Your How-to Guide to Food and Beverage Marketing: Top 24 Restaurant Marketing Ideas to Get More Customers
Every owner of a restaurant, bakery, food truck or coffee shop depends on customers to survive—no matter where you’re located or how long you’ve been serving delicious meals or tasty treats to your community. Without a dependable way to attract new customers to your food and beverage business, making sales and earning money are impossible.
However, if you implement a digital marketing strategy that attracts new customers to your restaurant, bakery, food truck or coffee shop, that’s a simple recipe for:
- More food and beverage sales
- Increased revenue for you and your staff
- Growth of your food and beverage business
We know why customers are important, but how can you get more of them affordably and efficiently? The answer is marketing for restaurants. If you’ve ever wondered how to get more customers, follow the steps below to turn your food and beverage business into your town’s favorite eatery.
Try These Hot Marketing Tips for Food and Beverage Businesses
- Get More Hungry Customers Through Your Website
- Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Always Use Local SEO to Help Customers Find You Online
- Try Ad Retargeting to Get More Customers
- Sign Up With Townsquare Interactive to Maximize Your Food and Beverage Marketing Budget
Want to see how we can help you with restaurant marketing, food truck marketing and coffee shop marketing? Fill out the form below to start your free quote today!
1. Get More Customers With a Restaurant Website, Bakery Website, Food Truck Website or Coffee Shop Website
If you don’t have a website, yet, one of the best things you can do for your food and beverage business is to create one. A website acts as your business’s online storefront—it’s the cornerstone of your online presence and gives potential customers a place to:
- Learn more about your restaurant, bakery, food truck or coffee shop
- Read about the services and menu items you provide
- See your service area (if you own a food truck) or your location
- Get in touch with you for more info or to make reservations
Without a restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website, how are your potential customers going to find your food and beverage business on Google? How will they know where to contact you? They won’t.
Without a restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website, your business might as well not exist at all. The solution? Food and beverage marketing. Restaurant website design, bakery website design, food truck website design and coffee shop website design make up the foundation of most food and beverage marketing campaigns, so don’t let your competitors leave you in the dust. Invest in a restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website and start bringing in more customers. Townsquare Interactive can help!
2. Canvass an Area to Generate Food and Beverage Customers
Canvassing an area to find more food and beverage customers might seem like an old-school marketing tactic, but consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant when they can put a face to it. If you want to give canvassing a shot, follow these tips for the best results:
- Always be polite and courteous, even if you don’t get the reaction you want.
- Set a goal for each interaction: hand out a menu, or make a reservation.
- Have a script ready, so you’re better prepared.
Also, make sure you have plenty of business cards to hand out! Make sure your address and website are clearly visible. This is one food truck marketing, coffee shop marketing and restaurant marketing idea worth trying!
3. Send Direct Mailers to Get Food and Beverage Customers
Here’s another food and beverage marketing idea that’s stood the test of time: direct mailers. Compared to most email inboxes, old-school mailboxes are seeing a lot less action, which means your letter or postcard about the food and beverage services you provide is much more likely to be seen and read.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, direct mail has an average cost per lead of $51.40 for a general mailing list and $54.10 for postcards. Compare that to what you’re paying on average for customers from other sources to determine if this is a viable solution for you.
4. Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A good PPC and SEM campaign is one food and beverage marketing idea that’s been proven time and again to generate quality food and beverage customers. It’s especially effective when paired with a restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website.
While Google is the most popular search engine for these types of campaigns, thanks to its widespread popularity, don’t sleep on Bing. PPC and SEM are great ways to bring in food and beverage customers and are staples of most restaurant marketing, food truck marketing and coffee shop marketing campaigns.
Still on the fence? Check out these stats:
- For every $1 spent in Google Ads, businesses make an average of $2.
- About 41% of clicks on a search results page go to one of the top 3 paid ads.
- More than 85% of people use the internet to find local food and beverage businesses.
- Visitors who come to your website via PPC or SEM are 50% more likely to make a purchase.
Sounds good, right? And with PPC, you only pay for the clicks you get, making it a great option for those businesses on a budget.
5. Use Local Restaurant SEO Services to Get More Customers
Search engine optimization (SEO) is still king in the digital marketing space. It’s what moves your food and beverage business to the top of page 1 on Google and keeps it there. If your campaign is robust enough, restaurant SEO alone can generate the majority of your food and beverage customers (but we still recommend reading the rest of these restaurant marketing ideas)!
A good first step is setting up your Google My Business account. From there, you can advance to backlinking and content marketing. If you’re worried about doing it correctly, it’s always a good idea to let an expert in restaurant SEO get you up and running.
6. Get More Food and Beverage Customers Through Facebook + Instagram
Still wondering how to get more food and beverage customers for your business? Food and beverage marketing on Facebook and Instagram can be a cost-effective method, provided you put the right strategy in place and know how to navigate the ad builders on these platforms. Social media marketing is often included in marketing for restaurants, food truck marketing, coffee shop marketing and other food and beverage marketing campaigns.
You can target your ideal food and beverage customers by their location and other pages they’ve liked—such as your competitors’ pages.
Displaying ads to this audience has the added benefit of creating and boosting awareness of your business. If people see your logo and your ads all over the place, they’re more likely to remember you when they need food and beverage services in the future. Make sure to link out to your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website, too!
7. How to Get Food and Beverage Customers Through Strategic Alliances
Another smart technique for getting more customers is to partner up with the suppliers in your area. That could be your local wholesaler, a dry goods supplier, or a mom-and-pop shop down the street. Creating a partnership means they’ll recommend you to their customers and provide a steady stream of food and beverage customers. It also means you’ll recommend your advertising partner to ensure the alliance is mutually beneficial. Overall, this is a food and beverage marketing idea worth trying.
8. Content Marketing = Great Digital Marketing for Restaurants
Creating content for your ideal customers is a great way to get more food and beverage customers. Consider writing blog posts and articles that you can post on your website, and make it easy for your audience to share that content on their social media.
Here are some topic ideas:
- How to Throw a Successful Party at Your Favorite Restaurant
- Our Top Catering Tips and Tricks
- Why Your Wedding or Event Needs a Food Truck
Have another content idea? Write it down and turn it into an article to boost your food and beverage marketing efforts!
9. Email Marketing Is Good Marketing for Restaurants
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing for restaurants, and there’s a reason it’s stuck around for so long: it works. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you’ll make (on average) a $40 return on your investment.
Because most food and beverage businesses overlook the benefits of email marketing, it’s a great option for your business. For instance, businesses that stay in touch with their ideal customers via email generate 50% more sales-ready food and beverage customers and spend 33% less money on making sales. Not bad!
10. How to Generate Food and Beverage Customers at Trade Shows
Attending trade shows should be high on your list of food and beverage marketing ideas. They not only provide plenty of solutions for gaining new customers, but also let you observe your competition, create new business partnerships and boost brand awareness among potential customers.
To make the most of your trade show experience, make sure your booth provides something valuable to your audience, such as a freebie or another incentive, like coupons, giveaways, contests and more.
Finally, make sure you’re collecting information from visitors and following up to make the sale. Don’t forget to pass out business cards that prominently display the address to your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website.
11. Get Restaurant Marketing Ideas From Your Chamber of Commerce
If you haven’t already joined your local chamber of commerce, attend their next meeting and start networking with other local business owners. In particular, try to connect with catering companies, venues and event planners—they’re likely to send more food and beverage customers your way!
12. Give Telemarketing a Chance to Generate Food and Beverage Customers
Though telemarketing was once a good channel for reaching new customers, many people now block unwanted calls. However, there are still companies out there that will telemarket for you and set up reservations with hungry customers. While this is a viable food and beverage marketing tactic, weigh the cost and benefits before committing. You might come to the conclusion that it’s more beneficial to invest in restaurant SEO or a restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website.
13. Digital Marketing for Restaurants Includes Reputation Monitoring
Did you know 85% of people search online to find local food and beverage businesses? Those same people are also researching your reputation—what are your past customers saying about the quality of your menu? Were your prices fair? Was your customer service good?
Offline, you can use word-of-mouth to your advantage. Ask your satisfied customers if they can think of any neighbors, friends, family, or acquaintances who might enjoy your menu. Give them plenty of business cards to pass around.
Online, list your food and beverage business on review websites and ask your happy customers to leave a review on Google. Doing so makes it more likely that you’ll bring in food and beverage customers.
14. Use Ad Retargeting for Food and Beverage Marketing
Have you ever searched for a product online then noticed ads for it following you around the internet? That’s retargeting, and you can do it for your business, too.
When a potential customer visits your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website and leaves without taking an action (like filling out a form or calling you), retargeting gives you another chance to convert them into a customer. They’ll see your ad as they browse the web and be reminded of your business and the services you provide. If they click the ad, they’ll be brought back to your website, where they have a second chance to turn into a customer.
Retargeting is a great way to keep your food and beverage business in front of potential customers who have already shown interest by visiting your website. Consider adding it to your restaurant marketing, food truck marketing or coffee shop marketing campaign.
15. A Unique Selling Point Can Generate Food and Beverage Customers
If you want to stand out from your competitors, your food and beverage business needs a unique selling point, or USP. That could be your level of service, your experience in the food and beverage industry, your competitive prices, your reputation, your stellar service, your menu—anything that sets you apart. Once you’ve figured out your USP, use that selling point in your marketing materials!
If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at how your competitors are generating food and beverage customers. What’s their USP, and how can you beat it? What would matter more to your customers and the community you serve? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Specialized menu
- Dining accommodations
- Level of service
Does something else set you apart from your competitors? Use it in your food and beverage marketing!
16. Google’s Local Service Ads Mean More Customers
Google’s Local Services ads are a type of pay-per-lead ad, and they appear at the top of the search results page. They’re different from restaurant SEO services, though restaurant SEO can move you near the top of page one of Google, too!
These ads get about 13.8% of clicks—that means if 50 people in your area search for a restaurant, at least 7 of them will click one of those ads and turn into a customer. How much more money would you make per month with 7 more customers?
17. Co-Market With a Relevant Business
Co-marketing means you’re teaming up with another small business to share customer opportunities. For example, you might want to partner up with a venue or event planner and offer a discount to customers who use both of your services. In the end, this kind of combined marketing can lead to many more opportunities for customers.
18. Increase Referrals to Get More Food and Beverage Customers
Referrals are a great way to capitalize on word-of-mouth food and beverage marketing. Offer your existing customers an incentive to refer their friends, families and neighbors to your restaurant, and give them a discount in return. Since people are far more likely to use a business that a friend recommends to them, this is one restaurant marketing idea you shouldn’t pass up.
19. Make Helpful YouTube Videos About Your Restaurant
YouTube is a popular platform, so why not use it to your advantage? Make an account (it’s free!) and start posting helpful food and beverage videos. The videos can document your day-to-day activities, follow a customer-favorite dish from start to finish, or teach viewers about presentation on a plate. These videos will build your credibility as a food and beverage expert and make it easier for viewers to see that you know what you’re doing.
In the video description, include your contact information and a link to your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website so they can learn more and contact you!
20. Create a Food and Beverage Facebook Group
Having a dedicated Facebook business page for your food and beverage business is a must, but creating a group page for your business is a good idea, too. Post helpful content (maybe something you wrote for content marketing!) and interact with group members to start building trust and brand awareness in your audience. This is one coffee shop marketing, food truck marketing and restaurant marketing idea worth trying!
21. Take Pictures of New Menu Items
A picture can say a thousand words, so make sure you’re taking photos of your favorite menu items. It’s a great way to show the quality of your work, and it gives you great content to post on your website and social media. It’s basically free food and beverage marketing.
22. Use LinkedIn to Attract Food and Beverage Customers
LinkedIn is more than a great place to establish yourself as a food and beverage expert and food and beverage business owner—it’s a great place to generate customers. How? Do a search for local businesses and event planners you can connect with and talk about the food and beverage services you provide.
23. Send Out Press Releases About Your Food and Beverage Business
Press releases are a great way to share new and exciting developments about your food and beverage business. Are you offering a new menu? How about a discount for repeat customers or those who refer their neighbors? Write a press release that outlines these new items and send it off to your mailing list to start generating food and beverage customers.
24. Sign Up With Townsquare Interactive to Maximize Your Food and Beverage Marketing Budget
Web design isn’t the only element of an effective food and beverage marketing campaign, but it is the most important. One of the best things you can do for your business is to make sure your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website has everything it needs to continuously generate food and beverage customers.
Adding other elements to your food and beverage marketing campaign, such as search engine optimization (restaurant SEO) and reputation monitoring, can strengthen your food and beverage marketing campaign and help to bring in even more customers.
The team at Townsquare Interactive specializes in creating food and beverage marketing campaigns that generate customers for businesses across the country. All of our restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website designs feature the elements mentioned above, and our dedicated marketing specialists and teams of experts can provide personalized suggestions for how to take your food and beverage marketing campaign to the next level.
Click the button below and fill out the form to learn more about our food and beverage marketing packages and jumpstart your restaurant website, bakery website, food truck website or coffee shop website.