Local restaurants, unlike chain or five-star restaurants, often rely on word-of-mouth or passersby to attract business. Having an effective marketing plan can help increase business and attract people who are not always familiar with the area.
Capitalize On Local Searches
To capitalize on local searches you will need a website and at least one business social media page. Additionally, it is important to maintain your business listing on search engines. The easiest way to search for food is to input the specific type of cuisine and add "near me" to the search. Search engines generally use geolocation information to help users find nearby locations. Without having a website, social media presence, and directory listing, you are unlikely to show up in these searches. Another helpful tool is to not only focus on your specific location. Of course, your business address should be included on your website, social media accounts, and directory, but find a way to include the surrounding area. For example, you might deliver beyond the local area or your restaurant might be near a popular location for nightlife. A search engine optimization company can help.
Hire A Food Stylist
The visual appearance of your food can attract people to your restaurant. You want to be sure you are showcasing your food in the best light possible, and unless you have a talent for styling and photography, you likely need a professional. As a local business, you might not have the funds necessary to hire a popular food stylist, but there are other options. Generally, food stylists are chefs. You might want to hire someone in your area who happens to have a background in culinary arts and is a freelance photographer. Utilize these photos on your website to give visitors a visual representation of your menu. Additionally, appealing photographs work well on social media outlets to attract attention.
Be Immersed In Your Community
Find ways your food can make its way into local events. For example, some communities have yearly events designed to bring awareness to different cultures. If your restaurant happened to specialize in Greek food and there was a yearly Greek festival, make a point of have a booth with samples of your food. Also, look for opportunities to cater different community organizations. Being the caterer for the event will bring notoriety from the attendees, but it may also serve as an opportunity for your business to be seen in pictures of the event. Other ways local businesses become involved in their community might include supporting special populations by offering discounts to active-duty military or not throwing away food at the end of the day, but donating it to those in need.
Some local restaurants remain in business for decades purely because of their recognition within the community. To go the extra mile, invest in marketing strategies that will increase your online presence.