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Standing out from the crowd: How to get your business discovered online

By OpenTable

- Last updated on GMT

How to get your restaurant found online

Related tags: Opentable, Bookings

In a world where digital growth shows no signs of slowing down in 2021, helping guests to discover your restaurant online is more important than ever.

With the shift from on-to off-premise and the rise in online ordering of takeaway and delivery, now is an optimal time to fine tune your digital marketing approach. Get seen by guests when they’re searching online to reserve a table, order takeaway, or book an experience using these easy and practical tips.

Routinely freshen up your online profiles

In 2019, roughly 805 million searches were made on OpenTable by people looking for restaurants. During that research phase more than half (51%) of people don’t know exactly where they want to go to eat. OpenTable helps them figure it out with the search function on the platform surfacing restaurants for diners based on location, cuisine type and reviews.

Your profile is an important part of how people find you on OpenTable, too. The most complete profiles surface more in search. And with 70 million average page views on OpenTable every month, you want to make it easy for those people looking for reservations to get to know you through your profile. This means keeping your description, menus, hours, specials, and delivery options, and safety precautions up to date. And don’t forget to add photos. We’re talking crave-inducing food photos and warm, welcoming interior shots. Text is important, but a picture is still worth a thousand words.

As things rapidly change, showcase the latest and greatest of all you have to offer and your most up-to-date business information to guests. Wherever you have an online presence it's important to keep all your online business profiles current for guests when they are searching for you.

Get the most out of social media

Today someone looking to dine out might see 10 restaurants a minute scrolling through a Google search, their email inbox, or their Instagram feed. Therefore understanding how to leverage social media platforms will help you build brand awareness and strong relationships with guests.

In the U.K, the average person spends one hour and 80 minutes a day looking at social media, according to Statista.​ That’s why having a presence on key social platforms and having authentic conversations about news and trends with potential restaurant guests and online influencers will ensure your way onto the restaurant and dining scenes. You can also drive the conversations on your business blogs, for example OpenTable’s blog,​ which highlights news and tips for restaurants. For your business, you can regularly profile innovative new dishes, introduce new chefs and staff members, and feature new menus on season.

Connect with guests using email marketing

Finding meaningful ways to engage with guests, establish deeper connections, and build a loyal following using email is no easy task but worth getting right.

Seamlessly use your guest book data to expand your loyal subscriber base by integrating with your email marketing system​ with OpenTable.

Personalise messages with guest behaviour data: create templates and set the rules to personalise content based on guest segments such as loyalty membership or menu item preferences, helping you deliver more relevant content at the right time. You can also personalise messages and keep your engagement timely when you factor in guest behaviour and preference data using automated relationship management campaigns​ for outreach. With the right email marketing in place, you can save you time, increase scale, and personalise your guest engagement.

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Measure your digital marketing success

In a changing marketing landscape, it's more important than ever to plan your short-term and long-term goals.

Establish your goals for each digital marketing channel. If your goal is to fill your seats, you’ll want to be careful about measuring success using vanity metrics, such as impressions or clicks, which don’t give you the whole story on attribution to reservations. Consider reaching guests who have high intent to book on channels where they’re ready to make a reservation and establish conversion metrics, such as cost-per-acquisition, to measure results.

With budgets being stretched businesses are continuously asked to do more with less, making scalability and efficiency more important than ever. A channel where focus is given is email marketing, due to its ability to track the full return on investment, including revenue and covers, generated from example via OpenTable’s relationship management tools, so you know where to reinvest.

Most restaurateurs got into the business to take care of people, not to do endless marketing. But the truth is, all businesses need good marketing to thrive. Fuel your success while focusing on what you do best—serving up great food, fun, and hospitality.

Download a free checklist with easy tips on how to supercharge your digital marketing to get seen online.

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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