5 Online Marketing Strategies Every Restaurateur Should Know About

Creating an effective online marketing campaign isn’t always a simple task — especially for restaurant owners that are used to focusing the majority of their time and energy on what’s happening in the kitchen. In recent years, a number of hyperlocal platforms have stepped in to make it easier for independent restaurateurs to develop websites, manage social media, and cultivate better relationships with their customers online. Here are five tips from experts in the hyperlocal industry about what restaurant owners can do to improve and expand their presence online.

1) Build mobile websites. Restaurant owners that spend big bucks on designer websites with moving buttons and Flash content are doing themselves a disservice if those websites don’t work on mobile devices. Sixty nine percent of mobile phone users access the web daily from their smartphones, which is why restaurant owners should focus on creating simple websites that run quickly on a variety of mobile devices. These websites should be easy to update, and they should integrate with popular restaurant platforms like OpenTable and Seamless. (via Wiley Cerilli, SinglePlatform)

2) Offer a call to action. Hundreds of online visitors may click on a typical restaurant’s website each day, but what turns those online visitors into real customers is a definitive call to action. The most successful calls to action use limited-time deals and discounts — usually posted on a restaurant’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed — as a way to encourage people to get on their feet and get inside a restaurant’s doors. (via Jake Cohen, Privy)

3) Post menus online. The number one thing that diners look for when they search for restaurant information online is a current menu — just ahead of a telephone number, address, and photo of the establishment. Menus don’t just need to be posted on a restaurant’s website, either. Restaurants can post their menus on Foursquare, YP.com, and the dining section of any local newspaper websites to extend their outreach even further. (via Wiley Cerilli, SinglePlatform)

4) Solicit anonymous feedback from customers. Oftentimes, restaurant owners don’t fully understand the quality of service that their staff provides. Was a customer’s experience amazing or dismal? Was the food top-notch or so-so? Hyperlocal platforms that provide restaurants with anonymous ways to collect honest customer feedback — either through text messages or online — can help merchants figure out what they’re doing right and where their restaurants have room for improvement. (via Nick Hughes, Seconds)

5) Take advantage of social media. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter should be a major part of any local restaurant’s online marketing campaign. Restaurant owners looking to take full advantage of Facebook should post photos of their dishes and ask customers what types of specials they’d like to see. On Twitter, restaurants can tweet links to the photos they post on Facebook and occasionally post cooking tips as a way to demonstrate their expertise and keep followers engaged. (via Jake Cohen, Privy)

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

  1. Great post thank you for sharing this Stephanie. 

  2. March 20, 2012

    Stephanie, We have a client for which we have implemented 1,3,and4. So far this season his sales are up 5% over the local industry stats as reported by the local chamber and wholesale suppliers. He’s loving it.

  3. Great tips! Restaurant owners may also want to consider adding their restaurants to online directories such as Yelp, Supermedia and more to help with their local internet marketing. This is a great place for them to give customers their business information as well as get feedback which you mention in #4 and of course improve their online presence. 

    1. Ziff74
      March 20, 2012

      Tripadvisor also

  4. March 20, 2012

    Great list, I would also add posting your daily menu specials online on your Facebook page and Twitter streams.  If you are building up  a social community they are a great place to go to bring people into your location. We’ve been working on that in OfferedLocal http://www.offeredlocal.com and it has a real impact in keeping your tables filled.

    1. Belinda McElroy
      March 21, 2012

       Does it cost anything to use offeredlocal.com?

  5. March 20, 2012

    Really great points, restaurant owners should really be considering everything you wrote here, especially number 4 because they will never improve unless they know what they good and bad points..Nowadays online marketing is like a must to be part of this technological advancement in business..and speaking of business restaurants are not an exception..

    1. March 21, 2012

       Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  6. Great strategies you have there Steph! Thanks for sharing. Social Media really helped me make my restaurant known, plus it’s FREE.

  7. hello Stephanie,

     Sounds Good. Why don’t you add some strategies like installing catering software tools for restaurant business. It should be the great highlight for every restaurant business these days.

  8. August 4, 2012

    Marketing Your Restaurant Online http://t.co/QPqSX0xP  

  9. Santhana
    September 20, 2012

    This is an awesome list! I recommend every restaurant to check out my platform http://www.realoffr.com

  10. william
    January 27, 2013

    fdfddf happy life ideas

  11. thaipaa
    May 8, 2013

    hello mr:

    I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than
    anybody else!….There is also a lot of visual symbolism that is sometimes
    subtle, sometimes not so subtle..

  12. matthew tim
    September 14, 2013

    Writing a blog is kind of a long process, never knew that
    your pattern of plain and simple blog could publish in such great manner.


  13. October 15, 2013

    Great information,Marketing strategy where effective for our business,it will also create problems,if our strategy have cookies. We should follow the that strategy for which we have a complete knowledge.

  14. December 20, 2013

    This is one of the best blogs I have ever read. I m absolutely excited
    to get to read such a well blog. I would love to read more of your
    blogs. Thanks dude
    Free Business Directory

  15. Sophal
    July 16, 2014

    Wow Great great list, it’s awesome


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