Food is always in style. Everyone is interested in it, no matter the time or trend. This universal attraction to food gives marketers an advantage, and there is a constant lookout for creative restaurant marketing ideas.
Online ordering is on the rise, and restaurant owners are coming up with new ways to connect with their customers. You can take your restaurant in the right direction and cater to the right audiences if you have the right restaurant marketing ideas in mind.
We're breaking down the best restaurant marketing ideas to assist you to strengthen your resolve, realign and breathe new life into your restaurant marketing and advertising efforts. Just don't get too hungry.
What is a Restaurant Concept?
Let's begin with the basics. Simply put, your restaurant concept is the type of restaurant you want to open. It's the first thing customers notice when they visit your restaurant, as well as the overall theme and style of the establishment. There are many unique restaurant concepts, including
- A fast-casual concept in which customers order at the counter but can also stay and dine.
- A table-service restaurant that can provide casual or fine dining.
- A quick-service or takeout restaurant, such as a cozy café.
Customers will have a preconceived notion of the type of food served, the type of service to expect, and a general understanding of the price point upon understanding the concept.
Restaurant concept inspiration can come from a variety of sources, such as heritage, family background, distant location, or personal experience. They can also be influenced by historical periods, public interests, art, and culture. And, of course, it can be a mix of many of these factors – which distinguishes each restaurant. Continue reading to find out more about what goes into a restaurant concept.
What Goes into Creating a Unique Restaurant Concept?
To decide on a restaurant concept, you must first develop a clear vision and strategy. A thoughtful consideration of the following four key elements is always a good idea.
Research your area
You must be aware of the economic status and demographics of the area in which you intend to open your restaurant. This will assist you in making important decisions about your target audience, such as what hours you will operate, what prices you will set on the menu to be profitable while still appealing, and what ambiance you want to create based on your target audience.
Study successful restaurants
Determine the trends and learn what other restaurants are doing to be successful. What technology are they employing to streamline their dine-in operations? Shop your competition and eat at similar restaurants to see what tends to work and what doesn't. Take note of the areas for improvement so you can do it better next time.
Know the atmosphere you want to create
A restaurant's atmosphere is essential. It is one of the most important aspects of a dining concept. It is the feeling your customers have when they enter your space, as well as what they see, hear, and taste. When friends and family decide on a restaurant to visit, one of the first things they consider is the atmosphere, which is based on the type of day or night they want to spend together
Select a restaurant design concept
This will be determined by a variety of factors. What kind of food do you want to serve? Is there a specific price point for your menu? How many menu items will you include? It is critical to answer these questions to develop an appropriate restaurant concept.
Unique Restaurant Ideas To Try
There are a few types of restaurant dining experiences to consider if you're looking for unique restaurant ideas.
A cafe is a tried-and-true restaurant concept. One advantage of this type of restaurant is that you do not need to create an extensive menu. Instead, consider baked goods, sandwiches, salads, coffees, teas, and smoothies.
With more people working from home, a cafe where they can grab a quick bite to eat while also getting some work done or having a casual business meeting can be the optimal option.
If you've ever had a big group dinner, you know how challenging it can be, especially if there are a lot of adventurous eaters in your group who want to try new foods. That's where family-style dining comes in, allowing customers to order large dishes for the table to share.
When it comes to unique restaurant ideas, this is a relatively simple one to implement—many Asian-style restaurants offer this dining style. Because your customers will be eating a variety of foods throughout their meals. Designing dishes that complement one another is critical for this type of restaurant.
The way today's consumers view food and dining out makes it crucial to provide an engaging element of the culinary experience.
This aspect has brought to light yet another peculiar concept: cook-it-yourself restaurants. The concept is fairly self-explanatory: clients are responsible for at least some aspects of making their food. For example, the chef prepares and marinates the meat while customers cook it to their liking on the grill next to their table.
You can open a multi-concept restaurant if you can afford to rent a building with multiple floors or a larger venue. The concept is simple: each floor will provide a distinct culinary experience.
Multi-concept restaurants are trendy because
- Customers appreciate having a variety of options and a high level of flexibility.
- You can broaden the demographics of clients you can serve.
- It is simple to try out various restaurant concepts.
Special packages can be created to allow clients to sample more than one menu in a single visit.
There isn't a better combination than dinner and a show. Dinner entertainment enhances the dining experience. You can not only enjoy a delicious meal but also watch a live story unfold right before you.
That is what Medieval Times provides its customers. Customers can enjoy a medieval-style dinner that includes bread, tomato soup, and roasted chicken. They also get to raise their chalices for their favorite hero in a live jousting tourney.
Website marketing tips for restaurants
There is no one “ideal way" to market a restaurant as it all depends on your category, audience, location, and other factors, but still, the following are the basic steps that any food-friendly establishment should take:
Create your restaurant's brand identity
Your brand identity is more than just your logo and colors. It represents your company's personality, the tone of your content, and the emotions you want to evoke in your customers. “Happily" is insufficient. Consider the most popular eateries:
- Taco Bell: wit and humor
- Cheesecake Factory: extravagance and indulgence
- Panera: freshness and health
- Olive Garden: family and comfort
So, first and foremost, understand your target audience, and then further segment that audience into individual buyer personas with interests and lifestyles that you cater to. Establish a theme and feel that works well with all of your personas, and then express it consistently in all of your content and actions.
Create a site
This is inevitable. A homepage, about us, menu, and contact page are the bare minimum. However, ideally, you'll want a page for reviews, a photo gallery, a blog, and even a FAQ page.
Your website is the first point of contact for current and potential customers, and it must be professional—first impressions count!
Create a slick, functional online menu
Don't make users squint or scramble to find your menu. Provide an up-to-date, accurate, and high-quality menu. Not sure how? Some delivery services will publish your menu online for free. Another fantastic website that can assist you in making your menu look sleek and stylish is Open Menu (it even offers some handy social integration, for both paid and free users).
Include a blog in your restaurant website design
A blog is an incredible tool for search engine optimization. This means that when people search for a restaurant, yours is more likely to come up. If you sell Italian food and your target audience searches for local Italian food, your website will appear if you have good SEO. If you don't, you'll be much harder to find.
The best way to use a blog is to talk about your restaurant, offer cooking tips, discuss recipes, and even show off the latest changes to your establishment. The goal of your blog will depend on what you want to achieve, but one of the most unique ways to use a restaurant blog is to humanize everything you do.
Give heed to the SEO of your website
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a strong online presence is your website's SEO.
One good example is optimizing your website for mobile users. A responsive website improves the user experience by ensuring that all of your web pages are easily visible and accessible without the need to navigate through lots of links.
Local SEO is one of the most important tools for restaurants today. You must claim your business on Google My Business and ensure that all of your business information, such as your phone number is correct and consistent across your website and other third-party websites. Your best bet would be local search results if you want to quickly appear for specific keywords. Keep in mind, local listings are always at the top of Google Search results, which is why Local SEO is more important than ever.
Social Media marketing tips for restaurants
Restaurants use social media to connect with customers in new and exciting ways. Here are a few examples of how restaurants are leveraging social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others:
- Post-high-quality food items.
- Post seasonal, daily, or weekly menus.
- Display customer content
- Communicate with customers
- Share recipes
- Show behind-the-scenes photos and videos.
- Highlight employees like chefs, servers, bartenders, and others.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Restaurant Concept
Consider your expertise and what excites you
Consider what you know, whether from professional or life experience. Consider the type of restaurant you want to visit, as well as the type of food or atmosphere you prefer. Chances are, hungry diners are drawn to those things as well, and that level of authenticity is difficult to replicate.
Consider location and customer base
When developing your concept, consider both the location and, by extension, the existing customer base. Survey what restaurants are doing well in your area to gain a good understanding of diners' preferences. Take it a step further and conduct a feasibility study to see whether your concept is viable.
A consistent experience fosters customer trust and adds to your restaurant's positive reputation.
Examples of Successful Restaurant Concepts
1) Saved By The Max – West Hollywood, CA
2) Conflict Kitchen – Philadelphia, PA
A rotating menu restaurant concept, Conflict Kitchen, provides international news with your meal, based on the country with which the United States is at war.
3) Safe House – Milwaukee, WI & Chicago, IL
Safe House, positioned as a spies' hideout, goes all-in with their restaurant concept, requiring a password to enter their top-secret location.