How To: Add Your Menu to Facebook

With SinglePlatform you can link your menu and services to your Facebook business page to ensure your information is accurate and updated on the social platform. And this is important! Facebook has the most users of any social network, with over 2 billion active users. Sixty-eight percent of adults use Facebook! Plus, people aren’t just using it to see photos of old high school friends and relatives, they’re looking for events to attend and engaging with marketing advertisements. As a restaurant owner, you want to be visible on the social accounts that people are spending countless hours on. In this guide, we’ll show you how to connect your SinglePlatform menu with Facebook.

Step 1: Log into the SinglePlatform portal.

Once logged into the portal, click Location Settings on the left-hand side of the portal, and then click Link Your Social Media:

Step 2: Click the Link button next to Add SinglePlatform content to Facebook.

Step 3: Sign into the Facebook account for the business using your Username or email and Password.

  • It’s likely your personal page serves as an Admin for your business Facebook page. You will need to log into Facebook using the Username and Password for your personal page. Once logged into Facebook, your personal page will be bypassed to link the menu or services tab to the business page.

Step 4: Once logged in, you may have to click through a prompt or two allowing the feature to sync with Facebook. Click OK on these prompts.

Step 5: You will be asked to select the Facebook account to which you’d like to add your menu or services content. If Facebook is displaying the correct business page, click Add to Page.

  • If Facebook is not displaying the correct business on this page, click “Not the right page?” to choose the correct business manually from a list.
  • If you are already logged into your Facebook account, you will not need to login, you will be brought directly to the “Would you like to add to Facebook?” prompt:

Step 6: Once you’ve successfully added your menu or services to Facebook, you will see the Menu tab in the left-hand navigation bar.

Adjusting Tab Name and Position
If you’d like to move the tab higher in the navigation bar or adjust the tab name to say something other than menu, you can click Settings toward the top right-hand corner of the page, and then click Edit Page in the left-hand side navigation bar.

Adjusting Tab Position
To move the Menu tab, all you have to do is drag and drop it! Click on the tab and hold while dragging your mouse to the position you’d like the tab to appear. Once you have the Menu tab in the desired position, release your hold on the mouse to lock the tab in place.

Adjust Tab Name Step 1: To change the tab from saying Menu to something else, click Settings to the right of the tab.

Adjust Tab Name Step 2: Click Edit Settings again to open a pop-up window.

Adjust Tab Name Step 3: From here, you can type in what you’d like the tab to say, click Save and then click OK.

  • You can also click Change next to Custom Tab Image to add your own photo for the tab thumbnail. Click Save and OK.

Congrats! You’ve successfully linked your SinglePlatform menu to your Facebook business page.

Like these how-tos? There’s plenty more where this came from! Check out our blogs on Claiming Your Listing on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business.

Google My Business Google Posts Now Available in SinglePlatform

We’ve been talking a lot about Google lately – and we are again! We’re announcing our release of Google Posts integration to the SinglePlatform portal. Google Posts is a feature that allows businesses’ announcements to be discovered in Google search results & Google Maps. And now you can create Google Posts within your SinglePlatform account.

Google is always looking for new ways to innovate the online experience & to make businesses like yours more discoverable. With Google Posts, you can incorporate images, videos, and GIFs to make them eye-catching to online researchers. The advantage? When a diner searches for your restaurant, they’ll be getting owner-verified content right within the search results and maps, so they’ll be hearing directly from you and learning about current offerings and events right away.

To be able to post, you’ll need a verified Google My Business (GMB) account for your restaurant. Read our guide on how to claim your Google My Business listing. Don’t want to set up your account yourself? We can do the work for you! Due to our unique partnership with Google, we can claim your restaurant and get your Google My Business account set up on your behalf. Just contact us! Unsure if your business is verified on Google My Business? You can reach out to our Customer Success Team via email at customersuccess@singleplatform.com.

Of course, you can create and control your posts within your Google My Business account directly if you prefer, but now, as a SinglePlatform customer, you can choose to create your content right from your SinglePlatform portal in the announcement section! This allows you to save time & repetitive effort.

The announcements section within SinglePlatform is a tool that allows you to post and schedule messages and updates on different social media channels. Now, Google Posts is also integrated into this function. As a SinglePlatform customer, your posts from the announcements section of our portal will now be visible as Google Posts as long as you have a verified Google My Business account. When you make an announcement for your SinglePage, Facebook & Twitter accounts, it will automatically be pushed to Google Posts as well, so there’s no additional work on your end. Save time and effort using our integration to Google Posts.

Here is how a SinglePlatform customer’s posts appear in Google search results and Google Maps.

Please note that your post will be live on Google for seven days before it automatically expires, but you can also select a date to remove it earlier than that via the SinglePlatform portal.

Google Posts is a great tool for posting about weekly events, happy hour specials, live bands, and current discounts and deals.

Things to remember about Google Posts:

  1. Google posts only stay live for 7 days (they automatically come down after 7 days).
  2. You can post weekly recurring Google Posts if you would like to keep a Google Post in search results.
  3. Google Posts within the SinglePlatform portal supports adding photos.

This new advancement is an exciting opportunity for you to gain even more visibility online! Take advantage of the tool in order to get in front of your customers right at the beginning of their search.

Interested in learning more marketing tips for your restaurant? In our blog, we break down 9 useful tips for marketing your business. Read it here.

Create a Spark: 3 Tips for Your Restaurant’s July 4th Event

Independence Day is the only federal holiday in July, an official day dedicated to celebrating our country and our patriotism. When I think back to my past celebrations of July 4th, I can smell charcoal as hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, I can hear the laughs of family members, and I can see fireworks over the lake in my small hometown. Everyone’s nostalgic memories of holidays are different, but a common thread is the food and revelry we enjoy. As a restaurant owner, you want to offer a memorable experience for those choosing to celebrate with you on July 4th. Here are 3 ideas you can utilize in your own restaurant for Independence Day.

Host a Brunch

The holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, which is smack-dab in the middle of the work week! Many people will probably be looking to celebrate early in the day so they can prepare to finish out the rest of the week at the office. The solution? Host a brunch! You can get people through your door early by offering an event early in the day. Designate a time period when brunch will be served to give it a sense of urgency (for example: Brunch will be served between 11 am & 3 pm, last seating is at 2:30 pm).

Make a holiday-specific menu or offer some items that coordinate with the theme of Independence Day. BBQ-style food, fresh & bright summer flavors and refreshing desserts are all great options. If you’re offering alcohol as part of your brunch deal, create a holiday-specific cocktail, like a sparkling punch or red sangria with blueberries and apples. If you have an outdoor space, you can even organize a picnic-style event so guests can enjoy the favorable weather. Lawn games, like cornhole and giant Jenga, can add an element of fun as well to make it seem like an authentic summer barbecue.

Give your decor some patriotic flair with red, white, and blue touches, like napkins and streamers, and even consider running a contest or raffle for a giveaway. Adding an element of fun to your brunch event is a great way to help guests celebrate the holiday. (Just be careful if you’re incorporating sparklers!)

Test Your Guests’ Knowledge

Hosting a trivia event is always a great way to get guests in seats. Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence way back in 1776! Since then, a lot of historical events have occurred in America, which means there are tons of questions to include in your trivia contest. You can focus topics on politics, American history, pop culture, and even famous Americans to keep the crowd on their toes. The Encyclopedia Britanica has a great quiz that you use as inspiration for questions.

Trivia night isn’t complete with some sort of special, so think up an exclusive menu with select drink and food deals. Of course, you also need a prize for the champion. Some options include a patriotic-themed gift basket, a free dinner on the house, or even some baseball tickets (it is America’s sport, after all).

Market your trivia night ahead of time so people are informed of the event. You can send email blasts, post on your social accounts, and even consider paid advertising on some social sites. Make sure your website also highlights the event (including date and time, as well as any other necessary details).

Provide Transportation

Unfortunately, July 4th isn’t the safest holiday for celebrators. It proves to be one of the highest for car crashes, with many accidents involving individuals over the legal alcohol limit. Of course, as a restaurant that may serve liquor, you want your guests to arrive home safely. Setting up a taxi service or offering a credit toward Uber or Lyft rides is an idea that you can incorporate into your Independence Day event. Guests will appreciate your effort to provide safety precautions and will be able to enjoy themselves without the worry of having to drive home. Cheers to that!

Independence Day is quickly approaching, and it’s a popular holiday for revelry around the country. Is your restaurant hosting a patriotic event? Consider incorporating these ideas when planning your July 4th festivities.

Google Duplex: An Incredible Leap in AI

Did you see or, rather, hear Google’s presentation of their new artificial intelligence assistant? We’re pretty sure it’s going to be their next big thing.  Google Duplex will operate through Google Home and other Android enabled devices.  When it officially rolls out later this year, it still won’t be available everywhere due to legal constraints around call recording (yes, technically all voice assistants like Google Home, Siri, and Alexa record your voice in order to process your questions and return a response). Consider that detail just a technicality because this is BIG and as a restaurant owner, you should be prepared.. Here is our take on the positives and the potential risks of Google Duplex.

Accessibility

Let’s face it, you don’t really have much control over how consumers search online for you or anything else they want.  That’s why you’ve probably already made sure that you have a website and that you can be found on Google, Facebook, Yelp and other websites.  (IF you haven’t at least figured this out, then we need to have a different conversation!)  Technology and consumer habits are evolving faster than most of us can follow. Consumers can talk to their phones, home assistants, and even their televisions to search the Internet. In fact, there are already over 1 billion voice searches PER MONTH and that number is growing rapidly!  You absolutely want to ensure that they can find you no matter how or where they are searching.

Ensuring that your business information is accessible via these devices is only going to help your business get discovered.  How great is it that, if you have a Google listing, then a consumer can ask Google to call you and make a reservation or find out when you are open?  Yes, it’s incredible, space-age stuff!

Think about it, a diner can tell their Google Home device to contact your restaurant, “call Chez Josh to make a reservation for 7 or 8 pm on Thursday.”  Google has a realistic sounding bot that will make that phone call for them and have a real conversation with your restaurant host. And the host will most likely not know they’re talking to a robot.

So what could be bad about that?  Well, for starters, just how smart and flexible will the bot be?  If a customer wants a reservation at 7 or 8 and nothing is available until 9:30, then will the Google Duplex bot call them back to deliver the news?  We all know what a game of phone tag looks like. For simple requests that have a definitive outcome, this could be a great way to have an assistant take care of tasks. If you have to synchronize plans with numerous other people and the outcome is less certain, then it might be easier for a customer to pick up the phone and call you themselves!  At least for now, as the technology is still in its beginning stages.

Discoverability

Being accessible isn’t exactly the same thing as being discoverable.  Consider how using a voice assistant like Google Duplex will affect search engine optimization and discoverability. Today if, like most people, you search for “Joe’s Pizza in New York City” or if you search for “restaurants that serve Pad Thai in Peoria”, then Google will return a search engine results page (SERP) with a few ads and 10 actual search results.  Plus, the researcher has control over the experience and has the option to scroll through additional pages of results to find what they want even if they are, statistically, most likely to select something on the first page of results. When using a voice assistant, is your potential customer more or less likely to ask Google to read through even the first ten results, not to mention the first fifty?  Voice searching through Google Duplex, or a similar technology, will probably reduce discoverability because we will be more inclined to cede our control to these voice assistants rather than spend time listening to the options that they enable.

Finally, Google is, so far, only talking about using Google Duplex to be a consumer assistant. What happens when Google and other tech companies decide to release the merchant assistant version of Google Duplex?  Does that mean we’ll have robots talking to robots? That reality is, for sure, closer at hand than we all expect!

To listen to some examples of Google Duplex conversations with real businesses and read more about it click here.

8 Elements of a Stellar Website

You’ve heard it before and you’ll probably hear it again, having a website WILL in fact boost your online presence and drive customers through your doors more frequently. However, according to Espresso Digital, 29% of small businesses still don’t have websites! Is that you? If so, you’ll want to consider creating a digital presence. If you don’t, you’re missing the opportunity to attract new customers.

And when it comes to a website, it’s not just about the colors, photos, and fonts that make it (and you) successful. It’s important for your website to encompass user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing components in order for customers to engage and learn about your business. Luckily, you do not need years of web developing experience in order to create a satisfying user experience for your customers. From customer reviews to correct business information, here are ten necessary elements your website needs to be successful.

Essential Business Information

This one seems pretty obvious, right? You’d be surprised how many websites actually lack the essential information people are looking for. As a restaurant, you want people to visit your brick and mortar location. But, how will they get there if they don’t know where you’re located, and how will they know when to visit if your hours aren’t listed? It’s extremely disappointing for customers to receive inaccurate information online and then show up at your door, only to find out you’re actually closed! That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your business information is easily found online & that it is always up to date. If you have seasonal hours or a change in location, make sure it is reflected online as soon as possible. Also make sure to have contact information, like a phone number and email, clearly available so customers can get in touch with you. The various search engine, travel, and review sites also show your business information, so make sure it’s accurate in all those places as well.

Your Business’ Story

It might seem obvious, but it’s important to keep in mind that when someone comes across your website, they may not know what the heck you offer. Many potential customers may stumble upon your site while doing research on sites like Google and Yelp, which is why it’s necessary to offer a full description of who you are and what you offer. Are you a restaurant serving traditional Italian cuisine? Make that obvious on the homepage! You can also have a separate “About Us” page that tells customers about your business’ history, staff, and cuisine. Creating a story about your brand helps to paint a picture in customers’ minds and shows them how you’re unique.

Proof in the Pictures

You know the age-old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Although it’s cliche, it’s true. Customers want to see what they’re going to get before they walk in your doors. You should showcase your business by having high-quality photos of your food and atmosphere on your site. Having professional photos is a plus because no one wants to click on a URL and find the home screen to be blurry and headache inducing. Pictures are part of your story and overall brand persona, so be sure to have clear and enticing images that will make customers want to come to visit you. We also know that customers can be quite impatient, so having images load quickly is helpful as well. Having images that load quickly will not only improve the user experience, it will actually help raise your SEO.

SEO, the Way to Go

If you’re tech-savvy, you’ve probably heard this acronym many times before. But, for those who aren’t focused as much on technology, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. We’ve discussed those sites like Google, Bing, and Yelp already, but SEO directly relates to how your business website performs on these sites. Of course, if you’re a Mexican restaurant in NYC and someone types in “Mexican food in NYC” you want to show up! SEO ensures that your business is at the top of search results for relevant keywords and searches. Getting technical is essential for a well-performing website, and SEO is key to making sure you’re being discovered online. According to Main Street ROI, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results! Some simple ways to increase and strengthen your SEO include using correct keywords, using numerous links, and adding as many videos and images as possible. With over 85% of consumer engagement with brands being local,  it’s essential to be in the places where people are looking for your business!

Showcased Positive Reviews

In today’s society, customer reviews have become one of the most influential versions of modern day word of mouth. 92% of people read online reviews! I can’t tell you the number of times a negative review on Yelp has discouraged me from heading into a restaurant or ordering a piece of clothing online. People’s opinions matter and have a lot of influence on others’ decisions, so use this to your advantage! There’s no shame in exemplifying good reviews and testimonials on your website in order to prove your business’ value and experience with past customers. I can guarantee you that potential customers will take reviews into consideration when deciding whether or not to dine with you, so make sure you put those positive reviews in front of them!

A Simple URL

This may seem obvious, but there are tons of websites floating around out there with ridiculously long website URLs, and some may not even work. This is a basic, yet important, component for your website. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. Your domain name should reflect your brand and if .com is available, take it! I would recommend as little special characters (like $!%) as possible- aka anything other than letters and numbers. It will just make things all around easier for the customer to find you & easily type in your website address if they need to.

An Interesting Blog

Now, this may not seem like a necessary addition to a website, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have some creative and quality content on your website. Not only does a blog help with your website’s SEO, but it can also easily be shared on social media sites to give you even more content to post socially. Make sure your blog content is relevant and useful for your customers because having irrelevant fillers is just a waste of your time! If you’re a restaurant, write about top trends in the industry, inform your customers about new events and specials, and even do employee spotlights about your staff. Creating a blog presence helps to show off what makes your business special & adds a human touch to your website.

User-Friendliness

Make sure your website is responsive and user-friendly, so it will appear aesthetically pleasing whether people are searching on their laptops or their phones. Nearly 60% of searches are happening from mobile devices, so you want to make sure your website looks great on any type of technology. The navigation bar, which should include important sections like Menu/Products/Services, About Us, Contact Us, and Testimonials should be responsive on both desktop screens and smartphones so that this information is always easy to get to. Having an easy-to-use website that loads quickly and is clear and efficient on the eye is necessary for customer engagement. Not only is it important to have an inviting landing page, but also to include the business information in multiple tabs and pages that the customer can easily look through to find exactly what it is they are looking for (and maybe even some information they didn’t know they were looking for!)

A website is your brand’s online storefront. Just as you strive to make your business eye-catching on the exterior, you want to do the same with your online presence. Use these 8 tips as guidelines for creating an awesome (and user-friendly!) site.


About the Author: Sophia Lesser is an Account Manager at SinglePlatform, where she onboards and orients new customers, designs websites, and offers support throughout her day. When she’s not working with small businesses she is usually exploring NYC and going to different music shows around Brooklyn.

9 Simple Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Whether you’re just opening up a new Asian fusion restaurant or are thinking about embarking on a third location for your burger shop, as the owner, you’re handling a variety of different tasks. From distribution logistics to managing a staff, to ordering food and brainstorming a new menu, marketing may oftentimes be put on the back burner. But, in order to attract new customers, you need to be visible! We’ve compiled 9 ideas on how to easily incorporate marketing strategies into your business plan. You’ve already got many of these tools at your disposal – all it takes is a nudge (and maybe another free tool or two) to take you to the next level.

1. Define Your Hungry Audience, Then Market to Them

This is an essential piece of the marketing pie. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, how are you going to effectively advertise to them? FitSmallBusiness suggests considering a niche in order to set you apart from restaurants with the same cuisine. Are you a pizza parlor in a small college town? Get involved! You can become a sponsor of football games, offer back to school deals, and create lunch specials for students with a valid school ID. If your target age group is 18-22-year-old college students, chances are they’re engaging in social media and researching places to eat online. Some 88% of 18-29-year-olds use some form of social media. Individuals in this age group are more likely to use Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, and be surfing these channels multiple times per day. Consider social advertising and organically posting on these channels as a way to bring in new followers and customers.

2. Get in Touch with Food Bloggers

Food blogging and food influencing are extremely popular, especially on Instagram; who doesn’t want to look at amazing pictures of food all day? Food bloggers’ businesses thrive off of visiting new restaurants and showing off the cuisine you have to offer. They’re basically like walking, social media posting advertisements for a restaurant. Take advantage! Reach out to food bloggers and offer them the opportunity to dine with you in exchange for a feature on their page. Successful bloggers have thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers. Of course, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll post a positive review, but hopefully, they’ll be honest. Seeing that a favorite blogger enjoyed a meal at your restaurant can inspire their followers to visit you as well.  Make sure the bloggers you’re reaching out to are relevant and in your surrounding area. Follow local foodies by localized hashtags, like #indyeats or #nashvillefoodfan and look for users with the most followers or likes on their photos. This article from Forketers gives great advice on how to build relationships with these influencers.

3. Be Insta-Popular & Engage with Customers

Not on Instagram yet? Then you are missing out on a free – and powerful – social marketing tool. Getting started is simple: make a recognizable username that is or is close to your restaurant’s name, then start posting away! We recommend having a solid amount of photos on your account before following others. People are more likely to follow you back if you have attractive, enticing content. This means high-quality photos! Blurry and unappealing photos can deter users from following you back. Buffer gives great tips for utilizing Instagram to its maximum potential.

Put your “handle” (@example) on signage around your restaurant to let diners know that you’ll be posting exclusive sales and promotions to your Instagram account. Encourage customers to follow and tag you in posts. You can even run contests for diners who promote hashtags of your choosing. For example, promotion-driven hashtags like #HappiestHourAtJakes or #DrinksonDarbys on customers’ social accounts can help drive off-peak traffic and spread the word about your business. Ask customers to use the hashtag, as well as mention your handle & tag your location to get the most out of each post. If you’re feeling generous, you can offer a discount or free food/drink item to social media mavens who tag your location in a personal post.

4. Invest Time in Reviewing Online Reviews

Dining starts digitally: 92% of people are reading online reviews! Like it or not, diners are free to voice their opinions about their experience at your restaurant. And other potential diners are most likely reading what these reviews have to say before deciding to visit you. Although you may want to, it’s not the best idea to ignore the reviews you receive, good or bad. Of course, you’re always going to receive a negative review here and there along the way. You know what they say, you can’t please everyone! But, that doesn’t mean you can’t address the not-so-nice reviews with grace. Learn how to deal with those here.

You should make an effort to respond to the positive reviews, too! Diners took the time out of their day to praise your restaurant, so thanks are definitely in order. Keeping this open and honest conversation between you and your customers will help foster a long-lasting relationship.

To take it a step further, review sites like Yelp allow you to offer customers “check-in” rewards when a diner checks in at your location on the site. This tool helps you build loyalty even beyond just responding to online comments.

5. Claim Your Listing on Google (if you haven’t already)

Google My Business (GMB) is an online listing tool to help local businesses get discovered on the popular search engine. As a restaurant owner, you want to be in control of your online presence! This means you have to claim your listing on Google to be recognized as the business owner. Wondering how? Read our guide.

With a claimed GMB account, you’ll be managing how your business appears in Google search results & maps. Plus, you can monitor and respond to your Google Reviews, add photos, and create an accurate brand identity. Having a claimed business has its perks. According to Google, “businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.” Make sure your GMB account is complete so you can start seeing the benefits!

6. Socialize on Different Platforms

This time I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat! Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide, with 70% of American adult users visiting daily. Twitter has 302 million users, and Snapchat has great engagement from millennials, with 187 million daily users!

You’re busy running a restaurant – who has time to post updates? You do, if you plan strategically! Want to promote your seasonal specials, limited time offers and happy hour events online? Schedule them ahead of time. SinglePlatform can post announcements immediately or schedule them on a recurring basis to match your schedule on your social media accounts and your menus on listings like Yelp and Google. So, no matter where customers are finding you, they can find your specials, too. Using a free tool like Hootsuite to post is also another opportunity to utilize this set it and forget it method.

Snapchat is a great tool for immediacy. People love to watch Snapchat (and now Instagram) stories. Post updates throughout the day (think photos of your daily specials, any fun events happening, or employee features) to keep your customers engaged.

Don’t forget to use photos! One study shows that photos on Facebook drove 120% more engagement. And tweets that include photos get more retweets and favorites. Facebook and Twitter each have their own reporting built into their business pages. Check out your Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics every month or so to see which posts are getting the most love. You will start to learn what works for your audience so you consistently improve your strategy.

7. Test Out a Loyalty Program

Incentivizing your customers is actually fairly easy. Even if you do this digitally, you don’t need to sink tons of money into a custom app to rival Starbucks’. One-size-fits-all options like LevelUp and Belly allow users to pay on their phones and be rewarded for spending regularly with your restaurant, and are easily integrated into your regular system.

Whenever I receive a free punch card or have a loyalty app from a restaurant (or coffee shop) I find myself wanting to return just to earn my prize! For me, it becomes a game of sorts to earn my way to the free or discounted item.

Serving mostly old-school customers? No problem. Punch cards are still an affordable and effective option if you’ve got a lunch promotion like buy 5 get 1 free. You may still want to keep track of your customers’ rewards digitally since there’s a chance they may lose their punch card! If you’re able to quickly look up their name and points in your system, they’ll be happy to know they can still receive their free offer without having their card handy.

8. Keep in Touch Through Email

First, collect emails addresses (with a newsletter sign-up button on your website, and even through surveys and sign-up cards at your brick and mortar location) – then use them! Email marketing is not dead, especially when it comes to local restaurants. 72% of customers open an email due to the discount it offers and 62% customers open due to the personalized subject line. Think strategically about how you can use email marketing not only to bring in new customers but to keep them coming back as well. Consistent, targeted email marketing is effective.

When I first moved to New York City a few months back, I was excited to be able to have an abundance of lunch options at my disposal. I quickly discovered sweetgreen, a healthy chain offering salads and grain bowls that are both nutrition and environmentally conscious. I signed up for an account for online ordering and I received an email that highlighted their benefits, including credits to my account after a certain dollar amount spent and a free salad on my birthday (score!) These emails are pertinent to me because I enjoy dining at the restaurant and they reward me for doing so. Thanks to these communications, I’m always informed of any current offers or seasonal menus so I can plan my lunch trips accordingly.

Be sure to appeal to the crowd when composing your emails. If your target audience is a crowd of game-day fans, send out a weekly line-up of games you’ll be broadcasting and an offer for a discounted bucket of beers or wings. If you’re serving families in the suburbs, remind them about your kids-eat-free night, or send them a “date-night coupon” for half-off a bottle of wine. If you’re in an eclectic urban area, consider hosting (and promoting) wine tastings or happy hours. Check out this article from Constant Contact for more restaurants doing email marketing right.

9. Market Your Menu Online

You probably spent tons of time perfecting your menu design, from color to font and inclusion of mouth-watering photos. Of course, this is important, as it’s the first thing your customers will likely read when they sit down for a meal. But, have you thought about your menu being searchable online? With 93% of people reading menus prior to dining out, this is a must. People are looking at what you have to offer before even leaving their couch.

You want to be searchable in the places people are looking for their next dine in or take out, whether it be Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or OpenTable. Having your menu available across a wide network of websites and social engines helps you to gain visibility online. With just a PDF of your menu on your website, you’re losing out on the chance to bring in new customers who’ve never seen your menu before. SinglePlatform data proves that 80% of our online menu views come from new customers, which means a huge opportunity for you!

Recently, I was looking for macaroni and cheese in New York City. I typed in “macaroni and cheese near me” to Google in order to see where I could get some, quickly! I could see that the Kitchenette had macaroni and cheese on their menu directly from my search. The place had good reviews & was close to my location, so I was immediately sold! If the restaurant’s menu wasn’t searchable, I probably would have passed them up for another location.

Hungry people like me are looking up specific food items and researching menus before choosing where to eat. Whether they’re typing it into a search engine, searching a review or travel site, or turning to social media, you cannot afford to lose business to a competitor over not displaying something that you already have – your menu items.

Getting discovered for your menu items is important, but getting chosen for them contributes directly to your bottom line. According to OpenTable, 93% of consumers view a menu online before dining out. At SinglePlatform, our customers who have enabled online ordering and have an accurate and updated menu online see 73% more orders and 76% more revenue than businesses without correct menus. That’s a lot more bang for your buck.

Want to learn how to get your menu online with SinglePlatform? Read our blog on how easy it is to post menus on our portal.

BONUS TIP: Leverage Other Local Businesses

female restaurant owner smiling

As a small business, you want to promote the success of others that are also fulfilling their dream of being a business owner. There are hair salons, fitness centers, boutiques, and local markets who are also trying to bring in new customers. So why not work together? You can drop off flyers promoting discounts at these establishments in hopes you’ll get some old-fashioned paper promotion (and return the favor at your restaurant, of course). You can even consider hosting an event together in order to drive awareness to both businesses. Charity auctions, tricky trays, and other sponsored events are great ways to bring a local community together.

Have a market or farm nearby? Utilize their fresh products in your recipes. Then, recognize the farm, or even specific farmer, for their work. Being descriptive on your menu by shouting out the name of a local farm can help make the meal more enticing, too. Plus, supporting your local agriculturist shows that you support sustainability and care about your ingredients.

You can even recognize these local businesses on your own social and email marketing platforms. Mention a different business each month in your newsletter, or do a local business feature on your social accounts. Ask the owner if you can tie this initiative to a promotion at their shop (for example: use this code to get 10% off your next bouquet at Kay’s Flowers).

With all of the other responsibilities you have as a business owner, marketing can seem like a large feat. But, in order to drive new traffic & keep loyal customers, you need to implement marketing strategies. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated! Take these 9 tips into account when looking for new ways to advertise your business.

Of course, you always need to leave room for improvement. You may run a social campaign & not see much traction, or host an event that isn’t as well-attended as you thought. There will be times of trial & error, but this is a great learning experience. Testing out different strategies will help you to find out what works for you, so you can do it again!

For additional restaurant tips, check out our ideas for seasonal success.

How to: Claim Your Business on Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is a popular travel and review site that focuses on hotel & restaurant reviews. It has become the #1 travel review site, with more than 460 millions users. As a restaurant, you want to be visible where people are researching not only local restaurants but places to dine when they’re on vacation or just passing through. Luckily, with a claimed business on Tripadvisor, you can manage your profile, respond to reviews, and check out your analytics.

Have you claimed your Tripadvisor business listing yet? If not, read our step-by-step guide.

Please note: Tripadvisor requires business owner verification for any listing content changes.

Step 1: Go to your Tripadvisor business page.

 

Step 2: Click “Improve this listing” on the right of your screen.

Step 3: At the top of the pop-up window, click “Visit the Management Center to manage your Tripadvisor Page.”

Step 4: You will be taken to the your restaurant’s Management Center. Click the “Register now”
button at the top of the page.

Step 5: Sign in or create a Tripadvisor account.

Step 6: Once you’re signed in, click on your name in the blue bar at the top of the page. A menu will drop down. Click on “Claim This Listing.”

Step 7: Fill out your restaurant’s information in the pop-up window. When complete, click on continue.

Step 8: Verify your email address either through your Facebook or your credit card. The Facebook account must match the email address you used to create your Tripadvisor account. If you use your credit card, no charges will be made.

Success! You’ve claimed your listing on Tripadvisor! You can now take control of your presence & interact with the community.

Ready to claim your listing? Head to the Tripadvisor portal to do so.

Does this claiming process seem too time-consuming? We’re here to help! We can claim your listing on your behalf. Just contact us today.

Contact us here: 

Want to learn more about our DIFM (Do It For Me) approach? Read our blog here.

Interested in claiming your business on Yelp? Read our how-to.