We’re in the midst of the Coronavirus lock-down at the moment but the restrictions on movement will be relaxed soon. Before we know it, pubs, bar, clubs and restaurants will be open again. The problem is, though, will the customers be as fast to start socialising and eating out again? How do we market our pubs, bars, clubs, and hotels? Is this even the right time for restaurant, bar & hotel marketing?
The last recession was very tough for nearly all businesses but there were some very interesting lessons learned. The most important one, however, is that you can’t be complacent. The successful business that came out of the recession stronger than ever were the ones that realised they had to ‘up their game.’ They knew that it would take time for things to return to normal so they had to fight for the customers or go bust. Many of the organisations who simply ‘battened down the hatches’ and stopped investing in their business went under. Now is the time to start your restaurant, bar & hotel marketing
How to get more customers – restaurant, bar & hotel marketing the easy way
I’ve been in sales & marketing for as long as the internet has existed. Since before Google, Twitter and Facebook existed. Even before smartphones and mobile data. The amazing thing over this time has been the change in customer behaviour. We don’t ‘take a punt’ on a new restaurant anymore. Rather we ‘check it out online’ first. We check the website and read the menus. Look at the photos and explore the virtual tour. If we’re not 100% sure it’s the place for us we hot ‘back’ and go to the next listing on Google. This is why it’s so important to get it right first time
How to get new customers for bars, restaurants, and hotels
1 – First of all make sure your website is up to scratch from the visitors perspective. Your customers don’t need much – don’t make it difficult for them to find what they need! On your website, make the following information very prominent; Opening times, your location & parking (with a link to Google Maps), reservation information if available, menus (please not in PDFs!!!), and any specials or happy hour info. This is the most important thing to consider when thinking about your restaurant, bar & hotel marketing
2 – Make sure you have good quality and accurate photos (please no stock photos!)
3 – A good quality virtual tour is the number one factor in choosing a restaurant, bar or hotel. If your new potential customers are able to explore by themselves when it’s convenient for them, you’re much more likely to get them to visit in person.
4 – Next, make sure your website can be found. There is a very nice article on DIY SEO here, however, I’d recommend hiring an expert SEO to optimise your site and build a few links for you whilst they’re at it
5 – Make the most of what Google has to offer. Get your virtual tour on Google Maps, Google Search, Google Street View, and Google My Business. This is all part of getting a virtual tour done. See this article on integrating your virtual tour into Google
Here is a list of suppliers you may want to get in touch with:
Search engine optimisation (click here) (SEO) – get your site indexing on Google and make sure new customers can find you – Click here to find out more about Search Engine Optimisation