10 Local And Mobile Marketing Strategies To Expand Your Restaurant

10 Local And Mobile Marketing Strategies To Expand Your Restaurant

Get customer reviews to grow your online presence.

Using both local and mobile marketing can boost your restaurant profits by engaging more customers. In this article, we look at 10 local and mobile marketing strategies to expand your restaurant.

Local and mobile marketing work so well together. Most people go online to find a local restaurant. They may just be looking for a place to eat, or they could be searching for your phone number, address or mobile menu.

According to one study, more than 80% of people have searched for a restaurant on a mobile device. Restaurants are the single most searched-for industry by people using smartphones.

Now that you know how important local marketing is and how well it gels with mobile marketing, let’s talk about 10 local and mobile marketing strategies to expand your restaurant.

#1: Get Listed for Nearby Search

Are you listed on any social media platforms that incorporate the “nearby” search? If not, here is a list of a few platforms you should visit and make sure your restaurant has a listing:

  • Yelp
  • Google Maps/Google Business
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare
  • UrbanSpoon

All of these platforms incorporate geographic proximity into their search results. If you aren’t listed, you’re going to miss out during mobile searches.

Visit these sites to make sure your address is correct, and you have a current profile with address, phone and hours listed.

You can also ask your customers to leave you reviews on social media platforms to boost your ratings. Be vigilant with your reviews. If you ever receive a negative one, be sure to respond positively because your reviews will directly impact your ability to expand your restaurant.

#2: Use Text Messaging

With close to 98% of smartphone users utilizing their phones for texting, you can bet that SMS marketing is a good idea to expand your restaurant.

SMS marketing is when you send short text messages to initiate contact with your customers. According to MobileSquared, text messaging has high open rates – more than 90% of people read text messages within three minutes.

That is an amazing response rate, one you can’t duplicate with email or social media. Here are few ideas for using text messaging:

  • Create a loyalty program or text club.
  • Send special offers, coupons or promos.
  • Promote your upcoming events.
  • Send people to your online contests.

You do want to make sure you use text messaging legally. In order to be in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission, you must have clear permission from your customers.

This isn’t too hard to do as SMS messaging is permission based. Your mobile user has to opt in before you send them the first message.

How do you get them to opt in? You encourage them to sign up for your text marketing list with promotions, contests or special offers. A discount is a great way to get people to sign up.

SMS is especially good for you because by opting in, your customer has agreed to trust you by letting you into their private text messaging world. They think what you have to say is valuable.

#3: Start a Blog

Blogging is a great way to reach out to your local customers. By engaging with your diners and providing them valuable content, you’ll build a very loyal community – one that will be instrumental in helping you expand your restaurant.

Engage customers on your blog, and you create a group of loyal, brand ambassadors who are glad to share your content. (tweet this)

Provide them with videos, recipes, tips, funny anecdotes and the inside scoop for the best engagement.

#4: Use Geo-Targeting with Ads

Restaurants are local. You are either serving the population of your city or its visitors.

Consider investing in paid online advertising with geo-targeted ads. You’ll see a better return on your dollar because you are targeting a specific geo-location with your ads. In other words, you aren’t trying to attract the whole Internet, just people nearby looking for a place to eat.

How do you do this? You can use a number of online ad platforms including Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads. When you create your ads, you see options for targeting your desired location.

#5: Start Email Marketing

Email marketing is not dead. It’s actually quite the opposite. Reach your local customers by sending them several emails each month.

For example, you might send a newsletter once a month with tips and tricks. On the other three weeks of the month, you can send targeted emails that include a weekly special.

As with all digital marketing, there is a fine line between consistency and overkill. Monitor your analytics to decide what level of email marketing works best for you.

restaurant marketing strategies

Online ordering increases your local reach.

#6: Leverage Online Ordering

Many people are using their mobile devices to find your website, and they want to order online. Today’s digital generation thrives on ease of use, and online ordering simply makes their lives easier.

Give your customers a responsive menu where they can place their to-go orders. You’ll end up with a lot more orders and less lost ones because customers couldn’t navigate your out-dated site.

#7: Create a Mobile Friendly Website

It’s vital that you have a mobile website. If your website doesn’t respond to screen size, you are going to lose customers. (tweet this) Improve your mobile marketing strategy today with a mobile-friendly website.

#8: Be Present on Social Media

As part of your mobile marketing strategy, we encourage you to dedicate more time to social media each week.

In today’s competitive restaurant world, you’ve got to use all of the avenues available, and sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the place to be.

If you don’t have business pages on these sites, do it today. If you do, but you aren’t active, here are some tips to get moving:

  • Create your social media business pages.
  • Use professional-quality images when posting.
  • Develop a plan. Write your posts for each week and then schedule them.
  • In your posts, be engaging. Offer tips, funny stories, recipes, photos of food, staff photos and more.
  • Don’t forget to check back in daily and monitor your social media feeds for positive and negative comments as well as questions.
  • Social media is social, so it’s not time to set it and forget it. Be consistent and keep your social media pages up-to-date to help with your mobile marketing.

#9: Set Up Google Alerts

Want to know when someone mentions you online? Set up Google Alerts, and you’ll be notified each time your restaurant (or other words you choose) is mentioned on the Internet.

This helps you be responsive to the needs of your customers, while learning about your online mentions.

#10: Work with Delivery Services

Many mid-size and larger cities have local delivery services that will deliver food from a multitude of restaurants.

Partner with one of these, and they will do some of your local marketing for you. Plus, you’ve made it easier for more customers to find you and enjoy your food.

In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Online delivery services streamline the delivery process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve looked at 10 local and mobile marketing strategies to expand your restaurant, it’s time put a few of these ideas to work.

Once you get going, you’ll find there are endless opportunities for your local and mobile marketing. You can even try something more involved such as a mobile app for your restaurant that allows customers to keep track of rewards and specials, pick up comeback coupons, place to-go orders, make a reservation or learn about specials.

Make a list of what local or mobile tools you want to try first, and get to work on your marketing strategies to expand your restaurant.

Jump start your online marketing today. Take a tour of Restaurant Engine and launch your restaurant website this weekend!

We build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites with dynamite online menus. Contact us today for your free website consultation. We are here to help you update your website and stand out in the crowd so you can stay ahead of your competition and grow your positive online presence with your restaurant website.

Images: Jazmin Quaynor and Alex Munsell

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