The restaurant space has been particularly dynamic in 2022, with rising in-person demand coming off the pandemic and headwinds from supply chain shortages and staffing challenges.
Thus, restaurants are in a unique position to market themselves in a way to support their customer retention efforts and stand out from competitors, while keeping internal operations running smoothly.
So, let’s take a look at some of the top restaurant marketing trends we’ve observed so far this year that any restaurant can capitalize on.
It’s no secret that third-party food delivery apps exploded in popularity over the pandemic. It’s even been noted that the food delivery market is set to top $190 billion by 2025!
Therefore, online ordering is an important element for any restaurant owner today. Every restaurant should be compatible with at least some online food delivery platforms, not limited to Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates.
Expanding these ordering capabilities has to the potential to boost brand recognition and customer loyalty. So, this can be a very worthwhile addition for restaurants, though they need to ensure they have the capacity to take on extra orders, and limit the amount of online orders they can take in accordingly.
After all, customer expectations for restaurants continue to increase, so restaurants should make sure online ordering occurs seamlessly, otherwise it could have the opposite effect on their reputation.
Nowadays, all businesses need to have an online presence and digital marketing strategy, including restaurants. Even the baseline of having a good website up and running is a good start–after all, 77% of diners reported checking a restaurant’s website before they visited it.
Thus, it’s clear to see that having a quality website with detailed and up-to-date information on hours of operation, menus, phone number, and other exciting details or promotions can have positive implications on a restaurant’s customer retention and traffic.
The main pillar of reputation management is building trust with your audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. With restaurant management, this can be particularly important, given how competitive the field has become. Therefore, it’s highly necessary to maintain a good reputation, otherwise you could lose valuable customers to the next best business.
There are a number of ways that restaurants today can execute reputation management, including:
- Promoting positive reviews
- Leveraging influencer marketing
- Curating a community on social media
Thus, collecting customer testimonials and displaying them on your website can be a good idea, or even inviting influencers to visit your restaurant and review it on their page. There are many ways to do modern reputation management for restaurants, so be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid to venture out and try something new.
Visibility on Google
Being visible on Google is a crucial element for restaurants, especially those that are competing in the local market and don’t have a nationwide presence or brand recognition.
Having your restaurant appear on Google Maps and local search results will make it easier for those in the community and visitors or tourists to find your restaurant. Plus, it’s also where other key information like your phone number, ordering links, social pages, operating hours, and reviews can show up to make your restaurant appear even more legitimate.
Personalization continues to be a highly-utilized marketing tool. No matter whether you’re visiting a website online or going to a restaurant in-person, it feels nice to have a personalized experience that is relevant to you and your interests.
Because of this, Forbes noted that 70% of consumers have a negative reaction to experiences that aren’t personalized. So, it’s important to incorporate personalization elements where possible in order to boost customer retention and brand loyalty.
In restaurant marketing, personalization can look like:
- Remembering customer preferences from their last visit
- Targeted content online
- Loyalty programs
- Email marketing
- And more
The rise of social media has dominated the past decade of the internet, and it doesn’t show signs of going anywhere anytime soon. Just as one platform seems to die off, another rises up to absorb the other’s users.
Right now, the rise in TikTok is proving to be a particularly interesting trend, especially when it comes to marketing towards the younger crowd. Regardless, studies show that 82% of Americans have social media, so it’s not just Gen Z and Millennials who can be targeted with social media strategies.
Nowadays, social media is a very valuable place for restaurants to communicate with their customers, and allows restaurants to market events and promotions, collect customer data, and build up their brand recognition in a meaningful way.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, can be a great way to earn online search results and get the name of your business out there. Optimizing your website for SEO impacts how high up in the search results your business will appear, which can be a great way to help stand out from your local competitors.
If you run one of the four pizza places in your town, how can you ensure that when someone searches “pizza place + name of your city” in Google, your restaurant will be the first to pop up? SEO, that’s how.
So between better brand awareness and the potential for increased traffic, there are a lot of great reasons why you would want to consult with a professional to boost the SEO of your website.
Final Thoughts: Restaurant Marketing Trends for the Rest of 2022
Looking ahead, many of these restaurant marketing trends will continue to dominate the rest of 2022. Particularly, the focus on reputation management and third-party delivery apps will remain a big part of restaurant’s marketing strategies. Even still, each restaurant understands their customer base best and what they respond to.
And for a revolutionary way to improve your customer retention and reputation management, look no further than Retention 360. Our platform helps you monitor customer experience, respond to situations in real-time, and gain actionable insights that can drive your overall strategy.
Visit Retention 360 today to request a free demo.