Your food, your drinks, and your people are often at the front of your mind when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your restaurant. But the design of your restaurant is also a crucial asset when it comes to developing a marketing plan.
The design of your restaurant sets the mood and atmosphere of the dining experience. Presenting the design of your restaurant the right way can give potential customers a sense of the dining space, and (if they like what they see), draw them in.
Here are some restaurant marketing ideas for showcasing the design of your space to attract new customers and boost sales.
Know Your Target Audience
Many of your design choices will be informed by the type of customer that you plan to attract. Consider the type of clientele your restaurant depends on. Is it local foodies? Tourists? Students?
Knowing the audience you are catering to will allow you to create a space that appeals to their sensibilities. For example, highlighting aspects of your design that tie into local culture or communities can capture the curiosity of tourists looking for an authentic experience.
Developing Your Design
Whether you are starting from scratch or returning to the drawing board for a redesign, consider the tastes of your intended clientele and let them guide your decorating decisions. For example, you might build a patio if you are located in an area where the weather is nice year-round. Later on, you can promote the patio to draw in those customers who enjoy al fresco dining.
Take Good Pictures
When showcasing interiors and exteriors of your restaurant on social media, you want to be sure that the pictures are the best they can be. If you have a recent smartphone with a camera, you have everything you need to take pictures of your design for social media. If you aren’t sure about your photography skills, you might consider hiring a professional photographer for a session to take many pictures for you that you can post over time.
Well-taken photos of your space will capture the curiosity of potential new customers deciding whether they want to eat at your restaurant or somewhere else. An appealing design can be just the thing that draws a customer into your place over one of your competitors’ establishments. But, it will only work if the photo can draw the attention of someone browsing online, so perfecting your photos is a must.
Share Your Space
Now that you have photos that showcase the best design elements of your restaurant, it is time to show them off. Share an image of your attractive entryway lined with plants, for example, to invite customers to come in and discover what you have to offer. Do you have a reclaimed wood bar? Highlight it along with a seasonal cocktail placed on top.
The idea is to highlight your best design features. Think of the ones that inspire or delight. Is it a glowing neon sign? A unique metal gate to your patio? Is it your spacious dining room? Promote these features on social media to show customers what it’s like to dine in your establishment.
Put Your Best Features on Display
Don’t limit yourself to social media, but consider uploading photos to review sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor. Potential customers browsing such sites will see the layout and atmosphere of your place and can be drawn in if they like what they see. Of course, don’t forget to photograph the food.
Open Your Doors to Events
Let your design speak for itself. If you have designed a spacious and relaxing environment, consider hosting private events. When guests get a chance to see the design of your space in person, and they have a good experience they are hopefully likely to return and spread positive word-of-mouth about your business.
When designing your restaurant, think about if you have space for a private room for events. If you do, keep in mind that this could be one more feature that you could promote on social media or your website later down the road.
Create Shareable Moments
An inspiring design encourages reviewers to post images of your space online, whether that be in the form of a review or a post on their social media accounts. That exposes your best features to even more prospective customers who could potentially be drawn in by the design aesthetic of your restaurant.
Art is a great way to use your design to create shareable moments. For example, a large outdoor mural or a large bubbling fountain could be just the backdrop that customers love taking photos in front of. Thinking about art and design ahead of time can make sure that your restaurant has shareable features that will further spread awareness of your restaurant across social media.
Bring in the Food Bloggers
Food bloggers don’t just write about food. They consider all aspects of the dining experience, including the decor and furniture. Once you have all aspects of your design perfected (and your menu too, of course), have an opening inviting any local food bloggers or influencers you can find. If you have a particularly inspiring design flourish, it may be something that they post online and share with their followers.
In today’s era, many customers will see your restaurant online before they see it in person, which is why it is ever-so-important to make sure that the image they see online doesn’t drive them away. This also means you need a way of getting their attention and capturing their curiosity. While the design is often overlooked among restaurant marketing strategies, a well-thought-out and executed design can be the deciding factor for many potential customers looking for a place to eat.