Marketing your Restaurant can be maddening, especially when it doesn’t appear to be working. Not everything is trackable and measurable. Not everything is going to work right away, and not everything is going to work in the long run.
Despite all that, here’s a list of 3 things you can do this month to market your restaurant.
1. 3D Virtual Tour
Matterport and Google Photographers can offer 3D virtual tours. Here’s the difference. Matterport 3D Tours can be embedded on your website, or on a website hosted by Matterport. Matterport 3D tours can have “checkpoints” in the video where you can insert other media, like still images, or a video, etc. This means you can do a tour of your restaurant, and at the hostess stand, you can insert a video of a host or hostess giving a warm welcome. On to the seating, you can insert a photo of a group of people enjoying a meal together. When you get to the kitchen you can insert a video of a tour of the kitchen by your head chef.
Google 3D photography is great because it ties into your google my business listing. Under “Street View and 360”, guests can take a virtual tour of your restaurant. A 2 story building will have an option to navigate to story 1 or story 2. Here’s an example of a 360-degree virtual tour of a restaurant.
We started the photography at 5am in order to finish the shoot before breakfast started, and the views were breathtaking as a result.
Here’s the great news, Matterport is working on integrating with google to bring your Matterport 360-degree virtual tours into the google my business listings! This means you don’t have to choose one over the other, Matterport can do both! Also, if you have multiple concepts you should consider buying a Matterport 3D camera for your business, it costs around $4,500 to own and you would no longer need to pay the fee to have someone else come and shoot your locations. It’s very simple to use, and tuns off of an iPad app.
2. Send out an email
Even if the only list you have is your own personal contacts, just send it! Email is still the #1 revenue-generating online marketing tool. The masses all have an inbox. And they scroll through it like a Facebook feed from time to time. Even if all you can do is just write an email from your personal account, and send it to everyone you know, then just do that!
Here’s what you need to talk about:
- Lunch entree specials
- Drink specials
- Dessert specials
Many big chains have a pattern of offering a BOGO or BOGO 1/2 off lunch entree, a free drink with entree purchase, or a free dessert with entree purchase, either on a specific day, or 1 time with coupon or both.
You can use your own inbox, or you can create a free account at any of the bazillion newsletter companies, such as Mailchimp and Reachmail. If you use another company, you have to bring your own list. If you don’t have a list, you can buy one. Buying a list is a little bit like buying drugs. It’s somewhat prohibited, it’s not always advantageous, it rarely works out as you imagined.
The ideal setup, the one we recommend, is adding a newsletter signup form to your website, and having those entries go into your Mailchimp account, into a specific list. This list WILL GROW ON ITS OWN.
To give you a vision for what it can do, we grew a list from 6,000 to 18,000 in about a year. Then we sent, on a Thursday, an offer for kids to eat free this weekend, with 2 accompanying adults. This created a sense of urgency and a huge perceived value. We generated a significant amount of revenue. It was essentially a $3 off coupon, with the purchase of 2 entrees. At a $30/guest ticket average, it was definitely a huge success.
3. Online Ordering
This is a BIG DEAL thing right now. Everybody wants to be able to order online. Whether it’s or delivery, curbside, or walk in and pick up, everybody wants to order ahead, online. But let’s look at the practical side of this.
- Money – how is payment processed, and who gets it?
- Notification – who gets notified, how does your kitchen now a new order has been placed?
- Timing – What if the order comes in at noon, but the pickup time is set for 4? Who’s gonna remember to start cooking at 3:50?
Let’s break this down. Essentially the last 2 are the same problem from a technical standpoint, and the money is fairly simple. So let’s start with the money. It’s always a credit card, so it’s a matter of credit card processing. Credit card processing online is the same as in-person with very few exceptions, (fraud rate is way higher so fees are usually higher) the money goes into the bank. So in order to make online ordering work for you, you need a system that can notify your staff of both new orders, and of when to start new orders, as well as a system that processes payments.
If you can integrate this online ordering system with your POS, then you’ve got something you can work with. Getting this set up requires a significant amount of information, puzzle piecing, and logic. There are a few shortcuts that may make it a simple process. Enter Heartland. Heartland is a credit card processing company that has a “heart” (lol) for restaurants. They actually offer far more marketing tools for restaurants than most cc processing companies, and I love that. 714Web has had an ongoing relationship with Heartland for almost a decade now, and we have watched them grow their tech, web tools, etc to a point where we don’t see why a restaurant wouldn’t work with them over any other cc processor. They truly are restaurant specialists in their field.
Heartland offers an online ordering system that integrates with most POS systems. If you’re interested in that, let us know, we can help get you set up, quickly.
So that wraps it, 3 things you can do THIS MONTH to market your restaurant. Hope you enjoyed it! See you next time!!!
From 2011 until 2014, Chuck developed 714Web as a freelancer, making websites for local non-profits, churches, and various small businesses. In 2014, 714Web grew into an agency with staff and larger projects, branching out across the country. With a focus on sales and account management growth, he has helped 714Web grow to a 7 figure Digital Marketing Agency with over 250 websites hosted, and over 300 accounts as of 2023. Read more...