Word-of-mouth has been a key source for business in restaurants for many decades. However, in today’s digital world, where people are scrolling for famous food spots online every minute, it has become crucial for restaurants to have a good online presence. While many restaurant owners might think they can work on their business online presence themselves, it is best to leave it to professionals.
To have a good online presence for your restaurant, you don’t need only to make social media profiles and post there consistently. There will be much more to be done to build your brand, attract new customers, and delight your old customers with loyalty campaigns and rewards. Now, you must be wondering who will manage all the work for you. That’s where many restaurant marketing agencies come in handy. These agencies have well-qualified and experienced marketing experts in their teams to help your restaurant reach and engage with customers online.
However, while there are thousands of restaurant marketing agencies in the UK, it can become challenging for restaurant owners to choose the right one. Businesses usually spend 5 to 20% of their annual revenue on sales and marketing. It is a significant amount of investment for any business. Therefore, it must be spent on the right team or marketing agency.
Scroll down for tips on how to find the best marketing agency for your restaurant!
Tips on How to Find The Best Marketing Agency for Your Restaurant
When planning to open a food business in the UK, you need to understand that marketing should be your first big investment. Since the industry is one of the largest in the world, you will definitely be stepping into some fierce competition no matter what kind of cuisine you offer. The only thing that will set you apart and help you build a strong customer base will be quality restaurant marketing.
While there are many marketing agencies in the UK, not all offer quality services. Therefore, before getting any marketing agency onboard for your restaurant, you must think thoroughly. Otherwise, you will end up hiring a marketing agency that will add no value to your business.
Here are a few tips you must follow to get the best marketing agency onboard:
Identify Your Goals
Before you start looking for any marketing agency for pubs or restaurants, you must take some time to identify your goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing strategies or campaigns? Are you looking to increase foot traffic to your restaurant? Do you want to improve your online reputation? Once you have identified your goals, you can easily narrow your searches to agencies that specialise in the areas most crucial to your business.
Start Your Research
Once you have identified your goals, it is time for you to search for a potential marketing agency that can make them a reality. Start with a quick Google search to learn about well-reputed marketing agencies. You should also explore their websites to learn more about them. While doing your research, you must not forget to check out testimonials and case studies from businesses similar to yours. It will help you understand the agency’s process and approach.
Check for References
After hours of research, you will have a long list of many potential marketing agencies. However, you can, of course, not hire them all. Therefore, you must start narrowing it down to find the best fit for your restaurant. Start by asking people you trust if they know of a restaurant marketing agency.
You never know if your neighbour’s cousin’s best friend might be running a top-notch marketing agency in your area. You can ask the following:
- Other business owners who have worked with marketing agencies in the past
- Your suppliers as they connect with many different restaurant owners
- Your technology partners as they have many tech-minded industry connections
- Your friends, family, neighbours, and colleagues as they might also have a connection that could help
Doing so will help you avoid marketing agencies scamming people with bad quality services. Also, it will help you learn about many other potential marketing agencies that might not have caught your eye during your online research.
To narrow your list of marketing agencies to the top ten, you must set criteria. These will be the agencies you will be reaching out to, so they should be the ones that meet your values and goals with the best chance of a successful partnership developing in the future.
Here are a few common services to look for:
- Google Advertising
- SMS and Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Design and Copywriting
All the services mentioned earlier are a must to build an online presence for your brand. You can add more services to the criteria depending on your restaurant's needs and goals. Moreover, before choosing any marketing agency for bars or restaurants, you must consider their area of location as well as payment plans. Marketing agencies that do not provide services in your area or do not meet your budget constraints should be removed from the list.
Also, if you have a small or medium-sized restaurant business, you should not even consider hiring the big agencies as you will find your business at the bottom of their priority list.
Schedule a Consultation
Once you have narrowed down your list to the best options available, it is time for you to start approaching them for further clarification. Schedule a consultation with a top marketing agency on your list. It will be an excellent opportunity to get answers to your questions and understand the agency’s communication style and client dealing.
During the consultation, feel free to discuss your goals and learn more about their services. While you might already know about their basic payment plans, it is still best to ask about their pricing and any additional fees. To pick the best marketing agency for your restaurant, you must look out for agencies that have done their homework on your business. If they care enough to do their research on your business before the call, they will most likely give your restaurant the care and attention it needs to grow more.
Evaluate the Proposal
Once you have consulted with all the marketing agencies, you will be left with five to six options that meet your criteria and have managed to satisfy you during the intro call. After the consultation, you can ask the shortlisted agencies for their proposals outlining their services and pricing (including additional fees, if any). Take the time to review all the proposals in detail and find the one that aligns with your goals and budget.
If you still have any unclear areas or questions, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. After all, it is the decision on which your restaurant’s success depends greatly.
Make Your Decision
After evaluating all the proposals and getting clarification on all the unclear areas, it is time to decide. While making a decision, consider factors like experience, pricing, track record, communication style, and overall feeling about the marketing agency. It is important to note that the marketing agency will not only give you marketing ideas. Instead, they will be actively involved in your business matters. Therefore, choose the marketing agency that you feel comfortable working with.
Finding the right marketing agency for your restaurant might seem like a daunting task. However, it will be a game changer for your business once you find it. Many restaurant owners want to improve their online presence but do not know how to find the right marketing agency that meets their business needs the best. Do you fall into a similar category? Follow the above-mentioned tips to find the best marketing agency that makes your restaurant stand out!