Restaurant marketing is a beast all of its own. Many of the characteristics that set restaurants apart from other businesses (their hours, business model, level of staffing, etc) also mean their digital marketing needs are a little bit different.
Here at BYK Digital, we work with a large number of restaurants and food service clients. Many of the same marketing principles and methods are applicable for all restaurants. However, there are also some key differences between full-service and quick-service restaurants. Below, we’ve got 5 hot tips specifically for quick-service restaurants to help their digital marketing efforts really shine.
Make your business model clear
Few things frustrate a customer more than feeling let down or misled by a brand. As a quick-service or counter service restaurant, you’ll want to make sure everyone who walks through your doors knows what to expect. If a potential customer is expecting a full-service dining experience from you and then realizes that’s not what they are going to get, they are sure to be disappointed no matter how good your food and service may be.
So how can you clarify your offerings to set people’s expectations correctly? One of the best ways is to include “quick service”, “counter service”, or a similar term in your brand guidelines: Either in your logo, your tagline/slogan or your official business name. You’ll also want your social media profiles to include this information, and have it described clearly on your website as well. Additionally, on any third-party sites that allow you to share information about your brand (like Yelp and Google) make sure to check off the types of service you offer. Basically, anywhere you’re sharing information about your business, make sure you’re clearly expressing the type of business you run.
Express what sets you apart
Quick-service restaurants have some unique features: They are generally more affordable than their full-service counterparts, tend to have shorter wait times, and offer more efficient service. These are the types of characteristics you will want to really play up and highlight when advertising your quick-service restaurant. Essentially, know your strengths: Take whatever differentiates you from a sit down restaurant and use it to your advantage.
Target ads and posts strategically
On a similar note, because of the characteristics of service for quick-service restaurants, you’ll likely want to target your advertising at specific times of day. For most counter service restaurants, lunch is a much busier time than dinner. If you make sure your posts are being shared in the late morning and ad spend is concentrated on that time of day as much as possible, you are likely to see great results. Busy professionals looking for a quick lunch break will see your ads, see that you offer quicker service, and be busting down your door for a speedy meal.
Build an amazing website
Many quick service restaurants, especially since 2020, have increasingly relied on online orders as a major component of their sales. If your restaurant offers online ordering, it is absolutely essential that you invest the time and resources to make sure you have a fantastic website. You don’t want to lose out on potential sales because your site is moving too slow, is clunky, or people can’t figure out how to place their order. It can be expensive and time consuming, but investing in a fast, easy-to-navigate, and clean-looking website is absolutely worth it. If any portion of your sales relies on online ordering, you’ll want to dedicate some effort to sprucing up your website right away.
Stay active with digital marketing
Last but certainly not least, to make sure your quick service restaurant is as successful as it can be, you’ll want to be sure you’re staying active with digital marketing. Don’t let your presence on social media or third-party websites like Yelp slip just because you are busy. Posting consistently, running ads on sites like Facebook and Google, and keeping your digital presence as strong as possible will benefit your restaurant greatly.
If people are looking for a quick meal, they probably also want their search on the web to find it to be quick and easy. You’ll want to make sure your efforts are helping people find your restaurant quickly by showing up in search results, clearly describing your offerings, and having a presence in as many spots digitally as possible.
With the 5 tricks above, your quick service restaurant will be able to really make the most of digital marketing and be on the fast track toward success. If you need help with any digital marketing needs for your quick service restaurant, feel free to reach out for a free consultation.