Are you struggling to stand out from the competition?
Australia’s culinary scene is thriving! While this is great news for foodies and good-time seekers, this makes the competition fierce for venues. As a result, the combination of rising expectations and a competitive market makes promoting your cafe or restaurant using some innovative marketing strategies a must-do in order for your venue to flourish for years to come.
While this can sound overwhelming, there’s no need to panic! From stepping up your social media game to organising memorable events, there are plenty of ways to spruce up your marketing strategy and improve your bottom line. Are you intrigued? We hope so!
In this quick marketing guide, we’ll highlight seven top marketing ideas you can use to promote your cafe or restaurant.
Promote your Venue Online
Start a Blog
Starting a blog is an excellent way to add value to your in-house offer by providing your customers with delicious recipes and tips. Cooking shows such as master chef have indeed popularised cooking over the last few years, turning the discipline into a fun activity to do with friends, family, or even alone after a long day at work to unwind and unleash our creative side. As a result, providing original or easy to replicate recipes can help you build a loyal base.
You can also give useful information about different coffee blends, how to make specific cocktails or the best tools to cook like a chef. The sky's the limit when it comes to the amount and type of information you can share with your customers. However, always make sure you actually fill a need by asking for feedback and suggestions ;)
Newsletters are another great idea if you want to connect with your audience on a regular basis, promote an offer, provide value, or simply share some exciting news. You can repurpose your blog posts and share them with your customers or highlight specials and discounts. You can also Introduce new staff or keep your audience updated with key events you’ll be organising at your venue in the coming weeks. Note that a study from Campaign Monitor revealed that the ideal frequency for newsletters is between once and twice a week.
Harness the power of social media
In the digital era and with 18 million Australians on social media, harnessing the power of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or TikTok is a no-brainer if you want to ensure the success of your venue in the long run.
Make sure you frequently post high-resolution foodie photos and videos displaying mouthwatering dishes and drinks. Behind-the-scenes content is also a great way to engage with your audience as it’ll make you more approachable and help humanise your brand. Your captions are equally as important and should provide value and showcase your brand personality.
Organize Social Contests
Social contests or giveaways can be a powerful tool to grow your following, increase your reach and engagement, generate brand awareness, and ultimately, improve your bottom line. Some ideas for cafes and restaurants include:
- Organising a monthly draw. Everyone who likes your Facebook page or follows you on Instagram is automatically entering the draw. The prize can be a free coffee, a free meal or a free dessert!
- Encouraging people to come up with a fun hashtag for your brand or post a beautiful photo of one of your dishes. Every month, a winner will be selected and will receive a free meal for two people.
Promote your Venue Offline
Organising and hosting regular events at your venue can help attract new customers, increase word-of-mouth, and boost your sales. You could showcase local talents, including bands and other local artists, partner up with local celebrities and have them perform, organise singles’ nights, wine tastings, host book launches, or company product launches. You could also offer your space for hire for Christmas parties or birthday celebrations. While making popular events a regular thing is a great strategy, make sure you spice things up every now and then to avoid losing your loyal customers’ interest!
To ensure the success of your events, ask for suggestions, feedback, and closely monitor engagement.
Strategically displaying high-quality posters can help promote the events you’re organising, your specials and happy hours, and even your loyalty programs. Got a special offer running for a few days offering 50% off the second coffee? Make sure your customers know about it by placing a poster behind your counter or at the entrance of the venue.
Personalise and Brand Your Supplies
Branding and personalising your cafe or restaurant supplies is a great way to showcase your unique personality to your customers, making your venue more recognisable and ensuring their experience with you becomes an integral part of their lifestyle.
As a result, whether you run an upmarket restaurant or a casual beach cafe, conveying your brand personality through your imagery, menus, aprons, napkins, or cups is a must, and you should always make sure you optimise the use of your accessories and supplies ;)
Some great ideas to convey your unique personality and engage with your customers include:
Asking a trivia question on your takeaway cups using stickers
Customising your staff t-shirts for Christmas
Adding a fun weekly statement on the napkins
This kind of personalisation will generate interest, help you stand apart from the competition, encourage word-of-mouth, and increase your sales.
Feeling inspired? Good! Now it’s time to implement all these tips. Let us know how you go in the comment section below! We’d love to read you :)