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7 tips for next-level restaurant marketing

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By Tock Staff

Get your business discovered and turn guests into regulars.

Marketing is a must for hospitality businesses looking to stand out from the crowd and get guests in the door. Once you’ve tackled the restaurant marketing basics, it’s time to refine that strategy and take your business to the next level. Use these 7 tips to grow your reach and turn guests into loyal regulars.

Bring your offerings together in one place

One of the best ways to get the most bang for your marketing efforts is to make it as easy as possible for guests to book. Organizing all of your offerings—everyday reservations, special events, takeout and delivery orders, even private dining—in one place. If your business takes reservations on Tock but sells tickets to guest chef dinners on Eventbrite, for example, guests must take extra steps to book one of those special dinners. Putting those experiences together on your Tock page removes that friction while letting every guest who books know about the different ways they can engage with your business. 

Optimize SEO to help guests find you 

More guests discover new restaurants through search engines like Google and Bing than any other marketing method besides word of mouth. Make it easier for guests to find you on search by optimizing your website for search engines. Use keywords on your website that guests would likely use to find a restaurant like yours on search. Make sure your website is clear, simple to navigate, and optimized for mobile, since many guests will be searching on their smartphones. Put important details like hours, location, and the menu front and center.

Leverage insights from Google Analytics

Once you’ve optimized your business’s SEO, it’s time to go deeper. Using Google Analytics can help you understand how guests are finding you online—information you can use to hone your digital marketing strategy and make it more effective. Tock’s integration with GA4 allows you to see what guests are searching for to find you and how they interact with your Tock page during booking.

Tock also allows you to see which websites are referring guests to your Tock page. You can easily set up UTM tags for relevant sites and review your referral source report to learn how guests are navigating to your booking page. Knowing the channels through which guests are booking lets you refine your marketing strategy and put resources where they’ll have the biggest ROI for your business. 

Nurture connection with email marketing

Email marketing is becoming increasingly important for restaurants, and with good reason: it gets results. One study found that 60% of respondents reported being influenced by email marketing in their purchases, according to HubSpot. Guests can opt into receiving emails from your business, which you can use to market experiences, drive bookings, and boost awareness around promotions. It’s also a good idea to add a pop-up or other way for guests to sign up for emails on your website. 

Catchy subject lines, eye-catching photos, and a straightforward call-to-action will encourage guests to book. Avoid clogging inboxes by sending emails no more than once per week. Increase your open rate (and the likelihood that guests will click through to book) by segmenting your audience, using personalized greetings, and developing automated email campaigns to nurture contacts after they sign up.

Target guests by interest

The more specific and personalized your marketing efforts are, the more effective they’ll be. Tock’s customizable guest tags feature makes it easy to identify diners by certain traits—for example, VIPs, wine enthusiasts, allergies and restrictions, event attendees, guests with kids, or seating preferences. Guest tags come in handy for providing personalized hospitality during service, but they’re also a great marketing tool. It’s easy to pull a list of guest contacts based on tags, then send emails about promotions or experiences to fit that audience’s interests. Conversely, you can create guest groups in Tock based on email addresses of guests with shared interests.

Respond to feedback with a human touch

Reviews are a double-edged sword for hospitality businesses. A glowing review can have more of a positive impact on your restaurant than paid media, but  bad reviews can tank your reputation online. You should be prepared to respond to both types of feedback with understanding and empathy—the right response to a less-than-stellar review can turn into a positive interaction that shows prospective guests how much you care. Happy guests don’t always leave reviews or feedback, but you can increase the likelihood that they’ll share a positive experience on Tock by enabling our automated post-visit survey.

Focus on conversions

As you experiment with different restaurant marketing tools and strategies, you may find that some are more effective than others. Keep an eye on which marketing efforts lead to more bookings. For example, if you’re investing staff time in social media but not seeing many bookings come through those platforms, you might want to put more effort into email marketing if you’re seeing results there. 

Marketing is an iterative process, which means there’s an element of trial and error. But with a little planning, taking advantage of Tock-enabled marketing features, and keeping an eye on analytics, you’ll find an effective strategy that works for you and drives revenue for your business.

Get more helpful tips and training resources at Tock Academy. Not on Tock yet? Request a demo.

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