Latest Digital Marketing Trends in the Restaurant Industry

To bring in new customers and grow revenue, all sorts of restaurants, from national chains to independent businesses, have taken up digital marketing. That’s why we’ve created a list of most effective digital marketing trends to hop on.

It’s no secret that digital marketing has become one of the most popular methods of advertising in the restaurant industry. Increased competition in the industry means that good food and excellent service just doesn’t cut it anymore. To bring in new customers and grow revenue, all sorts of restaurants, from national chains to independent businesses, have taken up digital marketing. That’s why we’ve created a list of most effective digital marketing trends to hop on:

Use Influencers 

Social media influencers are creators who’ve already established credibility with specific target groups. Partnering with influencers who operate in the areas you serve can increase exposure for your restaurant with customers who can actually visit your business. These food bloggers and other influencers often post aesthetic food shots and valuable reviews, promote special events or menus, or help host gift card giveaways. This works best for restaurants located in cities where influencers thrive off dense populations and tourists. 

Hire an Employee Whose Job is Solely Marketing 

Along the lines of hiring personnel to boost your online presence, it may be worth it to explore hiring an employee whose job is solely marketing your restaurant. They would internally create indulging content, manage multiple social media accounts, plan promotions, and overall curate an online personality for your restaurant. To maximize the quantity and quality of your digital presence, it’s a good idea to dedicate a person’s role to the marketing of the restaurant rather than pile those additional responsibilities onto a worker’s plate. 

Manage Online Reviews

According to restaurant management software company Toast, 35% of guests say that online reviews affect what restaurant they choose to eat at. Online reviews can not only build a restaurant’s reputation, they can also tell owners what areas can be improved so that the restaurant may provide the highest quality food and service. A good way to keep track of reviews is to set Google Alerts for whenever your restaurant is mentioned online. Similar alerts are also available on popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Responding directly to reviews, even negative ones, will show customers your gratitude and intent to constantly improve. Using a kind tone and giving a personalized offer to help make up for a customer’s negative experience may convince them to change their rating, or at the very least will show others that view the review that you are a restaurant that cares about its customers.

Encourage Your Guests to Promote You

Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing channels to build trust and customer loyalty. You can encourage customers to spread the word about your business in a number of ways such as rolling out buzzworthy, attention-grabbing menu items or implementing a referral program. Another method is partnering with our company GiftAMeal, a program where customers share photos with friends on social media in a way that promotes the restaurants and gives back to their communities. For each photo posted on GiftAMeal, a meal is donated to a community member in need. Over 1 million meals have been donated so far, and customers engaging in the program have an average visit frequency increase of 39%, a 20% increase in check size, and a 32% increase in tip size. Learn more about GiftAMeal here (giftameal.com/partner).

Update Social Media Accounts 

74% of users that follow and engage with restaurants on social media say they’re more likely to eat at those restaurants according to restaurant marketing agency MGH. Posting food content and responding to comments on multiple social media platforms is an inexpensive and quick way to build an aesthetic brand and reach the maximum number of customers. Users on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are especially interested in behind-the-scenes food preparation, exclusive deals, and live updates on menu items. 

Network with Local Businesses

Partnerships with complementary businesses can be highly effective for boosting brand awareness. For example, negotiate with local travel guide companies, hotels, and airlines for them to advertise your restaurant on their website in exchange for you offering discounts to their customers. More broadly, you could also invite businesses in your area to “Like” your Facebook post or reshare your content across social media platforms to drive up your online engagement. 

Impact your community,
Impact your business

Book a no-obligation demo today and see how GiftAMeal can make your customers feel like heroes -- just for choosing your restaurant.

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