7 Exceptional Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Restaurant Sales in 2023

 7 Exceptional Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Increase Your Restaurant Sales in 2023

You have talented chefs, who offer a variety of delicious dishes, and your restaurant also offers a cozy environment for your customers to enjoy their favorite meals in utmost comfort. But still, you’re stuck!

You decide to allocate some budget to develop restaurant marketing strategies, but despite your investments, you see no significant improvement in your restaurant’s sales.

Why is this happening?

Because, under the guise of unplanned restaurant marketing strategies, you are merely burning through your budget without truly spending or investing it effectively!

“According to CNBC, about 60% of restaurants fail to retain their existence and get closed before the 1st anniversary comes. More interestingly, 80% of them are also compelled to close their restaurants in five years.”

Regardless of the industry, in this competitive era, strategic marketing is a robust approach to sustaining your presence. The restaurant business is no exception.

In this concise discussion, we will help you identify the bottlenecks in your restaurant business and guide you through the process of increasing your restaurant’s sales.

Reasons Why Most Restaurants Struggle to Boost Their Sales

Reasons Why Most Restaurants Struggle to Boost Their Sales - Restaurant Marketing Strategies

The ability to make delicious dishes with quality is the core strength of any restaurant business. But the restaurant business is not only about opening a shop with diverse dishes and offering them to the customers. There also needs to be some effective restaurant marketing strategies to let your customers know about the dishes you offer.

Hence, there exists some common bottlenecks in most restaurant businesses that result in reduced sales. From the extensive list, we want to mention here some of these-

1. Lack of Proper Restaurant Marketing Strategies

Among the thousands of restaurant marketing strategies available, many restaurants struggle to choose the one that best suits their business. This challenge arises because most restaurant owners lack the technical knowledge required to determine their target audience, analyze demographics, and consider other factors crucial for developing an effective marketing plan. Consequently, they often experience a decline in sales.

2. Ineffective Online Presence

Many restaurant businesses lack an official website to showcase their food items. However, it’s also a crucial part of restaurant marketing strategies because there’s an undeniable trend of people increasingly engaging in online food ordering.

Therefore, it’s essential to have a presence on all the digital platforms where your potential customers are active. Additionally, while many restaurants have official social media pages, they often neglect to post updates or announce discount offers that could help boost their sales.

3. Ignoring Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is a valuable resource that many restaurants overlook. Failing to actively seek and heed customer opinions can lead to stagnation. To identify areas for improvement, restaurants should encourage and take feedback seriously, using it as a tool for continuous growth and to enhance the effectiveness of their restaurant marketing strategies in 2023.

Addressing concerns, acknowledging praise, and making necessary adjustments can enhance the overall dining experience, foster customer loyalty, and ultimately boost sales.

Restaurants that resist change and fail to adapt to evolving consumer preferences and industry trends often struggle to stay competitive. Hence, remaining current with the latest food trends, and customer expectations is vital for sustained sales growth. 

Adapting your menu, service offerings, utilizing humorous memes for marketing, and even your restaurant’s decor to reflect contemporary trends can attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more.

5. Limited Online Ordering and Delivery Options

Customers consistently prioritize convenient food ordering and delivery processes, a challenge many restaurant businesses face. However, the reality is that to reach a broader customer base, your restaurant should provide multiple food ordering options. 

For instance, while your restaurant website may offer order functionality, it’s also important to facilitate orders through social media messages, a dedicated mobile app, and direct phone calls.

6. Neglecting Advanced Technology

It’s unfortunate that many restaurants neglect advanced technologies such as advanced point-of-sale systems, reservation platforms, and order management tools that can hinder the restaurants’ growth. 

Embracing such technologies can streamline your operations, enhance customer service, and provide valuable data insights. It is also one of the most effective restaurant marketing strategies that can boost your sales and enhance customer satisfaction.

If you’re a restaurant owner in this category, it’s time for an upgrade!

7 Proven Restaurant Marketing Strategies in 2023 to Boost Your Restaurant Sales

An image representing how to boost restaurant sales

Your restaurant may offer all the necessary facilities to your customers. But still, if you want sustainable growth in sales, you need to market your restaurant among your potential customers.

There are numerous restaurant marketing Ideas. But not all of them will be effective in your case. Hence, from these restaurant marketing strategies, you should develop the appropriate one that can boost your restaurant sales.

Here we want to mention 7 restaurant marketing ideas that can contribute to boosting your restaurant sales.

1. Create a Website That Supports Feature-Enriched Plugins

Creating a website with feature-rich plugins can also be one of the most effective restaurant marketing strategies. Most restaurants have their own websites. But in most cases, they don’t offer a complete setup that can allow their customers to enjoy the enhanced convenience. 

If you have a limited budget, you can build your website using WordPress. Also, choose and install a theme that supports feature-enriched plugins. After all, your plugin should have all the relevant functionalities that suit your restaurant business. 

Here are some common features that your plugin should offer-

  • Online Ordering and Reservations: Choose a plugin for online orders and reservations, enabling customers to browse your menu, place orders, and reserve tables directly on your website.
  • Menu Management: Ensure the plugin allows for easy menu management. You should be able to add, edit, and organize menu items, including descriptions, prices, and images.
  • Payment Gateways Integration: Payment integration is crucial for processing online orders. Check if the plugin supports popular payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, etc, to facilitate secure transactions.
  • Special Promotions and discounts: The plugin should support the creation and management of special promotions, discount codes, and loyalty programs to incentivize repeat business and make your restaurant marketing strategies fruitful.
  • Review and Rating System: Customer reviews and ratings are essential. Choose a plugin that allows customers to leave reviews and rate their dining or ordering experience.

2. Send Direct SMS to Promote Your Food Items

Text messaging is one of the powerful restaurant marketing strategies to promote your restaurant’s offerings directly to your customers’ smartphones. It helps your customers feel special as it gives a personalized touch. However, excessive promotional SMS can backfire. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a nimble restaurant marketing strategy that intrigues them with your restaurant’s items while maintaining customer satisfaction. 

Here’s how to leverage this restaurant marketing strategy that generates sales-

  • Segmented Campaigns: Divide your customer base into segments based on their preferences and ordering history. Send targeted SMS messages with relevant promotions or new menu items to each segment.
  • Timing is Key: Send SMS messages at strategic times, such as just before mealtime, to maximize the chances of immediate orders.
  • Clear Call to Action (CTA): Include a clear CTA in your SMS, directing recipients to your website or app for easy ordering.
  • Opt-In System: Ensure you have customers’ consent before sending promotional texts to comply with regulations and maintain a positive brand image.

3. Perform Personalized and Optimized Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is another restaurant marketing strategy that generates sales and remains an effective way to engage with your customers and boost restaurant sales. When your customers make orders online, you can collect their emails to let them know the upcoming items that you’re going to offer soon. So, your WP plugin should have a feature that will enable you to run effective Email marketing campaigns.

Here’s how to create an appropriate Email marketing campaign for your restaurant business-

  • Customer Segmentation: Segment your email list based on customer preferences, ordering habits, and demographics. This allows you to send personalized content and offers.
  • Engaging Content: Craft compelling and visually appealing emails that showcase your dishes, highlight special promotions, and tell your restaurant’s story.
  • Automation: Implement automated email campaigns for birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions to make customers feel valued.
  • Optimization: Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive and optimize subject lines and content for higher open and click-through rates.
  • Feedback Collection: Encourage feedback and reviews through emails to improve your service and reputation.

4. Offer Multiple Options for Any Food Item

When you notice customers purchasing a specific food item, consider offering them some other similar options to make your restaurant marketing strategies more effective. For example, if a customer enjoys BBQ pizza, suggest trying pepperoni pizza, buffalo pizza, and more. Ensure your website has the functionality to display related products when customers order

You can also make the following offers that will eventually help you make your restaurant marketing plan more effective.

  • Offer Customization: Allow customers to customize their orders, choosing ingredients, toppings, and portion sizes to suit their preferences.
  • Dietary Accommodations: Offer options for various dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, or vegan choices.
  • Combo Meals: Create combo meals or family packs that provide value and convenience for groups or families.
  • Portion Sizes: Provide choices for portion sizes, from small appetizers to large feasts, catering to different appetites.
  • Variety: Regularly introduce new items and seasonal specials to keep your menu fresh and exciting.

5. Offer Special Discounts and Promotions

Everyone loves a good deal. Hence, offering your customers good deals and keeping them engaged could be one of the most effective restaurant marketing strategies you can apply. To make your customers feel happy and special, you can offer special discounts for your customers.

In particular, you can offer discounts for any popular items on any specific day of the week. Numerous restaurants have gained dramatic results using this technique. 

Besides, the following offers might be good deals for your customers.

  • Happy Hour: Offer discounted drinks and appetizers during specific hours to attract early evening customers.
  • Daily Specials: Promote daily specials that rotate throughout the week to encourage repeat visits.
  • Loyalty Cards: Create loyalty cards that reward customers for repeat purchases, encouraging them to return.
  • Holiday Promotions: Plan promotions around holidays, events, and local celebrations to capture the festive spirit.
  • Online Promo Codes: Provide online promo codes for exclusive discounts, encouraging online orders.

6. Offer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a proven way to keep customers coming back. It’s not just about offering discounts; it’s a strategic way to build lasting relationships with your customers. Considering many factors, different restaurant businesses offer different types of loyalty programs for their customers. Therefore, you should analyze your customer base and discover the loyalty program that your customers will love to engage with. 

Here are some loyalty programs that have been proven to deliver results.

  • Point-Based System: Reward customers with points for each purchase, which they can redeem for discounts or free items.
  • VIP Tiers: Create tiered programs with escalating rewards as customers accumulate more points.
  • Personalized Rewards: Tailor rewards individual preferences and habits to make customers feel valued.
  • Mobile App Integration: Implement a mobile app for easy tracking and redemption of loyalty points.
  • Referral Rewards: Encourage customers to refer friends and family by offering additional points or discounts.

7. Offer Special Menus for Special Days

Creating special menus for occasions like holidays or anniversaries is also one of the effective restaurant marketing strategies in 2023, as it can help your restaurant stand out from the crowd. List down the occasions in the current calendar year and mark the major occasions. You can offer special menus on those days at discounted prices. 

Also, you can choose one of the following options to boost your sales.

  • Themed Menus: Develop themed menus for holidays like Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Eve.
  • Limited-Time Offerings: Introduce limited-time dishes or drinks to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Promotional Events: Host special events or tasting nights to showcase these menus.
  • Online Reservations: Allow customers to make reservations for these events, ensuring a smooth dining experience.

Introducing WpCafe! Your All-in-one Restaurant Management Solution

WPCafe is a WordPress plugin for online food ordering and reservation management that has gained immense popularity by serving thousands of restaurants. This feature-rich plugin offers numerous features that have made it the “One Stop Solution” for restaurant business owners.

From ordering and delivery to restaurant reservation, WpCaf can cover all your needs. Here the the key features that WpCafe offers-

  • Food Ordering Pickup/Delivery Scheduling
  • Multiple Product Add-ons
  • Discount Options on Food Menu
  • Customizable Mini Cart and Quantity Picker
  • Location-Based Food Menu Creation
  • Branch-wise Seat Capacity & Reservation
  • Sending Dynamic Email Notifications

And the list goes on….

How Can WPCafe Help in Your Restaurant Marketing Effort?

An image representing how WPCafe can help in restaurant marketing efforts

To make your restaurant marketing efforts more fruitful, WPCafe can offer you some lucrative features that many other plugins don’t offer in one package. In the discussion above, we’ve mentioned 7 proven restaurant marketing strategies that can help to increase your restaurant sales.

Now you’ll get to know how WPCafe can help you with turning those strategic ideas into reality. Let’s check these out!

1. Send SMS Updates

An image about SMS updates in restaurant marketing

WPCafe comes with the Twilio SMS integration feature that helps to send SMS updates to your customers and makes your WpCafe restaurant marketing efforts more fruitful. This integration allows you to engage with your customers directly through text messages, helping your restaurant marketing strategies become more effective. 

You can send personalized, time-sensitive SMS notifications about special promotions, new menu items, and exclusive discounts. The process of integrating Twilio with WPCafea is also easy. This combo can add value to your restaurant business by offering the following benefits.

  • Personalized Messages: You can send personalized SMS notifications about special promotions, limited-time offers, new menu items, and exclusive discounts.
  • Timely Alerts: This integration will allow you to schedule SMS alerts to coincide with key events, holidays, or special occasions to boost restaurant traffic.
  • Order Updates: It will help to keep your customers informed about their order status, estimated delivery times, and curbside pickup instructions.
  • Feedback Collection: You can also use SMS to collect valuable feedback after dining experiences, enabling continuous improvement.

2. Promote the Best Selling Menu

An image on WPCafe's menu of the day feature

Apart from other restaurant marketing strategies in 2023, offering similar food items to the customers can also be effective to boost your restaurant sales. WPCafe comes with a feature that can suggest your customers try top-selling food items under a dedicated menu. It will let your customers know which particular food items are liked most by others. 

By showcasing daily specials, you not only pique your customers’ curiosity but also create a sense of urgency. Eventually, it encourages them to explore and savor these highlighted items, potentially leading to increased sales and a more delightful dining experience. 

This is how the “menu of the day” feature can intrigue your customers to order more and make your WpCafe restaurant marketing strategies more effective.

  • Daily Specials Showcase: You can now highlight your best-selling or featured dishes under a dedicated menu section, which acts as your value ladder tool.
  • Visual Temptation: You have now options to include enticing images and descriptions to capture customers’ attention and make them interested in ordering your food items.
  • Urgency Creation: You can create a sense of urgency by showcasing limited-time daily specials, and motivating customers to try something new.
  • Promote Seasonal Favorites: This feature also enables you to showcase seasonal or holiday-themed dishes to align with special occasions.

3. Incentivize Your Customers by Offering Loyalty Points

An image on the loyalty program in restaurant business

WPCafe also has the functionality that enables you to offer loyalty programs or customer retention and incentivize repeat business, making your restaurant marketing strategies effective. Your customers can earn points for each purchase, and these points can be redeemed for discounts, free items, or other special perks. 

This strategy not only encourages customer loyalty but also motivates them to explore your menu more extensively, leading to higher average order values. In short, the WPCafe plugin will allow you to do the following- 

  • Earn Rewards/Points: Patrons can earn rewards or points for each purchase of food items, creating an incentive for repeat visits.
  • Redeem Points: Customers will have the opportunity to redeem their accumulated points for special offers, discounts, or complimentary items, further enhancing their loyalty.
  • Points Notifications: This will keep your customers informed about their points through notifications, ensuring they are aware of their rewards.
  • Shortcode for Site Notifications: You can implement a shortcode to display point notifications directly on your website, providing a seamless and visible experience for users.
  • Points Log: It allows to maintain a detailed points log for both customers and merchants, allowing for transparency and accountability.
  • Points Management: You can offer merchants a points table to easily update and manage customer points, complete with remarks for tracking and communication.
  • Points Application: It enables your customers to apply their earned points to their shopping carts as well as during the checkout process, creating a flexible and rewarding experience.

4. Offer Similar Food Items

An image representing order bump feature

WPCafe’s Order Bump feature is a clever way to upsell and maximize the value of every order. During the checkout process, customers are presented with complementary or related products that can be added to their order with a single click. 

This seamless and effective technique is one of the most effective restaurant marketing strategies that enhances the overall customer experience while encouraging them to discover additional items of interest. As a result, your restaurant can enjoy increased sales and happier, more satisfied patrons. 

After all, this particular feature can help you grow your business by offering the following-

  • Complementary Products: Present complementary or related products during the checkout process.
  • One-Click Additions: Enable customers to add these items to their order with a single click, streamlining the purchase process.
  • Personalization: Suggest items based on the customer’s current order, enhancing their dining experience.
  • Increased Average Order Value: Encourage customers to explore additional options, potentially increasing the overall order value.
  • Customizable Offers: Tailor order bump offers to align with your restaurant’s unique offerings and customer preferences.
  • Streamlined Upselling: Enhance the customer experience with seamless upselling, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

5. Email Marketing with FluentCRM

An image representing the integration between WPCafe and FluentCRM

WPCafe offers the opportunity to integrate FluentCRM with your website, which can significantly enhance the success of your email marketing efforts. When your customers share their email addresses while ordering, FluentCRM can collect and store them in your database. This allows you to develop tailored email marketing campaigns based on your customers’ food ordering habits and analyze the outcomes. 

Here’s what you’ll get when you install the WPCafe plugin on your website,integrate FluentCRM, and make your restaurant marketing strategies successful-

  • Efficient Email Management: You can manage your emails more efficiently than ever before. It helps to streamline your email marketing campaigns with ease by integrating FluentCRM.
  • Segmentation for Targeting: You can segment your email list based on customer preferences, order history, and behavior, allowing you to send highly targeted email campaigns.
  • Personalized Email Content: It enables you to craft personalized email content that addresses customers by name and recommends dishes based on their previous orders and dining preferences.
  • Automated Email Sequences: You can set up automated email sequences for welcome emails, order follow-ups, and feedback requests. This saves you time while ensuring timely customer interactions.
  • Event and Promotion Announcements: With FluentCRM, you can notify your subscribers about upcoming events, special promotions, and seasonal menu changes through eye-catching and engaging emails.
  • Professional Templates: You have now access to a library of professionally designed email templates that align with your restaurant’s branding, ensuring your emails make a strong visual impression.

6. Offer Special Discounts

An image on offering discounts

Whether you wish to offer special discounts on specific menu items, run time-limited promotions, or celebrate special occasions, this feature has you covered. 

With WPCafe, you can tailor your offers to align with your marketing objectives, enticing more customers to visit your restaurant. 

After all, implementing this feature in the right way will help you to create a well-executed discount strategy that can result in increased foot traffic, heightened customer engagement, and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.

Final Thoughts

You can discover thousands of restaurant marketing strategies available online. But we hope this concise discussion will help you find the pathway to choosing the perfect restaurant marketing strategy that generates sales and can improve your restaurant business.

While this concise discussion provides an overview of achieving success in your restaurant marketing efforts, there’s also a need for additional work beyond this framework.

However, if you aim to make your restaurant marketing efforts more fruitful on a budget, plugins like WPCafe can be a lucrative option. After all, they provide a one-stop solution to help your restaurant business thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are marketing strategies in a restaurant business?

Restaurant marketing strategies in a restaurant business are like your secret recipe for success. They’re the plans and actions you take to make your eatery a local favorite. Think social media promotions, mouthwatering menus, loyalty programs, and convenient online ordering systems—all aimed at delighting your customers.

Which strategy is best for a restaurant?

The ideal strategy for a restaurant is a customized blend that aligns with your unique goals and target audience. It’s like crafting the perfect dish—combining elements like a well-designed menu, engaging social media presence, attentive customer service, enticing promotions, and seamless online ordering. Hence, you should tailor these strategies to suit your restaurant’s personality and aspirations.

How do I make my restaurant stand out from competitors?

Besides applying the restaurant marketing strategies, to stand out in a crowded market, focus on creating a memorable dining experience. Start with exceptional food quality and attentive service. Then, employ creative marketing and promotions that highlight your restaurant’s distinct features, whether it’s a unique menu, cozy ambiance, or a compelling backstory. Building a loyal customer base and generating positive word-of-mouth can also set you apart.

How do I get more customers to my restaurant?

Attracting more customers involves a multifaceted approach. You should enhance your online and offline presence through advertising and community engagement. Offer appealing promotions and loyalty programs to incentivize repeat visits. Also, ensure that your restaurant provides consistently excellent service and memorable dining experiences. Remember, satisfied customers often become your best advocates!