Restaurant Marketing in 2024: From Online Orders to AI

By
Nick Mirev
Table of Contents
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    For the past century, the field of marketing has changed dramatically. Thanks to the latest advancements in technology, marketers have the opportunity to rely on various channels and produce content much easier. Currently, the hype in restaurant marketing is related to the use of AI in the food service business. Hence, we’ll pay extra attention to how AI can be used in restaurant marketing. Furthermore, in this article, we’ll dive deeper into the latest restaurant technology trends and restaurant industry trends in the field of marketing.

    What Are the Latest Trends in Restaurant Marketing?

    Online Ordering Platforms

    Restaurants should invest in their own websites. That includes having a UX-friendly and easy-to-use ordering platform. At the moment, one of the hottest trends for restaurant marketing is integrating AI into the ordering system of your venue. With the help of data and AI, your business has the potential to increase and even maximize revenue from online orders. Additionally, working with delivery platforms like Grubhub and Uber Eats is becoming a necessity. A lot of customers prefer to look through the options on these platforms in order to choose something to eat. Furthermore, these platforms usually have very well-developed delivery routing software which leads to lower delivery times.

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    Social Media as a Customer Service Channel

    Currently, businesses should look at social media not only as a restaurant marketing channel but also as part of their customer service. Quick responses, answering reviews, and engaging with customers in the comment section are becoming increasingly important.

    Reviews

    Platforms such as Google My Business, Trustpilot, and TripAdvisor allow customers to publish honest reviews as well as images from their experiences. A large number of negative restaurant reviews can have irreversible consequences for the business. 

    AI and Restaurant Automation

    Even though artificial intelligence has been around for decades, it has become very popular lately. It has many applications in the hospitality business and restaurant marketing. With the help of AI, restaurants can get menu engineering ideas for their seasonal menu and analyze data on ROI from different channels.

    WiFi Marketing for Restaurants

    Offering free wifi at your establishment can be turned into a powerful marketing tool. With its help, businesses can collect customer data and emails to use for their restaurant email marketing efforts. Additionally, this gives restaurant managers the chance to improve the customer experience based on metrics such as visit frequency. Wifi marketing can be part of campaigns too. For example, you can combine it with your restaurant’s loyalty program and have special offers for customers based on how many times they have accessed your wifi network.

    Targeted Online Advertising

    Social media and other platforms that allow advertising give businesses many different ways to target users. On the other hand, users are so used to ads that their brain filters most of them. In order to truly reach their consciousness, your advertising strategy should be to target your ads properly.

    Key takeaway: AI has many applications in a restaurant’s marketing. Currently, establishments use it in two major ways. It helps with analyzing and creating patterns in order to give customers a more personalized experience. AI is also used in the form of virtual assistants that help guests and users ordering online with their choice.
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    How AI Is Used in Restaurant Marketing

    Ever since artificial intelligence started receiving a lot of media attention, there have been numerous startups in the marketing and IT field that offer AI-related solutions. That’s why you can often find AI in a restaurant’s marketing and advertising.

    Segmentation

    With the help of AI algorithms, data can be analyzed in order to identify trends and patterns. This helps a restaurant’s marketing team segment its customer base. Through these insights, it’s easier to create more targeted marketing campaigns.

    Personalization

    Data can also be analyzed on an individual level. AI algorithms that have access to order history and preferences can then suggest specific menu items to customers.

    Virtual Assistants

    Automated restaurants often implement virtual assistants in their processes. They can answer customer questions and give details about different menu options. With the help of virtual assistants, the table reservation and food ordering processes can be 100% automated.

    Feedback Analysis

    When combined with enough customer feedback data, AI algorithms can find areas for improvement or adapt marketing strategies. For example, if guests like the service and the interior of the restaurant, the marketing department will be eager to use content related to that in their advertising efforts. Furthermore, analyzing customer feedback can help the business discover the most preferred dishes by different customer groups and the least preferred ones.

    Menu Optimization

    Thanks to AI, restaurants can track patterns on their most preferred menu items and remove the ones that bring the least profit. Additionally, artificial intelligence can create custom menus for users ordering online as well as recommend optimal upselling and cross-selling options.

    Marketing Automation

    Marketing for restaurants is done across a large number of channels. That’s why businesses are eager to automate some of these tasks. With the help of AI, content for restaurant marketing can be automated. Some examples include email marketing, loyalty program messages, personalized offers, blog posts, and social media captions.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Restaurant Marketing

    Even though there’s a lot of hype around AI, it’s not the only important thing in the field of marketing for restaurants. In the next paragraphs, we’ll attempt to answer some of the most common questions regarding the topic of restaurant marketing.

    How to Market a New Restaurant?

    When it comes to marketing a new place, brand awareness is crucial. Ads on billboards, local print media, and local radio stations are all good options. In terms of online marketing, consider investing in Google Display ads. These online banners can be targeted based on the user’s location.

    In addition to brand awareness advertising, consider organizing interesting events. With their help, you will not only have an easier time bringing guests to your establishment, but it will also help with the social media marketing for your restaurant.

    Is Restaurant Marketing Possible with a Low Budget?

    Yes, it is. Nowadays, marketing is not only spending large amounts of money on online advertising and media coverage. There are restaurant marketing strategies that can be executed even if your budget is low. One example is to be involved in as many events related to the local community as possible. These can either be charity events or local festivals. Furthermore, consider partnering with other established local brands. Cooperation like this can be a win-win for both parties.

    Another idea for restaurant marketing with a low budget is to think outside the box. For example, some guerrilla marketing strategies can gather a lot of attention and even media coverage.

    Is Marketing Necessary for a Restaurant?

    Absolutely. Until recently, marketing and advertising were not as crucial to a business as they are today. Many companies relied simply on word-of-mouth advertisement. The competition in the restaurant business has made marketing a necessity in the restaurant industry.

    Companies in the food and beverage industry are focusing on advertising online. However, that increase in demand results in higher prices for online ads. Depending on your target market and audience, you might want to consider a different approach. A more optimal strategy will be to pay for targeted ads.

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