There are hundreds of ways to market a restaurant, but a few that stand out. One of them is to market your restaurant’s menu all across the digital and offline space. This type of marketing finds its root deep into our childhood when nearby food outlets used to send out pamphlets of their restaurant to our homes. Designed in the most “Desi” way and full of 100s of dishes, the pamphlet served its purpose well. Whenever our mom felt like ordering food from outside or there’s a celebration at home, that pamphlet would come out from the TV cabinet and we would argue which dish to order.

Today, the methods are the same. But the approach is different. Now, reaching out to our target audience through digital channels is a much faster and economical way than distributing pamphlets all across your regional area. What is the relevance of marketing my restaurant’s menu, you may ask? Well, it’s as simple as “If people aren’t able to answer a simple question of what they can eat at your outlet, your marketing efforts will fall flat”.

So, here are 3 ways you can use your restaurant’s menu as a marketing tool.

1. Keep Your Menu Updated & Communicate the Same: Imagine, your customers come to your restaurant looking for a specific dish. Or try out a special menu on a day you are closed. Also, if your menu is not updated with the latest prices, it can be a bit of a shock to some customers. Think of budget-conscious college-going guys taking their crush out on their first date. Just like this, you lost a customer who was about to create a special moment at your restaurant. So, keep your menu updated on your website and your delivery partner’s portals. And communicate new additions or revisions to your menu with your customers.

Example: Many cafes and tea vendors have now added immune booster dishes and drinks to their menu. These types of items in a menu are bound to be a hit during such an untimely crisis.

Example: Many restaurants have included Work From Home Special Menus. Which consist of easy on body comfort food just like the one people have at home.

2. Be Visible & Easily Searched For: Whenever looking for a place to go and eat, people search for a dish instead of a specific business in mind. Do being visible online on every major channel is a necessity you cannot ignore. For instance, if someone searches for “Butter Chicken Near Me” and it is available in your menu, you need to ensure it shows up in search results. If it won’t, you just lost a potential customer. So, here are ways you can ensure your menu and restaurant shows up in search results.

  • Google Listings: Having a google listing is one of the most basic things you can do to make your brand visible in the digital space. A Google listing is like an online directory that provides all the required information to your customers in an easy way.
  • Website: Having a website is much like having an online real estate. Just like your outlet in the offline world, the website ensures to be a place where consumers can place online orders, make reservations, and know more about your restaurant.
  • Being Updated on Delivery Partner’s Website: Your profile on your delivery partner matters a lot since it contributes directly to your business. And an updated menu that doesn’t shock the users with new prices and removal of their favourite dishes goes a long way in reducing the order drop rate.

Example: Many restaurants are now sending pamphlets along with every delivery showcasing all the best practices they are employing to ensure the safety of their customers. 

Example: Sending a handwritten note with every delivery showcase that you care for your customer. This way, you will share empathy with your customers in these hard times. If you’re feeling a bit creative you can also add a simple crossword puzzle or some other game that your customers can play and share answers with you in exchange for a gift or a discount.

3. Be Social Friendly & Interact More: Being a social-first brand is a necessity. Which is being observed even more during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. Restaurants that built their social following before are now reaping its benefits. Whether its by running contests, getting feedback, or being able to connect with their customers during tough times and having a chance to delight them more. But, the time is not out yet, you can still leverage the power of being social by running paid campaigns that focuses on increasing a brand’s following. Also, not only being social, being interactive with your customers on social media is a great way to motivate them to order their food from your restaurant. For instance, you can run a contest asking your followers to tag their friends with whom they would want to send a treat to. For more ideas on running social media campaigns, click here.

Keeping your menu visible and updated is the easiest way your brand can acquire new and increase returning customers. If your menu is visible, people searching for a dish that is available on your menu will find it easily. While your already present customers who love you will always be excited to try out new dishes your restaurant may launch.