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How to increase restaurant sales through digital marketing

The competitive level in the restaurant industry is increasing daily rendering digital marketing indispensable for restaurants. 75% of smartphone users access online restaurant information on the go. Appearing on this audience’s search radar is crucial and it can be achieved through various digital platforms and distinctive strategies.

The local business profile (Google My Business):

Approximately half of the restaurant searches conducted on mobile phones are local or location-based. Google’s algorithm also prioritises local results for its users. Setting up a complete Google My Business profile for the restaurants and optimising it can be highly cost-effective in yielding results. It allows restaurants to provide details like contact information, address, speciality, menu, photos and other details. It provides a special list for mobile users called ‘Local 3 pack’, which can benefit restaurants with credibility, and map visibility, allowing customers to make direct calls, locate directions and swiftly obtain other details.

Google My Business ads

Google my business ads, the smart campaigns, link GMB with Google ads campaigns. This allows the ads to appear in local results as well. Upon verification of GMB and linking it to Google ads, the ads can appear on the top of the result pages whenever a local search about restaurants is conducted. These ads are advertised through Google maps, resulting in the restaurants receiving more visibility on Google maps as well. They are highly effective for restaurants as they appear with location details (extension) targeting potential customers locally.

Social channels

  • Facebook groups: Facebook groups are an effective channel that leads directly to the target audience. Since Facebook groups allow the restaurant business to interact directly with the customers it can build strong relationships. Utilising the platform to ask and understand the customers can help the restaurants cater to the audience’s requirements.
    Encouraging active discussions in the group can create conversations around the restaurant and increase the possibility of the restaurant’s post appearing on members’ feeds. Keeping the groups closed can invite curiosity and imply exclusivity, which increases requests for group memberships. It is a great source to build a community of potentially loyal customers.
  • Facebook page: The cover photo of a Facebook page can create a lasting impression on visitors. Restaurants should leverage this strategy, through exciting and enticing images like showcasing the signature dish or things, customers can relate to the restaurant. Videos are extremely popular, and utilising them for sharing restaurant-related engaging content like hacks, tips, and recipes can invite more customers. It can also be used to share customer testimonials gaining more credibility for the restaurant. It is necessary to understand the audience’s activity time to receive a higher reach, broadening the audience base.
  • Instagram stories: Developing strategies for Instagram stories is necessary as they play a crucial role in driving sales and revenue. Engaging with the audience through Instagram polls in stories can give the restaurant feedback and help them understand the audience better.
    Stories can allow the restaurant to showcase experienced customers’ testimonials by resharing stories and creating a highlight section, specifically for reviews.
    The stories are a great source to show the audience candid, behind-the-scenes footage humanising the restaurant’s brand, building a richer connection and adding authenticity.
  • Instagram reels: Reels gain instant popularity and need to be leveraged by restaurants. They can include direct CTA like, directing the audience to the website or to view the menu. Its caption should also be intriguing and direct the customers to the restaurant’s website, which should be accessible in the bio. Reels also include the location feature that can potentially increase visibility.
    Showcasing the restaurant’s candidness and genuineness gives the customers a peek into the restaurant’s inside. Promoting dishes and special offers with a CTA like ‘Tag a friend who loves it’ can invite more engagement.
  • Social contest: Holding social contest allow restaurants to reach a larger audience that would potentially convert while engaging with the current audience. Altho the contest can be held on Instagram and Facebook the implementation is different due to the audience base.
    Facebook: Restaurants can ask the audience to share their post or leave a review and win a contest. Facebook allows resharing of posts easily which can be leveraged.
    Instagram: Restaurants can ask the audience to tag their friend, comment with the correct answer or caption the photo to win the contest. The Instagram comment section can be used by restaurants to interact and hold conversations.
  • Direct message sales ads: Direct messages are effective for building customer and community relationships. According to research, 70% of people have agreed to expect a conversational experience with brands on social media. Conducting a life chart can give them an exceptional experience potentially generating a conversion.
    Using social listening and platform demographics can enable targeting segmented audiences and reaching new audiences. Messages containing powerful CTA, and attention-grabbing multimedia content like images gifs and emojis can prevent the messages to be irrelevant or unrelatable to the audience.
  • Zomato – Swiggy Ads: Currently Zomato and Swiggy are the primary channels to order food online. They offer high visibility for their best restaurants that are evaluated based on 5 parameters.
    • Kitchen preparation time: Appearing under categories for restaurants with the fastest delivery can improve sales because it’s an influential factor.
    • Increasing Ratings: Offer exceptional customer experience, request customers to provide reviews, and manage the negative ones.
    • Optimised menu: Include food description, photography and recommended sections.
    • Discounts and offers
    • Paid ads: Hosting banner ads, promoting offers and being listed under categories like recommended, trending and popular can be beneficial.

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