Recession-Proof Restaurants: Building a Digital Presence to Outlast Winter

November 15, 2022
Shaan Coelho

We know you’re busy, so we’ll get straight to it: You need to launch your restaurant online. And we know what you’re thinking: “But I’m a restaurant! How do I do that?” If you want to build a restaurant presence that extends your hospitality experience, don’t just make a website. Make a digital hospitality experience. We know it sounds like a big word, but let’s make it tastier. It’s just about making sure people can find you, learn about you, engage with you and that you can take advantage of the digital tools of today to help secure your seat at the table for tomorrow.

The door

Your restaurant’s website is its digital front door. It’s the first thing people see when they’re searching for you online, and it should reflect the warmth and personality of your hospitality experience. Your website is the first place people will look when they’re trying to find you. It should be designed to reflect the personality of your restaurant, provide information about what makes you special, and make it easy for customers to book a table or order takeout.

Get Found

Optimize your website for SEO (search engine optimization) and use keywords related to your restaurant in the site’s content and meta tags. This will help search engines like Google discover your website and show it to potential customers. SEO can get a little technical, so start with putting in the language you feel connects with your customers, and tap an expert to spice it up from there. Don’t underestimate the power of search – make sure you’re putting effort into ranking well and being discovered online. It could mean the difference between a full house and empty tables.

Get Social

Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers, promote specials and events, and showcase the enticing dishes you have on your menu. Share mouthwatering photos of your food, and get people excited about your restaurant via social media channels. Invite customers to follow along and share their own photos and experiences – the social proof of happy diners can go a long way in attracting new patrons to your establishment. Stay active and engage with your followers, showing them the personality behind your restaurant. Social media is a fantastic marketing tool – make sure you’re utilizing it to its full potential.

Get Talking

But don’t just stop at marketing – get involved in the local food scene by talking about trends in your area or participating in online discussions about food. Show your followers that you’re not just a restaurant, but a knowledgeable player in the industry and a hub for all things food-related. Stay up to date on the latest food trends and showcase them in your menu, enticing customers with unique and exciting dishes. Not only will this bring in new customers, but it will also keep regulars coming back for more. Get out there and become a key player in the food scene, locally and globally – your restaurant (and wallet) will thank you for it.

Borrow Voices

Use influencers on social media to amplify your message and reach a wider audience. Collaborate with influencers who align with your brand values, and have them share their experiences dining at your restaurant or creating dishes using your products. This will not only strengthen associations with your restaurant, but also keep you top of mind for potential customers scrolling through their feeds. Don’t have the budget for influencer partnerships? No problem – tap into your loyal customer base and ask them to spread the word about your restaurant. Offer incentives such as discounts or freebies in exchange for shoutouts on their social media pages.

Bottom line: influencers are a valuable asset. Anyone can be an influencer as long as they’re getting people’s attention.

Bringing it all home

These days, if you want to ensure the long-term success of your restaurant business, having an online presence is key. But simply building a website and crossing your fingers that potential diners will find it is not enough – you need to take a strategic approach. By following the tips outlined in this post, you can set your restaurant up for success online. From building a website that reflects your hospitality philosophy to getting social and talking about food trends, there are many ways to make sure your restaurant is visible and attractive to potential customers. And when you’re ready to ramp up your marketing efforts even further, the Popcorn team is here to help. Contact us today for fresh ideas and expert advice on how best to market your restaurant online.