Best Ways To Approach Digital Marketing For Restaurants In Saudi Arabia

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“The new normal is an evolving normal.” And, to stay up with how the world is changing, like by preparing your restaurant for an online ordering system. Your online marketing strategies for restaurants could make or break your entire brand, like a restaurant’s Instagram marketing strategy. In 2020, studies valued the Saudi Arabian foodservice business at US$ 22.42 billion. From 2021 to 2026, studies predict an annual increase of 8.90%. That means the Saudi Arabian restaurant market is highly competitive, yet thriving. 

It is no longer optional to have an online presence as part of your marketing plan; it is required. On all conventional and digital channels, the marketing effort must be targeted, coordinated, and consistent. People share their eating experiences with the entire globe instead of just their close friends or family members. There is added pressure to meet or exceed visitor expectations because of the exponential reach.

As a result, you should take the time to strategize and tackle restaurant digital marketing with the attention it deserves.

Know Your Target Market

Someone trying food

It would help if you first determined who you are marketing to before selecting where you want to promote and what you want to say. The first step is to identify your target market.

Your ability to identify a viable market niche will determine the success or failure of your restaurant. It’s the only way to compete with larger, more well-known businesses. However, to locate your market niche, you must first identify your target market.

If you own a restaurant, your target market is the dining population segment you want to attract. They’re the ones who are most likely to become repeat customers, refer friends to your restaurant, provide favorable internet reviews, and so on.

Knowing your target market is crucial when it comes to marketing a business. You may target your marketing efforts and gain the necessary knowledge in practically every part of your organization. 

Your target market can assist you in deciding what foods to provide, portion sizes, and other factors.

Restaurants frequently neglect to take the time to determine a target market. Many restaurant owners believe that operating a restaurant entails catering to a wide range of people. 

Even if this is the case, you must still determine your brand’s primary target market. Your marketing approach will be selected and driven by knowing your target and their requirements and preferences.

It is critical to identify this exact target market. It enables your restaurant to focus its resources on customers with the highest potential for sales and growth.

Target marketing separates a market into categories to determine who is most likely interested in what you’re selling.

You can use segmentation to figure out your customers’ who, what, where, and why.

  • Demographics: the division of the population into groups based on common characteristics such as age, gender, income, education, religion, race, and geographic location.
  • Behavior: a study of a demographic segment based on the buying patterns, spending habits, digital behavior, and interests of potential customers.
  • Psychographics: the categorization of people based on their attitudes, goals, and values.

You want to understand your target market’s motivations in addition to understanding who they are.

Why do people choose to dine out instead of cooking at home? What draws them to your restaurant? What sets you apart from other restaurants? 

Knowing your target market’s motivations and behaviors can help you deliver your message more successfully.

Choose Your Marketing Channels 

Instagram on a laptop and phone

You may promote your restaurant to new and existing customers through various marketing channels and platforms.

There are many ways to market your business on these platforms, and there are many more to try.

Identifying where you will communicate your message and how you will engage in conversation with your customers is very important.

In a sea of information, you want to stand out. Hundreds of other restaurants and companies, just like you, are using these channels to interact and engage with the same people you are.

To give you an idea of how much information your customers have access to and what you’re up against:

  • Every day, Google handles 3.5 billion searches.
  • Every minute, 47,000 photographs are uploaded to Instagram.
  • YouTube has a total of 4 million video views.

In January 2021, in Saudi Arabia:

  • There were approximately 33.58 million active internet users.
  • With 7 hours and 45 minutes being spent on the internet per day on average. 
  • 79.25% of the Saudi population were active social media users. 
  • YouTube and Instagram were the top social media sites used. 

As a result, it’s critical to take the time to select the appropriate marketing channel for your brand while keeping your target demographic in mind.

However, not all of them are equally effective, so if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to go with the one that provides the most for your budget. 

Nevertheless, spreading your resources around rather than relying on one aspect of marketing may go a long way. So, pick a few tactics that work well together.

The popularity, efficacy, and application of each platform vary regularly. As a result, you’ll need to do constant research on the channel you’re utilizing to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

1. Social Media 

finger pointing at a mock web screen

Without a social media plan, restaurant digital marketing is a waste of time. Not only can you build a fan base of individuals who are interested in your restaurant and are likely to return, but social media also allows you to network effectively.

The best aspect is that you have a wide range of free and paid advertising choices.

Consider that Facebook alone has around 1.5 billion registered users, making it the simplest method to get people’s attention. As a result, using social media for your restaurant’s digital marketing aims is a no-brainer.

Social media has been a game-changer for restaurant marketing in Saudi Arabia, with over 23 million active users.

2. Email 

Email marketing is another excellent restaurant digital marketing method. Many view this marketing tactic as one of the most successful ways to reach out to customers directly.

Since this strategy relies on marketing to those who have previously expressed interest in or eaten at your restaurant, email marketing has proven to be a strong competitor.

Email marketing, on the other hand, should not be just focused on sending coupons and discounts. A monthly email with relevant information on food trends or healthy living, for example, might be a terrific way to keep your customers engaged.

Send customers information about your restaurant, such as new menu additions, safety precautions your restaurant is implementing in the post-Covid-19 era, new outlet openings, and so on.

3. Review Sites and Online Listings 

woman using her phone in front of a computer

The use of online listings and review sites has grown in popularity among the general public. 

When it comes to purchasing products or services, including dining experiences, most customers want confidence in what they select.

One of the things people check for when researching restaurants online is what other customers have to say.

It would be best if you took advantage of internet reviews and people’s trust in them.

Begin by asking each customer to provide a review on Google, your website, or your social media profile.

Online listings make it easier for customers to find restaurants based on their location and services, making it easier for them to decide where to place their orders.

As a result, having a presence on review sites and other sites might be beneficial.

4. Google My Business Account 

It would help to build a Google My Business listing for your restaurant as part of your digital marketing plan.

The Google 3-Pack is how Google presents the top local business search results. It consists of three local brands that Google considers sufficiently relevant, prominent, and close to the user. The three Google Business Profile listings and a map of the three results are included in the results.

You may give a contact number in the Listing by creating a Google My Business account, allowing potential customers to call your restaurant directly.

This account also allows your business to appear before the search results, complete with a map, increasing visibility. Customers can find your restaurant easily and obtain directions if they want to come in.

Owners of restaurants with a Google My Business listing may quickly submit their menu, which will appear in the listings.

This Listing makes your restaurant easily discoverable by people who may not have come across your brand otherwise. 

5. Branded Website 

With everything moving online, you’ll want to ensure you have the correct level of internet visibility and relevance.

While social networking and other websites are essential, you also need a digital home. You want to compliment all of the different platforms online with someplace you own.  

Many may argue that your shop is no longer your brand’s face, especially when 57% of customers look at restaurant websites before deciding where to eat.

As a result, your website becomes one of the most essential, if not the most important, components in defining your restaurant’s reputation.

If your visitors don’t find your site useful, they’ll likely go for one that is more appealing and meets their demands. 

To connect with your visitors and attract new customers, use storytelling. It is critical to establish an emotional connection, as this influences many possible decisions. This connection relates to the reasons why your customers choose to dine at your establishment that we mentioned above.

As a result, your website should be clean, functional, and simple to use.

It’s also essential to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Your potential customers will likely search for your company on their mobile devices. In 2018, mobile phones accounted for 52% of worldwide online traffic. In Saudi Arabia, 80.7 percent of the population used smartphones in 2019.

You’re missing out on one of our industry’s fastest-growing categories if you don’t provide online ordering to your customers. Your restaurant’s website may be an excellent place to start if you want to expand into online ordering.

Customers will locate your restaurant online to come in and dine with you and to place an order with you.  

Effective digital marketing has massive potential for generating new orders and enhancing current customer connections. 

However, developing such a website might be difficult. Blink’s services are here to help. 

Blink is an online ordering system that offers access to a branded restaurant’s website and mobile app for your business. 

Thus, you can provide your customers with all the benefits of a branded website without the burden of constructing one.

Book a demo with one of Blink’s specialists now to learn more about what the platform can do for your restaurant.

6. Mobile Application 

woman ordering on a phone

A restaurant-branded mobile app may help you promote your brand, provide a platform for promotions and discounts, and collect user data for future marketing initiatives.

You may also provide online ordering and have your menu online with a branded application.

Blink creates branded Android and iOS applications for restaurants, allowing you to communicate with your customers in the most effective way possible.


It’s not as easy as it used to be to run a profitable restaurant. Once upon a time, you could open a shop on a street corner and do business for years if your food and service were good.

However, how you promote and connect with the community now requires a bit more thought.

Maintaining digital marketing for restaurants consistent with your company’s overall look, feel, and values are critical to delivering a seamless experience that consistently wows guests.

Digital marketing for restaurants provides your brand another opportunity to stand out from the competition, from customer emails to social network postings, your website, and your mobile application.

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