5 Top Tips on How to Market Your Italian Restaurant Successfully by Grace Carr
As a recent study revealed the unfortunate news that 60% of restaurants fail within the first year- here at LLK, we are working to improve this shocking statistic. We consider ourselves the pizza professionals in our industry who are equipped with all the knowledge needed to run a successful restaurant. We strongly believe in educating our customers in order to help them realise their potential and achieve their dreams. Our fully operational demonstration kitchen is kitted out with all the equipment you could possibly require to run a successful Italian operation. We are eager to impart our expertise and help restaurant owners and chefs alike purchase the correct kit that they require, whether you run a national chain or a small independent. However, just having the right kit in your kitchen won’t ensure your restaurant will be successful. In this digital age, it’s all about how you showcase your brand and get it noticed by the right people- something which is becoming more difficult with the increase in competition for attention. LLK’s Marketing and Events Manager, Grace Carr, has put together 5 top tips to help initiate or improve your restaurant’s marketing strategy!
- If your restaurant isn’t currently on social media (believe me, you would be surprised at how many of our customers don’t) GET ON IT! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are your go-to platforms and are vital if you want to get your brand out there. They are, for the most part, totally free! Many prospective customers check a restaurant’s social media prior to dining and Instagram is also utilised by food bloggers to rave about stand out dining experiences so creating a presence on this platform is extremely important. It’s also a great medium for you communicate important updates to your customers, e.g. latest offers, opening times etc. Instagram acts as a public photo album for its users and allows you to show off your delicious cuisine and increase your brand engagement through likes and comments- customers love to engage with their favourite pizza parlour! At LLK, our Instagram’s aesthetic is highly important to us (check out our Instagram @llkltd). Establishing your Instagram aesthetic means choosing a certain colour, shot type and layout that fits with your brand image and draws attention to your restaurant and using this consistently for all your posts. Our fabulous customers ‘Pali Kitchen’ (@palikitchen) and ‘Amelie Restaurants’ (@ameliecambridge) do this on Instagram extremely well- go check them out for inspiration! You don’t need to be a designer either to make some fabulous content. Free online tools like CANVA (canva.co.uk) allow you to create some amazing content which will make any social media look professional and it is super simple to use!
- Standing out from the crowd is something which is becoming more and more difficult. Therefore, ensuring that your brand is unique and exciting to your customer base is critical to making your restaurant a success. Find your niche and make sure you highlight it! This can be done by focusing on your branding or house style. Crazy Pedro’s, a pizza chain based in Manchester & Liverpool, do this extremely well. Their brand is so popular that they even now sell branded items in their pizzerias! They also have a pizza special every month that is sure to grab attention- one pizza even had crickets on top for those brave enough to try it! Check them out on Instagram ‘@crazypedros’.
- Collaborating with influencers can have a significant impact on your brand and can gain you exposure in front of a whole new target audience that you may not have had access to before. To get in contact with an influencer is easy, just head to their Instagram or Facebook page and directly message them with an invitation to dine at your restaurant for free or attend your launch party- it is likely that they will repay the favour by posting positively about your restaurant! Selecting influencers that are local to your restaurant is important, so make sure you check out what location they appear to be in most often. Many influencers will state the locations they most commonly do food reviews in their bio’s on Instagram so be sure to check this out before inviting them to dine!
- If you don’t currently have a website, you will need to invest in one. All vital information should be displayed on your website, including your location, opening hours and contact details. Most customers will be looking for your restaurant online with one motivation in mind- they want to dine. You therefore need to have your menus easily accessible and, if possible, you should feature an option to book online. If you can’t add this option to your website, make sure your telephone number is clearly visible, so you can be sure you are making it as easy as possible for them to convert from browsers into customers! There are some great website designers out there and I would strongly recommend Daniel Parker, from We Are Forty3 Media (wearefortythree.co.uk) who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. It’s very important that your web designer gets your vision and what you want to achieve from your website, so always have a meeting first to ensure that your visions align.
- Events are a great way to get customers into your restaurant! As the Marketing and Events Manager at LLK, I host a range of events for all kinds of businesses to build our company profile. I love seeing our customers getting involved with alternative events to boost their brand image in their area. One of our customers that do this particularly well is Lost Boys Pizza. They are always attending food festivals and often hire one of our ovens for the event to save them uprooting theirs! Attending food festivals is a great way to boost your company profile and familiarise wider audiences with your brand. The Italian food market has so many customers who started as food vendors attending festivals and events and now have set up a restaurant due to how popular they were so it’s well worth thinking out.
Integrating these tips into your business will undoubtedly increase your restaurant’s brand awareness and draw customers in, helping your business to succeed! LLK is unique in that we actively promote our customer base and regularly share your content. Our Marketing Executive, Cat is always searching for content to share so make sure you tag us (@llkltd) to get your content seen more!
For more information on LLK’s products and services head over to www.linda-lewis.co.uk or give us a call on 0161 633 5797!