How to market your Italian restaurant
Good marketing is at the core of any successful business. Your restaurant could be serving up the freshest pasta or the most delectable pizza in town, but if no one knows it’s there you’re not going to see a great return on that hard work.
To help you make the most of your restaurant’s potential and get the word out effectively, we’ve got some top tips for how to market your Italian restaurant.
Word of mouth
Word mouth is one of the oldest, yet still most trusted, forms of marketing. People are much more likely to listen to recommendations from friends or family than they are to blatant advertisements or marketing materials. Fundamentally, people don’t like feeling like they’re being sold to and the data backs it up, with click-through rates for ads across the web at a dire 0.05% as of late 2021.
The key to word of mouth marketing is to promote an atmosphere of exclusivity and intrigue in your restaurant, so the customer will spread the word and get others interested. By engaging the customer during their time in your restaurant and making them feel valued, you’re encouraging them to share their positive opinions with others.
Make your customers feel special by adding a personal touch to your service. Get to know your regulars and their usual orders, keep in contact and send out regular updates on events and specials. This can also be used as an opportunity to distribute information about deals or discounts to encourage customers to visit.
As well as giving customers a reason to visit your restaurant, you need to give them a reason to tell others about it. By establishing a solid unique selling point (USP), you’re giving people something to talk about and get invested in. A unique theme, special menu or regular events are great ways to implant your restaurant in people’s minds and encourage business.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with incentivising customers to recommend your restaurant to others. Referral programmes are a great way to promote word of mouth marketing and get more customers through the door. Consider offering discounts or freebies to customers who recommend your restaurant to their friends as a way to encourage them to spread the word further.
Social media marketing has become the new standard for the majority of businesses, including restaurants. It’s a great way to reach your customer base directly, and naturally build your reputation and exposure.
Setting up a Facebook page is a must in today’s business environment, as it allows you to promote your business to a wide range of people, whilst allowing them to contact and engage with you in return.
Facebook’s business pages include a number of features perfect for a restaurant, like listings for opening times and the ability to contact the restaurant directly from your page. You should ensure you include your full menu on your Facebook page, as well as allowing the ability for customers to leave reviews, which you can then use in your marketing.
Food is perfect for visual marketing, and alluring pictures of your enticing dishes are a great way to build interest in your restaurant. This makes Instagram a fantastic platform for marketing your restaurant to a new audience, and with over a billion monthly users there’s a huge potential new customer base out there for you to take advantage of.
Pictures and videos of your delectable dishes are a great way to get people interested, but this isn’t the only content they’ll be interested in. Sharing pictures of the restaurant itself is a great way to show off the atmosphere and build intrigue from potential customers. You may even consider going down the more personal route and sharing behind the scenes pictures and videos of the kitchen or staff to promote a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
The key with any social media marketing is trying to convince your customers to do the marketing for you. By encouraging customers to share pictures of their visit and tag your social media pages in their posts, you’re combining the best of both social media and word of mouth marketing.
Special offers & events
Getting customers through the door in the first palace is a feat, but encouraging repeat business can sometimes seem impossible. An excellent way of doing this is by promoting special events and offers, giving your customers a reason to return time and time again.
Consider weekly live music performances or entertainers to give people a reason to return each week, perhaps also giving you the opportunity to promote special menu items or offers for those who attend. Even simple launch parties for new menu items, or celebration events for holidays are a great way to give customers a reason to visit.
You should also keep an eye on what events are going on in the local community too. Partnering with, or just planning a promotion around, large events in the area are a great way to get people to give your restaurant a go. For example, you may want to offer a discount to those who have tickets to a local sports match or concert.
Getting your restaurant involved in local events itself is a great way to promote your business. Markets, food festivals and carnivals are a great opportunity to spread the word about your business and let people try your food. Partner this with a leaflet and social media campaign, perhaps including discount codes or offers, to encourage more customers to visit in the future.
Italian is amongst the most varied cuisines in the world, with many often stuck for choice as to what to order at a good Italian restaurant. So, why not take advantage of that variety and offer a tasting menu, allowing customers to try it all?
Tasting menus offer small portions of a number of dishes from the restaurant’s main menu, allowing the chef to tailor the meal to best show their skills and creativity. It also gives the diner the chance to try a range of dishes they otherwise may have missed out on due to the cost or the sheer amount of food.
Tasting menus also offer a great reason for repeat visits to your restaurant, as the selection on offer can be regularly changed in keeping with the seasonal produce available, or themed around special events and holidays depending on the time of year.
Italian restaurant insurance
Restaurant ownership isn’t easy and comes with a lot of risks, especially financially. So, why not take the stress off the menu and invest in a highly tailored Italian restaurant insurance policy, to keep your business protected against the most common risks of running a restaurant.
Whatever insurance policy you decide on, some key covers you should make sure are included are:
- Public liability insurance: A must for any public facing business like a restaurant, this keeps you covered against any claim from a member of the public who is injured on your premises.
- Employers liability insurance: As a restaurant that employs staff, this is a legal requirement which keeps you financially protected if someone who works for you suffers injury or illness on the job.
- Business contents insurance: This covers the cost of replacing any stock or equipment stored on your premises that gets lost, stolen or damaged.
Alternatively, should you choose not to invest in a tailored policy, get a quote and see what deal you could get on any new insurance policy or renewal today.