In the internet age, digital marketing is a huge part of driving success for small businesses like restaurants. There’s just one problem: Most restaurateurs aren’t marketers.
Digital marketing is a complex and constantly changing field, and restaurant owners and managers are busy. It’s no wonder that creating a digital marketing plan is something that often doesn’t make it to the top of the to-do list.
But in 2021, restaurant marketing tools are changing the game. Restaurant owners and managers no longer need to become marketing experts in order to build effective marketing plans—the right tools can do that for them. The biggest challenge now? Wading through a growing sea of restaurant marketing technology to find the ones that will create the biggest impact for your restaurant—at the most affordable cost.
We’re here to help! We collected this list of some of the best and most popular restaurant marketing tools available in 2021, so you can see what’s out there, choose the tools you need, and get back to doing what you do best: Running your restaurant.
Popmenu: The All-In-One Tool that Automates Restaurant Marketing
For restaurants that want a marketing plan that works, there’s Popmenu.
Popmenu is an all-in-one toolkit for modern restaurants that includes all the features you need to own your online presence—including a full suite of automated marketing tools that make it easy to reach guests right where they are.
With Popmenu, you can:
- Schedule and send annual, monthly, weekly, or one-off automated email messages;
- Use SMS marketing to reach guests on their mobile devices
- Connect to your restaurant’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google My Business accounts to plan, post, and track posts, offers, and ads
- Collect and manage online reviews of your restaurant and dishes
- Create dynamic, interactive online menus with mouthwatering food photography that helps entice guests
- Incentivize repeat visits and extra purchases with targeted offers and promotions
In addition to having all the restaurant marketing tools you need, Popmenu also allows you to automate much of your digital marketing—which means you get a marketing strategy that works, for less time and work on your part.
Ready to try Popmenu’s restaurant marketing tools? Schedule a free demo today.
11 Restaurant Marketing Tools for Every Digital Marketing Need
If you’ve spent any time looking into digital tools for your restaurant, you already know there’s a technology tool for everything these days. That includes every facet of restaurant marketing.
Digital marketing can come in many different forms—and these tools are some of the most popular for different types of marketing restaurants can benefit from.
Email marketing has one of the most impressive ROIs of any marketing method. On average, email marketing provides a return of $32 for every $1 spent, and in the food and beverage industry, marketing emails have a 15.48 percent open rate and a 1.69 percent click-through rate.
Out of context, those numbers may seem low, but not when you consider the industry’s average post engagement rates for social media platforms: 1.69 percent for Instagram, 0.12 percent for Facebook, and 0.06 percent for Twitter.
Some of the most popular email marketing tools available for small businesses are MailChimp and Campaign Monitor, which both allow you to create marketing emails from templates and manage your guest email lists.
With Popmenu, you can automate email marketing and target guests with customized promotions based on historical data about their past visits and orders, making it easy to maximize your email marketing efforts without spending a lot of time crafting emails and managing guest segments.
SMS (text message) marketing is an increasingly popular tactic in the digital age, especially when you consider that, on average, Americans spend 5.4 hours per day on their mobile phones.
It’s also worth noting that the average person receives 120 emails per day, which makes it easy for marketing emails to get lost in the shuffle. Why not try SMS instead? Marketing texts have an open rate of over 95 percent, and 85 percent of consumers say they’d rather get a text from a business than receive a phone call or email.
An SMS marketing strategy can work alongside your email strategy, capturing even more guests with personalized offers and timed specials that entice them to visit your restaurant or order specific items. Some very popular tools for SMS marketing for restaurants include SimpleTexting and TextMagic, both of which help restaurants build a database of customer information and schedule marketing texts that work.
But with Popmenu, you can automate your SMS marketing, sending a follow-up message to a guest with a special offer within hours or days after they visit or order from your restaurant. It’s a quick touchpoint and a proven strategy that turns first time guests into loyal regulars.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a powerful tool for restaurants. It creates a place for fans of your restaurant to gather and stay in the loop about events, new menu items, and more. It can attract new guests through photos, videos, and reviews. In addition to just social posts, there are also social ads, which can be targeted to be seen by potential guests in your area who are likely to love your restaurant.
Because of the power and reach of social media, it can take multiple tools to fully harness its marketing potential. Tools like Later, Buffer, and Hootsuite are popular for scheduling social posts in advance. CoSchedule can be used to schedule and manage posts across multiple platforms. Then there are tools like Sprout Social to help track and manage social campaign performance. That’s all in addition to ad managers for the major platforms, where you can boost your posts or set up paid campaigns to try to reach new guests.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the options for social media marketing, you’re not alone. That’s why Popmenu seeks to make social media easier for restaurant owners. From one dashboard, you can connect to your restaurant's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google My Business accounts; plan, publish, and track posts and offers; and create and publish Facebook ad campaigns.
Online Review Management
Not all restaurant owners consider online reviews to be the powerful marketing tool that they are. But the truth is, 92 percent of restaurant guests read reviews ahead of checking out a new restaurant, so managing your online reputation, especially in reviews, is an important part of any restaurant’s digital marketing strategy.
Restaurant owners should be doing a few different things with reviews: Reaching out to their guests after a visit to encourage them to leave a review, responding to reviews, and connecting with guests who leave negative reviews to recover service. But with all the third-party review sites that exist across the internet, it’s no easy feat to stay on top of all your reviews and make them work as part of your restaurant’s overall marketing plan.
Programs like ReviewPro and Review Trackers are popular for aggregating reviews in one place so you can track and manage them. But only Popmenu also harnesses the power of reviews as a marketing tool, allowing you to approve, reject and reply to reviews right from the same dashboard where you access all your other Popmenu features and tools.
Photo and Video Marketing
Photos and videos aren’t always considered a part of restaurant marketing—until you consider that guests eat with their eyes first.
Investing in high-quality, high-resolution images of your dishes makes your brand look more polished and put together. It also gives guests who visit your website and social media or see your ads a mouthwatering image that’s sure to inspire cravings. If that’s not enough to convince you, there’s this: Dishes on online menus that have photos attached to them receive twice as many online orders as dishes without pictures.
There aren’t really restaurant marketing tools just for food photography—for that, you’ll want to find and hire a professional photographer who has experience in food styling. But you will need a website and menu management platform that allows you to display your menu along with all that mouth-watering photography—like Popmenu, which has patented dynamic menu technology that makes your menu into a marketing tool of its own.
Finally, there’s promotion marketing, which is a way of utilizing special offers and promotions to reach new guests and entice past guests to become repeat visitors.
Promotion marketing works best when you can create special offers that are personalized to your guests. To do that, you need data about them—for example, when they tend to visit or place orders, what items they’ve ordered before, and special events like their birthdays or anniversaries.
Like with photography, there aren’t really tools specifically to help your restaurant master promotion marketing. Instead, it’s typically up to you to create promotions and then send them out via your other marketing tools, through social media, ads, or SMS. Some advanced email marketing programs can help you segment your guest email list and send customized promotions based on data.
But with Popmenu, you can create and distribute promotions to your social channels, SMS, and email lists all from one dashboard. You can even automate promotions, sending follow-up incentives to guests right after they visit your restaurant to entice them to come back for another visit.
Get All Your Restaurant Marketing Tools In One With Popmenu
In order to cover email marketing, SMS, social media, online review management, photo and video marketing, and promotions, we’ve given you 11 popular restaurant marketing tools to check out. By our estimation, you’d need at least three or four (and probably more like half a dozen) of them to cover all your digital marketing bases.
Or, you could just get one: Popmenu.
Popmenu is a digital marketing powerhouse, with all the tools you need to meet your guests where they are and turn first-timers into regulars. Ready to see for yourself? Schedule a free demo today.