Digital Marketing Tips for Restaurants and Cafes: Beginners Guide

4959 Nine Elms Corridor Room

So, you have a restaurant, bar, coffee shop or cafe and aren’t satisfied with the traffic you’re attracting, what do you do? Well, if you do have a fantastic offer, and think that you simply need to get the word out, the first thing you need to do is build up your digital marketing game.

There are many effortless ways to market venues. There is the traditional way – advertise in local newspapers, pass out flyers, or attract lunchtime diners with meal specials. Or you might also join one of the many up and coming delivery services. But this may still not attract any traffic for event bookings – you’ll be missing out on office Christmas parties in the winter, and not scoring any weddings or receptions in the spring and summer. Perhaps you’re wondering why you’re not being found on Google or other search engines when people are looking for places to host their events. 

The answer to this problem is to fine-tune and pump up your digital media presence. Digital marketing has the potential to create a whole new audience for your business, and all it will take from you is a little investment in a new creative approach. Maximising your exposure online can have a powerfully positive impact on building a new audience for your venue.

Start Simple

Don’t neglect social media

Your business should have its own Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. People use them and use them often. Even if you don’t enjoy social media, you’re missing out on a massive audience if you don’t take the plunge.

  • Don’t merely post once and then let it slide – answer messages, respond to comments and keep your newsfeed busy. 
  • Use attractive photos of your best dishes if you are a restaurant, or quirky and gorgeous pictures of your desserts or cappuccinos if you are a coffee shop or cafe. Keep all the relevant details of your restaurant up to date and interact with your clients when they reach out to you. 
  • Showcase your venue by making videos and run contests.  
  • You can even include an ‘Order’ button that will direct your clients to your website or other ordering portals. 
  • Ask customers to ‘share’ or ‘like’ your posts; their reaction will be passed along to their friends and spread the word about your offer.

Consider Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

 If you can collect personal details from POS interactions such as emails, social media profiles or mobile numbers, then you have the basis for a small-scale digital marketing campaign. 

  • Issue Calls to Action via emails or text messages that include promotions and other reasons to get in touch with your restaurant. 
  • Personalise your interaction. Offer loyalty programs, or if you can, consider automating the process and integrate the data you have collected to offer birthday promotions, or other CTAs addressed to individuals.
  • Be sure to have offers ready for your audience. If there are particular types of promotions related to your business, for example, weddings, make your proposal clear – sample wedding packages are a great way to win customers over.

Bring Business Intelligence into play 

If you can afford an AI solution for your business, you can even automate your customer interactions, offering them inducements tailored to their individual needs. But if you are a smaller brand, you can still look at your audience base from an analytical perspective.  

  • Break your audience down into repeat customers, occasional and fly-bys. 
  • Check out your social media or Google analytics to understand when people are most likely to interact with your online offer and time your campaigns to match these times.
  • Learn who your customers are, check the analytics, and see what their ages, and interests are and act on it. 

Make the most of what the internet has to offer

 If you have a dedicated marketing budget, consider bringing more professional help on board. 

  • Make sure your restaurant is registered on places like Google My Business, or Yelp. Google searches will always offer choices from these sites. But don’t neglect to keep an eye on your reviews.
  • Consider paying for digital promotional campaigns on Facebook, for example. Prices can be surprisingly reasonable on many platforms and are also easy to implement.
  • Reach out to micro-influencers. These small scale influencers have a surprisingly strong ability to sway their followers towards certain brands. With more followers, you may have already tripled your audience. Check your options; there are even agencies now that can manage this promotional relationship for you.
  • Place posts about your business on venue hire marketplaces such as Tagvenue.com or aggregators such as Zomato.

Level Up

There are a few other more technologically advanced tips that will help boost your presence online and attract unique users. Most of these are pretty simple – and only require you to rethink your positioning on the market. Google utilises a variety of methods to rank websites and determines how to offer them in response to search queries; you can influence this to a degree, so it is worth understanding a few key things. 

Google relies on a variety of methods to determine how to place responses to search queries. If a person has Googled ‘best Indian restaurant’ do you know what determines the order of their response? No? Well, often, it has to do with how closely the page matches the question being asked – according to the search algorithm’s evaluation. That is why there are specific methodologies you can put into play that will increase your chance of being ranked.

Here are a few tactics worth considering that will take a minimum of time, and yield – we hope – a maximum result. Let’s take a look at a few. 

Know your keywords 

Depending on your type of business, there are specific keywords or combination of keywords that have a higher value for Google. These types of keywords also apply to location. For example ‘best pizza’ combined with ‘Smith Road could rank higher with Google than merely saying “pizza restaurant on Wilson Place”.  

  • Learn these terms and incorporate them into your online promotional efforts and website. 
  • There are plenty of sites to help you figure this out, Google included – and you will soon see your traffic take a turn in the right direction. 

Keep it short

Make sure any text on your website is AI friendly. 

  • Short paragraphs and bullets are like catnip to a cat in this case. Plus, they will be simpler for your customers to read. 
  • Also, make sure your titles are informative and precise – if they are too smart to be understood by Google, they will not be taken into account when ranking your site.

Everything adds up 

Make sure you pay attention to the small things when it comes to your site. Everyone wants an experience nowadays, so sell your audience on what your restaurant can offer. This persuasion is especially important for restaurants who wish to win venue hire bookings such as weddings. 

  • Treat each event type as a chance to sell yourself: Weddings, Christmas Parties, Birthdays. Attractive photos and a great copy will sell this experience to your audience even before they send you an email. 
  • Keep this media up to date, and don’t lag.

It’s all in the fine print 

If you use a website builder such as WordPress, for example. Don’t neglect the small details. 

  • Don’t forget to add photos to your posts. Attractive pictures will make an article more appealing and break up walls of text. Also, make sure to provide details and titles for your photos. These can be used to describe the picture but also add relevant keywords – this can strengthen your attractiveness to website search engines and improve your website’s Domain Authority. 
  • Also, if there are links on your website, make sure that you have clicked on the option to “open links in a new page” this way your user stays on your page, and you will benefit from this. 

Finally, our most essential tip – don’t lag behind the times 

Don’t let innovations leave you in the dust. There is so much advice out there on the internet that will help you learn how to manage this effort. If you need to, you can also reach out to experts who will help you build your business. They come at a variety of price points, and they can help you navigate any bumps.


List your restaurant venue at Tagvenue for free today, and start earning more tomorrow.



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