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The pandemic created a one-of-a-kind situation- from the disruption of businesses to the reopening of businesses to the practice of entrepreneurs taking advantage of the opportunity to buy and open new restaurant locations. When it comes to marketing a new restaurant or reopening its location, many restaurant owners make the common mistake of postponing marketing until after it has opened. Their focus is on dealing with the million things that need to be done to open the doors, neglecting the essential part of marketing, thinking that it can be done afterwards.

Restaurant owners must realise that there is only a one-time opportunity to generate buzz for your upcoming new restaurant in the months and weeks leading up to the grand opening. And, the work does not end there, hence a suggested timeline for promoting a new restaurant must be followed.

Here are some clever marketing strategies adopted by marketing companies for restaurants that will help your new restaurant succeed.

What Can You Do to Build an Audience and Create Demand for a New Restaurant?

1. Pre-Opening
You have the opportunity to build an audience and create a "new restaurant coming near you" buzz for your business in the 6-8 weeks leading up to the opening of your restaurant. Here are some steps you can follow to get started:

● Register your domain name: The first and most crucial step is registering your domain name. Do not look for domain name availability and consider registering it later because you may discover that your domain name has been hijacked, the owner demanding hundreds or thousands of dollars to sell it to you.

● Set up a website: In the weeks leading up to your grand opening, the website should say no more than the name of your restaurant and "Coming Soon." You can also include a brief description of the food on the menu. You're attempting to pique people's interest once more. Installing an email registration form on the website is also a good idea to start building an email list of local customers. A user-friendly web app for your website could be an excellent idea after you open your restaurant.

● Create a Facebook Page: To begin building an audience for your restaurant, create a Facebook business page. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with the local community and find your voice.

2. Grand Opening
When your business opens, create a Google My Business page for your establishing your local presence. The main advantage of Google's feature is a prominent box on the right side of the search page. There are some significant opportunities for visibility here.

Google My Business has a visually appealing layout that includes buttons for directions, your website, and reviews, among other things. Make sure to fill out all of the information for this feature so that you can benefit from some free visibility.

3. First 90 days after Opening
Focus your efforts in the first 90 days after you open on increasing your local visibility and growing your business awareness. There are numerous digital strategies to implement, such as enhancing Facebook efforts and running ads alongside your growing page. Other options include contacting your local newspaper and enhancing the visibility of your storefront with inflatables or feather signs. Make sure that you are working to raise awareness among your local audience.

When promoting a new restaurant, it's also critical to develop a multi-channel marketing strategy early on. Not only that, but you'll want to keep it handy throughout the year. Your marketing strategy should serve as a road map and blueprint for your business. It should emphasise the opportunities that you see.

How Can Restaurants Improve Customer Confidence Post-Covid?
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has forever altered how we eat in restaurants. Restaurants are finally reopening after being devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Customers are feeling a range of emotions when bringing back indoor dining as society continues to adjust to this new reality. While some are overjoyed to be able to dine out again after being locked up in the house, others remain cautious and prefer to act with caution in an indoor dining area.

Five actionable steps that restaurants can take to increase guest confidence:

1. Decontaminate: We highly put forward devising a restaurant plan and safety conventions. According to CDC, masks are endorsed to defy the danger of COVID-19 spread. Masks are compulsory for employees and customers as much as possible when not eating or drinking. The CDC recommends that employees wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (before, during, and after food preparation).

2. Multi-channel communication on safe dining: Transparency is essential when inviting customers to dine in your restaurant. In high-traffic areas, the CDC suggests displaying signs that encourage employees and customers to take everyday protective measures, including wearing masks and cleaning hands correctly.

3. Offer a digital waitlist: Create a digital waitlist to reduce overcrowding in your restaurant. Rather than making customers wait inside, restaurants can use a text message system to notify customers when their table is ready. This allows for a more efficient method of safely bringing customers in and out of your restaurant.

4. Digital menus: Because health is the primary focus for keeping customers and employees safe during this time, reducing the chances of virus transmission is critical. Menus are one of the most visible points of contact in a restaurant. It is suggested that single-use paper menus and digital menus be used.

5. Outdoor dining: Being outdoors and in well-ventilated areas reduces the risk and exposure to COVID. In order to boost customer confidence post-covid, restaurant layouts and capacity should be modified to limit social distancing.

The most crucial aspect to be kept in mind is that marketing might be time-consuming – but there are numerous resources available to help you including the help of a restaurant marketing agency. Don't worry if you're a little behind schedule. The most important thing is working hard and doing everything possible to promote your new restaurant in the local community.

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