5 New Year’s Marketing Resolutions for Your Restaurant

December is crunch time for restaurant owners and managers. Between orchestrating special holiday promotions and adjusting schedules to accommodate employees’ time off requests, you have to (somehow) carve out free hours to plan restaurant marketing strategies for the year ahead.

Priming your restaurant for success in 2016 starts with evaluating what tactics worked (and which ones missed) over the last 12 months, and establishing concrete ideas for the New Year. Here are five specific restaurant advertising and marketing strategies to consider in 2016.

Build a better website

If you can’t recall the last time your restaurant website was updated, it’s probably due for a refresh in 2016. One smart place to start is ensuring your website is not only functional, but optimized, for mobile visitors. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. adults own smartphones today compared to only 35 percent in 2011; if your website loads slowly on mobile devices, has hard-to-find buttons or includes clunky graphics, you could be alienating a large group of potential diners.

Expand your social media presence

Did your restaurant build or nurture a major following on Facebook or Twitter in 2015? Once you’ve mastered a couple social media platforms, try branching out to something new, like Instagram or Snapchat. Restaurants of all sizes now turn to these visual-first channels to attract diners with drool-inducing food photography, run contests and collect user-generated content for future campaigns.

Venture into location-based marketing

Another restaurant marketing strategy that capitalizes on the prevalence of mobile technology is geo-targeting. One of the quickest ways to attract diners is when they’re already in the vicinity. Restaurant chains across the country are experimenting with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, apps and beacon technology to “push” exclusive promotions to potential diners when they’re within a certain radius of their location.

Add (and promote) delivery and online ordering capabilities

If your 2016 goals include growing your restaurant’s brand awareness and boosting revenue, incorporating online ordering or food delivery can help achieve both. Partnering with delivery or online ordering providers like GrubHub puts your restaurant in front of local diners that may not be familiar with your business, and lets you offer a faster, more convenient dining experience to loyal customers. Don’t forget to promote your new capabilities across other marketing channels (e.g. your website, social media, email campaigns) too.

Reassess your SEO efforts

Search engine optimization is essential to maintaining a strong Web presence for your restaurant, but the tactics implemented last year (or even last quarter) may not be effective today. The New Year is an opportune time to examine all facets of your SEO strategy, from updating your Yelp and MenuPages listings with the most recent contact information, to ensuring third-party profiles list your latest menu offerings. Don’t forget to conduct keyword research to identify any new search terms that should be incorporated throughout your website and related content.

Looking for more restaurant marketing strategies to try in 2016? Subscribe to The Tip Jar today!