3 Key Strategies for Improving Word of Mouth Marketing in the Restaurant
1) Increase volume.
The first step to increase word of mouth marketing is to increase your customer volume. Simply put, you need to increase the number of initial guests that can spread the word. An effective way to do this is to distribute a deal through Groupon, Living Social or another local discount site. Your deal will be advertised to hundreds of potential customers with an incentive such as “Buy One Get One Half Off or Free” or “Pay $15 for $30.” By increasing the number of customers you serve while providing excellent service, you are increasing the possibility for guests to share their positive dining experience with others. Interested in starting a viral coupon experience? Read more in our article 5 Ways Restaurant Owners Can Use Online Coupons Effectively.
2) Give them something good to talk about.
When a meal is memorable, customers are bound to share their experience with co-workers, friends and family. However, make sure your restaurant is memorable for being a positive experience and not a poor one. Offering stellar service is one way to make your customers’ dining experience a great one and should be one of the first bases you cover. Create a dynamite staff by implementing these 7 Habits of Highly Effective Servers.
Also don’t be afraid to think outside of the box in ways that will leave an impression on your customer’s mind. Sima Verzino, co-owner of Montemurro Ristorante in Phoenix, Arizona, personally drove and picked up a guest who had cancelled his reservation due to a car accident. Verzino proceeded to keep the kitchen open late to provide exceptional service that was bound to be discussed the next day by his customer with friends, and subsequently with local media stations . Learn more about How to Deliver Quality and Service in Your Restaurant.
3) Provide social media incentives.
At Food Service Warehouse, we are huge proponents of social media activity within a restaurant’s marketing plans. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp and other social media sites are this generation’s means of word of mouth marketing. Promote social media activity that promotes your restaurant by offering various incentives such as:
• Free drinks for checking in to Foursquare while at the restaurant
• Receive 10% off your next bill with a Yelp Review
• Dessert thrown in with any entrée order with a location update in Facebook
Promote social media activity that correlates with your restaurant for highly effective and immediate word of mouth marketing. Learn more about The New Rules for Restaurant Social Media Marketing.
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