The restaurant industry is a tough industry in which to succeed. Most new restaurants close their doors within three years of opening, so it is essential to develop a loyal following as soon as possible. Along with preparing great food, you can use these tips to find clientele for your restaurant online.
Publish a Website
As the opening of your restaurant gets closer and is promoted by local media, people will want to know more about it and will most likely go online to find information. It is crucial for businesses, including restaurants, to have an online presence in the digital age, and a website forms the hub of that presence.
Be sure to include information about your location, operating hours, and opening date, as well as a sample menu so most of the questions that searchers have will be answered. Also, make sure your webmaster utilizes a responsive web design so that web visitors using tablets and smartphones can view your site.
Many chefs claim that food is eaten with the eyes as well as the mouth, so you need to post pictures of the food your restaurant serves. Posting images of your menu items will entice guests into your restaurant who like the type of cuisine being served. Social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter are good places to post images, as they will often be shared by other accounts.
Run Online Contests
To promote your restaurant, get people in to try your food, and build loyalty, you can occasionally run online contests. You can offer free meals or other prizes as an incentive for people to participate in them.
Keep your contests simple and fun to attract participants and gain new followers for your social media sites. Follow back local followers on your social sites in order to promote your business to people who can actually visit, instead of those who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Optimize for Local Searches
Your website should be optimized for local searches so that those who live in the area can easily find your website. Include your business information on local search directories to make it easier to find your restaurant. This information should include the following facts about your business:
- Phone number
- Operating hours
- A location map
If you have multiple locations, create webpages for each location and optimize each page for local searches to help searchers find the nearest location to them.
If you’ve heard people tell others about how good the food at your restaurant is, compliment the service or recommend your establishment to other people, encourage those customers to write an online review. Most people will be happy to tell others about their positive experience at your restaurant, and this can help bring more customers through your doors. Read the reviews written about your restaurant to discover things that customers are unhappy with and to find great reviews to put on your website.
Even if your restaurant is a small burger joint, you should have an online presence that includes a website and social media accounts. If you don’t, you will certainly lose business to competitors who promote their restaurants online.