5 Benefits of Offering Free Wi-Fi in Restaurants

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, June 22, 2017

    Culinary entrepreneurs try just about everything to fill up their restaurant dining chairs. When it comes to the act of providing free Wi-Fi, however, it seems as if only regional and chain establishments make the effort. Restaurateurs often cite pricing as an issue, but in reality, the benefits that come along with offering free Wi-Fi in restaurants are numerous. These are just a few of those benefits, and even these are enough to justify the cost.

    1. Customers Spend More Time
    Starbucks didn’t gain popularity so quickly because of its fancy café chairs. One of the main reasons the franchise caught on was because it offered free Wi-Fi to its customers. This meant customers would come in, order a coffee, work on the internet and then buy more coffee or snacks while sticking around.

    This same concept can be used to keep the restaurant dining chairs full. A person who wants to save their data might opt for a dessert or stick around the bar tables longer for another drink. The chance for loiterers obviously exists, but studies have shown that half of all restaurants see an increase in revenue after offering free Wi-Fi.

    2. Brings in New Patrons
    No one likes sitting alone in a restaurant. A recent survey, however, found that over 50 percent of respondents were fine doing this if free Wi-Fi was offered. Even if they’re alone, they can easily socialize on social media while dining solo. Free Wi-Fi in restaurants will snag those customers who don’t want to be bored when they’re out alone.

    3. Standing Out from Competition
    There are thousands of restaurant dining chairs a person can occupy, even in a small city. Because of this, it’s necessary to really stand out from the competition. If food, service and ambiance are all equal, a person is likely to opt for the dining experience that lets them enjoy the World Wide Web without decimating their data plan.

    4. Email Marketing Opportunity
    Just because a restaurateur offers free Wi-Fi doesn’t mean they have to get nothing in exchange. Various restaurants, including international giant McDonald’s, have a splash page where people have to accept the terms of use before being allowed to surf the Web. If an eatery sets up their own splash page, they can offer a promotion in exchange for the patron’s email address. This opens up a whole new world of marketing opportunities.

    5. Customer Tracking
    Offering free Wi-Fi creates a few customer tracking opportunities. To start, the restaurateur could have the network set up so they can track how long a specific device was on their Wi-Fi connection. This allows them to see how many people were using the service and how long they stuck around. Another method is by setting the eatery’s website as the main homepage after signing in. Not only can these visits be tracked later, but it provides an opportunity to offer a promotion to the diner right on their phone.

    Offering free Wi-Fi in restaurants may have startup and continuing costs, but the numerous benefits involved are sure to fill up the restaurant dining chairs. If even a few of these advantages are realized at the end of the day, the expense for the service will certainly be worth it. 


    3 Secrets for Reducing Noise in Restaurant Settings

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, June 21, 2017

    Sitting at the dining tables for restaurants should be a relaxing experience. While it’s understandable if the crowd gets a little exuberant when the big game is on, it can become annoying for patrons if noise is nonstop on a typical night. In many instances, this noise pollution—as the scientists call it—may not even be coming from other patrons. Fortunately, a loud eatery isn’t something the owner and their customers have to deal with. The following tips will make sure of that.

    Place Carpet in High Traffic Areas
    Some restaurateurs believe that their overall brand image simply doesn’t fit with anything other than hardwood, stone or tile flooring, and this is absolutely fine. Unfortunately, it can also become annoying to patrons who have to hear loud footsteps every time someone walks out of the bathroom or comes through the front entrance.

    Fortunately, this irritation can be minimized by installing carpets or placing rugs in the highest traffic areas of the eatery. This is a simple solution that rarely costs much, but its effects will be immediately noticeable. The only thing left to worry about is finding dining tables for restaurants that won’t make excruciating sounds if slid across the hard flooring.  

    Cover Up the Windows
    Some patrons choose a specific restaurant booth for the very fact that it’s next to a window, so why would a culinary entrepreneur ever consider covering them up? As it turns out, glass is an amazing reflector of sound, and in many dining atmospheres, this creates much more ruckus than people are accustomed to.

    Luckily, this isn’t a difficult problem to overcome, and it also doesn’t require fully covering the windows. Some industry experts will recommend putting textured wall surfaces over the glass, but in reality, curtains, blinds and valances are just as useful. Plus, they still allow for the aesthetic beauty of having the sun come through the windows if a patron wishes.

    Invest in Sound Panels
    When looking for café chairs, cooking equipment and dining tables for restaurants, every owner likely came across an advertisement for sound panels. Since many restaurateurs have never heard of such a thing, it wasn’t a terrible idea to overlook these marketing attempts. If an eatery has a noise problem, however, it might be time to look back at those panels.

    Sound panels are typically square objects, although they can come in a variety of shapes, that are hung throughout dining areas to absorb sound. The hard surfaces in a restaurant can make for a noisy atmosphere, but these softer panels will absorb sound vibrations and reduce noise.

    Some eateries have even turned their sound panels into fancy paintings before hanging them. And since the panels can be hung on the walls or mounted to the ceiling, restaurateurs can take advantage of their benefits regardless of the size of their establishment.

    Whether it’s a normal Wednesday night or Super Bowl Sunday, restaurant patrons aren’t going to enjoy constant noise interfering with their conversations and meals. A culinary master’s first concern, other than finding a supplier and dining tables for restaurants, probably wasn’t about reducing noise. When the need arises, though, the aforementioned tips can go a long way. 


    Creating a Great Relationship with Restaurant Health Inspectors

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    Many restaurateurs would love a world where they could simply set out their café tables, make great food and rake in the money. Of course, this isn’t how the food and beverage industry works, and one of the things culinary entrepreneurs must consistently worry about is health inspections. This doesn’t mean, though, that health inspectors should be viewed as adversaries. Instead, follow these simple tips to build a good relationship with inspectors. In the end, it could mean the difference between an A- and a B+.

    Do a Little Homework
    Typically, local health departments have copies of health inspection forms that they’ll hand out. If this is the case, no restaurateur should pass up the opportunity. This allows them to go through their entire eatery, from under the restaurant booths to above the highest storage shelves, and know what their inspector will be looking for.

    In the end, this makes the inspector’s job easier and shows that the owner really cares about keeping things impressive. This will create an almost immediate level of respect from the inspector.

    Stay Professional and Courteous
    A single smile can go a long way, but it’s when a person isn’t happy when professionalism and courtesy come into play. Managers and the owner should feel comfortable speaking with a health inspector if they believe the inspector has made a mistake. In this situation, though, it’s counterproductive to be confrontational.

    Instead, managers should invite the inspector to sit at a café table and ask why they got a low grade in a particular area. If there’s a disagreement over this, it’s okay for the manager to politely explain their own interpretation of the rule. They won’t always win, and this is okay. Once it’s said and done, the inspector will appreciate the professionalism and a solution will have likely been reached.  

    Fix Mistakes When They Occur
    Some restaurants will get a 93 on a health inspection and never change a thing. While this is a decent grade, there are obviously a few things that are costing them points. When a health inspector comes back and sees the same mistakes or oversights every single time, it’s enough to get on their nerves a bit.

    Because of this, restaurateurs should strive to fix every issue that cost them points on their last inspection. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or food not properly stored, these are the little problems that, if ignored, will make the inspector feel that they are being ignored. This is no way to build a good relationship.

    Get Immersed in the Community
    Stepping away from the café tables and bistro chairs to get involved in the community is a great way to garner attention from potential customers. By serving on local and state committees related to food and health inspection, though, an opportunity is created to work directly with inspectors. This allows restaurateurs to build rapport with local officials and inspectors while also educating them about keeping their eatery safe for everyone.

    Health inspections are a fact of life in the restaurant industry. And while culinary geniuses may not end up hanging out at the café tables of a local coffee shop with their inspector, the aforementioned tips can go a long way in building a functioning and mutually-beneficial relationship. 


    5 Tips for Buying Used Restaurant Kitchen Equipment

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, June 19, 2017

    While restaurant furnishings and great entrees are essential aspects of running an eatery, nothing could be done without Grade-A commercial restaurant equipment. For small restaurants and establishments on a tight budget, however, purchasing new equipment can be uneconomical. If even one piece of kitchen equipment breaks down, it can bring the entire restaurant to a halt. Fortunately, used restaurant equipment works just as well—as long as a few simple rules are followed when purchasing.

    1. Shop Locally for Cooking Equipment
    Not everything a restaurateur purchases needs to be local. In fact, trying to purchase everything locally can quickly turn expensive. When it comes to cooking equipment, though, it’s best to search and purchase nearby. Used deep fryers, grills and other equipment are often found in eateries that are closing down, and unfortunately, purchasing these items isn’t like shopping on eBay.

    A restaurateur who purchases used cooking equipment long distance will not have an opportunity to inspect their purchase. This is vital when purchasing used kitchen items. A single issue with a deep fryer can turn it into an expensive paperweight that must either be replaced or repaired. Shopping locally for cooking equipment, where it can be inspected before purchase, is a necessity.

    2. Shop Around for Warranties
    Everything from restaurant furnishings to point-of-sale systems come with a refund policy, but this isn’t always the case with used cooking equipment. After all, no one is expecting to get a brand-new grill if they’re paying for a used one. This does not mean, though, that restaurateurs shouldn’t look for equipment with a warranty. These typically only last between 30 and 90 days, but this should be more than enough time to have inspections and try out the equipment on site.

    3. Check the Price of New Equipment
    The entire point of purchasing used commercial kitchen equipment is to get a great deal. Restaurateurs should always remember, though, that a lower price doesn’t necessarily equate to a good deal. In fact, if a piece of used cooking equipment costs over half of what it would cost to purchase new, it’s a good idea to consider opting for the newer models. With any used item, a bit is being sacrificed in the name of saving money, but if the price of a heavily-used fryer is 60 percent of a new one, the costs could exceed the benefits.

    4. Make Sure Equipment Is Commercial-Grade
    Making sure a piece of used cooking equipment is commercial-grade is an essential aspect of buying used equipment. This ensures it’s capable of handling the large workload experienced in restaurant settings. Plus, most health departments will require commercial-grade equipment. Failing to follow this rule could leave an eatery full of empty restaurant furnishings while the owner spends time “getting up to code.”

    5. Seek Out Auctions
    Seeking out local auctions that feature commercial kitchen equipment is a great way to save money. Auction items typically go for far less than equipment purchased elsewhere. Just make sure to inspect the items before laying down the money.

    Purchasing used restaurant furnishings, carpeting, curtains or other items is typically costly due to the quick need to replace them. With commercial kitchen equipment, though, this is largely avoidable. For restaurateurs who follow the aforementioned rules, it’s simple to get great used equipment at a fair price. 


    Technologies That Are Wowing the Restaurant Industry

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Sunday, June 18, 2017

    Having a great restaurant supplier can result in unique foods, beautiful café tables and pristine commercial restaurant equipment. What these suppliers might not provide, however, is high-tech innovations and gadgetry. Fortunately, many of these tech trends don’t require an all new supplier. Save for one or two, culinary entrepreneurs can take advantage of all the following restaurant industry technologies.

    Restaurant Apps in the House

    Getting every restaurant booth in an eatery full can be a difficult challenge, but like most other things in life, there’s now an app for that. In fact, there are a variety of apps for this. Some establishments have chosen to create their own apps for everything from reservations to loyalty programs. Of course, this isn’t always economical for small local restaurants, but that doesn’t mean they can’t jump on the app bandwagon.

    Many cities across the globe now have third-party delivery companies that will bring customers food right to their door. No new restaurant supplier, drivers or employees are needed for this service, and people can place orders right from their smartphones. OpenTable and ShopKeep, which provide eateries with reservation and point-of-sale systems, respectively, are also ideal for culinary masterminds.

    Restaurant Kiosks Becoming Common
    Restaurants ranging from McDonald’s to Panera Bread are already using kiosks at locations across America. Even if patrons enjoy the idea of sitting down in their favorite bistro chair to enjoy a meal, they can still walk right up to self-order kiosks and put in their own orders before having a seat.

    There’s a debate over whether kiosks are replacing restaurant workers, but this is highly unlikely. Robots won’t soon be making hamburgers for most eateries, and just imagine how mad customers will be when there’s a line of eight people at a kiosk and absolutely no one at the front counter. Kiosks are the wave of the future, but fortunately, they won’t be removing servers and other staff.

    Back of House Ordering
    Kiosks and apps might make patrons’ lives easier, but what about the technology that’s specifically for owners, management, and staff who place inventory orders? Getting food, new bar tables and other necessities from a restaurant supplier typically requires filling out spreadsheets and, even with the best technology, online order forms. With many restaurants switching to voice recognition software, though, this could soon be a thing of the past.

    Several industry giants in America, including Domino’s restaurants, allow their customers to order by speaking into their Dot or Echo device via Amazon’s Alexa system. While Amazon or other companies haven’t made a similar innovation for restaurateurs who just want to speak their orders into their Echo, this is no doubt well on its way. The demand certainly exists, so it’s just a matter of time before someone jumps at the opportunity.

    There will certainly be numerous restaurant trends in 2017 that will change how we do business. Luckily, there’s no need to wait for these innovations. Several existing technologies are still wowing the restaurant industry through customer interaction, and newer innovations will undoubtedly help with the restaurant supplier relationship. There’s simply no denying it: technology will continue to keep us in awe of the food and beverage industry. 


    3 Restaurant Promotional Ideas Every Eatery Should Steal

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, June 15, 2017

    Filling up the bar tables on any given night requires great food, great service and great marketing strategies. Every so often, a business comes up with a unique promotional idea that really gets them noticed, but in the restaurant industry, just about everything has been tried before. This doesn’t mean, though, that old ideas are useless. In fact, here are some restaurant promotional ideas every culinary entrepreneur should consider stealing.

    Dinner for Two
    A variety of chain restaurants have recently begun offering deals on meals intended for two people. At some of these eateries, for instance, the duo gets to share an appetizer, choose their own entrée from a list, and share a dessert when they’re finished. This might not be worth much more than the $20 it’s advertised at, but the simple idea of the great deal will get attention.

    Whether it’s college students at bar tables or a family occupying their favorite restaurant booth, everyone is looking for a deal. And when they feel they’re saving money by spending a little extra, it’s a win-win situation for everybody.

    Come Up with Quirky Promos
    Everyone is used to promotions that offer discounts and free entrees after so many visits, but some of the best marketing ploys include quirky ideas. Jimmy John’s, for instance, once started publishing a single store address where a gift box had been hidden. Patrons and fans would then flock to the location to find it, and since they were there anyway, they’d typically grab a sub sandwich as well.

    Another restaurant, Stanford’s, had a similarly quirky idea. The eatery focused more on a bar table atmosphere than anything else, so when people shared their happy hour pictures along with a predetermined hashtag, they were entered into a gift card contest. Either of these ideas are great to try out, but a restaurant attempting their own quirky promotion could cash in big as well.

    Kids Eat Free
    Commercial restaurant equipment doesn’t care what size a meal is; it’s going to cook it either way. This means there’s no excuse for an eatery not to offer kids’ meals on their menu. It attracts families, and it also opens an excellent marketing opportunity for those willing to have a “kids eat free night.”

    While this may seem like a restaurant is giving away money, it’s all in the setup. As long as the eatery says that only one free kids’ meal can be attained per full-priced adult meal, there’s guaranteed to be an entrée sale on the ticket as well. So what if three chicken fingers and fries are given away on a $17 meal? The payoff is well worth it.

    Packing every seat from the café chairs to the bar tables can be difficult, but it’s not as if there’s a shortage of great restaurant promotional ideas out there to help. Culinary entrepreneurs just need to find the strategies that work best for their eatery. And since there aren’t many trademarks on promotional ideas, there’s no harm in borrowing a few tips from the big dogs in the food and beverage industry.


    The Benefits of Restaurant Curbside Pickup Service

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, June 14, 2017

    Car seats rarely come to mind when someone thinks of restaurant furniture, but thanks to the increasing availability of curbside pickup options, this thought is no longer a strange one. People are gravitating towards curbside pickup options, and restaurants that focus on keeping up with current trends have already begun offering the service. For those who haven’t, though, here are a few benefits of restaurant curbside pickup service.

    Customers Are Tired of Fast Food
    One trend that’s been emerging quickly is that of consumers growing tired of fast food. People have been spending more time eating meals at home, and this typically meant they either cooked or picked up a few burgers from a fast food joint. Essentially, they wanted to avoid sitting in restaurant booths but still didn’t feel like cooking.

    Over time, though, people simply soured on fast food. It’s unhealthy and, when it comes down to it, there’s very little variety. With the emergence of curbside pickup, though, people were finally able to avoid cooking and still enjoy a nice meal at home. While it might not fill up the restaurant furniture, it does provide a much-needed service while still increasing revenue.

    Brings in New Customers
    Big chain restaurants, such as Chili’s and Applebee’s, have been offering curbside pickup for some time. As is the case with anything in this world, though, people will eventually grow tired of what these eateries offer. This doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t still seek out the convenience of curbside pickup.

    Because of this, consumers who have never tried out a certain restaurant before might venture to do so. By focusing local marketing on the curbside service, a restaurateur can get noticed right alongside the big-name franchises in their area. Eventually, people will tire of Chili’s or restaurants that have their patrons waiting for pickup orders at bar tables.

    At this moment, the curbside service will really pay off.

    Allows Customer Info and Analytics to Be Gathered
    One of the greatest benefits of curbside pickup, other than freeing up restaurant furniture on busy Friday nights, is the ability to gather customer information and sales analytics. Before this can be accomplished, though, a restaurateur must start taking online orders. Fortunately, there are a variety of third-party companies and apps that can help with this.

    Once online ordering is a reality at an eatery, restaurants will have an easy way to gather patron information. After all, every order will at least need a name and phone number attached to it, and customers will usually want a receipt sent directly to their email. This opens a variety of marketing opportunities. Additionally, taking orders online will help managers to track sales and use the information to improve service and quality.

    Expanding services at a restaurant can be a tough job, but in an industry where things seem to evolve by the moment, this has become more of a necessity than an option. Fortunately, offering curbside pickup is an expansion that can really pay off. While a patron may not come in for their first order, they might just occupy the restaurant furniture later if they’re impressed. 


    What to Look for in Restaurant POS Systems

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    When a budding culinary entrepreneur is starting to get their business off the ground, their idea of important commercial restaurant equipment likely includes grills, expo windows and deep fryers. This often leaves them taking and entering orders the old-fashioned way: pen and paper. In the modern era of the food and beverage industry, though, technology is essential to expansion. The means restaurants need to choose the best point of sale (POS) system, and the following tips can go a long way in making the right decision.

    Point of Sale Specialty Functions
    There are certain things that every restaurant will need from their POS system, but there are also some levels of functionality that only a few eateries will need. Some restaurateurs, for instance, will want to handle their inventory and online reservation system on their POS.

    For eateries that don’t need this type of functionality, these are just additional features they may not want to spend money on. As is the case with any commercial restaurant equipment, though, restaurateurs should have an eye to the future. If they choose to expand later, replacing their POS system could be far more costly than buying new bar tables.

    Types of Accepted Payment Methods
    As technology evolves, it’s important for restaurateurs to not purchase equipment that will be outdated within a year or so. While all POS systems now allow for cash and credit/debit cards, what about gift cards? A growing restaurant may want to offer these gift-purchasing incentives one day.

    It’s also important to note that those occupying the café tables will soon all have digital wallets. This doesn’t mean that credit cards and other payment methods will suddenly disappear, but by having this option in a POS system, a restaurant will look more in tune with their patrons and offer easier options to those who want them.

    Is Mobile Integration Possible?
    Many restaurants now have their servers visit tables with tablets to take payments, and some even have a stationary tablet at every single table, thanks to mobile POS integration. This makes the lives of servers and patrons much simpler when it comes time to pay. Again, this isn’t an absolute necessity when choosing a POS system, but as more and more establishments offer this technology, customers will start to wonder why some restaurants aren’t keeping up.

    Just How Much Is Needed?

    In many instances, it’s easy to believe that you get what you pay for. In fact, this statement is typically correct. When it comes to restaurant POS systems, though, it’s important to realize that huge differences in price don’t necessarily equate to huge differences in quality.

    Old-school, legacy POS systems, for instance, can cost thousands of dollars just to get installed and licensed. An iPad-based POS system with a low-licensing fee, however, can cost very little and provide most necessary functions. Price is always a consideration when buying commercial restaurant equipment, but when it comes to point of sale systems, the rules aren’t static.

    Choosing the right restaurant POS system isn’t something that should be done on a whim. Any restaurateur who’s looking for the best option for their eatery will have to do research and understand what they’re looking for. With just a little effort, though—and by following the aforementioned rules— finding the perfect piece of commercial restaurant equipment can be simple. 


    How Restaurants Can Increase Online Food Orders

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, June 12, 2017

    Until relatively recently, eateries throughout the country focused solely on filling up their restaurant booths. After all, having more people at the establishment was the only way to make more money. This, however, is no longer the case. Countless restaurants now do quite well by providing pickup orders and online ordering. For restaurateurs who have expanded into this area, here are a few tips for increasing online orders.

    Make Big Announcements Via Social Media
    When a restaurateur first begins to offer online ordering, they need to make a big deal of it on social media. While they may prefer to get their restaurant furniture fully occupied, it’s important to remember that there are many people who will place an order solely because of the online option.

    These individuals may have already decided that they aren’t eating out, but if one of their favorite restaurants announces on social media that they now offer online ordering, they’ll likely gravitate towards placing an order there. Even restaurateurs who have offered an online option for a while should push out periodic reminders on social media.

    Offer First-Time Discounts
    When offering a new service, the hard part is often getting someone to try it out the first time. After all, if someone really enjoys their first visit to an eatery, getting them back in the restaurant booths shouldn’t be a difficult task. This holds true for online ordering as well, so restaurateurs should make an effort to offer discounts for those who place their first order online. In addition to influencing their decision, there’s a good chance they’ll share news of the discount with family and friends.

    Influence Patrons into Getting Full Meals

    Increasing online food orders isn’t just about getting more people to place orders. On top of this, restaurateurs should try to increase their online check averages by reminding customers that they can have a full meal. If they order a steak entrée, for instance, a little popup or reminder could show and offer an appetizer, drink or dessert. Oftentimes, people get only  a single item simply because they’re not reminded of their other options.

    Get the Word Out Through Local Marketing
    Most people have likely typed in their city’s name along with the term “food delivery” or “online ordering.” Unfortunately, this often only results in national chain pizza stores and third party delivery services popping up. With the realization that revenue is no longer fully linked with packed restaurant booths and bar tables, culinary entrepreneurs should focus on local marketing strategies to get their eatery noticed.

    Accomplishing this feat should include content marketing pieces that use the keyword “online ordering” and focus on the local area. Restaurateurs should also claim and update local sites, such as Yelp and their Google My Business, with their latest information and the fact that they offer online ordering. Eateries that deliver should also toss in keywords related to “delivery.”

    Online ordering has certainly moved an eatery’s success away from the restaurant booth and into the technological world. Of course, nothing beats having droves of patrons come in on a Friday night, but by utilizing a few great online ordering strategies, it’s also possible to snag those consumers who would rather eat at home. 


    5 Local Marketing Tips for Restaurants in 2017

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Sunday, June 11, 2017

    Filling the seating for restaurants requires a solid marketing plan, but when it comes down to it, smaller eateries have to go about this differently than national chains. For many budding culinary entrepreneurs, in fact, every aspect of their marketing plan is local. After all, it doesn't amount to much if an online searcher in California stumbles across a restaurant located in New York. That's why marketing focused on your local area is essential, and the following tips can take your local marketing in 2017 to new heights.

    1. If Running Ads, Make Them Geotargeted
    Some restaurateurs depend on search engines to get people at their bar tables, but most have to run ads of some kind. If you're putting out an ad to garner attention, it's important to make sure geotargeting is allowed. On Facebook, for instance, you can set your ad to display only to people in certain cities. This means the people who are seeing your ad might actually show up.

    2. Purchase Locally
    Where your restaurant supplier of food is located might not seem like a marketing issue, but it certainly can be. There is a current push for locally-sourced foods, and people are willing to pay more when they know where their meal is coming from. By doing this, you have created a new selling point. Let people know if your foods—or even just a few entrees—come from the local area. The seating for restaurant customers might just be packed afterwards.

    3. Proximity-Based Advertising
    While it's relatively new in the marketing world, proximity-based advertising could soon be a powerhouse in local marketing. These ads present themselves to consumers via their cell phones whenever they're near a certain place. So if a person walks down a side street and your restaurant is right around the corner, they could get a quick notification that there's a 10-percent discount when they show the ad at the time of payment. It's a quick and efficient way to get new people in those cafe chairs.

    4. Focus on Getting Local Pages Right
    Too many restaurateurs pay no attention to the information on Yelp or Google My Business. They just trust that the sites will get their information right. This is a bad assumption. Take the time to review all sites like this and correct any misinformation. You'll want to claim each of these sites, if possible, and add additional info as well.

    5. Focus on Customer Reviews
    Reviews are one of the most powerful tools for restaurant local marketing. People trust online reviews, and the more active your review pages are, the better you'll do in local search rankings. Provide incentives for patrons who leave online reviews, and take the time to respond to each review with either a “thank you,” “let us make this better,” or, in some cases, an explanation of what went wrong.

    If you run a smaller restaurant, all marketing is local for you. Invest the necessary time to ensure your local marketing plan is actually paying off. Seating for restaurants doesn't always get filled thanks to great food and service—half the battle is getting people in the door. And if local consumers can't find you, that simply isn't going to happen.



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