Getting Your Diners To Do Your Marketing For You

Your food is delicious and fresh, your wait staff is friendly, and your prices are right. You have very happy customers.

These happy customers have awesome marketing sway over their family and friends, considering that  81% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on posts within their social circles.

As a restaurant owner, you can easily convert your satisfied patrons into organic champions of your brand. The following tips help leverage their influence to promote your restaurant, boost its credibility, and ultimately, increase sales.

#1: Lights, Camera, Action!

Here’s how to set the stage so your diners can help you market your restaurant naturally and enjoyably.

Digital Loyalty Programs are a simple way to retain existing customers, while attracting new ones. Customers stay engaged with discounts, freebies, and are rewarded for recommending you to others.

Unlike printed punch cards, digital loyalty programs are often tied into POS systems, making it easy for customers to access on their smartphones, while you gain valuable customer data.

Make it easy and fun for customers to share fantastic pictures of your food on social media—a marketing phenomenon that is extremely influential in helping diners decide where and what to eat.

Here’s how to help customers take mouth-watering images of your food:

  • Presentation is key. Plate and garnish dishes attractively.
  • Make food the star of the show. Grubhub advises that white plates and neutral table settings showcase the artistry on the plate.
  • Grubhub also recommends as much natural lighting as possible for “Instagram-worthy” food.
  • Take-out bags with your logo on it look great online and in person.

#2: Keep It Simple                      

You’ve created the best atmosphere for customers to take great-looking foodie photos. Now, keep it simple for them to share on social media and help you build your brand.

Providing free WiFi makes it simple and fast for diners to get online to post their incredible pics and share positive comments too.

Also, encourage the use of specific hashtags by subtly promoting them on the bottom of menus, specials boards, table cards, and more.

#3: Encourage Reviews

Did you know 53% of Millennials seek out online reviews “before making a dining decision” (National Restaurant Association), while 1/3 of all diners avoid restaurants with ratings below 3.5 stars out of 5 stars (ReviewTrackers)?

Here’s how to proactively manage and cultivate online reviews:

  • Monitor and respond to all online reviews
  • Encourage customer reviews by offering a small incentive for a future visit
  • Avoid a bad online review by including a flyer with take-out orders encouraging customers to call with feedback (Grubhub).
  • Improve your Grubhub rating
  • Take a few short steps on your Facebook business page to allow customers to check-in, and easily post reviews and ratings.

With a little creativity and initiative on your part, your customers will become the most natural and trustworthy brand advocates and get those social media statistics working in your favor.

Check out how data analytics can grow your business.