Restaurant management is not for the faint-hearted. With a new establishment flaunting itself on every corner, competition can be somewhat rife. Your dishes may be exquisite and your atmosphere delightful – but if you don’t market yourself productively, you could lose your patrons to the neighbour next door.
From coffee shop marketing to eloquently advertising your Michelin star restaurant, deploying the correct advertising techniques is what will draw in the next generations – ensuring that you always have tables to serve.
Did you know?
According to Brandon Gaille , 40% of individuals learn about food through digital methods, such as websites, blogs, and mobile apps.
This statistic is expected to increase in the future.
For the next 50 years, millennials will make up a huge portion of your target audience with Generation Z following close behind. The two generations show proximate similarities and if you pay attention to what these folks want or expect from the service industry – then your marketing efforts are halfway there.
Three Things You Need to Know About Millennials
- They value opinions. Millennials can Google their hearts out. But when it comes to “sealing the deal”, they value opinions the most.This is why word-of-mouth recommendations, online reviews and social media comments are going to continue to sky-rocket in importance.
- They judge your credibility based on your online presence. A website is a great starting point but if you are not on social media, well, do you even exist? Restaurants that do not have active Facebook or Instagram profiles seem questionable to millennials and they might just doubt your authenticity.
- They love brands that support their causes. Millennials tend to be very proactive when it comes to social responsibility. Many direct their attention to brands and businesses that share their passions. So, if you support any causes or host fundraisers, you’re going to want to let your customers know about it. If you don’t support any causes, now’s the time to start.
It’s clear that the future of marketing will be built on digital grounds while considering the emotions behind human expectations. It will be even more imperative for restaurants to have an engaging social media presence where good reviews are regarded as valuable as solid gold. At the same time, creditability and transparency should form the backbone of every marketing campaign.
The Future of Digital Marketing for Restaurants
Now that we have some insight into what future patrons will expect from the food industry – the question is – what type of targeted marketing will cater to their needs?
We’ve already established that digital advertising is the way to go. But with technology evolving so rapidly, it’s important that you keep up to date with the up-and-coming trends so that you don’t fall off the wagon.
Here’s our researched list of future marketing trends:
Gone are the days where marketing was a one-way method of communication. With the onset of digital marketing, businesses can now receive invaluable feedback from their audiences. Measurable marketing techniques can include:
- Facebook Advertising
- Wi-Fi Marketing
- Digital Ordering
- Digital Menus
By applying each of these strategies, you not only create ways to continuously market yourself but you also get to collect the data on your patrons’ trends. This data can be used to perfect customer satisfaction and refine future marketing efforts even further.
Localised marketing is not only based on a restaurants target area. It also taps into the expectations of the individuals in that location. Using the information gathered from measurable marketing, restaurants can support causes that the locals tend to navigate towards.
As a current example, you could advertise your vegan, gluten-free, and organic meal options or you could turn your restaurant into a plastic-free zone.
Another hit of the future lies in charity fundraisers and community support. In this regard, small restaurants have an advantage over larger chains. They have the ability to position themselves as an integral part of the local fabric. This means that they can effectively structure themselves to be a friendly and familiar face within the community.
By implementing these “causes” into your marketing campaign, you will be satisfying your patrons before they even step through your doors.
Personalisation within the restaurant industry will focus on digital menus. This will streamline the ordering process and act as a platform for uniquely targeted advertising. Like measurable marketing, it will also help restaurants to gather the data they need to create dishes and menus that are personalised to individual tastes and dietary requirements.
Past trends will be saved and automatically adapted for the next dish recommendation. Ultimately, this will improve taste, customisation, and patron satisfaction.
Customer Loyalty Programmes
Loyalty programs are no new invention. Gone are the days where clipped coupons find their way to the recycling bin. Future loyalty initiatives are now joining the digital revolution. Next-generation restaurants are using Smartphone technology and web-based applications to maintain a large and insightful customer database.
Essentially, Loyalty Programmes are a friendly way of asking patrons for their personal details. In exchange for certain perks (like free meals), customers agree to your marketing terms. Loyalty systems are currently being developed to send targeted and automated marketing emails, text messages, and push notifications directly to the customers on a database. This creates a cost-effective, streamlined, and customised marketing campaign that hits the nail on the head.
Marketing a restaurant with the right combination of trends and strategies stands second to none in making a business successful. By staying one step ahead of your customers and patrons, you will not only meet their expectations but you will also have the ability to market effectively. And in case you didn’t know – the future starts now!