Competition in the restaurant industry is abundant and to be successful you need a very solid “leg up” on your competition. The deeper and more hyper targeted the strategy, the better. Here’s 5 simple to execute on strategies to help you get more diners in the door.

#1. Incentivize Diners To Take Pictures

food

People love taking pictures of food and posting them online. With more graphic social networks being built, there’s more and more pictures of food being spread across the internet.

Capitalize on the incessant need for people to take pictures of their food. Incentivize your diners with something as simple as 5% off their bill if they take a picture of their food and post it on their social networks.

They’re just dying to do it anyways, so feed the addiction to build a serious social reach. Ask them to tag your restaurant in those pictures so you can use them later too!

 

#2. Reward Loyalty

There’s dozens of apps out there to help restaurants reward loyalty, but you don’t want to reward everyone. You want to reward you most rapid fans and consistently best diners. Leave the restaurant apps for everyone else, make a VIP experience app just for your best customers.

It’s simple to do with a platform like BuildFire. The goal is to build something that can cater to the top 10% of your diners and keep them engaged enough to keep the app installed.

What’s the purpose of this?

The next time you have a down night, log into your dashboard and send a push notification to your VIP customers offering something simple like a free desert for those who come with a friend, and watch the tables fill up.

 

#3. Instagram It Up!

8649133454_82557a1787_o

There’s a bunch of social networks out there, but none as convenient for foodies and restaurants like Instagram. It’s mobile, it’s full of foodies and it can be automated. The perfect recipe for growth.

Leverage tools like Instagress to automate liking and following of people in your city using specific hashtags related to the type of food you serve. Then leverage tools like Latergram.me to schedule up and automate the posting of images multiple times a day.

The two tools can work together to rapidly grow your follower base and drive real diners into your restaurant, all through the power of mobile and hyper localized social media.

 

#4. Reach Out To Influencers

Food bloggers aren’t the only ones who need some love. While they’re definitely more targeted, that local marketing influencer or technology influencer has just as much clout on potential diners as any food blogger.

The fact that you’re reaching out to them will set you apart from others, and some of the more social media obsessed influencers out there, not in the food realm, can do more good than any food blogger.

 

#5. Leverage Hyper Targeted Ads With Delicious Pictures For Complete Domination

 

Google AdWords used to be the only game in down for local restaurants, but with Facebook’s radius targeting and time of day scheduling, it’s now a cheaper and more targeted option to access people who you otherwise wouldn’t be able to via Google.

Leverage the photos diners took for you from the first strategy, target people around you and schedule your ads to kick in around 3pm daily until 2 hours before you close. The perfect time to get delivery orders going and get in the face of those making plans. Show off your menu with a carousel ad like this one:

food_ad_on_facebook

Showing your restaurant name and branding in the image is just a waste of design time, show someone a delicious burger, ask a simple question and land them on a mobile optimized landing page with all the info they need to get to your door (menu, directions, contact info, hours, etc). That’ll drive you ready to eat diners all day long.

We’d love to hear about marketing strategies you’ve found useful for your restaurant. Just leave a comment below.