4 Marketing Basics Every Restaurant and Inn Owner Should Be Paying Attention to

Tourism & Hospitality
Restaurant bell

In every business, there are things that get done every day to make sure the business runs smoothly.

When it comes to marketing, it’s no different.

When Are You Open?

Make sure you update your hours of operation on all platforms. This is one of those basics that we sometimes forget to do, but it’s a must for any business owner. Inconsistencies in information can deter people from considering your business. Specifically, ensure the following all say the same thing:

  • Any Printed Materials or Ads
  • Your Website
  • Your Facebook Page
  • Your Google Business Listing
  • Your Bing Business Listing
  • Any Third Party Directory (regional and national)

Tip – Use a service like MOZ to control your online information. This will take your updates and broadcast them across hundreds of directory listings to ensure consistency and accuracy.

Review Analytics

As your business grows, you will find yourself with more and more data at your fingertips. The challenge is sorting through that data to make sure you see what’s important and know how it’s affecting your business. One of my favorite tools for tracking analytics is Google Analytics (GA). It’s easy to set up and gives you a lot of information about how people interact with your website. (It’s free by the way!)

Analytics can be your friend, and if there is a page that isn’t performing well, you can address it. If there is a page that is outperforming the rest, you have the chance to plan for future content strategically.  Areas I use the most are:

  • What pages get the most traffic
  • What pages drive the most inquiries
  • Sources driving traffic to our website
  • What pages do most people start on
  • The most popular devices people use (phone, pc, tablet)

Tip – Use a free UTM tool like this one to add tracking information to links you use in paid ads and online directories. This helps you see what listings and placements are driving traffic to your site.

Check Your Website

Don’t forget about the information that you have linked. First impressions matter. Having current and correct content on your website and any social media channel is just as important as hours of operation. Things to look for:

  • Are your photos up to date?
  • Any changes to your people?
  • Has ownership changed?
  • What’s the date on the latest news and blog post?
  • Do you have the most current menu and specials?

Tip: Appearances matter. Did you know that according to a survey conducted by MGH 62% of people have been discouraged from using a restaurant because of the website? What does that equal for potential lost revenue?

Update Social Media Channels

How many social channels do you have vs. how many you actively use and update?  IF your answer is you have “them all,” but you aren’t keeping up with each, then you have too many social media channels for your current circumstance. It may be time to clean house a bit and cut back on some of those accounts.

If you don’t feel like you are using any social media channels effectively, it may be time to re-evaluate which ones are worth your time and money. A good rule of thumb is if it isn’t helping generate leads or sales for your business, then get rid of it! Things to consider include:

  • How often are you posting?
  • What channels bring traffic to your website?
  • What posts get the most / least engagement
  • Do you have a proactive social posting plan?

Closing Thoughts

All the steps mentioned above have many benefits, including customer retention, increased traffic to your websites and social media, and the more you show how much you care about being timely, relevant, and in sync with your customers, the more you are showing those who work for and with you, that you care about them and the culture, you are creating for them at the workplace.  

Ask yourself how often you’re updating your website and social media and which should you spend the most time on right now? It’s okay not to be on every platform, but it’s not okay to not know where your customers are coming from and which are the best sources of customers.