It’s pretty clear that we love warm weather here in Michigan. With the excessive amount of cloudy days and snowstorms, Michigan residents have been known to bust out the jorts and flip-flops at the first signs of spring. With a limited amount of Michigan summer sun, and a seemingly infinite amount of restaurant choices, here’s some helpful tips to consider as you seek ways to get more foot traffic this summer.
Step 1: Make Sure You Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
If you want to make a splash this summer, the first place to start is a mobile-friendly website. Undoubtedly, tourists and travelers turn to their mobile devices as their top decision-making tool for what restaurants to visit. Do a quick check — pull up your website on your smartphone and find out if:
a) The menu is easily accessible
b) The menu formats to a mobile device (images & PDFs don’t translate well to mobile)
c) The menu is up-to-date
d) Specials & events are up to date, and listed in an easy to view format
Step 2: Claim & update online profiles: Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, & Facebook
Like sipping a cold drink on a patio this summer, a presence on online review sites is an absolute must. Making up 80% of mobile restaurant discovery, it’s extremely important to keep your profiles up to date. Make sure you have not only publicly responded to any negative reviews, but that all information is accurate as well. (That includes contact info, hours, pictures & categories/tags).
Step 3: Put systems in place to collect & manage guest feedback
Don’t get burned this summer. If you don’t offer an in-house feedback system — you’re sure to invite negative reviews online. Start by looking at your restaurant through the lens of your guests — if they can leave your restaurant without knowing how to give you feedback, start there. We recommend handing each guest a card inviting them to give you feedback at the end of their experience (not just the person receiving the bill).
Step 4: Update your social media profiles There’s something about warm weather that makes people want to eat, drink, and also share absolutely everything fun they did on social media. Be present on the platforms they’re using for this. Make sure you have profiles set up on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. Set a plan for keeping these profiles updated regularly.
Step 5: Set up your marketing calendar
30. That’s not only the SPF level we recommend for sunscreen use, but also the minimum amount of days you should be planning out your marketing calendar content. Plan out what content & LTOs you will be running early. Every lost minute during your busy season can equate to huge revenue losses, so take a day now to write content that is ready to post later.
Step 6: Run ads on Google Adwords Express
Google Ads are totally hot right now. Once you have your Google ‘My Business’ profile set up, create an ad that displays anytime someone searches on Google for a restaurant within the radius of your business. Go to google.com/adwords/express to set up your ad.
Taking a small amount of time to complete these steps now, will set you up to make some serious waves. We hope you feel empowered and excited for the crowds coming!