Gastro Marketing or Digital Marketing for Restaurants
The restaurant and gastronomy sector is, to say the least, a bit conservative. It is difficult for it to adopt certain strategies as modern as digital marketing for restaurants. However, we have to make it understood that gastro marketing will serve to attract customers to your restaurant.
In reality, everything a company does to attract the public is marketing and nowadays it must be digital marketing. In a restaurant, it is very important not only how you promote it but also the experience you offer to customers. From the way the customer is received to the way the dishes are presented or the way the bill is brought… everything is marketing and user experience.
The idea is to gain customers for my restaurant, why would there be a marketing strategy for a clothing shop or a car dealership and none for restaurants? You have to try to forget old ideas and embrace online marketing for restaurants as a new opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors. We need the restaurant industry to fully embrace the digital age, as customers are already immersed in it.
What is gastronomy marketing or online marketing for restaurants?
In the digital age, carving out a niche or finding a market niche are not easy tasks. It is no longer enough for my idea to be good and interesting. I need to know how I have to sell it or it will die, as soon as it is born. Sometimes even before it is born.
This happens all too often in the restaurant industry. Great business models with a menu of 10 disappear from the map before they have even tasted their dishes.
The customer has to know you are there. If you don’t succeed… the future will be very dark for you.
Here comes gastro marketing
We could start by giving a rough definition and say that gastro marketing is a combination of techniques aimed at achieving the objectives I have set myself. It is not enough to have a picture of the dishes on the menu displayed on the door. To succeed in a world with so much competition and so many important players.
Gastro marketing comes to take advantage of the tools that online marketing puts in the hands of restaurateurs and make the most of it. Obviously, it is necessary to define a strategy and know very well what you want to achieve with the actions you undertake.
How to promote my restaurant on the digital channel and win customers for my restaurant?
It is important to define the situation of the business and to be very clear about what our main objective is: to enter the market, find new customers, gain the loyalty of existing ones, launch a new menu proposal… Once we have identified what we want, we have to define the strategy to follow.
To enter the market and get new customers, content marketing, as in any other business, works very well as it makes it easier for users to find you on the Internet.
It is true that we cannot get the customer to try our dishes, but we can stimulate their desire, describe the experience and make them want to try them.
However, perhaps the question is how to promote my restaurant. In this case, the strategy to follow could be different, although they are always complementary. One example would be building the restaurant’s brand. It is not just about food. It is about a vision of gastronomy. Of values, actions, commitment, participation in the community… The brand must be projected in the mind of the potential customer.
Use social networks, above all, from a visual point of view. Instagram is full of foodies and food lovers on the hunt for the trendiest restaurant, the most original dish or the most attractive promotion. Take advantage of it and make the most of restaurant marketing.
Below we highlight some digital marketing strategies for restaurants to promote yourself, but there are many, many more
Have a responsive or mobile first website
Any digital marketing strategy for restaurants should be based on the use of a responsive website that looks great on mobile devices as it will be your main conversion channel. Think of the website as your online store open 24 hours a day and make it as useful as possible. That is to say, don’t just keep the basic information about your restaurant (location, opening hours…).
Integrate a module so that your customers can book a table through the web, communicate with you and even choose the dishes they are going to eat. The use of a good website will create the impression that your restaurant is modern and cares about offering a good experience in the digital channel, which is of vital importance for future generations.
Invest in SEO positioning with a blog
No matter how beautiful your website is, internet users are not going to reach it on their own. The best way to attract visitors to a website is by working on organic positioning through a good content marketing strategy or, in other words, a blog with valuable content. Web positioning (known as SEO) consists of positioning yourself at the top of Google so that the searches that most interest your restaurant find you easily (for example, “tapas restaurant in Barcelona”).
Register your restaurant on Google My Business
Maybe the name doesn’t tell you anything, but this is Google’s platform for businesses that gives you visibility in the search engine and on Google maps. Although it is not very popular among users, nowadays it is essential for restaurants to have a presence here. The reason is that having a profile on Google Business ensures that your restaurant stands out on Google Maps and people searching online where to eat can locate you on the map.
You can sign up here for free:
Generate relationships with influencers
So-called foodies or gastronomic influencers are people who, for one reason or another, have a community of thousands of followers and have become true food critics in the digital era. On the internet there are relevant instagrammers, bloggers and youtubers who you can invite to try your restaurant’s dishes in exchange for their opinion. Such a simple promotion can give you great visibility and bring new customers to your business.
Promote your restaurant on social media
Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are excellent promotional channels for restaurants. They allow you to create a community of followers, interact with them, run sweepstakes and promotions and generally make yourself known to a large audience. All of this for free, although you can also invest in paid advertising to reach more people, what is vitally important is that social media should always attract users to your website, as that is where the conversion that would be a call or a reservation through the booking module of your website will take place.