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  • Writer's pictureHansika Mata

How to effectively market a restaurant in India

For a local restaurant, it would be optimal to approach customers consistently from all directions in a refined way to bring some limelight to your business. Once we start the activities to make people aware of your business, you also would not want to miss out on your existing customers and how to retain them. The goal is to make you an independent business owner who sits strong on his throne backed by customer information.

Now I want you to stop for a moment and let what I’m about to say next really sink in because it's a hard truth and is what the majority of people are doing.

Most restaurant owners and cloud kitchen owners are obsessed with the hottest traffic source which is Swiggy or Zomato and are completely ignoring the fact that their own independently built system can bring in high-value orders and customers for them.

Once you have gained clarity about your position and problems [ answer the questions mentioned in the first chapter, do not proceed without doing that ] now it’s time to revisit the below-mentioned questions every month to plan and review your marketing process.

  1. What are my ongoing promotions and offers?

  2. Is my reputation being managed online and offline?

  3. Are my social media efforts consistent?

  4. Is my online platform synced with my marketing plans?

  5. Is my delivery process in place?

  6. What is my retention strategy for the month?

  7. Performance Overview

This simple 7-step process if followed religiously could transform your customer journey. Let’s get started with what each process means.

Promotion and Offers

Promoting your brand and getting the buzz out there is basic. There is no one-fixed way for anyone to do promotions. You may mix and match multiple strategies. Remember this, customer has to be incentivized for ordering from you. Give them a reason other than food. Finalize all your promotions basis what your budget allows and go at it. I’m also going to let you on a secret that no one will tell you about. The secret element is “surprise” . For a customer to remember you, there has to be an element of surprise that should take him off by surprise. It can be as simple as seeing the owner deliver the product at home and having a little chat with him or receiving a letter from the restaurant with an exclusive offer or receiving a free beverage which he was not expecting. This surprise element, not only makes them happy but compels them to spread the word about you.

“Don’t ever promise than you can deliver, but deliver more than you can promise” Lou Holtz.

Discount deal, promotional offer are the basis of any marketing activity. If you do not wish to promote any discount then make sure there is an unbeatable USP of your restaurant that is not available anywhere else in the neighborhood. Restaurant industry is a saturated industry.

Once this is done, you will be able to filter the communication on all your channels whether online or offline.

Polishing Reputation

If you’re a new restaurant owner then the best way to get some good publicity is by asking friends and family to write and talk about your business on Social Media, Zomato, or Google. For those already in business, maintaining a reputation is crucial. Ask people to write about you, offer rewards to people for posting about your business, go for rebranding if it benefits your business in the long run, polish your social media presence, and reply to all customers to get in touch with you via social media or on aggregator platforms. Address every complaint and offer a discount deal as an apology. When brands “Care”, people can sense it. It is a crucial part of maintaining a positive reputation as it will indirectly benefit your sales.

Social Media Management

There are plenty of ways of going about social media as creativity has no limit and social media being an open platform, provides you with an immense opportunity to play around. However, if one fails to be consistent with the following steps then one is doomed to feel dissatisfied with the perform.

  1. Regular posting.

  2. Enaging with followers through DM once every month.

  3. Planning viral posts each month.

  4. Promoting all posts containign offer details.

  5. Daily reels

Once we are able to perform the above mentioned tasks consistently, month after month.. Our success rate should reach new heights. Gaining 10,000 followers overnight can not happen, unless you make it happen with your efforts. It might take you time but you will get their with following just the 5 steps mentioned above.

Most people hire an agency to post 3 times a week and they feel it’s enough whereas it isn’t. Food is the best product to have as it’s one of the most instagrammable things after beautiful girls. If you’re not showcasing your product images consistently, it’s all on you!

It’s your responsibility as a business owner to keep your social media account active and if you don’t know how to do it... Simply search for other restaurants and look at what they’re doing to take some inspiration or talk to an expert to understand what content to post to gain traction.

Online Order Taking Platform

Online Orders can be taken in multiple ways. You don’t need to spend thousands of rupees trying to build your website. This step includes having a landing page for a customer to check out your menu and place an order. It can be WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Food Aggregator Platform, or your own website which can be easily made now provided you a have POS like Petpooja, Posify etc or you may simply partner up with Dotpe...

The benefit of going the last option is customer information.

Pre-planned Delivery Process

When we’re delivering food to a customer at their home, there is very little scope for us to build a bond with them or have any kind of communication. This problem gives birth to the need of having a proper delivery system in place that allows us to deliver an unforgettable experience and also convert third-party aggregator ordering into direct orders. There are 4 important elements to it - Packaging design, packaging material, presentation and a flyer containing information about the brand, offers and contact information.

In addition to following the above mentioned steps, it’s crucial to maintain timely delivery. Receiving the food late is a BIG turn off for any customer.

Retention Strategy
Did you know? After a great experience, the chances of a customer returning to us increases by 40% and if he returns, the chances of him ordering once again go up by 42% and if he comes again, the chances of a fourth-order are as high as 70%!

Let’s not forget that maximum restaurant sales are generated from repeat customers and the best way to do it is to collect their information at the time they make a purchase with us and craft a strategy to utilize it in the future so we can generate sales whenever we want and convert a customer into a loyal one.

These were the 8 key areas one needs to pay attention to. If you can craft a successful strategy for each of these areas then it can benefit your business in ways I can not even express right now. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are thinking about “From where to get started” then fret not, as, as we help you do just that.

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