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When you’re running a restaurant, great food and a positive experience are surefire ways to leave your customers happy and hungry for more, but they can be wasted efforts if your marketing isn’t up to speed. Making sure you’re doing everything you can to compliment customers in-house-experience can seem like a daunting task, but we’re here with some tips and tricks to hold your hand.
First, think about where your restaurant should position itself in the industry. Is your food great for niche diets? Vegetarian friendly? Kid friendly? Quick and easy? Elegant and time consuming? Whatever it may be, it’s important to understand your restaurants market positioning in order to advertise efficiently to an appropriate target audience. Online advertising platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter can help you create geo-targeted ads to ensure you’re getting your ads in front of your most worthwhile customers.
Once you’ve thought about your brand’s identity and customer targeting strategy, make sure the website you’re driving them to is on the same page. Use your website to showcase your best dishes, tell your story, and provide easy access to helpful information like hours of operation, locations, phone numbers, and menus! Nobody likes a restaurant website that makes it difficult to find the menu, so don’t be that restaurant.
Now, let’s talk social media, and let’s talk aesthetics. Foodies may actually be taking over the world, one photo of a perfectly balanced plate at a time. Don’t be intimidated, get involved! Use your social media pages to feature signature dishes and behind the scenes action, but do so professionally. Make sure you’re using high-quality photography, tagging your location, and getting creative with captions and hashtags to boost your exposure. Using social media to engage with customers is a great way to humanize your brand while promoting business, so think about initiating give-a-ways and promotions through social media to encourage brand engagement.
On social media, you can time tweets to post around lunchtime, add and connect with a hashtag that’s on brand with your food inspiration, or even post stories of behind the scenes in your kitchen. Using email marketing is also really valuable for remarketing purposes. The occasional email campaign to promote a new featured dish or seasonal menu change can keep your restaurant on the minds of its hungry customers. The possibilities are endless, but the bottom line is social media is great for connecting with your target audience and engaging with the community around you.
Evening uttering the word, Yelp, can trigger a lot of fear in the restaurant world, but it’s important to recognize the positive power it really has. Managing your Yelp profile consistently and responding to guest feedback both negative and positive helps promote transparency in your brand, so don’t forget to stay on top of it. Customer feedback can help your business evolve and grow to succeed, so use it wisely.
Lastly, involving your restaurant in the community that it operates within can not only garner a lot of positive light, but it can help you further understand and cater to the customers that make it possible. Sourcing ingredients from local vendors is great for the environment and your local community, and demonstrating a commitment to these things can really set you apart from competition.