7 marketing tips for Australian restaurants and cafes

Standing out from the competition is essential for restaurants and cafes. Customers have a lot of choices when it comes to where they eat. A solid marketing plan helps make your business is their first choice!

Learn more about marketing your food business, including seven tips to kickstart your marketing efforts.

What is marketing?

Let’s start with the basics. Marketing is any activity you do that showcases your restaurant or café to potential customers. It is how you build and engage with your customer base, build brand awareness, and increase sales.

Why do restaurants need a marketing plan?

You may have the best food in town and provide excellent service, but that alone may not be enough to make your restaurant a success. Marketing your business helps spread the word about your awesome menu. New customers may be enticed to try your food, and current customers will keep coming back for more!

A marketing plan is your strategy for promoting your restaurant to potential customers. It often covers many different types of activities—anything from running hospitality advertisements to promoting your café on social media.

Your marketing plan can be an effective tool to build brand awareness, increase sales and grow profits.

7 ways to market your restaurant or café

Kickstart your marketing efforts with these seven tips.

1. Build a great website

Customers generally expect restaurants and cafes to have websites. Your site is a valuable space for your restaurant to communicate important information, like:

  • Location and trading hours
  • Contact details
  • Food and drink menus
  • Special offers and promotions
  • How to book

The above list covers the basics, but there are plenty of other things you might want to include on your site. For example, a takeaway menu and order form if you take to-go orders or photos of your food that make customers’ mouth water!

2. Get listed on Google

Listings on Google and other search engines help local customers find your business. If someone searches “restaurants near me”, you want your business to show up in that search.

Optimising your business listings can help them rank higher in local searches. Start by adding basic details, like your restaurant’s address, contact information and link to its website. Consider adding more details, such as a menu and images of your food and premises. Regularly review your listings and make updates to increase your restaurant’s chances of being found.

3. Grow your social media following

With so many people using social media, it probably makes sense for your restaurant to have profiles on at least a few sites. Promoting your café on social media can be a great way to connect with customers, showcase your menu, and increase sales.

Social media may also be a great place to advertise your food business. Hospitality advertisements are common on sites like Facebook and Instagram. They are often an affordable way to reach locals and grow brand awareness.

4. Run ads to increase brand awareness

Let’s talk more about advertising! Social media isn’t the only place you might run ads for your restaurant or café. If your budget allows, you might also place ads in local newspapers and magazines or on the radio. Mailbox flyers are also common, particularly to share coupons or promotions.

Many restaurants also favour advertising in more unique ways. Sponsorships, such as backing a youth sports team or local event, are just two creative ways to grow brand awareness for your restaurant.

5. Encourage positive reviews

Do your customers rave about your restaurant? Ask them to give you a review online. Positive reviews help build trust with potential customers. A high star rating could bring more people through your doors and increase sales.

There are many review sites available to restaurants and cafes. However, many businesses focus on one or two at a time to build their profiles faster. For example, you might send customers to Google one month and Yelp the next. This strategy can help you boost your rating in multiple places and counteract any negative reviews.

6. Create enticing promotions

Dining out is a luxury for many. Discounts and promotions could convince them to treat themselves to a meal at your eatery. They can also increase sales and win you new customers.

Restaurant promotions should be planned carefully. The aim is to grow your profit while still giving your customers a good deal. Consider the cost of ingredients, staff and other expenses before committing to a promotion.

7. Embrace online ordering

Customers love convenience. Online ordering and delivery could make your food accessible to more people, increase sales, and grow your profits.

Many restaurants and cafes work with popular ordering and delivery apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash. However, you can also accept orders directly through your website. This option gives you more control over the ordering process and who delivers your food.

Protect your growing restaurant or café

A strong marketing plan can help your restaurant or café thrive. But increased sales may mean increased risk. You may want to add business insurance to your recipe for success.

BizCover has insurance options made just for food businesses. Compare multiple quotes from selected leading Australian insurers, choose policies that fit your eatery’s needs, and get covered instantly.

It only takes about 10 minutes to protect your restaurant or café from unplanned expenses. Compare policies today and save with BizCover!

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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