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How to Take the Headache Out Of Menu Changes and Restaurant Marketing

Things change constantly in the food industry. New regulations, new customers, new tastes, new ingredients. There’s one thing that might always change for your Delaware, Maryland or Pennsylvania restaurant…it’s the menu. Rotating your seasonal menu might be stressful, but worth every second. It keeps your guests excited, your staff creative, and your competition at bay. But when your menu changes seasonally, marketing your new menu could be a challenge. Buzzwords like “fresh” or “seasonal” won’t help you stand out anymore with so many restaurants and bars opening. You have to outthink your competition and create new ways to draw diners in.

It’s crucial that you publicize the launch and popularity of new menu items. Without showing off your new additions, customers might pass you by. Take a look at these creative ways to easily take the head ache out of marketing your latest menu release.

1. First things first have a strong search engine result. SEM can help.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that restaurants have become one of the most heavily researched businesses by consumers. In a survey conducted by OpenTable, with over 6,000 participants, they found that:

  • 87% of respondents said they found restaurants via online searches
  • 86% read the menu
  • 60% consult with online reviews

Your restaurant can’t afford to not have a strong online presence. Search engine marketing, or SEM, can help your business increase visibility in search engine results pages through paid advertising. Without working on a search engine strategy, your Italian restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland might now show up when someone types “Italian restaurant Baltimore” into Google. It should, and you can get it to the top of results with something as simple as keywords.

One way to boost your search engine results is by spending time with Google Adwords. Google AdWords is Google’s advertising system where you bid on certain keywords and win clickable ads that appear in Google’s search results. FMDi knows how to use pay-per-click methods, like Google Adwords, to spread the buzz about your new menu change.

2. So you got people on your site, now don’t lose them.

Being top on search engine results might help lure some new food lovers to your restaurant’s website, but retargeting helps even more. Retargeting keeps your restaurant’s advertisements in front of buyers after they leave your website, sending ads for days or even weeks after they visit your website. With retargeting, your restaurant can reach interested customers more often. Getting foodies to your website should be an ongoing focus to ensure a constant funnel of customers. And once they find your site, make sure you leverage each visit with a retargeting strategy.

FMDi knows how to use retargeting so that your restaurant doesn’t lose one interested Foodie. But, retargeting isn’t the only way to attract new and regular customers. Having a strong reputation is key to ensuring all your marketing efforts do their job.

3. Get fans to love you more with email marketing.

Maybe you already have a loyal following or want to beef up your fan base a little more. Email marketing has one main draw that you don’t want to miss. It requires users to sign up for newsletters, making it one of the few marketing channels directed at an audience that wants to receive the message.

Because you’re among fans, you can be personal, giving your readers special offers and even behind the scenes glimpses. This gives an air of an exclusive community for your bar or restaurant. The goal of every email is to keep your customers engaged, excited about your restaurant, and give them an incentive to return. That’s why email marketing is perfect to publicize new menus.

As for results, email marketing is unmatched for ROI. The Direct Marketing Association’s latest data shows a return of nearly $41 for every dollar spent on email marketing. But, finding time to collect email addresses and write effective emails can be difficult. FMDi has a team that can easily get email marketing set up for your business in time for the latest menu change. With just one email blast, hundreds can read about your latest and delicious menu items.

4. Use video to show off what you know best: Food.

Watching food preparation is one simple way to get people thinking about eating food. Your restaurant or bar can use videos to show off your brand’s newest items and unique style. By making a simple food preparation video, your regulars can share the video and spread awareness for new menu items instantly.

A marketing move you can do easily is create a YouTube channel to store all your videos. Create and then share on YouTube some shots from your restaurant, maybe in the kitchen or as the plate meets the dinner table. Remember, people are searching for your restaurant and want to see its offerings. By posting videos online, your restaurant can appear more on Google and will help in ranking your website. Why not show them exactly what your newest plate looks like with video?

FMDi knows how to show off your videos on your restaurant’s website or social media platforms. By including video online, your restaurant can break the news of menu changes in an engaging way.

Restaurant marketing shouldn’t be a hassle.

You might have too much on your plate already in the restaurant industry. Don’t think that restaurant marketing is just another headache to deal with. Use your seasonal menu as a marketing tool for your eatery. Promoting new food items can be easy with FMDi. Contact us today to learn more!

To read more about restaurant marketing, read our blog on Delaware Valley restaurants.

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