The Fearless Marketer

Restaurant Lead Magnet

Have you ever wondered why some Restaurants are so darn successful while others seem to struggle? Well, the reason for this is,...

Have you ever wondered why some Restaurants are so darn successful while others seem to struggle? Well, the reason for this is, they have more customers than you do. It’s not that their food is better, and it’s not that their location is more accessible or their prices are better. They just focus on getting more customers than you do. Let’s face it, isn’t that the reason you got into business in the first place; to serve customers? Of course, it is!

Building a new customer base doesn’t have to be an exhausting effort, but it does require some focus and action in order to achieve the desired result. The days of hanging a sign above your front door and having a pretty looking menu are not enough anymore. You need to be focused on what customers need are, and how they need it.

We live in a world of expediency. it’s a fast-paced environment where no one has time for anything. Even you, from the time you open your restaurant in the morning to the time you go home at night, you’re on the move. This isn’t just your life, this is everyone’s life.

So how does any of this relate to making a busier restaurant. How can this insight build a clientele of loyal customers?

Marketing is the answer. We live in a world where the average person logs into their Facebook account before they kiss their wife in the morning. Where email and smartphones are the preferred method of communication. Where social reviews on the Internet are considered the gospel truth.

If marketing is not on your menu, then you need to reconsider how your business will succeed. Think about it, every restaurant in the world offers the Best food, the Best prices, the Best ambience and the Friendliest staff. That’s nothing new. The most successful restaurants in the world focus on the customer.

In this checklist below I have provided you with 10 of the most powerful methods for driving more customers. Each one of these will have an impact on your business. You don’t have to do them all, but you need to do some in order to see results. Now I’m not promising that if you do one or all that your business will flourish. the key with marketing is consistency and understanding your customer.

BONUS INTEL: in the list of suggestions below I have structured them in a way that  they’re not going to cost you a single penny. All of the prep that you do is all based on time and effort. obviously though, Facebook and other social media platforms don’t work for free so there may be a nominal charge for placing ads or using specific software’s. this will be outlined in the sections below.

BTW… Read this to the end and I will provide you with a bonus step that will absolutely blow your mind.

 

Social Advertising

As I mentioned before when people wake up in the morning the first thing they do is check their phone. They log into Facebook and Instagram to see who’s talking about who. Producing a series of small ads and having those directed to people living in the area of your restaurant Is a step in the right direction. Offer a lunch special or maybe a dinner for two specials. Offer a takeout promotion or what about a late-night snack.

 

Today, social media platforms offer a variety of tools that you can use to determine who your best customer is. You can sort by geography. Income, gender, lifestyle, and a huge variety of other demographics. Be careful though, you don’t want to make the list too big.

 

Make your content engaging, make it fun. Take a picture of what you’re cooking that day and put it on the ad. Try to appeal to your ideal customer. What do they like. What do they like to eat. How do they like to eat it; dine-in or take out. Remember, people buy when it feels good. Just make them feel good about coming to your restaurant.

 

COST

All social media platforms offer great software for creating your ads and is absolutely free to use. As far as images are concerned, this can be done using your mobile phone. Today, most smartphones include software to optimize your images. Now, the only cost left is placing the ad. this can range in price depending on how you organize your demographics. the cost in general is pretty low and you only pay when someone clicks on the ad.

 

Secret # 1

Use a witty or an emotional driven headline that is going to grab the viewers attention. Just like in the newspaper the headline is the first thing that everyone looks at. If they like your headline, then they may continue viewing your and clicking on your ad.

 

 

 

 

Secret # 2

When someone clicks on your ad, send them to a simple landing page where they can really see what you have to offer. Then give them a special deal only to those people who fill out a simple form with their first name and email address.

 

E-mail Marketing

 

In 2022, it is estimated that over 90% of Internet users currently hold an email account for private or business purposes. There is a staggering 293.6 billion emails sent each day, that is the power of email. Email is and probably always will be the number one source of communication in the world.

 

So how can you leverage email marketing with your business? For starters you’re now collecting email addresses from everyone who clicks on your ads which we discussed in the previous section.

 

You hear people talking on the Internet all the time about building your list. The list they’re talking about is their list of email addresses. There are a number of ways to collect email addresses.

 

  • In store QR code
  • Filling out forms online
  • Co-op marketing
  • Referrals
  • Print media… and the list is endless

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s talk about what to write. Your emails should be friendly and engaging, just like the way you talk to your spouse our good friend (hopefully). Just be natural, be authentic and be clear as to what it is that you want them to do.

The second thing is to deliver Real Value. You need to give people a good reason for coming to your restaurant. Ask yourself, what would it take for me to want to visit a restaurant I’ve never been to before. Maybe it’s a free cup of coffee, maybe it’s a discount on your first take out order. whatever it is that you’re offering make it something that they would want just as much as you do. That is how you deliver value

Lastly, is the “Call to Action”. the call to action is what you want them to do next. Example, click here to get a promotion code for a free cup of coffee. order your breakfast now and get 15% off your order. these are just some examples of what you can use or create some unique CTA’s of your own.

Ideally, you want to be emailing your list 3 to 4 times per week minimum. my suggestion would be to write your emails ahead of time and use an automated software like MailChimp or Miller Lite to deliver them on schedule for you. both of these software’s are free to start, but they do charge when your list starts to grow. both of these software’s offer great analytics so you can see how many people open your emails etc.

COST
The cost involved in preparing emails is zero. It’s just going to be the time it takes for you to write engaging and value driven copy. The only other cost will be for the software needed to send your emails. Honestly, the cost is just pennies and only when you have built a list of over 500 to 1000 subscribers. To get you started the entire process is free.

Secret # 1
 Just like a headline in an ad, the subject line in an email is just as important. This is where you really need to grab their attention. If the subject line does not get their attention, they will never open it and read it. Don’t be afraid to knock your socks off

Secret # 2
Personalizing your emails is so important. Address people by using their first name. Studies have shown that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than without.

Update Website

 

Do you have a website and if you do when was the last time it was updated? Your website should be your best salesperson. It works 24 hours a day 365 days a year, it never takes breaks and never ask for time off. Your website should be the hub of your customer communication network.

 

First of all, if you don’t have a website, Create One! it doesn’t have to be something huge or elaborate. it can be as simple as a one-page site. As long as it has all the information that the customer needs to make a conscious decision where they want to eat.

 

 

If you already have a website, then when was the last time it was updated. Your website should be updated weekly. providing new offers and more benefits to eating at your establishment. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to redesign the site every week. Just update your specials, your promotions, your menu etc. People don’t want to come back to visit the same old website all the time. They want to know the next time they visit they will see something new. This is what keeps people coming back.

 

Cost

You don’t have to spend a lot of money either; you can get a website created for as low as $500.00. If that amount is out of your budget, then there are some free tools that you can use. Both MailChimp and Mailer Lite offer free website building tools. You can sign up for a free account and have access to those tools right away.

 

 

Secret # 1

Make your website from an exciting. no one wants to come to a website that looks drab and boring. show images of happy customers and images of happy staff. Customers want to come to a restaurant that has vibe. They also want good food.

 

Secret # 2

Put your Reviews on your website. Wants to see social proof before they decide to eat at your restaurant. I know what you’re going to say, they can see my views on Google. that is not enough. Your reviews need to be seen everywhere And buy as many people as possible. people want to feel comfortable but they’re making the right decision.

 

Contest

 

Have you ever thought about running a contest? Contests are great way to get people just subscribe to your email list and also to follow you on social media. What I like to do when running a contest is to get the contestants to share the link with their following on social media and through email. this really creates a great buzz for your business.

 

I usually recommend my clients to build up their email list to a couple of hundred before starting. this way they have a base to start with. the people you email regularly are usually more apt to help get the word out.

 

to start, you need to figure out what the grand prize is going to be. you can make it relatable to your business by giving away a free dinner or you could make it something more elaborate like giving away a knapsack or some other gift that has some perceived value. All in all, it needs to be something that your audience will want.

 

Once you decided the grand prize, now you would need to select the software that is going to maintain your contest. There are several available starting from $100 to $500. I tend to lean more towards the $100 software personally. I like to use Big Sumo.

 

The next step is going to be creating an ad enticing people to sgn up for your contest and share it with others. If you manage to put together the right ad, the result you’ll see will be absolutely amazing. your email list is going to build like never before. But it doesn’t stop there. now you have to start emailing these people to get them to visit your restaurant. just like in the section on email marketing send them promotions, Free delivery, discount coupons etc. this may seem like a lot of work, but if it gets people in your restaurant, it is well worth it.

 

Now run your contest for a specific period of time. No less than 14 days and no more than 30. at the end of the prescribed Select your winners from the data available in your software and that’s it. I should also mention, make sure let you post your winners on all your platforms. Your website, social media, email etc.

 

Cost

Aside from the cost of the software required to maintain and promote your contest, the only other cost involved would be your ad spend. Once again, the cost per click will depend on how you target your audience and what medium you will use. Both Facebook and Instagram seem to get the best results.

 

Secret # 1

Make sure that your grand prize is something worth having. don’t cheap out. You only have to give away one so make it something that people are going to want to have. the more enticing the grand prize is, the more successful your contest will be. A good price point is something that has an intrinsic value are between $100.00 and $200.00.

 

Secret # 2

Think about having 2nd place and 3rd place winners. Maybe a dinner for two at your restaurant or possibly a free bottle of wine with their next visit. it doesn’t have to be anything huge, just recognizing the people that helped make your contest a success.

 

Secret # 3

Offer a discount coupon or promotion code to every single person that enters and shares your contest. These people are your customers and potential Customers. Allow them to feel appreciated.

 

 

SMS Marketing

 

The synonym of SMS means short message service or in simpler terms text messaging. Everyone today is texting. so how can we make texting a part of your business communication. Imagine if you had a list of steady customers cell phone numbers and imagine if you could text them your daily specials with the click of a button. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this section.

 

In previous sections we’ve talked about forms and even a little bit about QR codes. this is how you get people to agree to receiving texts from you. when someone scans your QR code they will be added to your SMS list. the same rule applies when someone fills out a form on your website or landing page. they will be given the opportunity to click a check box so that they can be notified of special promotions through text.

 

You will however require a service to manage your texting. you see it would take you forever in a day to text everybody on your list one by one from your phone. Where a service will send out all your text messages at once. I’ve used SMS messaging on several occasions and found that Text Magic and Twillio are great solutions. now I have to tell you, they’re not cheap. They charge for every text message that you send, but the solution is awesome.

 

Just imagine if you were able to gather information from your customers about their favorite foods, Their favorite wines or cocktails. when their birthdays or anniversaries are. Maybe their children’s names and their birthdays. and let’s say that we you knew all your customers my first name. what would that do for your business. Well, that is all a possibility when you use SMS marketing and other tools in your marketing arsenal.

 

Cost

Although I have used Text Magic and Twilio in the past and have found both solutions to be reliable. The cost of using these services are only pennies per text. That being said, the cost of texting will mount up quickly Depending on the size of your list. I would highly suggest that if you don’t have a budget of $500 to spend, then I would wait on developing this process.

 

Secret # 1

Instead of allowing your customer to see a text that says you are receiving in text message from XYZ restaurant. make your texts fun and engaging. say something like “Hey John, It was nice to see you the other night with your wife Nancy. so glad that you enjoyed the meal. I just want to let you know that we have a special on for lunch today, “Click here to see what’s on the menu”. Now that’s an engaging text.

 

Secret # 2

In Canada as well as the USA, it is against the law to text someone that has not agreed to receiving texts from you. So if you’re thinking I’m going through your contact list on your phone and using those numbers I would highly recommend but you do not do that. An easier way would be to call your contact and send them an email with a link to your landing page or website. once they agree in the form to receive text messages from your business then they can be added to your list that way. Don’t try to cut corners, the fines are severe.

 

Video

 

Video!!! Who can afford video? Well, you can! That’s right, if you have a smartphone with a camera, then you are a videographer. As a matter of fact, most smartphones today have editing software built right in. You can create your own videos and post them for all your customers to see.

 

Video is a great way to show off what’s best about your restaurant. you could show the food, the prep and the quality of the ingredients. You could show your live entertainment, birthday parties or speed of your take out. It’s all up to you and your imagination.

 

Did you know that people watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week and according to Google 1.67 billion users worldwide we’re watching video content on their mobile phones? So, what does that mean? It means that video is the best way to get peoples attention. Did you also know but you can host your videos for free on YouTube?

 

Post your videos on all of your marketing platforms. if you’re looking for content for your social media platform, use video. Use video in your email contact, send them to your customers via SMS, post them on your website. if you don’t already have a TV set in your restaurant then go to Best Buy and buy one on sale. create a video with all your best offerings and show it to everyone in your restaurant or takeout area.

 

When you think promotion, think video. and yes, you can hire a professional videographer to come in and do it for you and the cost may vary between $500.00 to $20,000.00 depending on what you’re looking for. My suggestion is always just start home first. That way you can share your ideas on what you think would be best for your business.

 

Cost

The DIY process is the best way I know to start. If you own a smartphone, then the cost is zero. Create a YouTube channel for your business and you can host your videos for free. The only cost you have is the time it takes to imagine, create, edit and upload. Of course, if you wish to include your videos in your ads and promote them on social media, there will be a cost for that. As discussed before, Facebook and Instagram don’t work for free.

 

Secret # 1

Keep your videos short. 15 to 20 seconds. You’re not creating a documentary or a motion picture. Besides people don’t have time or interest in watching lengthy videos about your business, Just get to the point and show them exactly what you want them to see.

 

Secret # 2

Get creative you can utilize text and images in your videos. this is also a great place to put a button as a call to action at the end of your video. you can use sound effects and background music to really make your video come to life. Remember the more creative you are the more interesting your videos will become.

 

Secret # 3
Practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the better your videos will become. Don’t judge your first attempt and say this doesn’t look good. Everyone’s first videos have things that they don’t like. Don’t worry about it, just keep shooting video. Besides I’ve been told that amateur videos seem to get more hits than professional ones do.

 

Update Google My Business

 

This is an area that people seem to forget about and as a matter of fact it’s one of the most important parts up your marketing communications. Most companies set up there Google My Business and forget about it. This is a big mistake.

 

Think about your Google My Business as how many website. When set up properly it provides all the information people need To choose your restaurant and how to get there. It provides a phone number and the pictures. it can show videos and reviews. it can even rank you for SEO (search engine optimization)/

 

If you’re seriously concerned about the health of your restaurant, then paying attention to your Google My Business should be a first priority. Google makes it really easy. Just log into your Google account, navigate over to Google My Business and fill out the form but they provide in its entirety. Don’t miss a section or say I’ll come back to that later, because you probably never will. Make sure that it’s filled out to the best of your ability.

 

Next, we need to come back to this form every single week with fresh new content. I mean new pictures, videos, written content etc. I have found the best way to accomplish this is to put the action on my calendar. Set aside 15 or 20 minutes per week to get this done. The number of new customers that you will get from this will be outstanding.

 

Secret # 1

Ask your customers for reviews. Social proof or customer reviews are the best way to drive new customers to your restaurant. ask your customers when they’re checking out if they would write a review for you. I’ve even had clients print surveys that be customer fills out which include their name, phone number, and email. Then you can send him a text or an email requesting a review with the link to your Google My Business.

 

Secret # 2

Don’t forget to set up Bing Places for Business and also on Yelp. Much the same as Google My Business, Bing and Yelp offer the same services. By having your business information set up on all three accounts increases your chances of getting more new customers.

 

Reviews

 

Building good reviews from your customers tells the world that your restaurant is a place to try out. the first thing people do when they go to your social media or your Google My Business is look for reviews. The more positive reviews could you get, the more people are inclined to visit your restaurant.

 

As I mentioned in the last section there are many ways to get customer reviews. Aside from asking for a review at checkout we’re having your server provide a handwritten survey that requests a review here is some other ideas that you can use.

 

  • Provide a link on your website
  • Offer a free coffee or a free dessert for providing a review
  • Request for review on social media
  • Send an email requesting a review
  • Send a text when they leave your restaurant
  • Request a review on Google. Bing or Yelp

 

You may want to consider making it even easier for your customer to review your restaurant. You do this by providing some pointers that they can use. on a scale of 1 to 5 how did you enjoy the meal. On a scale of 1 to 5 how is the price. On a scale of 1 to 5 how is the service. You get the idea. When somebody agrees to providing a review just hand them your pointers on a printed card. I usually recommend that one side has the pointers and on the other side has your company name, phone number and address. it may seem like a lot of extra work, but good reviews will make your business and no reviews can break it.

Everyone that works in your restaurant should be responsible for asking for reviews. From your Hostess, Servers and Check Out person, everyone needs to be asking for reviews. It’s a well-known fact but if you ask people for their opinion, they will be happy to give it.

 

 

Secret # 1
When you ask for a review and the customer is not happy you then have the opportunity to rectify the situation immediately. It’s always better to resolve a customer’s issues before they leave the restaurant then after. You always want to limit as many bad reviews as possible.

Secret # 2
Ask your customer to post their reviews on several platforms. It is a simple copy and paste for the customer. Maybe offer him or her a coffee to go for their assistance, Good customer relations is always a good practice.

Update FB Page

When was the last time you updated your Facebook page? This is a practice that should be done every week. Make sure that your menu is up-to-date, new images are posted etc.

 

I always recommend that you check on Google and Bing to see how you’re ranking. Simply open a browser and type in the name of your restaurant and see where it shows up on the page. It should be on Page 1. If it’s not, you need to have a serious look why its not. A good suggestion would be to see what keywords that you can rank for and add those to a vanity URL in Facebook. You can search out the best keywords using a free application called keywords everywhere and you can find out more information about Facebook vanity URLs by searching the net.

 

You should be posting on Facebook every single day. As a matter of fact, you should be posting on all the social platforms that you’re associated with. I’m sure that every day there is something new and exciting going on in your place of business. Show that to your audience. If you don’t have time to do it personally, then have one or two of your staff members post for you. Every day there should be new videos and new content inspiring your audience to visit your restaurant. What is your daily special, what does it look like, how much does it cost? Let’s face it, you have gone to all of trouble to develop a following on social media, don’t ignore them.

 

Finally, have a look at your call to action. Is your business easily accessible through social media? What I mean is, do you have a button that allows people to place an order or maybe a phone number link so customers can call directly from your Facebook or Instagram page. The more accessible you are for your customers, The more they will use the accessibility.

 

As I mentioned before, it’s always a good idea have a couple of people posting every day. Allow them to have the freedom to be creative. They can post their own personal experiences, funny antidotes, interesting relationships etc. Of course, any and all posts need to be purposed towards the restaurant.

 

Secret # 1
When you or one of your staff create a great post, boost it. Boosting is a cost-effective way to get your posts viewed by more people. The way to tell if you’ve got a great post is when you start getting a lot of likes, shares, and comments on your post. Boosting doesn’t just show your post you’re following but will show it to their friends and following as well.

 

Secret # 2
When people engage with you or comment on your posts be responsive. Start a conversation. The Facebook algorithm pays close attention to your post engagements. The more engagement you have, the more the Facebook algorithm will present your post to other people that have the same interest.

 

 

Value Added Content

 

Both Google and Bing absolutely love value added content. This is content that has a purpose. It is unique content, either written, video or audio that has a specific use for your audience. In the restaurant business, you can provide people with your favorite recipes or create videos that shows your audience how to mix interesting cocktails.

 

Your content can be shared right across the Internet, but you do require a platform to work from. Put a lot of companies to do is creative blog. A Blog is a place on your website where you can share ideas, stories, videos or any other form of media that you choose. Then you can share the link with your following through social media, email, SMS etc.

 

When the major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo start reviewing And ranking your blog new visitors will start appearing. As discussed in previous sections the more engagement that you received for your content the more of the search engines will rank your contact Getting you closer and closer to Page 1.

 

Aside from all the search engine benefits, this process is designed to really engage your target audience. In other words, your customers. Think about it, if you have a friend and you offer him or her information or recommend a video that they could use to help improve their life, don’t you think they’ll be appreciative of that? Of course, they will be, and so will your customers.

 

Just sit down quietly with a pad and pen and start making a list of the things that you could help your customers with. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

 

  • Your favorite recipes
  • Mixing Amazing Cocktails
  • How to barbecue
  • prepping vegetables
  • Using quality ingredients
  • Hosting dinner parties with a theme
  • Home catering events
  • What spices to use and when to use them

Now this is just a short list to get you started. I’m sure he can think of thousands I wonder what ideas you could share with your customers. Here’s a tip, DIY (Do it yourself) is a great way to get engagement. a lot of times people well comment or even phonier to get more details. The more engagement, and the more assistance that you provide Will result in a more loyal customer base prior restaurant.

Secret # 1
 Keep your content friendly. Here is a tip but it served me well and the 42 years I have been in market. Don’t talk at your audience, talk to them. I see this all the time in blogs and videos where the narrator speaks at the person. The best way to reach every is to speak with them in a friendly personal Manner. I always try to keep it as much as possible like a conversation, even if it is one sided.

Secret # 2
Be direct and to the point. If you’re going to show someone how to bake a cake or how to mix a cocktail, then that is what you should do. People get offended when you say you’re going to do one thing and then try to do something else. Like, click my link to get… Or join my team and get… Or sign up for my blank… I consider these all distractions from the point you’re trying to make and as a result your audience well normally click away or leave a nasty comment

 

 

Birthday Promotion

Who doesn’t love their birthday, seriously everyone gets one and everyone loves to celebrate it? Including me. Hence the words, Happy Birthday. So why not make an offer to everyone in your local area that is having a birthday?

Did you know that Facebook keeps track of everyone’s birthday? That’s right they do. Did you also know that you have access to that information? That’s right, you do. Did you also know that you could create an ad with an offer and send it to everyone who is having a birthday today, this week, or this month? Well, you can and it’s not that hard to do.

Personally, I like to use Facebook, but I’m sure that other social media platforms have similar programs. So here is the overview. The first thing I would do is figure out what the offer should be. It can really be anything, but here are some suggestions.

  • 15% off…
  • Free Birthday Breakfast (just like Denny’s)
  • 2 Can Dine for…
  • Free Birthday Cake or Birthday Muffin
  • Free Birthday Photo
  • Free Coupon Book (for your Restaurant)

The important thing about creating an offer is to make sure that it is something worth having. Even more important make sure that it’s an offer that somebody else would want to have. Once you got an offer in mind, Match that up with an inviting, engaging image of your restaurant. Maybe a picture of someone else celebrating their birthday. then go to Facebook, connect with the ad manager, and start searching for people with birthdays this week or this month in your local area. Add your image, fund the account and press send. It really is that simple.

Then when people start seeing your amazing offer which is targeted directly at the birthday boy or girl, then people will start showing up at your restaurant with their coupon or your birthday ad on their phone.

Secret # 1
 Keep the content short and keep it simple. People don’t want to look at complex ads, keep your content in your imagery minimal. A simple happy birthday and simple offer will do the trick. Don’t forget to let them know how to redeem the offer.

Secret # 2
Provide a Birthday experience they won’t quickly forget. That’s right, do it up with all the trimmings. I mean seriously, what does it take to prove to someone, that you are glad that their spending their birthday in your restaurant? Did you know that most restaurants do as little as possible to celebrate birthdays? My suggestion, be different. Here are some cost-effective suggestions to get you thinking.

  • Present the birthday boy or girl with a card
  • Provide a small cake or a muffin with candles
  • Have a small gift wrapped and ready to go
  • Get your staff to sing happy birthday
  • Offer a personal happy birthday wish from the Owner
  • Provide balloons and streamers
  • Take a picture of the birthday boy or girl
  • Shoot a short video of the party

All the ideas that have been outlined above will cost less than $3.00 per birthday party. let me ask you, isn’t it worth $3.00 to have your customer come back time and time again and even refer their friends. Of course, it is.

 

 

 

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