Marketing is all about perception. Unfortunately, this means that even if you’re doing all of the right things, if you’re not communicating them clearly, nobody will know. Running your business well is only the first step, you've got to tell people about it as well. We've put together a short list of tips to help improve your business's image as well as get more people looking at it.
If you aren't using social media to promote your business, start right now. Social media is a fun and easy way to get your message out there at minimal cost. You can alert clientele of special events or promotional discounts you have going. Social media is a mostly visual platform, making it perfect for contributing to your business's image and improving perceptions in the marketplace. All smartphones have great camera's these days, make sure you are only using high quality, well-taken photos on your social media post and promotions. People engage with things online visually first, so photos and video are invaluable tools for improving your image.
Another thing that social media allows you to do is to offer exclusive deals to only the people that are following you online. This rewards people for their loyalty online, but also their loyalty in real life. Using a promotion as an excuse to give your regulators a freebie, a discount or free entry into a competition can be priceless in terms of peoples perception of your business. Boosting the reach is as simple as boosting the post or asking for people to share it to claim the reward. Loyalty cards can also be a great way to keep those that already love your style coming back for more and telling all of their friends about it. Just make sure that you do something a bit different with them to entice people to participate as much as possible. The old buy 8 coffee's and the next one is free has run its course and lost most of its appeal. Try spicing it up with a regular prize draw for cardholders that can include gift cards for other local businesses that can return the favour by offering a gift voucher for your restaurant.
Make dining out with young children easier on parents. Not everyone that visits your restaurant will have children, but those that do will only come back or recommend it to their friends if having there kids there wasn't an issue. Better yet if it was a nice experience for their kids they will be much more likely to recommend it to their friends, regardless of whether they also have kids. Having a section of the space dedicated to catering for families will put you in the good graces of parents and non-parents alike. It will keep the noise away from any guests looking for a more subdued experience and help make the parents feel at ease too. If there's a box of toys and colouring books to play with they'll make less mess too.
Everyone likes to feel like they're part of a thriving community. Contributing money or in-kind donations to other local community groups is a fantastic way to let your customers know that your business is part of the team. Whether you sponsor the local sporting club, host a fundraising dinner for a local charity or help promote local community events you're sending a strong message of commitment to your customers. Make your business memorable for more than just the great coffee and food.
Every business creates waste, but some businesses make it a reason to keep coming back for more. Food and beverage service is, especially when its take away, rarely good for the environment. Choosing you take away packaging wisely rather than cheaply can do a lot for easing any guilt your customers feel for eating and drinking out more often. providing collection points for organic or recyclable waste can also provide an opportunity for people to come to the shop more often and feel more connected to your business. We recommend, (for obvious reasons) using fully compostable packaging and providing an organic waste collection point so your regulars can bring any compostable waste back on their next visit. This lets people know that you are serious about contributing to the circular economy and utilising the waste your business generates to make a difference. Make the switch to compostable packaging today and show your customers what kind of business you really are.