Research points out that a staggering 59 percent of eateries and restaurants fail within the first three years. In fact, for more hotels and restaurants, the first year is the riskiest. With high failure rates, how can restaurants starting out establish themselves in a competitive and overcrowded marketplace? The buzz around a restaurant needs to start even before the launch for this to be accomplished.
This is why web marketing in the pre-launch stage can really build your brand and power your profits. Make marketing before the launch mobile-optimised, because research shows that potential fine dining clients are searching online to discover new, upcoming dining destinations.
- Establishing a Digital Ecosystem
Web marketing professionals know that in today’s saturated, competitive fine dining industry, establishing digital ecosystems and leveraging digital channels prior to opening day is mission-critical. Pre-launch, websites also need to be optimised and teasers need to be sent out so customers know what to expect.
A website that is responsive and mobile-optimised may be a necessary digital foundation for upscale restaurants, but introducing your fine dining concept prior to its launch is essential to build a strong presence in the market. In the months preceding the launch, marketers need to build the website with the goal of communicating uniqueness of the story and the dining experience.
- Building a Buzz
Generating a buzz even before the restaurant opens can be extremely beneficial for establishing a firm clientele. Engaging with future potential customers and building appeal by highlighting the fine dining story and culinary experience through your online social media channels can certainly help. For example, in the event that it is a chef-led restaurant, social media posts should share the culinary inspirations through visuals and copies. Restaurants can even highlight signature dishes before the restaurant opens.
- Putting Value on the Table
When the complete menu is ready, it needs to be accessible across multiple devices. Studies show that 80 percent of customers think of perusing the menu before dining at an eatery. A further 70 percent think it is important to be able to read the menu on a smartphone or other smart devices.
So, whether one uses social networking channels or social media platforms, essential information like contact number, address, hours of operation, FAQs and online booking widgets can prove extremely useful. For example, the use of social media channels like Instagram for documenting fine dining experience is well-known. Instagram has 700 million monthly active users with the potential to engage with your fine dining restaurant.
Prior to the official launch, restaurants can easily use such web marketing platforms to showcase the process. Customers seeking behind-the-scene look into the restaurant’s working can tap the social media channels for powerful storytelling and effective social listening. Building a buzz is all about sharing imagery and short videos of the restaurant’s journey, from design and architecture milestones to tasting sessions and more.
- Recipe for Marketing Success
Capturing the Millennial diner’s interest is all about tapping digital marketing channels to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse that builds a distinctive brand. Millennials are particularly discerning, with one survey showing 80 per cent wanting to known about processes and origins, in terms of how food is grown and sourced.
Farm to table and root to flower dining is gaining currency among modern-day diners and restaurants would do well to catch this trend to heighten their appeal in the pre-launch period. Another powerful medium for online marketing success is Facebook. Pre-launch events and bookings or access to menu and important descriptors can be a potent means of building a connect with audiences. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth publicity before the official launch are also useful in building appeal.
- Real-Time Engagement
Upscale restaurants need to build a strong fan following even before they launch. Research shows customers prefer social media interaction and real-time engagement. Over 70 percent of customers in one survey expected immediate responses to questions and 50 percent expect a response within one hour. Soft launches are, therefore, essential to ensure quality digital presence. A phased pre-launch web marketing campaign offers tailored experiences for influencer micro segments and communities alike, amplifying online visibility. It also offers more targeted opportunities to generate awareness and appeal just before the opening.
- Online Reviews Cooking Up Positive Buzz
Apart from traditional PR, intimate, targeted events aimed at Instagram influencers, PR outlets and food bloggers even before the restaurant opens will reap rich dividends. This can be used as a chance to customise the experience to the particular demographic and introduce culinary concepts behind the restaurant. Pre-launch, internet marketing plans also need to be ready. This includes having hashtags ready for Instagram posts and food blogs as well as engaging content for targeted events.
- Preview Dining: A Small Taste of Big Things to Come
If restaurants are introducing new culinary concepts, preview dining brings a lot to the table. This can be advertised online and serve to lower the barrier to trial for markets looking to sample a new type of cuisine. Preview dining includes a discounted menu featuring signature dishes and flavours from the restaurant. Most fine dining establishments use soft launch approaches like these to introduce new culinary concepts and use a digital buzz to amplify appeal. The new culinary experience needs to be advertised through web or online marketing channels, while preserving the authenticity and integrity of the upscale restaurant soon to be launched.
Customers are the first to leave online reviews, to deliver an exceptional experience. Close to 87 percent of customers look to online reviews to make decisions about a business. A preview dining experience can boost your online visibility and generate stellar reviews even before the restaurant opens.
The reason why Pathwwway Limited web marketing is such a powerful tool for restaurant businesses is because it ensures the brand builds suspense and triggers a sense of anticipation. Using creative windows and road signage can only take you so far. A key to effective marketing is amplification and digital marketing channels offer that.
This is the reason why restaurants can reach maximum number of targeted customers with the least amount of spending. In a nutshell, it takes a strong digital buzz for diners to be attracted to your restaurant. So don’t neglect web or online marketing campaigns in the pre-opening days if your restaurant business wants to hit the ground running!