Restaurant Marketing in 2023
This blog was created after years of connecting with restaurant owners and operators that simply allow their businesses to be controlled by the online masses. Through good or bad reviews, user-generated content, a lack of controlled marketing – an explicit strategy, designed to control the conversation and build your restaurant. Learn how to take control…
The internet has shifted dramatically as it relates to restaurants and their success. From online review websites, huge online ordering platforms and more. The entire model will continue to shift and you MUST prepare your business for the next wave of technology, customer expectation and more. Doing nothing is no longer an option for most restaurants that rely on local patronage.
Control Your Marketing
The most common thing we have heard is that restaurant owners are simply too busy to take control of their marketing or they don’t know where to start. We get that… It is hard enough to run a restaurant, manage food, menus, staff, etc. but taking control of your marketing is critical to the future success of your business. Marketing must have importance in the day-to-day operations or brand, food, messaging, etc. will be controlled by users on review websites like Yelp and Google.
There is also a common misconception that restaurants cannot control their marketing or online messaging other than through social media. While there are limitations and users can impact your restaurant, there are still MANY things that can be done to take control of your brand and marketing online.
Taking control isn’t about forcing conversations and crafting the perfect response to a negative review. Sometimes the smallest things can move the needle in a big way. Understanding where your business is at is the first step to taking control of your marketing, knowing your customers, your food and the systems you have in place today will help you craft the outcomes for tomorrow.
Do you have a CRM (customer relationship management) system, do you use Toast, Slice, Opentable or another POS with a CRM integrated? Do you leverage the tools and systems that allow you to connect with your customers… Do you know your top 20 customers by location? These are the things that matter… Do you control your social media accounts or was it setup by someone that maybe you don’t chat with anymore. Taking control of your marketing is all about taking control of your brand, marketing IP and more.
Top 5 Marketing Stack elements for 2023 to Take Control.
- CRM (customer relationship management)
- Review Management System
- Email, SMS and Core Communication Platform
- Social Media (Instagram, Facebook and more) Strategy
- Content (Images, Video) Strategy
Frictionless marketing has been rising for many years – but over the past few years, it has displaced the traditional approach of restaurant marketing.
If you paused to ask yourself what frictionless marketing is, then you are already on your way to understanding how to grow your restaurant business in 2023. While true frictionless marketing should remove all costs and overall restraints, the modified version is uncontrolled systems that will generate revenue for your business with limited interaction for your staff. Online ordering is what many consider frictionless and while this adds efficiency to your business – if you are using a non-integrated system, there is still friction. An example of true frictionless transactions is one that occurs and your kitchen is working on the order as if it was added through your POS by staff.
There are a number of frictionless models that are already impacting restaurants but the biggest will be Google. If you have not fully integrated your restaurant into Google already, you are already behind. Doing some basic research around our location I was STUNNED to find that MOST (about 75% of locations) restaurants don’t even control their MENU and information. That is actually what trigger me to write this blog and provide some basic steps… Mostly because some of my favorite local restaurants; which are highly-rated – have absolutely NO CONTROL of their online presence. That is scary and that will impact my favorites! Ouch. We gotta get this fixed… So I can get my sushi fix, my ice cream fix, my pad thai fix… and more.
We aren’t going to pretend that taking control is easy and something you will have wrapped up in a few weeks – this is a process and requires a commitment from you and your staff. However, we will boldly state that an effective marketing strategy that is aggressively attacked and managed will create an outcome that will help your restaurant grow.
So how do you take control, where do you even start and how can you take advantage of some of what we are talking about here…
- Take Control of your Brand IP
- Get Your Marketing Stack Setup
- Create and Publish Content
- Get a Review Management System
- Commit to Make this a Priority
What We Do to Help
We can help you get this all setup, managed and running within a few weeks. This isn’t our first rodeo and we do this every day – so we have the resources, experience and network to help get systems in place quickly to help your business begin to leverage the internet and take control of the conversation surrounding your brand and restaurant.
Brand IP (Online and Offline) – one of the first things we do is to ensure that we ALL have access to the critical brand elements – your logo, your website, your domain, Facebook page, Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The goal is to ensure that you have CONTROL over your critical online and offline elements that can impact your brand and restaurant. This includes more than just social media, this is ensuring you have control over the systems that your business relies on to operate – including: POS and Ordering (Toast, DoorDash, OpenTable, etc.), Print runs and other advertising, etc. This all impacts your marketing, the message and your IP (intellectual property). The bottom line is that if you don’t control these elements and know who has access – it is impossible to control your messaging.
Marketing Stack Setup and Integration – Your POS and ordering system may have some basic systems in place to market your business – we take things a GIANT STEP forward by integrating a full CRM (customer relationship management) system; which centralizes most of the day to day actions. All emails, SMS messages, review automation, marketing automation, online chat, social media management and messaging automation and so much more. This “stack” is really the brain for your online marketing, asset management, communications and more. A centralized hub that connects to as many spokes as needed to help your business operate as seamless as possible.
Content Creation and Syndication Strategy – Content is likely one of the most difficult ongoing tasks restaurants struggle with. First off, things change – seasonally, weekly, nightly… Specials, New Items, Seasonal options! Creating content that is engaging isn’t always a top of mind need to keep the messaging on point. However, your content creation is critical to ensure that you are controlling the online conversation as much as you are controlling your in-house menu… you’d never let old / random menus with different pricing hit a customer table top – why would you allow that anywhere else. Our team will establish a regular and consistent visit to create core content libraries; while also creating ongoing content to support the needs of the restaurant. Once the content is created, produced – it will be automatically syndicated through the core social media channels and online channels that allow us to engage directly with diners.
Review Management Automation – Reviews are so often ignored or they have heave responses that can sometime leave an emotional footprint that can actually be worse than a 1-star review. Our review management approach provides two tiers – from a fully automated platform (with AI triggers) or a hands-on approach where each review is managed manually by our staff. Trained to provide the best outcome of each review.
Ultimately, our team handles the entirety of your business or can help you with the onboarding and system setup. We are here to help get you setup and would love to create and cultivate your brand and restaurant.
It’s simple. Contact us and let us know how we can help you grow your restaurant.
you can call us at 619-794-6146 or you can use the chat link in the bottom right of this page.
NFY Interactive, Inc.
Austin, TX. 78738
ATX: (512) 522-0959
SAN: (619) 764-6146