With more than one million restaurants in the United States, it can be hard to stand out. If you’re one of the seven in 10 restaurants that are single-location small businesses, finding time and money to focus on marketing can be a challenge.1,2 But it’s essential to attracting and retaining customers. Below are tips on marketing your small business restaurant to compete in today’s competitive landscape without a lot of time and money.
Marketing is about connecting with your audience at the right time. Today, people spend on average more than six hours of their day online.3 So you must use digital channels for marketing or risk losing business.
Do you have regular customers who enjoy your happy hour specials? Reward them and keep them coming back using your POS. Loyalty programs are a great way to keep guests happy, and your POS can help you collect and use customer data, email customers about new menu items and special events or give them birthday discounts. But consider whether the value of likely increased business outweighs the cost of administering such a program.
Don’t offer gift cards? Consider this:
So get your loyal guests to spread the word to prospective customers with gift cards. It’ll give you another way to attract new customers and improve sales. And with a smart POS, you can launch a gift card program in minutes.
Creating interactions with the right people and showcasing those interactions can help your restaurant get attention. Invite influencers and local media to your restaurant for free food in exchange for a story. This will help build buzz and provide unique content you can use on social media and your blog.
Look at businesses around you. If there’s an art gallery nearby, offer to show their work in your restaurant. In return, the gallery can make coupons for a free appetizer available to their patrons. If you’re in an area close to hotels, ask them to keep copies of your menu in the lobby. Reciprocate by including the hotel’s brochure in your entryway.
Does your community offer a lot of events? Perhaps the route of the local 5K passes your restaurant. Set up a water station outside and use the opportunity to market your business. Give participants coupons or water bottles with your name and logo. Or sponsor the 5K. You’ll get exposure for your restaurant and help the charity – a win-win!
Today’s restaurant POS systems can be used for more than payments. You can choose from a wide range of apps built to help restaurant owners run their business. There are apps to help you manage gift card and loyalty programs. Your POS can provide insights to target potential customers and keep existing customers coming back. Take advantage of your POS to help increase your engagement with guests and prospective customers.