally on the Internet. For example, upload atmospheric pictures of your restaurant to make people want to come and visit. Post a menu so that interested guests can find out about the food and prices in advance. Use the post function to prominently advertise promotions, for example. You can also integrate Google Food Ordering so that customers can order directly from you online via Google.
Using social media channels is another great strategy to increase your visibility online. It provides numerous opportunities to communicate with potential customer:s and regular guests. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are currently some of the most popular social media platforms for hospitality businesses.
Each of these platforms appeals to a specific target group. Therefore, it is important to adapt your social media strategy for each channel. However, it’s recommended to focus on a few channels that are most relevant to you, rather than being active on all platforms at once.
Social media marketing is already a must in the restaurant industry. In contrast, influencer marketing is still relatively new, but this type of marketing is already established and gaining momentum. Advertising through influencers is proving to be an extremely effective approach, especially when it comes to authentically positioning brands among relevant target groups that are less accessible through traditional advertising channels or are skeptical of them.
Influencers are considered brand ambassadors who share their personal experiences and accounts on social media, make recommendations, and thus influence the opinions, purchasing decisions, and behaviors of their audience. Influencer recommendations act as the new, media word-of-mouth. Collaborating with regionally active micro- and nano-influencers in particular can be exciting and, most importantly, cost-effective for the restaurant industry.
potential new customers read online reviews before choosing a restaurant. Read both positive and critical reviews, and respond promptly. This shows that you take the opinions of your guests seriously and value them.
Bewertungen von Gästen helfen ebenfalls, das Ranking und die Sichtbarkeit deines Betriebs zu verbessern. Hast du eine Webpräsenz für deinen Betrieb geschaffen, kannst du für Wachstum sorgen, indem du mit Kund:innen über Bewertungsplattformen wie TripAdvisor und Yelp kommunizierst, und dort dein Listing auf Vordermann bringst. Dazu gehören optisch ansprechende Fotos, aktuelle Öffnungszeiten und eine passende Beschreibung (natürlich SEO-optimiert).
Motiviere deine Kund:innen z.B. mit einem Bonusprogramm oder Gutscheinen zur Abgabe einer Bewertung auf diesen Kanälen. Eine weitere wichtige Strategie ist, Bewertungen und Anfragen – insbesondere kritische Rezensionen – zeitnah, positiv und mit viel Feingefühl zu beantworten. Bewertungsportale bieten die Möglichkeit, eine höhere Sichtbarkeit zu erlangen und beim richtigen Umgang mit Kundenrezensionen neue Gäste zu gewinnen.
Email marketing is a cost-effective and reliable way to keep existing customers loyal to your restaurant for the long term. Coupons and discount promotions are a good way to improve customer contact and encourage guests to place a new order. For a closer customer relationship, you can congratulate your customers on their birthday, for example. This way you ensure that your customers remember your restaurant in a positive way. Furthermore, a loyalty program can be easily integrated into the web store, which automatically awards customers points for each order, which can be used as a discount for the next order.
To build a newsletter list, you can integrate a widget into your website where customers can enter their email address to stay up to date. Once you have created your first email list, you can inform guests about the latest discounts and promotions. You can also collect email addresses through the web store by placing a form or check mark at checkout. These forms can collect valuable customer data such as name and date of birth.
Google Ads is an online advertising system from Google for placing ads in Google Search and other Google services, e.g. the Google Display Network or on YouTube.
Create different search ads and define the appropriate search terms for which your ad fits. This allows you to reach potential customers at exactly the right moment, when they are looking for a new restaurant online.
Your ads are billed according to the cost-per-click method. This means that you only have to pay for the ads when a customer clicks on them. This advertising model is ideal for restaurant businesses that are just starting out, as the website is immediately displayed on the top ranks without any long-term investment in search engine optimization.
Events for local outreach
Events such as food festivals, sporting events and concerts are a great way to increase awareness, reputation and sales of your business. Such events provide a fun setting for restaurateurs and customers to come together.
Experiential marketing gives your business the opportunity to showcase your best dishes, make contacts, and create an experience that can attract potential new customers or build loyalty with existing ones.
As we have shown in this article, there are numerous marketing measures that differ depending on the target group that is to be addressed. So there is not only one prefabricated marketing concept. However, a customer analysis should be carried out in advance in any case, which serves as the basis for all further marketing measures. Nowadays, it is advantageous for a business to establish and expand an online presence on Google and on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. With SEO measures and Google Ads, you also improve the visibility and reach of your restaurant website.
Influencer marketing offers you an innovative way to attract new customers who are difficult to reach through traditional advertising channels. Local events like food festivals create memorable experiences for potential and existing customers – and it can also enhance your reputation. At the same time, networking with other businesses in your area helps them promote you.
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