Local Marketing Strategies to Increase Diners

Local Marketing Strategies to Increase Diners

Tap your local area with creative strategies to increase revenue.

You’ve spent time, money, and a lot of effort to get your restaurant off the ground.

Every day you go to work hoping and expecting to see more actual diners inside your restaurant excited to sample your menu. But even though you have great food and superb services, the people just aren’t there.

What do you do? You put some time and patience into marketing your restaurant. In this article, we look at local marketing strategies to increase diners that you can start using today.

Create a Nextdoor Business Page

This is a great (and free) way to reach customers right in your neighborhood.

With your Nextdoor Business Page, you can plug in and connect with potential customers in your direct vicinity. This is especially helpful for generating neighborhood buzz for your restaurant. (tweet this)

What is Nextdoor? It’s a neighborhood hub that lets residents in specific areas interact with one another and local businesses. 

When you start your free Nextdoor Business Page, you give local residents immediate access to your promotions.

You also allow them to interact with you and ask questions. There is an easy banter that takes place on Nextdoor that you can leverage to your advantage.

You’ll also find that as people interact with you, others will step in and comment on your restaurant if they’ve been there.

Think of Nextdoor like a smaller version of Facebook that is more intimate and offers even more chances for relationship building and marketing your restaurant. 

Nextdoor lets you choose the neighborhoods you want to reach, and you can even use their paid advertising options to reach more people. You’ll find you can generate more foot traffic and increase your sales with Nextdoor. 

Get on Local TV

One of the most creative and rewarding ways to use local marketing is to work with the television stations in your area. Morning and lunchtime news casts are a great place to feature recipes and cooking videos.

Network with local journalists and newscasters. Take them samples of your food, and then you can offer to partner with them.

A great idea is to have them feature your chef weekly on one of their newscasts cooking up delicious recipes from your restaurant. This will create a lot of buzz and exposure for your restaurant.

Work with Local Bloggers

Another way to get your restaurant in front of the local crowd is to partner with food bloggers and local influencers.

Similar to the local television option, you provide either a written blog or video content for their food blogs.

To make a great deal, offer the food blogger coupons for free meals in exchange for a presence on their food blog. It might also be that they’ll let you blog on their website in exchange for a small fee.

Do choose your blogger carefully. Research their followers and ask to see their demographics and page visits so you can ensure it’s a good use of your time.

Participate in Community Events

Another strategy involves getting out in your community.

There are always the obvious events that include local food fests or shopping events where you can set up a table/booth.

In addition, consider checking with local businesses and asking to take part in local business events, providing the food or catering.

Other ideas include offering specials and discounts for audiences at your local pro athletic team events or even high school sports events.

You can even reach out to local non-profits offering their employees special coupons as well.

For a small investment in giveaways, you’ll find you rapidly increase your reach and ultimately your in-restaurant diners.

restaurant customers

Reach out to local influencers to help drive traffic to your restaurant.

Host a Local Event

You can also host your own local event if your space allows for it. This lets you entertain your guests while encouraging word of mouth reviews. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring in a band – this can be any type of band but be sure and stick with your restaurant’s theme and clientele. For example, if you’re fine dining, a classical harpist, pianist, or violinist is a good option. If you’re a family-friendly restaurant, consider a light beat small local band.
  • If you’re an ethnic restaurant, bring in some local dancers that fit the theme and atmosphere of your restaurant.
  • Host a cooking class. Again, this should work with your restaurant. For example, if you are an Italian restaurant, offer a cooking class on classic Italian desserts.

Host a Trivia Night

This hearkens back to earlier days when the digital age hadn’t quite taken hold. But there’s been a resurgence lately in nostalgic type events that involve a more friendly interaction.

People want to be around other people, and they want to interact.

So, host a trivia night once a week or once a month. This is a great opportunity to bring in new diners to your restaurant.

Your goal with a trivia night is to create a fun atmosphere where tables of diners compete with other tables in a trivia contest.

Use Social Media

Don’t forget the power of social media for your local marketing.

You want to increase your social media efforts, posting at least once a day on Facebook and Instagram.

Concentrate on putting out professional, beautiful photos of your menu items, share user-generated content, showcase the inner workings of your restaurant, create recipe videos, and other relationship-building content.

Use hashtags to help users find your content online and do be sure and use local hashtags as well. For example, #dallasrestaurants or #restaurantsinnyc, depending on your locale.

It’s also a good idea to like all the local pages in your area that you can that might be apt to partner with you or share your content.

To Conclude

Putting effective local marketing strategies in place generally means you’ll also have a leg up on your competition.

In a fiercely competitive market, you want to do everything you can to put your business out in the local scene. Make your restaurant the first place people think of by utilizing creative local strategies.

With more than 46% of Google searches having local intent, you can see just how important it is to concentrate on local marketing.

So, not only do you want to advertise locally and get involved in the community, but you also want to fine-tune your digital marketing to attract local customers. (tweet this)

You have a lot of opportunities to advertise in your local area. Your first step is to craft a doable strategy. Then, all you need to do is put it into action to increase diners in your restaurant.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to your restaurant and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog, and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!

Images: Wade Austin Ellis and Ali Yahya on Unsplash

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