Being a host is up to you – your kitchen and your service are convincing. But this applies to many catering establishments. That’s why you need more to stand out and stay successful in the longer term. This includes, among other things, good marketing – and that means today: good online marketing. Around two-thirds of Swiss consumers now regularly reserve appointments online – and the trend is rising. This is how most of your guests orient themselves on the Internet about restaurants and then decide which one to visit.
Below you will find the six most important tips for successful online marketing in gastronomy.
Tip 1: Get found on Google
If you search, you will find – it on Google: With a market share of almost 92 percent (2021, source: de.statista.com), Google is by far the most widely used search engine in Switzerland. This also applies to gastronomy. So do everything you can to get your potential guests to come across your website via Google. But how do you do that? Some swear by SEA (Search Engine Advertising) like Google ads – others by SEO (Search Engine Optimization) like building backlinks with the help of backlink providers.
SEA is search engine advertising. You place paid ads (Google Ads) to place your website prominently on Google’s results page. SEO, on the other hand, is a measure of your own website to make it appear as high as possible in the search results. In contrast to search engine advertising, this happens independently of advertisements. Thus, the clicks on your website cost you nothing.
Tip 2: Shine with an attractive website
Many of your guests enter your restaurant digitally for the first time – on your website. Therefore, your website should convey the atmosphere of your restaurant as authentically as possible. The best way to do this is with appealing photos and inviting texts. It is also sympathetic when the hosts show up and welcome their guests. In addition, you must not forget to bring your current menu to your website. Because this is an important criterion when choosing a restaurant.
Tip 3: Enable online reservations
Online reservations are booming: 57 percent of guests now reserve their tables online – or prefer this channel, which they can use easily and around the clock. Keep up and offer your guests this opportunity.
But an online solution also relieves you of work. For example, you have to answer the phone much less during rush hour. Because many of your guests then book online. This means that no reservation is lost because no one can answer the phone. In addition, such a tool makes it easier for you to plan your day. Because you can keep track of your workload at all times on your mobile phone and PC. Normally, it is also possible to integrate those reservations that you will continue to receive by telephone.
ALSO READ: 9 Food Stains and How to Remove Them
Tip 4: Send newsletters
A cheap and effective form of advertising is e-mails and newsletters. Effective because you address your guests personally. An e-mail usually contains only one topic – an important message: for example, the opening of the new season, or you send your particularly good guests a voucher as a thank you. A newsletter is technically also sent as an e-mail but covers several topics: novelties of all kinds, recipes of the chef, competitions, etc. Each topic is briefly touched upon in the newsletter and linked to a website (landing page) where the complete article can be found.
Tip 5: Be active on social media
Whether restaurant, café, bar, or pub: Being active on social media is now mandatory in order to attract new guests. Two platforms are particularly important for gastronomy: Instagram and Facebook. They allow you to present yourself to your potential guests quickly and cost-effectively. Do this with stories, photos, and videos from your operation. These can be highlights and actions, but also small everyday things are well received. Guests can also rate restaurants via social media. Such evaluations are taken into account – so take advantage of this opportunity.
Tip 6: Cooperate with influencers
Influencer marketing has enormous potential for gastronomy. Because this will also attract younger guests. Influencers are opinion leaders who are active on social media – for example, for your restaurant. When choosing, you should not only pay attention to the name and reach, but also to the fact that the person fits your company. Build a relationship with her and make sure she really likes your restaurant. Because authenticity makes the recommendations more credible. But it is also possible without well-known names – and thus cheaper: Because you can also turn acquaintances and regular guests into influencers. That’s several people – and if they all bring you even a dozen new guests, your success multiplies.
Digital menu with fresh ingredients
How far are you on your way to effective online marketing? In any case, it is worthwhile to question your measures again and again and, if necessary, to improve and expand them. Because as I said: The web is the new entrée of your restaurant.