Restaurant PR: 5 Top Restaurant Marketing Strategies That Can Be Implemented During COVID
June 15, 2021
Article Overview10min read
Every business looks to create the right buzz. But with the recent COVID-19, businesses – including restaurants – have been hit hard, and they have had to find new ways to stay relevant. Many restaurant operators were forced to shut down, pivot, or adapt entirely to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But then, almost an entire year into the pandemic, things have gradually started to change. Many restaurants are slowly beginning to reopen their doors to the public, while some have opted to open back up for just takeout and delivery. No matter what approach restaurant operators choose to take, one of the major hurdles is marketing to diners – who have spent the past few months isolated at home- smartly.
With customers still being cautious of wandering out, restaurants can no longer rely on foot traffic to keep their businesses top of mind. Moreover, what used to work earlier may not work in the new and changed the post-COVID-19 world. That is, restaurant operators need to market their businesses to customers through the new normal: online. Yes, the new marketing reality for restaurateurs is to go digital and use the latest technology to move with the current trends.
To connect with your audience, increase your visibility and elevate your credibility during this pandemic, try to incorporate the below 5 restaurant marketing strategies in your restaurant.
- Make it personal: Storytelling remains a powerful PR strategy and now more so than ever. Connect with your customers via social media by sharing personal experiences to create that human bond. Whether it’s showcasing your kitchen team having a mini cook-off or sharing teasers of new foods on the menu, it’s a great way to stay in touch with your clientele.
- Create content, not adverts: What resonates is good, solid content. Uniqueness is vital, but so is knowing what’s trending and how to keep users engaged. A little tour of your kitchen, a virtual tour of the dining area, a history tidbit of the building, etc., are a few examples that you can try in your business.
- Showcase your health and safety efforts: Today, health and safety have become paramount. Customers prioritize restaurants that have their welfare in mind. A great PR strategy is to showcase the steps you’ve taken to ensure the same – whether it’s daily sanitization, employee health checks, etc.
Create social media stories out of photos, post a short video highlighting your safety measures, speak to your customers directly – share the changes you’ve implemented for their health and safety.
- Tap into nostalgia: There’s nothing like the good old days, and if there was ever a time for throwbacks, it’s now. People yearned for the ‘old normal’ when pandemics were just periods in history. You can use this to your advantage. To keep customers entertained and increase engagement, invite users to share their best memories of your restaurant. Share throwback photos and videos of your busiest times or what your restaurant first looked like.
- Social media is your new marketing platform: Do you want to connect with the world? Then take advantage of various social media outlets. Because, when it comes to connecting with the customers, nothing works quite like social media, as it is the most influential type of message distribution. It allows you to attract new customers with very little time, effort, and money. So, if you haven’t created a presence in social media until now, it’s time to make a footprint now.
The first thing customers will do upon learning about your restaurant is to check out your presence on Google and other social media platforms. Therefore, while setting up your restaurant business plan, ensure that your restaurant has a complete and active profile on all the social media platforms – including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, ensure that your profile is accurate and compelling in Google My Business – customers will expect to see reviews, sample menus, pictures, and more.
It will be quite a while before things get back to normal. Until then, it’s vital to use smart PR strategies to keep customers loyal and have them see your establishment as number one. Offer meal kits, use geo-targeted ads, show off your employees, and share positive reviews that you’ve received. There are many other PR strategies to use; you need to think outside the box a little!