Tips for Promoting Your Restaurant or Bar

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Did you know that ninety percent of restaurants close their doors within the first year? It’s a shocking statistic that proves that running a restaurant is no easy task. These tips for promoting your restaurant or bar can help, because although there are many reasons for a venue to fail, such as poor customer service, uninspiring food, or an overpriced menu, many failures come down to nothing more than bad marketing.

It’s not be easy to build a highly visible and respectable business, and it certainly isn’t likely to happen overnight. The following resturant marketing tactics should help you get started on the right track:

Get on Instagram

As a restaurant,  Instagram should undoubtedly be one of your first social media setups, it’s the undisputed No. 1 in the food and catering industry. Primarily a visual network, Instagram is invaluable to restaurants, food bloggers and any other individuals or businesses in the industry. After all, a picture is truly worth a thousand words when it comes to food. Instagram is also great for drawing attention to special promotions, promoting team-building — unleashing evangelists to promote on your behlf –, and providing information on limited-term offers.

Start Building Your Mailing List Early

Tips for promoting your restaurant or bar has to include email marketing. It is still one of the cheapest and most effective forms of digital marketing. However, a poorly executed campaign with a low-quality content will do nothing but harm your business. Building up an opt-in mailing list takes time, so it’s a good idea to start building it up as soon as possible, even if it’s still a few weeks before your venue is ready to open. Once your venue is open for business, then you’ll want to start engaging people with content, no different than this article is offering you free information. If you’re a sports bar, you don’t need only tell your clientele about your specials, but engage them with things that interest them. Talk about sports, an upcoming game, a post game analysis, or a survey about a team or sport. if you run a French bistro, engage them with interesting tidbits about French culture, travel, or history. Be creative, just link it to the core theme of your venue so that the content is relavent.

Those who take the trouble to sign up will be among your most promising customers. However, you should avoid emailing too often. Only send out newsletters once a month, and/or mails when you want people to take a specific action — like a two day special, for example.

Invite Professional Food Bloggers

To truly thrive in terms of digital marketing and online viability, you’ll need exponential word of mouth. To achieve that you need to reach out to the top influencers in your area. For example, anyone who runs a popular food blog — that deals with venues in your area — might be considered a leading influencer. Also research food platforms like yelp and Zomato; find the most active and most followed reviewers and contact them as well. If you have a genuinely great product and service to offer, these influencers can and will promote your business in the most valuable way possible. To boost your chances of getting a great review from someone whose opinions people trust, consider inviting them for a free meal, and have the owner and chef meet them personally.

Bruce Dugan
Bruce Dugan
A career entrepreneur, he has also served as CEO in several publicly-traded companies. He founded and operated a variety of companies in the areas of freight logistics, music distribution, film, technology and media, and is currently the tri-Chairman & CEO of Incognito Worldwide, Intech Creative LLC and Inicia Incorporated.

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