Your restaurant sells mouth-watering food at affordable prices. The hygiene is up to the standard. But still, the sales are below your expectations. Why? You're not marketing your food products properly. Through food marketing, you spread the word about how exceptional your items are, what group of people they're for, and where they can find them.
What is food marketing? It refers to implementing marketing techniques in your food business to increase sales.
Marketing your food business will increase your sales, build your brand’s reputation, get your consumers' trust, and tell you what works and doesn't.
Why is Food Marketing Important?
How will people know about the food you're selling if you don't spread the word about it?
"But my product can speak for itself."
Your product might be able to speak for itself, but it may catch the attention of fewer people than marketing can.
1. Brings Information About Your Target Audience
Food marketing can provide information about your target audience. Once you have the data, you can break your target audience into groups according to their interests and needs. Then, you develop strategies to attract each group to your restaurant.
2. Helps Your Business Reach Wider Audience
Food marketing will bring you customers from farther areas. Converting them from one-time visitors to loyal consumers is on you. Attracting an audience from farther areas means more sales and a more extensive customer base.
If you sell packaged food products, marketing your food business online can also allow you to trade in other countries. Once you reach the audience from other countries, see their response. If the demand is high, you can export your packaged food products to countries where they’re not readily available.
3. Builds Brand Credibility
Earning your consumers' trust is essential, especially for food sellers. There are numerous factors customers consider before trying and trusting a food brand.
- Consistent taste and quality.
- Cleanliness. Your restaurant, tables, cutlery, and food need to be clean.
- Service quality and staff.
Trust keeps your customers invested in your products.
Food marketing strategies
Before beginning any marketing campaign, test and improve your products and learn everything about your business. What are some things you're doing that may drive the customers away, or what measures can you take to improve your services, food, etc.?
Now that you've filled that room for improvement, use the strategies listed below as your ultimate guide to food marketing.
1. Collaborate With Local Businesses and Influencers
Collaborating with other businesses (not your competitors) will introduce your consumers to their business and their customers to yours.
You can team up with them to come up with a unique menu item that is a combination of your and their products. For instance, you own an ice cream shop and decide to partner with a French bakery. You can introduce a croissant ice cream sandwich. Innovative menu items like this are more likely to go viral on social media and bring new customers.
Consider collaborating with influencers. Naming one of your meals or menu items after them will encourage their fans to buy that product.
2. Get a Website for Your Restaurant
A website is a crucial element in improving your customers' experience. It will also contribute to your convenience. Your potential consumers don’t need to call in to ask for your operating hours, address, menu items, prices, etc. These additional tasks keep your staff busy and inconvenient for the customers. To solve this problem, you can get a gorgeous website and keep it updated with your business's contact details, location, menu item details, etc.
Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s site
A website marks your online presence, which is essential in today's technologically evolving world. It also shows your target audience that you are trustworthy and serious about your business. Your website can reach a broader audience and educate potential consumers about your brand values.
Hiring a developer to build your website can be expensive and time-consuming. Try creating one yourself instead. No coding experience? No problem. Strikingly is here to help you make a gorgeous website hassle-free.
You can start with pre-designed website templates and edit them in our intuitive site editor to suit your preferences. The editor might be simple to use but doesn't hold back from providing robust customization features. From changing the background color, images, and video, to creating your section, you can personalize almost everything.
Image taken from Strikingly
Consider building an online shop with Strikingly to sell your food through your website. Strikingly puts forward numerous e-commerce store features to enhance your website's user experience. OBviously, the better the user experience, the more customers.
In your Strikingly Simple Store, you can accept payments through multiple gateways, offer discount coupons, personalize checkout forms, showcase more than 500 products, and add various shipping options. Moreover, you can show customer reviews which are essential for new consumers to trust you.
Image taken from Strikingly
3. Keep Your Social Media Page Updated
Social media is one of the platforms where people look for new food options. Being active on social media can significantly impact your food marketing campaign.
Ensure you announce every minor update, like events, festive offers, discounts, the latest menu items, etc., on your social media pages. You can also take the trending meme templates, make them about your restaurant, and post them.
Giving a little tour of your restaurant, including the kitchen, through reels will also attract your target audience. Moreover, they might easily trust you when they see how transparent you are about your restaurant's hygiene.
Keeping your social media updated is one of many things you have to do. Answering direct messages and comments is essential too. Being responsive to your audience counts as a good user experience. And remember, the better the user experience, the more people will talk about your service, and word of mouth works exceptionally well regarding food place suggestions.
4. Keep an Eye on Review Sites
One of the best yet underrated marketing strategies for a food business is engaging with feedback about your business on third-party review sites. Replying to positive ratings is easy, but how do you respond to negative feedback? If the reviewer has stated the problem they faced, apologize and give a reason. For instance, they're complaining about the long delay in their order. Tell them why their food could've taken longer than it should.
Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s website
Acknowledgment and improvement are critical. Ensure you come up with the solution to the problem your customer faces. When you accept your mistakes and apologize, customers are forgiving and might be willing to revisit your restaurant.
Remember to ask your customers for a review. It is one of the things that will help your food marketing campaign to achieve its goals.
5. Catch the Attention With Your Unique Selling Point (USP)
People need a reason to visit your restaurant. Why should they purchase from your business and not your competitors? Your Unique Selling Point answers this question. USP refers to that one unique thing about your company that differentiates you from your competition.
In your restaurant, you can sell a hundred dishes. But there should be one thing about your place that no one or a few places offer. It will play a significant role in marketing your food business successfully. Your USP can be the best lava cakes in town, a rarely available cuisine, robot servers, or anything your company specializes in.
Once you've figured out your specialty, tell people about it separately through your food marketing campaign.
6. Do Cross-selling
Customers are more likely to buy an item that complements their initial purchase. When you go to a fast-food restaurant and ask for a burger only, notice how the servers at most restaurants would ask if you'd like a drink or fries with that. And you might say yes because fries and a drink perfectly complement a burger.
Consider holding weekly or monthly meetings, and train your staff to take advantage of opportunities like that. You can also teach consumer psychology to your team so they can act accordingly, and your business can gain the most benefit from your food marketing campaign.
7. Use Charm Effect
Image taken from Strikingly’s user’s website
The charm effect is among the most effective marketing strategies for a food business. Have you ever thought why many brands write their products' prices like "$4.99" and not "$5"? Our brain is tricked into making judgments based only on $4, not the 99 cents. This is called the charm effect.
If your menu prices don't follow this pattern, it may be time to reaudit it.
8. Learn Consumer Psychology and Act Accordingly
Here's an example that shows the importance of consumer psychology. When the first instant cake mix was invented, the only thing you needed to add to it was water. Who doesn't love convenience? Sales must've exploded, right? Well, they didn't.
That instant cake mix company's target audience was homemakers. And they felt guilty about presenting a cake to their husbands made with minimal effort. When the creators found it out, they made the process harder. The new instant cake mix required you to add water and an egg. Now, sales exploded.
Just like that, you can increase your sales too. Implement consumer psychology wherever you can to see the best results from your food marketing campaign.
Lastly, remember to avoid sounding salse-y. Marketing your food business is about showing the customer that they're buying and are not being sold to. Nobody likes being sold to. Research your target audience, implement these strategies, and get ready to welcome a massive rise in your restaurant's sales.