marketing

Restaurant marketing in 2024

Standing out from the crowd is vital for restaurants still on the road to recovery and while you might have some tried and true practices, this year offers some marketing trends that can help you get ahead in some new ways. Looking to switch up your marketing strategy and offer something new to your audiences?

Whether you’re comfortable with a new approach or just want to tweak your current strategy, 2024’s marketing trends offer something for everyone looking to grow their restaurant business.

Customer lifetime value

CLV is emerging as something that’s important to many industries, and it means prioritizing a small group of core customers who make up most of your business. This boils down to a focus on loyalty and keeping those long-term customers happy with offers, personal attention, and feedback to continue to target their wants and take care of their needs. These days, technology makes it simple to identify these guests so you can analyze data including how frequently they visit, what they order, and how often they are using their loyalty app. Prioritizing these customers can save you the time it takes to attract new customers and by fostering these relationships your bottom line will grow.

Online brand

While SEO is not new, it is an underused tool for many businesses. Research shows that 98 per cent of consumers consult online reviews before visiting a business and 77 per cent will visit a restaurant’s website before they visit, so ensuring that your brand is well-represented could absolutely increase traffic. Studies show that a one-star improvement on Yelp could increase restaurant visits by 27 per cent, so paying attention to your online reputation can have a critical impact on your restaurant.

Solicit reviews from your regulars, send out links or QR codes in your email marketing, and encourage guests to talk about you on social media to build a positive online brand. Ensure, too, that your website is clear, that your menu is easy to find, and that making a reservation or placing an online order is simple. These are important practices to encourage new guests to give you a try and existing customers to re-visit online and in-person.

AI

Automation tools have emerged that can help relieve some of the work of running a restaurant, while upping the guest experience. For example, chatbots are making it easier for operators to address online and social media questions at any time of day and immediately addressing guest concerns. Some chatbots are even sophisticated enough to help book reservations and complete online orders, increasing sales while providing a service. AI is also helping operators cut down on errors, analyze customer data, and predict guest behaviour so you can better target those customers with your marketing strategy.

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While traditional marketing certainly has its merits, this year, many operators are taking steps to market themselves more strategically to better focus on the customer experience and profitability.