Marketing Restaurant Ideas and Trends For Startups in 2021 (New Guide)

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Marketing Restaurant Ideas And Trends For Startups In 2021

We recently covered the subject matter related to different types of marketing restaurant ideas and trends in our previous post. At best, it revealed in-depth insight on how the industry is corroded with a significant percentage of new restaurant business owners who are not up to date with the latest marketing practices.

To that effect, such business startups make the same old mistakes that further lead to a negligible engagement factor, mere response from customers’ end – so on and so forth. Ultimately, either the said restaurant business shuts down after buckling under the weight of an “Angel Investor’s” debt, or deciding to quit altogether.

It’s always one of the same things that lead to shoddy marketing practices connected to low-end user engagement.

Moving on, you can take this post as a sequel to marketing restaurant ideas and trends, where we were talking about online marketing strategies for restaurants that don’t require that much expense or time on your part.

In continuation with the latest marketing trends, and the fact that we have more info to detail how the latest marketing restaurant ideas and trends pan out in favor of new business owners, here’s to learning something new in this post.

Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants

There’s an Awful Lot of Hungry Bellies and Wandering Folks to Target

Marketing Restaurant Ideas and Trends

When it comes to restaurant marketing ideas and trends, there’s always a possibility to outdo your competition because there are no preset rules to follow. Yes, there are some outlines, such as; increasing customer outreach through emails, pamphlets, etc.; engaging with potential customers through social media campaigns, running ads, and vice versa. But, truth be told, there’s always room for something new; something innovative that begs to be explored at a restaurant marketer’s end.

Especially when we talk about new restaurant business owners, they are often skeptical about trying new restaurant marketing ideas and trends because of the fear factor. These types of business owners hit up their laptops and follow a very common pattern.

The Worst Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Trends Restaurant Owners Need to Avoid

  • Using low-quality photos that aren’t food-centric, or shot by an amateur photographer
  • Not using any restaurant name-brand standards.
  • Working on multiple things simultaneously, and that too, without any proper restaurant marketing strategy or planning!
  • Focusing too much on your food industry competitors and spending less time on your own business expansion.
  • Under-utilizing free social media resources for putting your restaurant marketing ideas and trends into motion
  • Not responding to a negative review or effectively communicating with your key customers during crisis.
  • Sloppy restaurant website topped with ineffective online food ordering app etc.
  • Not banking on word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Not maintaining a customer database or using an existing customer database.

In case you are wondering why we haven’t elaborated on the aforementioned highlights, we’ll get to it later through further details. As soon as you’ll learn about the latest restaurant marketing ideas and trends we have shared below, most of your queries will be answered.

So, let’s get to it.

5 Best Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Trends to Adopt In 2021

Here’s something interesting about restaurant marketing ideas and trends that ‘Finances Online’ recently had to share.

5 Best Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Trends to Adopt in 2021

To sum it up, these stats highlight the effectiveness of any marketing strategy that you have either used already, or you’re considering using in 2021.

  • Almost 90% of restaurant customers have shifted to online food ordering experience. It’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic kicked things up a little bit, but the online food trend has been there long before the viral outbreak.
  • Customers dig deep into looking up restaurant reviews before trying the menu for the first time. In that sense, you need to bank on word-of-mouth restaurant marketing by asking your customers to share their reviews under your restaurant’s Google Profile, Facebook page, or any other social media page.
  • Since 2019, restaurants have spent a majority of their revenue on online marketing campaigns.
  • For brand new restaurant business owners, it is crucial to set up a dedicated website. These business owners also need to do some form of local SEO to make their business name prominent on the local community map. If no one knows about you, other than your walk-in regulars, you have a slim chance of reaching out to potential customers.
  • Food websites work best when they have a dedicated online food ordering app.
  • Restaurant goers love the idea of tantalizing discounts matched with their all-time favorite menus.

Now, as far as having a dedicated food ordering app is concerned, it is not advisable for new businesses to create an application from scratch.

Why is that so? Good question. The plain and simple answer is the expense factor. Any traditional food ordering app costs around $10,000 to $30,000. App developers charge a pretty penny for doing professional work. Likewise, you will need to keep up with providing your customers account security, bug fixes, and new patches to keep the app up-to-date with Google and Apple app store’s ever-changing policy.

While it’s not a bad idea to have an agency create a restaurant food ordering app, an even better idea is to seek a restaurant business provider that already handles such things on their platform. For instance, Blink Co is laced with many well-known restaurant name-brands and startups who signed up for a dedicated and fully white-labeled customer experience.

Blink offers a fully functional haven to restaurant owners by providing them with a virtual back end, menu templates, robust customer analytics and insights, and tons of other perks. On top of that, the company charges an all-time low percentage (2% – 2.5%) to accommodate all sorts of operators.

In fact, Blink has set up a subscription model system that’s based on nominal monthly charges. This system especially works in favor of those businesses that don’t have a lot of money or online infrastructure to maintain expenses concerning different marketing strategies, promo deals, and customer outreach.

Find out more information at Blink for Restaurants webpage.

Moving on, if we dig deeper beyond the aforementioned stats concerning marketing restaurant ideas and trends, it’s evident that a wide percentage of millennials spend most of their time online. On that note, those restaurants that have dedicated Instagram pages with regular content to showcase drool-worthy food specialty items, perform much better as opposed to brick and mortar establishments with conventional local restaurant marketing strategies.

Having said that, let’s see what the latest 2021 marketing restaurant ideas and trends bring to the table:

Blink is your #1 Online Ordering Platform for Restaurants

How are Your Lunch and Time-Gated Specials Performing?

For every popular restaurant, there’s either a specific menu or assortment of dishes that usually sell better than other items on the list.

Similarly, there’s a time slot for each day when restaurants oversee a surge in customers demanding lunch specials, morning snacks, or dinner-related deals in that order. Since 2017, it was revealed that almost 76% of British restaurant goers don’t miss out on lunch every single day!

What’s more important is the fact that 76% of these Brits made up for 64% of the customer base when the same survey was conducted in 2016. Ever since the COVID pandemic hit business industries at a global level, food business owners not only saw an increase in the overall percentage of customers, but they also reported having a steady flux of online orders instead of walk-in customers to deal with.

So, what’s the point that we’re trying to make here?

It’s 2021. Online is the new trend. Although people don’t visit restaurants by physically driving over, they are still busy placing online food orders without any sign of backing off.

As a restaurant business owner, seize this opportunity by emphasizing time-specific special deals. Under your ‘Deal of the Day’ slogan, you can offer combo food deals; some sort of discount on a select bunch of menu items, or by touting out lunch, dinner, and morning specials within different time slots.

Restaurant Loyalty Program and Rewards Program:

Let’s be honest.

Starbucks has already been doing well with its Gold Referral program.

Restaurant Loyalty Program and Rewards Program

What’s more fascinating is the fact that Starbucks has been changing its marketing strategy for its rewards program customers. In 2016, the food and beverage conglomerate awarded customers 2 Stars for each dollar spent. After getting 125 Stars, these customers were able to get a free drink and food of their choice.

Fast forward to 2019 and beyond, the traditional rewards program is replaced with an online loyalty system that Starbucks customers can use through their mobile phone.

The basic mechanism for this marketing strategy is the same, except for the fact that now Starbucks is doing the same thing through the ‘Starbucks Rewards App’ where even more people can engage easily.

Your regular customers tend to spend more as compared to seasonal food lovers. It’s time you make a move to retain your priced regulars by enticing them with a loyalty program. Set up virtual loyalty cards, or create an online campaign to help spread the word. Either way, it’ll work wonders in due course of time.

Food Photography is Kind of a Big Deal Now!

Food Photography is Kind of a Big Deal Now | Marketing Restaurant Ideas And Trends

Your customers are smart, intelligent and more importantly, they’re impulsive!

People love professional photos that make any slice of pizza with ooey gooey cheese look so good that if it were up to them, they’d grab that slice and gobble it up in a whiff!

Speaking of pizza, it was the most Instagrammed food in 2020 and earlier, only to be superseded by Sushi on some occasions.

That’s why you need to take splendid photos and fill em’ up with alt tags and hashtags to keep those customers coming in. What’s more important is a regular flow of content where your customers always see something new from your restaurant on Instagram and Facebook newsfeed.

That’s what capitalizing on restaurant marketing ideas and strategies means in 2021 for new business owners.

Don’t Forget Healthy Food Options:

Of course, not all of your customers are going to want to order carb-loaded goodness on a regular basis.

There are many customers who have a healthy lifestyle, and only choose to partake in eating food that comes with higher nutritional value and low-calorie count.

By focusing an allocated section of your menu on ‘healthy bites delicacies, you are potentially expanding your customer outreach to those folks who prefer their salad a bit greener.

Besides, people are become increasingly health-conscious due to an overall sedentary lifestyle and office routine. Many individuals, who don’t get time to break a sweat at the local gym, make it a point to stick to healthy diet options to keep themselves from packing extra pounds.

Social Proof: Is Your Food As Good as You Say?

Social Proof: Is Your Food As Good as You Say?

Okay, you have mastered the art of food photography and blended it with some genuinely interesting specialties that are worth a shot.

However, the important question is, does anyone else believe in your restaurant menu as much as you do? Are your customers showing the same level of confidence and conviction when ordering food online from your restaurant? Or, is it the other way around?

Why should new customers believe you? Here’s what social proofing comes into effect as part of the restaurant marketing ideas and trends in 2021. In a nutshell, social proof is all about building on the ‘word of mouth’ marketing effect where people talk positive stuff about your restaurant services to spread the “word.”

For a proactive approach, while you are busy posting social media posts, add your name-brand hashtag. It is only a matter of time before people will catch up to the trend and use the same hashtag. This marketing effect is dubbed as ‘organic marketing’ where you don’t have to spend an extra dollar on the outreach strategy.

Numerous social media mentions will influence others around their respective communities – so on and so forth. This effect helps first-time customers who are initially skeptical about trying your restaurant’s online food orders for the first time. All you need to do is create great menus laced with tempting delicacies; the rest will happen on its own.

Have you tried any of the Above Mentioned Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Trends Yet?

If you have been in the online restaurant marketing game as a startup business, how did your marketing strategies fare?

Did any of the strategies are your all-time favorite? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Regardless of the adversity effect, bear in mind that all great journeys are paved with minor setbacks and challenges.

Remain consistent and work hard to see the results eventually seep in through the cracks.

Good luck and have fun out there, champ!

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