A Step-by-step Digital Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

5 years ago

A Step-by-step Digital Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

Brought to You by Auggie Diaz

In today’s digital world, running a restaurant can be the most daunting task. The ultimate reason behind this is that online orders are growing in popularity as 57% of customers order their food from a website. 

The digital marketing channels provide restaurant owners numerous opportunities to grow their business online.

Did you know online marketing drives more than 926 million restaurant visits each year? The research report also indicates that 83% of customers rely on their phone to help make their dining decisions. 67% of customers read about restaurants online and 35% of customers have used their mobile device to order.

General digital marketing statistics for restaurants are listed below:

Effective content marketing strategies result in improved search engine rankings and grow your brand’s overall online visibility. When delved deeply, Google uses three main factors to determine search engine results. They are,

  • Over 1 billion restaurant visits by consumers are influenced by online marketing.
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations for dining decisions, hence it’s better you have a bunch of positive reviews.
  • 71% of customers say they’re more likely to recommend a company that responds quickly to them on social media. From this, it is evident that restaurants who respond to customers on social media will win.
  • checkOnline orders are growing in popularity as 57% of customers order their food from a website.

Nowadays, the competition among restaurants is fierce, and with a neat digital marketing plan for restaurants, you can improve your business and get attention from growling stomachs everywhere. Since holiday season is approaching, having a well-planned marketing plan gives your facility an edge during this high-volume sales times.

So, it’s vital to revamp your existing digital marketing plans for restaurants to drive in more leads and earn more profit.

Why Marketing for Restaurants? 

According to the recent research report, “41 percent of restaurants increased their marketing budget and 88 percent of restaurants engage in paid marketing, advertising and promotions.” This research also indicate that newer digital marketing techniques are now favored over older marketing methods. Social media ads rank top among the marketing method used to boost business growth.

No matter where your marketing strategies stand now, we’ve listed the most important features that you can add to plan a savvy digital marketing campaign that works.

Set a Goal

Majority of restaurant businesses fail to set a goal for their marketing campaign and this is where they fail. Your goal is not about top line revenue but is about setting specific goals to grow the business. Some of the examples include,

  • Who is your audience?
  • What are the pain points and needs of your audience?
  • What are the different types of content do the audience prefer to consume?
  • chevron-rightWhat are the modes in which your target audience is conversing? Whether it is offline or online?
  • chevron-rightWhat is the unique expertise of your brand?
  • chevron-rightWhat are the various ways to match your expertise to your target audience’s needs?


Set up a tracking strategy to meet the goals and track your return on investment. Always make sure that your team is following through and find out exactly what platforms, ads, websites are driving traffic to your business.

Mobile Responsive Website

Nowadays, with an increased number of smartphone users, Google and your customers think and act on mobile first. It is estimated that the majority of restaurant customers are more active on mobile devices than desktop. So, put your priority on mobile first. Keep in mind, if your website is not mobile friendly, your campaign is going to fall.


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Delectable Website Design

The website for your restaurant must be 100% functional and enticing. The phone numbers listed on your website must be clickable, menus should be downloadable, and the images should be of high-quality. If you want more people to land on your website and make a reservation, make sure that your website has everything to make him hungry.

A good website design for restaurant should have vertical sections so people can easily scroll to find pertinent information for your restaurant. You should feature important details such as contact info, menus, hours and a photo gallery. Since restaurant industry is on the top of the list for mobile marketing, it is important to optimize the website design to be compatible for smartphone users.

​Google Maps Listing

What is the benefit if your customers find your website and couldn’t find a way to reach you? So, getting your own Google maps listing is the significant factor to get your restaurant on the page one of Google’s search results. There are different factors that Google takes into account to display your result in the Local 3-Pack.

According to the Moz Report, “proximity being one of the largest factors at only 19%; Google reviews account for 13% weight.”

Setting up a Google Maps Listing for your restaurant business, improves the visibility and secure your listing and make sure all the information is accurate.

Social Media

Social media is the top player when it comes to digital marketing plan for restaurants. Having a good social media strategy and knowing how to execute it, helps you to reach the right destination. Some of the common mistakes to avoid while using social media for promoting your restaurant include,

  • Connecting Facebook and Instagram accounts
  • Placing your social media feed on your website
  • Using lots of hashtags on Facebook
  • checkUsing the same old photos every month
  • checkMarketing to a national and local targeted audience

Moreover, social media isn’t about posting the best images of your signature dishes. You must be smart enough to express the personality of your brand and what it communicates.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, having a strong Instagram presence is another restaurant marketing tip. Instagram can be used as the best platform to promote your business’ best visual content. Use Instagram to play around with your brand identity by showing your storefront, posting high-quality images of your waitstaff, and more. Unlike Facebook, you can have some fun with hashtags which are a great way to have some fun with fans.

Facebook Advertising

With over two billion users, Facebook has become the most essential for marketing your restaurant business online. According to a statistical data, 88% of people trust what friends and even strangers say on Facebook about businesses. 70% of purchases at local businesses can be tracked back to social media.”

Over 200 million Facebook posts are tagged #food and 23 million people share pictures of their meals out.

If you want to gain more exposure, Facebook ads are the effective way to reach your target audience. Facebook offer ads are also considered to be a great opportunity to engage people and get them flooding through your door. To create an offer ad, you must come up with something that is EXCLUSIVE to Facebook and your business. This offer should make people think that they have found something special and tempt them to claim it. Different types of Facebook ads that allows you to promote your restaurant with rich media includes,

  • Single image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • chevron-rightCanvas ads and more.

Geo-targeted Ads

Customers often look for good eats close to home, hence it is important to invest in geo-targeted ads to get the most value out of your online marketing efforts. It helps you save money, ensuring that only users in certain cities or within a specific radius see your ads. Geo-targeting ad option is available in Facebook, Twitter, and comes with some targeting features to get your best ads in front of your best customers.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Did you know 92% of consumers reading online reviews, and more than half of the population in the age bracket 18-34 giving priority to online reviews over the opinions of friends and family? So, encourage your customers to leave higher positive online reviews through an outstanding customer service. This surely helps your restaurant rank over others on platforms like Yelp, Zomato, Google, and Bing.

​E-mail Marketing

Another significant strategy for restaurant marketing is E-mail marketing. This marketing effort keeps your customer coming back and allows you to showcase new additions to your menu and other exciting offers. Consult a digital marketing expert to get ideas on properly using e-mail marketing for your business.

​Food Apps

Due to the demand from customers, several foods apps have sprung up over the recent years. Today’s customers don’t have enough time to go through boring directories or surf the web for long minutes to find a suitable place to eat. They mostly rely on food apps that point them to the nearest restaurant. So, take advantage of this opportunity to get listed on popular food apps and gain more potential customers.

​Coupons and Discounts

One of the surefire ways to bring in new customers is providing coupons and discounts. Advertise the coupons and discounts you are offering through channels where you can get a great exposure.

​Online Reservation

Sign up for an online reservation tool to let your customer book the table of their convenient. This helps them to make their life a bit easier and brings in more loyal customers to your front door.

​Invest in Mobile Ads

It is estimate that half of all paid clicks on Google will come from mobile. If you are running a restaurant, then you are the best candidate for mobile ads compared to other businesses. Mobile ads are cheaper compared to other ad forms and boasts impressive conversion rates.

Are you overwhelmed about creating right digital marketing plans for restaurants? Get in touch with us now to frame a winning strategy that drives is more sales.


CEO & Senior business Consultant for Ask8.com, With broad-based experience in senior business management, proven with management of over $100 million in retail sales yearly, and strong analysis of P&L in Auggie’s previous executive roles, He does understand what it takes for small business to grow & profit.

As a consummate digital marketing expert, Auggie’s willing to leverage his 15+ years enriching experience in internet marketing consulting services for diverse clients, to establish a sales plan that will jump-start an enviable development in your business.

CEO & Senior business Consultant



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About the Author


I am Auggie Diaz, Owner, and Senior Internet Marketing Consultant at Ask8.com - a digital marketing firm that helps small businesses to generate traffic through cutting edge marketing tools. As A Consultant & Tech Coordinator To The Largest Real Estate Agency on Long Island NY, As A Consultant to Allstate Insurance Agencies & A Small Businesses Owner/Senior Manager of 25+ Years. I speak to topics based on my experience, not opinion. All the best to your success!

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