You may do all you can with your F&B business, but doing the right thing can be challenging. How do you get ahead of the competitive F&B industry while constantly improving your ability to create good products? By doing good marketing and paying attention to the perspective of potential customers when they want to visit and come.
1. Get A Good Online Site
Your online site should be a solid sales and lead-generation tool. You can share blogs, updates, and useful recipes to grab the attention of potential customers. The online site can also include self-service features such as ordering and payment, saving you and your customers time.
Draw attention by integrating photos and videos. Add photos and videos to your blog, social media posts, and emails to encourage potential customers to share with their relatives. Share recipe tutorials, practical advice clips, staff introductions, and videos of events taking place at your business. Build a strong presence on main platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and work with content creators, such as social media influencers, podcasters, and bloggers, to extend your marketing reach.
2. Optimize Your Online Site for Mobile Use
Mobile traffic accounts for about half of internet activity throughout the world. With an online business site that is convenient to use with mobile phones, you will be more accessible to those customers who use mobile devices. Your customers will find it easier to view your content, submit orders, make payments, and interact with you wherever they are. With the high activity on your online site, you have a great opportunity to optimize your content toward your goals.
3. Integrate e-Commerce into Your Online Site
With the right all-in-one solution, your customers can easily make purchases. From allowing your customers to view the products you sell and inputting online orders to making deliveries; you can easily customize orders, update menus, and create new menu items that are coming soon. Simple things like automatic order confirmations, quick and easy quotes, and having complete transaction records can make a big difference to your customers and support more efficient operations. Therefore, integrating e-Commerce gives your customers a better service experience, which is an attractive marketing strategy.
4. Unlock the Potential of Digital Marketing
Digital or internet marketing drives activity to your website and gets people talking about your F&B business. Search engine optimization (SEO) will drive organic activity to your site by sharing useful content or topics with phrases and keywords. So, utilize SEO to improve your search result rankings.
Social media – Build a site and share news, updates, photos, videos, and helpful tips on social media, and you can also pay for targeted social media ads.
Pay-per-click – Pay-per-click advertising allows you to target specific search results.
Go local – Use SEO and attract local activity to your site by using keywords specific to your region, city, and language. For example, you can target phrases like “Kuala Lumpur Restaurant”.
Online directories – Boost your digital marketing efforts by adding your F&B business to relevant online F&B directories. You can focus on specific categories (such as vegetarian food) and specific areas.
5. Use Testimonials and Reviews
Testimonials and reviews can build trust in your target market and credibility for your business. Pay attention to reviews on blogs and content on your social media, and have a dedicated page for testimonials on your online site.
Monitor testimonials and reviews on external sites such as online F&B directories and review platforms on various sites. If you get a negative review, respond professionally and positively so that readers get both sides of the story. You can also go a step further with customer testimonials by providing compensation or special services to encourage repeat customers.
6. Take Professional Photos
Don’t leave it to potential customers to visualize what they will get. Invest in professional photography and imagery of your signature dishes. Use high-quality photos for your brochures, website, menus and marketing content to have a strong visual impact on your potential customers. Consider which creations expose your brand and what you want your business to be known as. Think about which dishes have the most visual appeal and what your customers demand the most.
When sharing on Instagram and other social media platforms, use your image size correctly. Use hashtags so that your posts appear in more searches, and combine your content with different types of photos, videos, and stories.
7. Beautify Your Product
Prioritize making your dishes look appealing in photos, videos, and your restaurant environment. A plate of food that looks delicious sells itself by stimulating the senses. Aesthetic appeal can be a compelling value proposition for customers who want to impress with their food purchases. Here are some ways to make a strong visual impact include:
Prioritize centerpieces and featured products – prioritize dramatic centerpieces and featured products in your menu.
Colors – Use color concepts and shades that contrast with the background to highlight your dishes.
Add numbers – Three, five, and other odd numbers help to underline the product, whether it’s dumplings, bread rolls, or meatballs.
Garnish – Use sauces, syrups, and other ingredients to enhance the dish.
Smaller portions – Smaller portions are the secret to great photos and videos.
8. Know Your Target Market
If you have no idea about your market, then how can you market with the right strategy? Know who your target audience is, consider whether your target market is big enough and relevant for a sustainable business, and think about who is around you. Your market could include offices, family and private events, schools, cafes, restaurants, and community and sports venues.
Does your target specialize in the F&B business, or is it more of a general market? Perhaps you work across several different segments. So who is your ideal audience in the areas you serve? Find out how they think, understand their needs and finances, and identify the best way to market to them.
9. Make A Business Plan
Get a big picture with your business plan and build your marketing strategy from there. A formal business plan identifies your goals, business value proposition, target market, and how you will achieve your goals. Do you specialize in a particular product, event, or service? How are you better than the competition, and what do you do to provide more value for customers?
Your value proposition is very important as it reflects the value you provide for customers and how you are better than competitors. Essential elements such as market research, competitor research, branding strategy, and financial budgeting should include in your plan, with the specifics of your market objectives as well as the target audience and segments.
10. Brand the Delivery Fleet
Use your fleet (delivery bikes, motorbikes, or cars) to market your catering services to locals as well as a wider audience. Make sure your vehicles are presented neatly, cleanly, and in good condition. Aside from that, display your logo clearly and include your website and phone number. If your brand is outdated, work with a brand consultant to update your logo, graphics, and other brand materials.
Your branding consultant should be able to help you design the right graphics and place stickers and vehicle wraps on your vehicles to maximize impact. Don’t forget to maintain branding consistency across your vehicles, shop fronts, brochures, and other marketing materials.
11. Out into the Real World
Make a list of all the people you can approach directly with personalized offers such as wedding planners, local golf clubs, auto clubs, art galleries, museums, exhibition halls, law offices, advertising agencies, offices, banks, bridal shops, and families (for private events). Prepare your bid proposal and do your research so that your proposal is competitive.
Approach local businesses directly. Get involved in local businesses and organizations. Present your business as their go-to caterer. Give back to the community with cost-price or free services for those in need. Work with other local businesses, such as florists, local musicians, performance halls, funeral homes, hotels, liquor stores, and jewelry boutiques, to introduce your offerings to their customers.
12. Be an Exhibitor
There is nothing better to achieve targets en masse than at events such as trade shows, conferences, and fairs. Similar events such as community gatherings, fairgrounds, and festivals are also excellent opportunities to introduce your offerings. You can provide samples, menus, and pamphlets and give your targets the opportunity to ask questions. Explore local events such as food fairs, bridal shows, local cookouts, and community fundraisers where you can target potential customers with specific menus.
Create a delicious sample menu so you can offer samples at marketing events such as fairs, trade shows, open days, and client visits, and make sure your menu is cost-effective to produce and attractive enough to make a good impression on your target market.
13. Empower the Appearance of Your Business’ Physical Location
If you have an attractive shop front, it can be excellent marketing, so make full use of it! Use a large, attractive sign to display your business brand and let local customers know what you sell, and if necessary, signage and menus. Use whiteboards, tabletop flyers, and branded items such as coffee cups and reusable tableware.
Promotions, such as monthly draws, allow you to capture customer details while attracting people and conducting regular open houses. And provide dishes with samples to qualified potential customers is also a great way to attract more interest.
14. Communicate with Customers Regularly
You should have a system to keep in touch with your existing customers because having loyal customers costs less to attract back than finding new ones. When communicating with customers, consider the following approaches to optimize your message:
Personalize – Personalize your marketing messages to make your customers feel valued and special.
Add value – Share useful content rather than just sales messages. For example, you can provide information for customers on how to use your website to place orders and make payments, and you can also share interesting information about new dishes.
Use different platforms – Explore different communication platforms, including social media posts, emails, and physical mailings.
15. Create Broadcasts, Flyers, and QR Codes
Spread the word by using broadcasts with social media. You can distribute these through community, local newspapers, food magazines, bridal journals, food blogs, and local event websites. Let locals know about your new products and launches, or even any new milestones you have achieved, such as new partnerships and branches.
You can also distribute flyers and post signage with QR codes leading to your website to stand out from the competition. Why not hire a promotional staff to distribute these in retail channels? Ask local complementary businesses, from bridal shops to office buildings, to display QR Code flyers or leaflets in prominent places such as lodging reception areas, trade shows, fairs, fitness center, co-working spaces, and other great places to display your flyers.
Winning Industry Competition
Standing out in the F&B industry boils down to the quality of your service and how you market it to the public. From optimizing your online presence to the way you brand and photograph your products, there are many strategies you can implement to reach your target market.