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Common Restaurant Woes and the Ways Digital Marketing Can Help

Common Restaurant Woes and the Ways Digital Marketing Can Help

From struggling to find staffing to low customer retention rates.  There are plenty of issues, concerns, and frustrations that all restaurant owners are probably familiar with.  Luckily, strong digital marketing campaigns can directly or indirectly address all of these woes.  Read on for some insights that will help you turn your restaurants’ struggles into strengths.  

Problem: 

First and foremost on most restaurant owners’ minds is staffing. It would be hard to find a restaurant that hasn’t struggled with staffing this year.  It can be tough to find enough employees at any time, but especially in the last year or so. When you find yourself short-staffed and at a loss for where to turn, look to digital marketing. 

Solution: 

There are actually a ton of different ways digital marketing can help solve your staffing woes.  To start, you can try something as simple as posting on social media to let your followers know that you are hiring.  (And the more details you can provide in these posts, the better).  Every couple weeks, you can share another post or story to keep it fresh in people’s minds and let them know you are still hiring.  

You can also go beyond posting on social media in your efforts to find employees. Paid ads targeted at those with experience in the food service industry can help you reach a wider audience of qualified candidates. Offering an incentive like a hiring bonus to new employees, or an incentive like a gift card to anyone who refers you a new employee, can also increase the number of applicants you receive.

Problem: 

Moving on, another issue restaurants can come across, especially restaurants that are newer or less-established, is having trouble bringing new customers through the door.  For your business to be successful, you want to constantly be introducing new people to your offerings and seeing new faces come through your door. If your customer base has become stagnant, that is a concern, and one that digital marketing can effectively address. 

Solution: 

One of the things that makes digital marketing especially attractive compared to other forms of advertising is that it is a cheap and effective way to reach a large audience all at once.  The more people you can introduce to your brand, the more likely you will find new customers.  Running targeted ads to your local community and working to optimize your local SEO are both ways to get your brand in front of a large number of eyes at once. 

Beyond just the volume of people digital marketing can help you reach, it can also be an extremely useful tool to help you have meaningful one-on-one interactions with potential new customers as well.  Try engaging in social listening to see what your target audience is talking about and interested in at the moment.  Engage with potential customers through comments and messages from your social media account.  If you can make someone feel a personal connection to your brand, they will be more likely to want to come give your restaurant a try.

Problem:

Another area restaurants can struggle is in defining their branding and their niche. A logo, color scheme, and appearance of your physical location can go a long way in letting people know what to expect from your business. However, sometimes that is not enough, and people need more information to really understand what you’re all about.  And that’s where digital marketing can help. 

Solution: 

Social media accounts and a digital marketing presence in general can help to define and strengthen your brand immensely. Everything from the colors and logos used in your profile pictures to the types of posts you are making can clue users in about what type of restaurant you are.  Your online presence can really highlight the aspects of your restaurant that set you apart from others, and solidify your branding and your niche.

Problem: 

Finally, kind of the flip side of the struggle to find new customers is the struggle to keep existing customers coming back. A major source of income for any restaurant is their “regulars”, or the people who visit time and time again.  However, if you don’t have a ton of regulars and want to figure out how to bring people back in for return visits, you can turn to digital marketing. 

Solution: 

Luckily, once someone has made a purchase from you, you likely have some information about them already, like an email address associated with their order. You can use any information you got from their order in combination with analytics from your website and Google ads to reach back out to previous customers and encourage them to come back.  A few specific ideas that tend to be successful: Email campaigns thanking people for their visit and offering a discount on their next purchase, retargeting campaigns that target ads specifically at past purchasers, and social media posts that ask questions about customers’ experiences and encourage them to come try a new dish or menu item.

So as you can see, many (if not all) of the woes your restaurant is facing can be solved or improved with effective digital marketing. 

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