In a sector that is as competitive as catering, effective marketing is crucial. Margins are tight, so it is important to attract people in and encourage them to buy a little extra whenever you can. So, understandably a lot of those involved in the sector spend quite a bit on marketing.
Because their marketplace is constantly evolving how they choose to spend that budget has to change too. In 2022, the emphasis is on modernizing, diversifying, and building a more personal and long-term relationship with the community and customers.
Encouraging more user-generated content and sharing
More than ever, reviews and other user-generated content are invaluable for marketing a bar, café, club, or restaurant. Owners are increasingly encouraging this using prize draws and other incentives and creating as many photo ops as possible. For example, providing birthday clients with a free or heavily discounted cake that has huge sparkle candles going off on top of it. This article covers many other ways to encourage the generation of and sharing of user-generated content. Including how to get permission to use some of it beyond social media. For example, in short videos and on your website as a part of testimonials.
Using digital signage to the max
For a long time now, marketing using digital signage has been highly effective. Something that those involved in the catering industry have woken up to in 2022. These digital screens have gone from mainly being used to display digital menus to becoming a key component of any restaurant, bar, pub, club, and café owner´s promotional efforts.
With this form of marketing, the owner and their staff are in total control. They decide what is displayed when, and in what part of the restaurant each promotion is shown in. So, if there are a lot of families enjoying lunch in the annex while watching their children play outside they could be tempted with an ice cream offer. While, in the more tranquil areas where most of the diners are couples enjoying a meal together, the offer could be a free luxury canape when 2 glasses of champagne are ordered.
Diverse demographic marketing
Restaurants and cafes cannot afford to niche down too much. Relying mainly on one demographic is usually a recipe for disaster.
For example, a bar that only appeals to younger clients will have problems remaining profitable. Usually, they will only be busy very late at night towards the end of the week and at the weekend. Unless they are full during all of that time making a profit is going to be difficult.
Increasingly, businesses are learning to diversify what they have to offer throughout the day. They are turning themselves into cafes by day, restaurants for the evening, and clubs by night. Keeping the doors open virtually 24 hours a day is enabling owners to maximize their profits. (Find out more here).
Multiple listings on review sites
But it does require careful marketing. Naming each business differently works. For example, calling the whole establishment Lindy´s, then tagging that name with the words café, restaurant, and club when advertising each business. Provided things are structured right that also opens up the opportunity for multiple Google My Business listings.
It also means the business can potentially be listed on review sites multiple times. But the listings must be created and tailored to fit in with what appeals to each of the demographics each sub-business serves. For example, if the restaurant offers a romantic ambiance that would not necessarily fit in with what people are looking for when clubbing.
For years, many physical businesses actively avoided getting involved in email marketing. They did not realize just how effective it is and were worried that diners may see it as spam, which could ruin their reputation. Now, that is changing.
When it comes to customer acquisition, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter are. So, it would be crazy for restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs not to use it. Especially because the tools now exist to enable each email to be laser targeted. Ensuring that customers are only sent an email when there is something that they are highly likely to want on offer. Solving the problem of overwhelming people with promotions that they don´t want to know about. This in-depth guide explains how any catering-related business can easily start using email marketing.
Leveraging saving customers money
Last, but by no means least is marketing campaigns that help people to save money. In the current economic climate, this is extremely important. Highlighting special offers and promotions across all marketing platforms and campaigns helps businesses to stand out and do so in a positive way.
Infographic created by Clover Network – A Restaurant POS Systems Company