Even as many restaurants struggled during the pandemic, they continued to operate after shifting to a deliveries-only model. Despite the closure of thousands of restaurants across the country, the industry still offers good potential once the pandemic is over.
Over a year after the pandemic started, the situation might be better, but restaurants are still struggling to make a decent profit. Despite a wary customer base, the industry added over a million jobs in the market during the first seven months of the year. This shows the recovery of the industry after suffering heavy losses around a year ago.
In this situation, new players have a lot of work to increase their sales and attract customers. These new players can use digital marketing and networking to make a mark on the industry. Here are the things they need to do.
Enhance the Website
When the pandemic started, people went online to purchase their needs. This behavior continued even after restrictions were lifted. So, connecting with the customers requires restaurants to have a website. And new players should not just have any website. They make sure to enhance their website and make it user-friendly.
The restaurant should also make sure its menu is accessible online. This allows customers to look at their food offerings and decide whether to visit the restaurant or not. They should use high-resolution images to make the food look mouthwatering.
Additionally, the restaurant can highlight the modern equipment it uses for its operations. It can post a high-resolution picture of its commercial meat slicer, ensuring the cold cuts it offers are sliced perfectly. It may even attract the attention of other establishments to source out their meat needs from the restaurant.
The important thing here is that the restaurant should make sure the images they post are high-quality pictures. While it may cost more, it can make the restaurant appealing to the market and increase the chances of customers visiting the store.
Work with Local Businesses
New restaurants can also work with other local businesses, particularly those that do not compete with them directly. They can post on the blog of other businesses, or they can recommend each other’s services on their website. This allows the restaurant to save on advertising costs.
They can even start an affiliate relationship, especially with businesses that complement their own. For instance, the restaurant can promote the meat products of a local butcher, and the local butcher can promote the meat dishes of the restaurant.
The restaurant can also offer discounts for customers of a local supermarket. In return, the supermarket will promote the restaurant to its customers both online and offline.
Focus on Local SEO
A good way for a restaurant to promote itself in its community is by focusing on local search engine optimization (SEO). This means it should focus on coming out on the search engine results page (SERP) when someone times “new restaurant near me” or when someone is looking for a good restaurant in the area.
To improve the SEO of its website, the restaurant should create relevant and engaging content on its blog. It should also use local keywords on all the pages of the website. The website should have high-quality images and videos that promote the restaurant. It should also have internal and external links to help enhance its SEO.
Additionally, the restaurant should create its own Google My Business (GMB) profile. The profile should show the address and contact information of the restaurant. The restaurant should also add content to the GMB profile, including articles, images, and videos.
Since working on the SEO of the restaurant’s website takes a lot of skills and experience, the restaurant can outsource this to a digital marketing company. These companies know what to do and can research relevant keywords to increase the restaurant’s online presence.
Use Social Media Marketing
With more than 231 million Americans using social media platforms, it’s only practical for restaurants to create an account on major social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Aside from increasing the number of followers, restaurants can use these platforms to announce their customers’ promotions.
They can also use it to get feedback from their customers and make the necessary improvements based on the feedback. Restaurants can hold raffle draws, offer discounts, and sell gift cards through these accounts.
The important thing here is that the restaurant should be responsive and engage its customers. Engaging its customers will increase the chances of succeeding in the industry.
Even as the restaurant industry suffered setbacks during the pandemic, restaurants can use digital marketing to increase sales and encourage customers to visit their physical location.