10 Ways to Use Mobile and Local Marketing to Grow Your Restaurant

Mobiel and Local Marketing to Grow a Restaurant

Send your customers texts to get their attention when they’re nearby.

Mobile and local marketing are perfect together. In one recent study, 81% of mobile consumers have searched for a local restaurant on a mobile device. You have the opportunity to use mobile and local marketing to grow your restaurant.

Here are 10 great ideas for using mobile and local marketing for your restaurant…

1. Mobilize your menu

Mobile devices are too popular to ignore when designing your web presence. (tweet thisOptimize your site for smartphones and tablets.

The same study cited above found that 70% of consumers preferred mobile-friendly menus. You should also make it easy to submit reservations, pick-up and delivery orders from a mobile device.

2. Wait-list texting

Having a busy night? Use text messages to let people know when their table is ready. This is a great way to give people more flexibility while they wait. Customers can go for a walk or a drink around the corner without losing their spot in line.

3. Flash deals

This one’s for the opposite purpose – getting people in your door when there’s no line-up at all!

Of-the-moment deals bring in customers during days that are unexpectedly slow. If your reservations are shaping up for a quiet night, send out a special deal by text to target people in your areas. Something like “$5 appetizers tonight! 6-8pm” should do the trick.

4. Mobile reward systems

More businesses are turning to mobile payment and reward systems to expand their customer base. This looks like it could be the future of POS systems.

Try using a mobile reward system to build your relationship with customers who live and work nearby. Mobile rewards may even replace your tedious paper punchcard system altogether. You’ll get more freedom to add new promotions and connect with social networks.

RewardJunkie! and Pirq are two great reward apps designed with restaurants in mind.

5. Post content on the go

Mobile and Local Marketing to Grow a Restaurant Flash Sale

A flash sale email or message can get a lineup of people outside your door.

It’s not just about the customers being mobile. As a restaurant owner you’re always on the move too! Use apps like Twitter and Instagram to post spontaneous updates and photos related to your restaurant. (tweet this) This shows an active, locally-oriented side of your business that people love to see.

I Deal Coffee‘s twitter feed is a great example of using mobile photos to connect with the community. They take photos of interesting sights and sounds around the cafe, and love to tag nearby businesses and events.

6. Get tagged

Tags get people talking about your restaurant. Just look how many Instagram-ers have tagged San Francisco’s Cafe Claude in their mobile photos. Follow their example by encouraging hashtags with your restaurant’s name. Get the ball rolling by tagging a few photos on your own mobile accounts.

7. Always use location (neighborhood, city, state) names

When mobile consumers search your area for restaurants, you want to show up first. Adding location names to your site will always help with that.

Don’t just stop at your street address. Include the locally trendy terms for your neighborhood and nearby landmarks. Just think how many New Yorkers have searched for ‘restaurant upper east side’ or ‘cafes near the MET.’ Be creative and thorough with your place names.

Local keywords are great for improving your restaurant website SEO.

8. Area code campaigns

Does your restaurant have locations in multiple neighbourhoods or cities? Target customers closer to each location by segmenting your mobile list according to area codes. This is a great way to make sure your promotions are relevant to the specific area.

9. Build your Yelp presence

Yelp is one of the top mobile apps for finding local restaurants. The more frequented your profile, the more mobile customers you’ll reach. Yelp discourages restaurants from asking for customers directly for reviews, but you can send subtle hints.

Start by claiming your business listing, then download and print a “Find us on Yelp” sign to put up at your physical location. When customers see this, they will often use a mobile device to rate and review you on-the-spot. Make sure it’s a good one!

Also, check out our previous guide on Yelp for restaurants.

10. Get on the map

Local searches on Google Maps using mobile devices increase by more than four times in 2012. Maps worked pretty well in the old days, but they’re working even better for us now. It’s absolutely crucial that your restaurant shows up as one of those little red pins.

Mobile and local are a huge part of our daily life. Use Restaurant Engine to get a mobile-friendly restaurant website that is optimized for local SEO.

Photos by Thomas The Think Engine and Press Telegram

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