Restaurant marketing is unique because it does not require the extensive effort of a retailer. However, you need to lure customers with sights and smells they have not yet experienced. With a combination of tactics you can find ways to entice customers before they step foot into your establishment.

Create An Extensive Online Presence

Many restaurants do not have a website or only have limited information, which hurts business. Although word-of-mouth advertising continues to be a popular way of attracting customers, more people are finding restaurants through simple online searches. Restaurants do not typically need websites with numerous features and graphics to gain attention. You can usually create a fully-functioning website suitable for restaurants, if a professional website is not within your budget. Your basic website should include contact information and business hours.

Include your menu and add a PDF version. If you have delivery options, customers may want to print a copy of the menu to have as a reference. Another helpful feature is to include prices. Visitors to your website can gauge whether the restaurant is within their ideal price range. If your prices change frequently, make a notation regarding the approximate cost of each menu item. Many restaurants display a dollar symbol next to items, with more dollar symbols representing higher prices.

Add Descriptions And Pictures

Since your goal is to entice prospective customers with delicious food, you need to be descriptive and visual. Include short descriptions about each menu item. You do not need to fully describe each dish, but focus on what is in the dish and highlight key flavors. For example, descriptors, such as spicy, garlicy, and buttery, will give prospective customers an idea of the predominate flavors. Subtle flavors can be described as notes or hints of a flavor. If your restaurant sells wine or cocktails, make suggestions for pairings.

The experience of eating starts with the eyes and you can help prospective customers build excitement with attractive pictures. Fortunately, many mobile phones and tablets have high-resolution cameras, which makes hiring a professional photographer unnecessary. You do not need to take pictures of everything on your menu, but make sure to include the most popular menu items. Include a few extra pictures for fun that include both the inside and outside of your establishment, diners, and employees. Many restaurants have special nights that might include a happy hour, family night, or another theme. This is an excellent opportunity to take additional pictures and include them on your website.

Use Local SEO

Since you are likely trying to attract customers within your geographic area, optimizing your website for local searches is essential. When considering keywords, include the city your restaurant is located in and surrounding areas. You might also need to include variants of your location. Some cities or metropolitan areas are referred to by nicknames, area codes, or abbreviations. When adding content to your website, find ways to include these variants to make it easier for you to gain targeted search engine traffic.

As part of your local SEO strategy, update your business listings. Major search engines typically have a business directory, which includes contact information, business hours, and your website. If there is the option to verify your directory listing, go through the extra steps to have your listing verified. This can make prospective customers confident that any information they find in the business directory is genuine.

Include Social Media

Since restaurants may not need the extensive social media presence of other types of businesses, you can do well by maintaining accounts on major platforms. Use social media platforms where you can engage with people who ask questions or post reviews of your establishment. Ideally, you should also use this platform to share pictures, especially of what happens in your restaurant from day to day. If you have certain nights that are more busy than others, sharing pictures on social media is a great way to attract interest. Many people become increasingly curious about restaurants when they see it attracts a large crowd. You can also use the platform to advertise special pricing or new menu items.

Online marketing for restaurants may have unique needs and challenges. By focusing more on local marketing and attracting customers with pictures and descriptive information, you can gain more online momentum. Contact a company like Voted Best of America, for more information.