The 4 Must-Dos of Modern Internet Marketing for Restaurants

It’s no secret that many new restaurants struggle to get themselves off the ground. Conventional wisdom tells us that the majority of restaurants don’t make it past their first few years; however, the failure of such businesses often have less to do with their menus and more to do with their marketing.

Restaurants today live and die by their online presence, plain and simple. That said, simply having a website and Facebook page are not enough for those looking to survive a field with such crowded competition.

Fortunately, there are plenty of actionable strategies that restaurant owners and marketers use to boost their online presence. From managing your online reputation to bringing in a steady stream of hungry customers, consider the following Internet marketing must-do's for restaurants.

Mind Your Website

While many restaurants are indeed thriving via social media, the fact remains that your business needs a website. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of any restaurant’s marketing from a customer perspective is wanting to go to an establishment only to find that their website is unresponsive or unhelpful. Your website doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, but it should

  • Be updated consistently: don’t frustrate your customers by having inconsistent hours or out-of-date information

  • Have an awesome menu: rather than provide a laundry list of your offerings, there are plenty of stylish ways to display your fare via savvy

  • Look good on mobile devices: given that many customers look for food on-the-go, mobile optimization and responsive design are too important to ignore
Smart Social Media

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are the bread and butter of restaurants today. That said, you should make it a point to use your social presence to…

  • Swiftly

  • Show off your food and the satisfied customers alike

  • Provide social-exclusive discounts and deals to encourage followers to keep coming back for more
For example, Facebook is a fantastic customer service platform which can serve as a sort of supplement to your website. Not only can you display your business’ essential information, but also connect with your customers on a more personal level. Meanwhile, Instagram is prime for showing off customer selfies and images of your menu items that’ll leave your followers’ mouths watering.

Monitor Review Sites

Having a presence on sites such as Yelp! also provides you more opportunities to be found by potential customers and keep track of your online reputation. While you should certainly encourage Yelp! reviews via social media and in-store, bear in mind that you can’t control the content of such reviews.

If you have to or any other review site, just remember to maintain a positive attitude and not get into public squabbles with customers. Read reviews between the lines to figure out if your customers’ complaints are legitimate. Likewise, use compliments as fuel to keep up with your restaurant’s good habits.

Setup an Email List

Perhaps the most important aspect of Internet marketing for restaurants is to build up an email list. Having a list of subscribers means that you have someone to boost deals and discounts to at any time, giving them an extra incentive to step through your doors. Consider running exclusive or first-time email subscriber deals on-site to make sure nobody sleeps on your emails.

Internet marketing for restaurants requires a bit of legwork, but it’s all worth it in the long run. Keep these tips in the back of your mind to keep customers coming back for more.


Carmelo is a marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium size businesses craft winning content strategies. She's always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter or trying out new vegan recipes.

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