Looking for advice promoting a restaurant...

by MTVida
15 replies
Hi everyone,

I don't do much promotion of offline businesses, so I thought I'd ask here for ideas.

A friend of mine owns a fabulous southwestern style restaurant here in our little town about 3 hours away from Phoenix, AX. He does good business and his website is top-notch.

Now our town is a tourist destination, especially in the summer. It's very appealing for people in the Phoenix area who want to escape the intense heat in a relatively cool mountain town, for the day or for a weekend.

What he wants to do is increase his exposure to the people in Phoenix and Scottsdale via the internet. I'd like to get some ideas to him, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate you sharing.

Thanks,

Sheldon
#advice #promoting #restaurant
  • Profile picture of the author opt in
    Hi MTVIDA,

    I agree, Phoenix is a very nice area, I went their a couple of times.

    Get into offlinebiz.com website, you will have the best advices their for a small fee per month and access the whole membership site with all its precious information about promoting offline business on the internet including restaurants.

    Trust me, very valuable step by step, simple information that anyone can apply easily including creating a list of potential customer through an opt-in page (autoresponder) within his website and much much more.

    Regards

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author RobbieT
    Hi Sheldon, here's a few suggestions which I hope will help.

    1/ make sure that your friend claims his Google Places page if he hasn't already done so. It's a good idea to put at least 5 professional quality photos of his meals on the site (that's what he's selling) and a video or 2 showing the location and where to park and the exterior and interior of the restaurant. Also make sure that trading hours, which credit cards are accepted, where to park etc are all shown clearly on the Google Places site page. Make it real easy for the out of towners to choose this restaurant.

    2/ go on-line and list the restaurant in all the local directories - yellow pages, truelocal (or whichever you have over there) there may be as many as 5 to 10 but give them all the relevant info they ask for.

    3/ only after you have done the 2 steps above get 10 or more GENUINE reviews posted to the site. These need to come from customers (NOT you or the owner or his family) and they need to be posted from the customers computer or mobile.They need to rate the site with stars and post a comment. Don't get 10 put through in the same day. Space them at 1 or 2 a week. Customers who are regulars and enjoy dining there are the best people to ask for a review. You may need to offer an incentive of a free drink or free desert for the customers help.

    4/ make sure that your friends web site is mobile friendly as the visitors will likely be searching for restaurants on their mobile.

    The cost to implement the first 3 of the above for your friend will only be time not $'s and I am sure that if it is done right then his business turnover from visitors and locals will increase.

    Take good care of those you love.

    Robbie T
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    • Profile picture of the author MTVida
      Thank you all for your wonderful ideas!

      So after reading your replies a went and looked back at his website and his Facebook page.

      He's got a very active FB presence, with more fans than this town has people He's got hours, map, contact info, and even credit cards on his profile, so he's pretty well set up there. He's always posting quotes about food and getting lots of likes. I personally have plenty of friends on FB, but I'm not from here, so my page wouldn't reach many of the people he wants to promote to. Offering an incentive for more 'likes' sounds like a great idea, and a great way to promote to people out of town.

      His main site is very sleek and full of colorful photos of different dishes. He was quite clever too, I'd say. He has the domains 15quince (dot) com AND VisitJeromeAZ (dot) com displaying his page. The first is the name of his restaurant and Jerome, AZ is the name of the town. Both domains are killing it in Google. I see a few places where he could improve, like organizing his contact details and readily displaying the credit cards he takes.

      Originally Posted by RobbieT View Post

      Hi Sheldon, here's a few suggestions which I hope will help.

      1/ make sure that your friend claims his Google Places page if he hasn't already done so. It's a good idea to put at least 5 professional quality photos of his meals on the site (that's what he's selling) and a video or 2 showing the location and where to park and the exterior and interior of the restaurant. Also make sure that trading hours, which credit cards are accepted, where to park etc are all shown clearly on the Google Places site page. Make it real easy for the out of towners to choose this restaurant.

      2/ go on-line and list the restaurant in all the local directories - yellow pages, truelocal (or whichever you have over there) there may be as many as 5 to 10 but give them all the relevant info they ask for.

      3/ only after you have done the 2 steps above get 10 or more GENUINE reviews posted to the site. These need to come from customers (NOT you or the owner or his family) and they need to be posted from the customers computer or mobile.They need to rate the site with stars and post a comment. Don't get 10 put through in the same day. Space them at 1 or 2 a week. Customers who are regulars and enjoy dining there are the best people to ask for a review. You may need to offer an incentive of a free drink or free desert for the customers help.

      4/ make sure that your friends web site is mobile friendly as the visitors will likely be searching for restaurants on their mobile.

      The cost to implement the first 3 of the above for your friend will only be time not $'s and I am sure that if it is done right then his business turnover from visitors and locals will increase.

      Take good care of those you love.

      Robbie T
      Looks to me like our next step could be to check all local directories, as well as directories in Scottsdale & Phoenix. A few local reviews will be a piece of cake, but I'll pitch the idea to him about getting some names from the city, or even further afield, seeing how tourists come from all over. If someone from Scottsdale comes across his site and read a positive review from "Bud Gilmore -Scottsdale AZ" it could get more people there thinking of his place as a destination.

      #4 is where I can really be a major help to him! I have experience designing mobile sites, and I think he sees the reasoning in having a mobile optimized site. I even started a mockup before making this post!

      He's absolutely great about supporting the local community by offering an economical local menu and displaying local artwork on his walls. He's really a wonderful person to do business with, as well as a good friend.

      If you're ever in Jerome, AZ, do come and enjoy delicious southwestern food an margaritas at Quince!
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Right now - as in today - have him start a "birthday club". collect everybody's birth month and day. Set up a system that sends out a card a month or so before their b-day offering a free meal form the menu. Why? They ain't coming alone - they will buy a drink or two - the people they come with will fill one out also. You now have their addresses - send a 1/2 way to your birthday 1/2 price special. Come see us and bring some friends and get a free xxxs.
    GP will not show in Phoenix so you have to get them to come to you.
    You may find that they will make a weekend out of it. Use send out cards - cheap and easy (there are other as well).
    Read this years ago from Dan Kennedy - best damn idea for a rest.
    Biz spend way too much $ getting customers and not enough $ keeping their old ones - learned that years ago in my carpet cleaning biz (also from DK).
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  • Profile picture of the author anpharmd09
    Does your friend have a lead capture system in place? If not I would have him set one up in the form of an autoresponder where customers could fill out a form with their email address to sign up to receive a special offer or coupon. This same process could be implemented with an sms service as well.

    He may also want to consider creating a facebook fan page and offering a coupon to visitors who "like" his page using like-gating to build a following.
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  • Profile picture of the author willisturn
    You can use Social Media marketing also like facebook(it's the simplest way yet very effective), i'm sure you do have lots friends in facebook, friends would surely spread it to their friends as well. Then you can do promotions.
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  • Profile picture of the author EmmaPowell
    Robbie T had some really great points there and the following warriors also had really great advice for you.

    Now you said tourist area right? Well you need to target WHERE the tourists are.... HOTELS and tourist attractions!!! That is where your marketing needs to be!

    How you do that, well, the options are limited only be your imagination! You could make flyers, make them a great offer - "like us on facebook, come in a for a meal and get a FREE desert!" or something like that would work well for two reasons really.
    1) Social media integration - social media is social proof AND you have just given them a way to find you again AND you can continue to market to them =)
    2) Everyone loves something for free!

    The overwhelming theme from warriors is stay in contact and engage your target client by which ever means suits you!

    Good luck =)
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    • Profile picture of the author Amy5
      Hi MTVida

      1. For restaurants most people turn to their favorite review site such as Yelp or ubanspoon. That's where people tend to go when they're thinking "hmmm where go for dinner?" or "lets find someplace new."

      2. Have a table tent with QR code going to their review page - and say "If you liked your experience, please tell us others. We thank you for your review! Scan this code to leave a review on Yelp...." something like that. Encourage people to write reviews.

      3. Facebook ads! Have a coupon add 10$ off of $25 purchase with this Facebook coupon. Target the add to people within 10 miles of the city. Periodically run special Facebook Only coupons on their facebook page. Also run a Facebook checkin deal - so when people are near by and on their cell phone - on facebook and click "near by places" the coupon shows up.
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Been to Jerome - great place - lived in Phx in the early 80's. How about doing a deal with a local hotel or B&B - like a mini getaway using their list. "dinner and stay" type of thing?
    What theme is that - I like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author kellinsmith01
    Thank you so much for sharing such type of nice information with your post...
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  • Profile picture of the author koaxfrax
    Besides what's already been mentioned I'd make sure he's a presence on social media and gives kudos for "likes" or "following" - only die-hards will do it but they are the ones that will spread the world. I'd suggest setting up a blog and having him create some flagship content that's worth linking to regardless of what he says in his blog. Remember his mission is great food - at least one assumes - so he should be blogging about that and try hard to get away from the transactional nature of getting butts in seats. Press the flash, word of mouth and referrals will get him places. Social media is the next line of defense and cross promotion thereafter. Folks are already headed there for the cool mountain air so he needed spend money trying to educate people to that - he needs to attract people to his restaurant when they are already in town more than getting them to think about driving 3 hours just to visit him right?

    Either all that or start a noodle bar in Scottsdale ... whichever is cheaper.
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  • Profile picture of the author ilovemedia
    You can suggest that he try offering big discounts and offers to big groups of people making reservations online. People are always trawling through the internet for big bargains and if they see a restaurant offering up to 50% or more in discounts, there's definitely going to be some excitement. Especially if your friend's restaurant does as good a job as you claim.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    You can try to catch each prospect individually , or preferably grab hold of places where they congregate and market to and through them .

    Who are his target market? Will he want hikers, or people pulling up in chaffeured limos , will he want one course snackers, or the 5 courses, pre during and post dinner drinks crowd?

    Whichever, where and which sites are they visiting online when they are either in town or searching online pre visiting, connect up with them in whichever way the LTV of the potential clients each site will bring and profit margins allow
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  • Profile picture of the author Ndot India
    You can use daily deal websites. Really it will help you to promote your business like restaurant. Just use Google to know the further information about the daily deal websites.
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  • Profile picture of the author HorseStall
    That type of business does well with social media and review sites like Yelp where you can claim your business etc... I would focus on a social campaign.
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