Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant Marketing : The Ultimate Guide to Succeed in 2023

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This is the Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Marketing.


This came from a discussion that I had with a few entrepreneurs looking to start a new restaurant,

And I found out that there was a big gap in the overall marketing strategies used for restaurants,

For that reason,

Here is what we will cover in this guide:

  1. What is Restaurant Marketing
  2. The SWOT analysis
  3. Digital marketing for restaurants
  4. Customer Relationship Management
  5. Creating a Restaurant Marketing Plan
  6. 7 Unbreakable Marketing strategies
  7. BONUS: 10 restaurant marketing ideas


If you find value in those topics,

Then keep reading until the end to get the most out of it,

Without further due,

Let’s Rock!


What Is Restaurant Marketing?



With great marketing comes great success,

The reason is that it is intended to grow and showcase your brand to new or existing,

Restaurant marketing is the process of identifying potential value that could be seen by customers

Creating that value and offering it to the customers,

To do so,

Building a strong relationship is crucial,

And to better understand this,

Let’s talk about what makes great restaurant marketing.



What makes a great restaurant Marketing



There are many ways that you can make your strategy a great one,


We have found this framework to be more efficient and allows a full understanding of all aspects of your restaurant:



Restaurant Marketing Framework



Goal Setting:

As with anything in life, if you want to be successful, you need to set your goals,

If you do not have a compelling direction,

You will find yourself wasting all your resources (energy, money, and time),

That’s the reason why the first thing you should always do is set your goals,

And know what you are going for,

The main goals of a restaurant marketing strategy are usually the following:

– Customer acquisition

– Customer Retention

– Customer Loyalty

With those three goals In mind,

You can start tackling the actual starting point,

Which will be to analyze the target market,


Target Market Analysis:

The analysis of your potential customers is a crucial aspect that makes restaurants successful,

As a matter of fact,

This step comes with the concept development,

Where you will be building your customer personas,

To better shape your offering depending on the needs and expectations of your customers.


The Competitors analysis:

Another aspect that will make your restaurant’s marketing plan better than others,

Is how you can determine what types of strategies are your competitors using,

To achieve the three goals mentioned earlier,

That will not only give you great insights into what is working,

But you will also be able to avoid what isn’t.

And in here there are four types of competitors you want to analyze:




Types of Competitors



The Digital Strategy:

Having a Digital Marketing strategy is a must,

And while we will actually dive deeper into that topic in the following sections,

You should know that the stronger your online presence is,

The more you will be able to achieve your goals.


Campaign Planning:

In this guide, we will dive into how to create a great marketing campaign plan to boost your online presence,

While increasing your chance of acquiring new customers,

But here is the framework that we will follow when building a campaign plan,

Marketing campaign plan process



1. Solidify your brand

2. Define your goals

3. Set up your calendar

4. Choose your channels of action

5. Test and assess


Budget Management:

Understanding and setting the right budget for your restaurant is extremely important,

You don’t want to spend too much and receive too little,

And on the other hand,

You don’t want to spend too little while you could be receiving way more,

We will dive deeper into this topic in the following sections

The constant Analysis and assessment of the plan:

If you are not continuously analyzing your results and getting feedback on how you are performing,

You will never be able to reach your full potential as you will not understand what is working and what is not,

Assessing and adjusting accordingly is one of the primary fields of restaurant marketing.


This was just to give you an understanding of what you will get in this guide,

If you found value in some of those topics,

I suggest we get started with the first one in which we will be doing a small analysis.



Restaurant Marketing: The SWOT Analysis



In this section, we will take a look at:

1. What is a SWOT Analysis

2. Why does it matter

3. Some examples



What is a SWOT Analysis


Your restaurant could potentially be one of the best Mexican fast food in the area,


If you don’t keep track of potential opportunities and threats,

You could miss on expansion opportunities,

At the same time,

If you don’t keep track of your strengths and weakness,

You can find yourself losing customers and thus profits.

This is what a SWOT analysis is all about,

Let me give you a brief explanation of each one of the swot sections:



In this section,

You will simply outline what are the strengths of your restaurant when it comes to your concept and Unique selling point,

What does your restaurant have,

That makes it special,

You should describe all of the things that make your restaurant better,



Here you should be objective and outline all aspects that put you at a disadvantage in relation to your competitors,

The more you are honest with your weakness,

The more opportunities you will have to make your restaurant better.

Once you have analyzed both internal aspects affecting your business,

You should now focus on external aspects,



Now you want to analyze external factors that could have an impact on your operations,

But here you will outline all of the positive factors that could influence your business,

That will give you great insights into potential expansion opportunities,

That you could take before your competitors.



When It comes to the threats,

You want to be objective again,

And analyze all external factors that could negatively impact your business,

That could be anything from a tax increase to the implementation of new laws that are a threat to you,

You better analyze them well to limit the damages.


Why Does it Matter:


The SWOT analysis is a crucial tool for any business for those simples reason:

– Help Make better decision

– Keep up to date with the Political and Economic situation of the area

– Allow identifying expansion opportunities

– Allow extending offering to other segments

– Gives great insights how our position in relation to competitors

– Allow us to take advantage of our strengths and capitalize on our weaknesses.

There are many aspects of the SWOT analysis that makes it so appealing for business owners.


I want to share some examples of SWOT analysis that you could inspire yourself to make yours.


Examples of SWOT:


Table SWOT:

Table SWOT



Graphic SWOT:

Graphic SWOT Analysis



Mcdo SWOT:

McDonalds SWOT


Building and analyzing your SWOT will allow you to identify opportunities and assess their risks,

Allowing you to scale your restaurant and grow over time,

I have put together this full guide that covers exactly how to make your restaurant successful,

If you have some time, take a look at it later,

But now we’re getting into the juicy part of restaurant marketing,

And let’s tackle the next section that will be all about the digital world of your restaurant.



Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants:



If there was one section I want you to remember and focus on,

It would be this,

The reason is that digital marketing is becoming extremely valuable for any business out there,

And in this section here is what we will tackle:

  1. What are the objectives of digital marketing
  2. Your restaurant Website
  3. How to leverage social Media
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Email Marketing
  6. Local SEO


There will be an article dedicated to each one of those sections if you want to learn more about them in more detail,

But without further due,

Let’s get started with the actual objectives of a Digital Marketing strategy


What is the objective of Digital Marketing for restaurants?


Digital marketing is the process of using digital means to build an ecosystem,

Which will enable you to create value for the customer,

And personalizing your offering by gathering data.

And the key takeaway here is DATA COLLECTION,


With a reasonable amount of customer data,

You will be able to personalize your offer and make it specific to the customers’ needs,

This brings us to the three goals of Digital marketing for your restaurant:

– Data collection and retention

– Personalized offer

– Enhanced experience

Let’s see how we can achieve those goals using various digital means starting with your restaurant


Restaurant Website


Your website is your digital home,

It is the place where you showcase all of your services, pictures, and menu…

But most importantly,

With a great strategy,

It also becomes the place where you can capture data by delivering value,

But first, you need to understand how to actually build a website,

Now we are not going to see how to technically create one,

But here I am referring to the User Experience Design Process,

And while we have a whole post dedicated to that subject,

Here is what the UX design process should look like and include:

UX Design Process




I also wanted to share with you some key elements that you should include in your website:

  • Local SEO
  • Reviews
  • Menu
  • Services
  • Pictures of restaurants
  • Blog (we will tackle this later)
  • Links to social media
  • Relevant and useful information
  • Contact Information
  • Events
  • Chefs


Leverage Social Media

In this section, I will share with you some of the pros and cons of each social media platform,


Keep in mind that depending on your concept,

You might or might not be using one or the other,

But let’s get started with the 4 most famous ones:



Instagram marketing boils down to increasing brand awareness,

This is great when you want to acquire new customers,

And here are some of the pros and cons of Instagram marketing for your restaurant:


Instagram Marketing Pros and Cons




  • Increase brand awareness
  • Customer acquisition
  • Best for the launch of new products
  • Showcases your offer
  • Ads drive traffic to the website
  • Great for influencer marketing
  • Ads are fully customizable



  • Links are less effective
  • Hard to grow customer base
  • More “Viral” than sustainable
  • High cost per click
  • Finding influencers is becoming harder
  • Cost tracking




Facebook marketing is great when it comes to building a relationship with the customer as well as increasing our brand awareness,

And here are some of the pros and cons of Facebook marketing for your restaurant:

Facebook Marketing Pros and Cons




  • Increase brand awareness
  • Grow customer base
  • Build a relationship with customers
  • Large audience potential
  • Ads offer great targeting features



  • Not the preferred channel to look for restaurants
  • Metrics can be misreported
  • Few organic reach
  • The more you pay the more you get
  • Highly time-consuming




Snapchat marketing is awesome when it comes to interacting casually with your customers,

Sharing stories and showing the fun side of your restaurant usually increase your customer loyalty,

And here are some of the pros and cons of Snapchat marketing for your restaurant:

Snapchat Marketing Pros and Cons




  • Increase Customer Loyalty
  • Build a real Trust relationship
  • Easy to use
  • Snapchat discovers features
  • Could potential acquire new customers
  • Allow the customers to see the products and experience it



  • Does not drive traffic to your website
  • Hard to capture data
  • Lack of analytics
  • Hard to make an impact




Twitter marketing is also great when it comes to casual interaction with your customers,

It is also extremely valuable to receive feedback and adjust accordingly,

And here are some of the pros and cons of Twitter marketing for your restaurant:

Twitter Marketing Pros and Cons




  • Great reach
  • Short URL
  • Scheduling feature
  • Great for feedback and post-purchase behavior
  • Cost friendly



  • Time-consuming
  • Hard to get great analytics
  • Review can sometimes be harmful
  • Post characters limitations


Now you have an idea of how each of those social media can provide your restaurant with potential leads,

While increasing your brand awareness,

Now I want to share with you the king of data collection and value delivery,

Let’s dive into content marketing:


Content Marketing:


You will see throughout this guide that I put huge importance on content marketing,

The reason is,

Content Marketing is king for any business,

And when it comes to restaurants,

Leveraging content can be a huge advantage and can provide you with amazing results,

But what am I talking about when I say content marketing?

Well content marketing can be done through different forms such as:

  • Blog
  • Youtube channel
  • Podcast
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Product reviews
  • User-generated content
  • Guides
  • Photogallery
  • Case studies
  • Guest posts
  • Applications
  • Ebooks
  • Podcast
  • Gamification
  • Webinars
  • Reedit user creation
  • QR codes


Basically anyway where you can deliver relevant and valuable content to your users,

And content marketing is all about engaging the customer,

The main goals of content marketing are the following:

  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Persuade
  • Convert


Content Marketing Process


And the basic purpose of content creation is to:

  • Become an expert in your industry
  • Generate leads
  • Boost email marketing (next section)
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Content Ownership
  • Increase authority
  • Become an SEO expert


Content marketing by itself is extremely important and covers a lot of different subjects,

For that reason, we have a whole article going into the details of content marketing.

Now the next section is tied to content marketing in someway,

With the help of content marketing,

And the use of email marketing,

You can create a tremendous customer base.


Email Marketing


This is becoming one if not the most preferred marketing channel,

That is for many reasons such as:

  • Increase leads
  • Personalize your offer
  • Keep your customer base up to date
  • Extremely cost-effective
  • Huge ROI
  • Great for feedback and surveys
  • Deliver targeted content
  • Provide useful analytics


I can still go on with e-mail marketing’s benefits for your restaurant,

But here is how it works:

Email Marketing Framework



When it is paired with content marketing,

For instance,

Offering a relevant piece of content such as a downloadable spreadsheet in exchange for your customer data,

Will enable you to get the customer to your e-mail list and enter it in an automated sequence,

Now if you want to learn more about how e-mail marketing works for restaurants,

I highly suggest you read this article that I found it extremely useful.


Local SEO


Optimizing the search engine for local search is especially important when it comes to restaurants,

By making sure you are following the best Local SEO practices,

You will see you’re the traffic to both your website and your physical location highly increase,

And here are some tips you can follow to boost your online presence for local search:

  • Optimize your google my business profile
  • Increase the reviews number
  • Focus on link building
  • Include geotags in images
  • Schema markup
  • Optimize your On-Page SEO
  • Consistency is king
  • Leveraged social media


This can sound complicated and quite technical,

For that reason, if you want to learn more,

This article will be extremely useful.

Now that you have an idea of various digital marketing strategies for your restaurants,

Let’s into the next section,

Which is actually related to this one,

As we will take a look at Customer Relationship Management.



Customer Relationship Management



This technology is a way for business to use their customer database,

To improve relationships and interactions with customers,

It is extremely important to use this technology,

As it ultimately impacts the internal and external functioning of your restaurants,

In this section you will learn:

  1. What Is CRM
  2. Why CRM for restaurants
  3. Benefits of CRM


Let’s jump right into it!


What is CRM?


As previously mentioned,

Customer relationship management is a technology that enables businesses to manage all the relationships and interactions with their customers,

All businesses that have implemented CRM software within their strategy,

Have seen a tremendous amount of positive results,

But I often get asked,

Why would I use CRM software for a restaurant?

Isn’t the relationship supposed to be face to face in the food & beverage?

And while this is partly true,

Using a CRM within your restaurant can be a huge advantage,

Let me tell you why in the next section.


Why CRM for restaurants


There are multiple reasons why you want to use CRM software within your restaurants,

But the main one I want to focus on,

Is especially that it takes your whole marketing strategy,

And groups it into one place where you can manage all of it,

Here are some of the features you should be looking for in a CRM:

  • Centralized database
  • E-mail marketing integration
  • Social media management
  • POS integration
  • Tables and capacity management
  • Marketing automation
  • Segmentation
  • Survey and Analytics
  • Loyalty programs
  • Metric tracking
  • Complaints manager


Benefits of using a CRM


Let me share with you what using a CRM will allow your restaurant to achieve:


Benefits of CRM in Restaurants



  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Increase revenue by managing capacity
  • Better customer retention
  • Clear customer acquisition
  • Protection of data privacy
  • Marketing optimization
  • Better overall service



Restaurant Marketing Plan



Now that you understand how Restaurant Marketing works,

You can create your plan,

And while there is no specific framework to follow,

Here is what we believe is a great process that came out successful most of the time:

  1. Solidify your brand
  2. Define your objective
  3. Set up your calendar
  4. Choose your channels of action
  5. Set up your budget
  6. Test and assess Your plan


Let’s briefly dive into each one of them,


Solidify your brand


To make your branding stronger,

There are some key concepts you should follow:

  • Identify what is your customer base coming from
  • Set up the appropriate offering that answers your customer’s expectations
  • Boost your brand equity
  • Develop a key messaging
  • Define your brand’s real value and belief
  • Transmit your values to your customers


Once you make sure that you have a strong brand,

You should define the objective of your plan,


Define your objective


We have already touched on some of the major goals a restaurant marketing plan should achieve,

Let me remind you:

  1. Customer acquisition
  2. Customer retention
  3. Customer loyalty


Those three goals should always be your primary focus,

Then feel free to add any additional goal that you like to achieve and that is proper to your brand,


Set up your calendar


Now I simply want you to use a simple spreadsheet where you will put each month separately,

Your calendar doesn’t have to be full yet,

We will fill it with the different strategies and channels that we have seen before,

But for the moment I just want to have a calendar that looks like this:

Marketing Campaign Calendar



Choose your channels of actions


Then the next step will be to decide which channels are you going to use and how,

And you have plenty of channels to choose from depending on your specific needs,

Let me give a list that you could choose from:

  • Social media ads
  • Local SEO
  • Direct Mail
  • Event and partnerships
  • Content Marketing Optimisation
  • Youtube development
  • Sponsorships


Now I want you to fill your calendar with the dates that you want to test your plan on the different channels,

After that,

You are going to add a tab to your spreadsheet with the chosen channels in different rows,

The reason is that we are going to set a budget for each of the chosen ones.


Set Up your Budget


Now all you have left is to set your budget,

And while that will depends on your financial position,

A common proportion for restaurants is 5-10% of your sales,

But be careful with that,

You must ensure that the plan itself is cost-effective,

That’s why you should take your time on deciding which channels to use.

As the topic of budgeting is pretty complicated itself,

But here is what it should look like,

Restaurant marketing budget


Test and assess


Now the only step that you have left is to actually launch your plan and continuously follow up with it,

Testing a plan is easy,

However when it comes to analyzing whether or not is functioning,

And taking the right decision afterward,

Is a bit more complex,

So I want you to follow up with every single piece of information that you can analyze,

Then you should be able to adjust accordingly.

You should have enough knowledge to create your own marketing plan,

Now the last two sections are bonus sections,

It is simply to give you some idea and insights on a couple of strategies you could use,

If your curiosity is your enemy,

Then let it be and let’s rock!



Restaurant Marketing: 7 Unbreakable Strategies



The Limited Time Offer is a way for restaurants to give their customers fear of missing out on the moment,

That works because human beings simply don’t like to feel that they missed out on something that could be valuable for them,




Menu Engineering Marketing

Menu engineering is a whole topic on its own,

However here I just want to you know that some items on your card will be highly profitable and low in popularity,

And vice versa,

You will get those answers by applying a menu engineering analysis,


Menu Engineering


Then you will be able to make some changes such as replacing the low profitability items with the high profitability,

You could play with the menu design to attract customers’ attention to a particular dish,

And there are many more strategies out there,

Here is an article that in-depth on that topic.


Content Marketing

We touched on content marketing many times in that guide,

But one way to utilize it to its full potential,

Is to create both a blog and a youtube channel,

And create content around your concept,

The content should be valuable, relevant, and optimized.


The science behind Happy hours

Happy hours work because you are using a low traffic period,

And making it a high traffic hour by offering promotions and discounts on certain items,

Happy hours tend to:

  • Increase sales
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Build awareness
  • Boost retention


Food challenges?

Food challenges are also a great way to bring new customers to your restaurants,

It gives your restaurant a great reputation,

And allows guests to have a competition mindset leading them to actually take on the challenge,

If you pair your challenge with potential rewards,

You could see your customer loyalty boost tremendously.


Online Presence and review management

Reviews can have a huge impact on your business,

And you cannot control them,


You can monitor them,

And by getting constant feedback and monitoring the reviews about your restaurants,

You will have a better understanding of what works and what is the potential problem,

Then you could fix them accordingly.


Restaurant Marketing agencies

If you feel like restaurant marketing is not for you,

Or you want to focus your time on developing the business,

You could hire a restaurant marketing agency,


Beware of those before hiring an agency:

  • Costs
  • Expertise
  • Time needed
  • Reviews
  • Team behind


10 Restaurant Marketing Ideas



Restaurant Marketing Ideas



I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide on Restaurant Marketing,

And that you have now the weapons to get your restaurant out there.

Remember that if you really want to master this subject,

There is a post dedicated to each one of the sections covered in this guide,

But they will give you a more in-depth understanding of the topic itself,

But Now,

What’s next?

Now you can learn more about Managing your restaurant and making it successful,

But before that,

If you need to know more about restaurant marketing,

We would love to answer any doubts or questions you might have,

Stay safe and see you soon!


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