Top 5 Digital Restaurant Marketing Tools You Need (2018 Update)
In today’s restaurant marketing, digital marketing is the name of the game. If you want to succeed in the restaurant industry, billboards and newspaper ads will no longer cut it. QSR Web reported that 2017 would be the year of digital marketing for restaurants. If you weren’t able to keep up with it last year, don’t worry! 2018 doesn’t look to be any different either according to Eagle Eye. The reports also noted that more restaurants are increasing their digital marketing spend.
The numbers don’t lie. If you want to be at the top of the game in the food service business, you need to be able to adjust to the times and use digital marketing tools that will help you get a leg up on the competition.
Here are 5 tools that will help your restaurant get ahead of the curve and succeed in the digital marketing space:
Website Maker / Content Management System
According to SinglePlatform and research firm Chadwick Martin, restaurants are the single most searched industry online — both on desktop and mobile browsers. That means that having a website for your restaurant is equivalent to having a good first impression in today’s digital marketplace.
In a Huffington Post article, ChowNow founder Christopher Webb broke down what an effective restaurant website looks like:
Creating a website for your restaurant may be an intimidating task, but worry not! You don’t necessarily need to learn how to code or hire someone to design and run your website. There are numerous website makers and content management systems available that handles everything from domain name registration, down to scheduled blog posting. Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace all offer easy-to-use website management solutions.
Social Media Management Applications
Just like having your own website, having a strong social media presence is an absolute must for every restaurant who wants to up their restaurant marketing game.
According to Sprout’s Q3 2016 Social Index, three-quarters of the people surveyed “purchased a product because they saw it on social media.” What this means is if you’re not visibly active on social media, you’re missing out on a large customer base.
An excellent social media strategy for your restaurant marketing is one that involves engaging with your customers all the time.
The sky’s the limit when thinking about ways you can use social media to promote your restaurant. Kairay Media has 30 tips on social media marketing for restaurants – here are our top seven favorites and takeaways from that list:
- Create your own and ride on trending hashtags
- Conduct photo contests
- Reward customer check-ins
- Post videos — especially those of chefs preparing your restaurant’s best-selling menu items
- Keep it fun and friendly — there’s no need to be serious
- Post images with relevant quotes
- Encourage customers to post reviews
A dedicated social media manager can be a valuable member of your restaurant. But you or someone else from your existing team can handle this task just as well. It’s all about scheduling posts well in advance, ensuring that your restaurant’s social media accounts have fresh content every single day.
Hootsuite is the market leader in social media management applications. It not only lets you schedule posts way in advance for multiple accounts, but it also gives you real-time customer insights.
Email Marketing Solutions
Some people might take it for granted, but email can have a huge impact on your restaurant’s digital marketing efforts.
According to a 2015 report from the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing can have a return on investment (ROI) of $38 for every $1 spent. That’s almost one entrée earned for every dollar spent.
Beyond the simple weekly newsletter, there are a lot of ways you can incorporate the use of emails in your restaurant marketing. Turnstyle has a deep-dive guide on the topic. Out of the numerous suggestions given, here are some we liked:
- Announce new items, as well as those that you’re about to take out of the menu. Both will draw loyal customers back to your restaurant in no time
- Send out invites for upcoming events, especially during holidays
- Share recipes created by your chefs
- Conduct surveys to get more insights from your customers
- Send special email messages for customers who haven’t visited your restaurant for a long time (30 to 90 days)
- On a customer’s birthday, make sure you send them a “happy birthday” email message
Online Table Reservations
Since the 20th century, customers have either called or walked in advance at a restaurant to place a reservation. Restaurateurs, in turn, jot their names on the reservation book and wait for their arrival on the day itself.
Who would’ve thought that taking this task to the digital age can also be an effective restaurant marketing technique? Online table reservation sites are taking the restaurant industry by storm. These companies perfectly cater to the growing millennial market by letting them reserve a table at any restaurant through the web or a mobile application. This makes the whole process quick and easy.
Other benefits of using online table reservations for restaurant reservations are:
- Removing the old-school, paper-based reservation book with the online reservation system easily integrated with your restaurant’s PoS
- Have a more detailed account of the upcoming forecast, giving you the ability to better manage your inventory and staff shift schedules
- Get recognized by more people as your restaurant is listed on their site
Opentable is the company that first comes to mind when talking about online table reservations. Its Airbnb-like system makes it easy for customers to book. It also can be integrated into a restaurant’s PoS or your restaurant’s existing website with a widget.
Yelp now also has its own reservations service that is integrated within its review platform.
Speaking of Yelp. Yes, it can be the bane of your restaurant, but online reviews are important in the customer’s decision-making.
According to a BrightLocal report, 84% of people surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And that same report noted that 7 out of 10 consumers will review a business if they are asked to.
Serving great food and delivering excellent table service is the key for a good reputation for your restaurant. But that has to translate to tons of reviews online.
The Toast Blog shared 4 ways to improve how your restaurant performs on online review sites:
- Promote your restaurants beyond liking on Facebook or following on Twitter. Tell them that they can check out your restaurant on Yelp or TripAdvisor
- Ask (or invite) your customers to review your restaurant. You can do it after they’ve settled the check, or through email
- Create a dedicated landing page on your website just for reviews, featuring sample entries from previous customers
- Conduct a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey to sift the promoters from the detractors
In today’s world, what you and your customer say online is as good as gospel. That is why it is important for any restaurateur to invest in restaurant marketing – especially in their digital marketing. By using these online marketing tools, we guarantee that your restaurant will get more customers at any time of the day.
Product Updates |
Tanda hits 1 million clock ins!
Tanda has ticked over to 1 million clock-ins! That is a lot of people showing up for work. And though we may gripe and grumble about the daily grind, one million clock-ins is something we want you to celebrate with the whole team at Tanda. Tanda has been here to help you. We have helped you make payroll simple and easy. We have helped you make time theft and wasted hours of figuring out award rates a thing of the past. But today Tanda wants to acknowledge someone else in this ever-growing time and attendance tool. We want to focus on YOU. One million clock-ins on our successful cloud-based software might seem like an intangible concept. Instead, we’d like you to think of it more as an in-Tanda-ble concept. That’s people getting up early to clock in so you have your morning coffee. That’s childcare workers all over Australia clocking in to make sure your children get the best start in early learning. That’s certified companies like Subway, Nike and Telstra moving forward in the constantly changing systems of business, time and attendance. But more importantly in many ways, that’s small businesses and the backbone of Australian industries moving forward with them too. Tanda ensures no one gets left behind, and no time or attendance goes amiss for those 1 million of you who have clocked in. Though we can’t celebrate this achievement with each and everyone of you in your office, restaurant, childcare centre, hotel or whatever space it is you run your business in, we can still thank you all here from Tanda HQ. This video isn’t much, but its a small demonstration of how excited we are for all of you. Keep up to date with more exciting news from Tanda by heading to our Facebook page and giving us the old thumbs up or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more surprises to come.
Events & Media AU |
Tanda Open Data Hackathon this weekend – 17th & 18th April
This article is about the 2015 event. Go to hack.tanda.co for 2016’s event details! The Tanda Open Data Hackathon is upon us! Programmers, designers and developers are flocking to Brisbane for Tanda’s first Open Data Hackathon. In a digital era where everything is reachable from the click of a button, it’s no surprise there are now marathons and competitions for the digitally oriented too. Hackathons, e-conferences and everything in between can be a great way to meet new faces in your industry and carve out your own opportunities in the workforce. You can come along as a lone wolf hunting down open data, or bring a pack of friends to brainstorm together. On the first night after pitches, that’s when you’ll have a chance to form your final teams and get ready to compete. Tanda’s Hackathon will be taking place over two locations. Day 1 will see us at our own Tanda HQ for meet’n’greet, drinks and pitches. Then, a fresh start (and a free breakfast) on Saturday morning will begin at Brisbane’s River City Labs. The great facilities at this space will hopefully give all attendants the comfort they need to execute a great pitch. It’s a Learning Experience The main drive of these types of events is that everyone should walk out feeling that learnt something. Whether it’s something a team partner has shown you while trying to create something awesome under pressure, or a competitor reveals a clever trick in their presentation. There’s no point to an idea if you don’t share it. It’s a Networking Opportunity Whether it’s the company hosting the Hackathon or a fellow competitor at the event these are the kind of industry events where you can actually stand out for future employees. Instead of selling yourself in an annoying verbal resume at some cocktail event you can show potential employers your skills in action. It’s a push in the Right Direction Not only will you meet new people, you will receive feedback from the two judges for Tanda’s Hackathon. The first judge will be Tanda’s very own Adam Lyons who spends his time all over Australia helping to implement savvy programs for growth in Australian businesses. Our Guest Judge for the Tanda Open Data Hackathon is Keran McKenzie. Keran has been on the scene helping take start-ups to sky heights for the past 20 years. He’s come up all the way from Melbourne to assess your ideas and test your skills. It’s a chance to help a Great Cause This Hackathon is a “Hack It Forward” kind of event. All proceeds made in this event will go back into student funding for IT, programming, and related student clubs at QUT and UQ. As a Start-Up company ourselves Tanda knows the ideas start with you guys – the students, the idealists, the dreamers and the young entrepreneurs.
Clients & Partners AU Events & Media AU |
Tanda “Clocks In” to the Xero Roadshow!
Xero is hitting the road in February, taking their team of cloud accounting experts on the road to answer your questions. We’ve been invited along and are looking forward to catching up with our existing partners as well as meeting plenty of new ones across the country. Using Xero’s API we are helping businesses (and their advisors) understand and control their staff costs. Our time clocks, rosters, and customisable award interpretation take the hassle out of payroll and give you insight that you just can’t get with paper timesheets and excel rosters. Business with over 15 staff in all industries are making huge efficiency savings using Tanda, all over Australia. For more info before the day take a look at www.tanda.co Most importantly though, come in and say hi! It’s free to attend the Xero roadshow and there’s even CPD credits available – so there’s literally no reason not to go. If you haven’t already, be sure to register at www.xero.com/au/roadshow Where are we stopping on the Xero roadshow? Here’s the list of places and dates. Bendigo – Monday 3 February Melbourne East – Tuesday 4 February Melbourne CBD – Wednesday 5 February Geelong – Thursday 6 February Albury – Tuesday 11 February Sunshine Coast – Tuesday 11 February Brisbane – Wednesday 12 February Dubbo – Wednesday 12 February Gold Coast – Thursday 13 February Wollongong – Friday 14 February Newcastle – Monday 17 February Parramatta – Tuesday 18 February Sydney – Wednesday 19 February Canberra – Thursday 20 February Adelaide – Monday 24 February Perth – Wednesday 26 February If you have a client that could benefit from using Tanda, or if you have any questions. Come say ‘hi’ or, If you’d like more information about Tanda before we visit a city near you, give us a call on 1300 859 117.