Kona Impact has worked with tens of restaurants over the years. We spend a lot of time doing marketing research and activities for many businesses.
Our top ten marketing activities for restaurants, though they most certainly apply to many businesses.
- There are times when I want to satisfy food at a reasonable price, and other times, I want to have higher-quality food at one of my favorite oceanfront restaurants. I expect to pay more for this. It’s not about price; value is what is essential.
- Let your customers do your marketing for you by creating some Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook photo spots.
- Encourage patrons to review your business on Google and Yelp. Then, when they do, respond appropriately to each review–good or bad–quickly.
- When opening and every six months after that, reach out to every business and resident within walking distance of your restaurant with a menu and some sort of call to action (a free soda or % off or whatever). Go door to door for businesses.
- Have a dynamic food and drink menu. A restaurant that doesn’t change and offer new items becomes staid and boring. Ola Brew, Kona Impact’s neighbor, has its regular beers but then launches new limited availability items almost weekly.
- Use your spaces for signage wisely. Consider using your marquee spaces, windows, interior walls, and doors as places where you can connect to your future and current customers.
- Give customers an incentive to return. You can give out a business card with a free appetizer % off when you give the bill and change to current customers. Loyalty punch can make sense for many take-out and fast-casual restaurants.
- Make sure your digital marketing is working for you. Yes, you need a website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, and you need to claim your Google Business, Yelp! Consider outsourcing the work for you. Most restaurant owners are clueless. No shame.
- Become more community-minded. Sponsoring events, offering a complimentary special delivered meal to health care workers or fire fighters on occasion, donating to silent auctions, and hosting events for charities are great ways to let others know your food is terrific and you care about the community that you want to patronize your restaurant.
- Create an exceptional experience for your customers. Word-of-mouth is the best and least expensive marketing tool any business has. Train and empower your staff to go above and beyond what is expected. Make your premises exceptionally clean and comfortable. Thank each patron for visiting.