1. Local Search Engine Marketing Make sure you are listed in local search results. These days most people are using online searches as well as reading reviews to help them decide whether or not they will come to your restaurant.Are you showing up on local search results and on Google Maps? Google has specific guidelines for businesses to follow in order to be listed in local search results. Managing local search and gaining the knowledge necessary to have a prominent local search presence is not nearly as easy as you would think. A qualified SEO that specializes in local search can help you with your local search presence if you don’t have the time to learn and manage local search yourself.

2. Monitor and Manage Your Online Reviews The majority of people searching for a place to dine out will most often go to Yelp to look at reviews for a restaurant. Although you should monitor other review sites as well, Yelp is considered to be the highest quality and most respected review site. A bad review or two can cause you to miss out on a lot of potential customers. By monitoring reviews you may be able to reach out to a customer who gives you a bad review and possibly win them back with a comped meal or an apology. You may get them to remove their bad review. Enough good reviews will also help to outweigh the bad one and cause it to fall further down the list of reviews. Solicit good reviews when appropriate as well.

3. Search Engines Optimize your website for search engines and create a user friendly site for your customers. Studies show that the top 3 ranked sites get the majority of business. Getting your site to rank high on local search engines is not as easy as you might think. A qualified professional SEO specialist can help you develop a long term plan for your site to move up and rank high on the search engines.

4. Make sure your websites is mobile friendly – as most searches for restaurants are done from a mobile search platform. Include a reservation app if applicable. Doing so will have positive impact on the overall experience and convenience for your customers.

5. Social media – cannot be ignored and should be embraced for the tremendous opportunity it can provide. Create and manage social media accounts for your business. For instance, on Facebook you can include photos of your food, menus, contests, promotions, special events, posts, etc.

6. Make use of local food bloggers by offering them a free meal in return for a blog post and recommendation about your restaurant. A positive blog post about your restaurant will not only help you gain more customers, it will also help your website because Google looks at the referral or link as a positive vote for your business.

7. Email Marketing Create an email list of your customers that you can reach out to with specials and discounts. Taking care of your loyal customers and rewarding them will go a long way in helping your sales by creating more positive referrals and return business.

8. Keep using traditional marketing methods as well to augment your online presence. Even though online search has taken over, don’t completely ignore traditional methods that still can provide you business.

9. Plastic Postcard A lot of businesses are also using and running local direct mail campaigns utilizing plastic postcards with incentives to try their restaurant. DynamiCard postcards have virtually a 100 percent read through rate because they are so visual and impossible not to notice. You can display offers on the card to grab your potential customers’ attention and get them to try your restaurant. A wallet sized card is easily detached from the postcard and can be placed in your potential customers’ purse or wallet to be used later.

DynamiCard is the leader in restaurant direct mail and plastic postcard mailers. Learn More.