With nearly 2.7 million inhabitants, Chicago is waiting for food business owners to announce their presence. The windy city is full of festivals and conventions all the year. Intrude this market with stunning dishes and cuisines to place your business name in the hearts of the residents.
Along with a few proven marketing techniques, you will get the ultimate tips to marketing your food business in Chicago city. Make sure you don’t miss them if you want to grow faster.
Even if you just skim through the headings, you will have multiple new ideas to market your brand. Take this article as a checklist for the marketing strategy of your business.
Get Familiar with the Concept of 4 Ps
The 4 Ps is a popular concept for expanding your business and reaching your target customer. These four Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. We are going to break them down in a bit.
Product refers to the goods or services you are providing to the customers. In the case of the food business, the foods you deliver will be your product. As Chicago is a multi-cultural city with a great sensation for food, it will be easy for you to capture the right customer base in no time.
Price refers to the amount a customer pays for your product. Providing enough value for the price consumers pay is utterly important to sustain in the business. You should take product cost, supply chain cost, and competitors’ prices into consideration before determining the price of a product.
Place refers to where the product is sold and the transaction is made. For example, you might have a food truck or small establishment somewhere to sell your food. In other cases, people might also order your product from online shops or websites.
Promotion refers to advertising your product that is planned to reach the target audience and manipulate their buying decisions. In this era, you can gain a lot of customers by being a bit tricky in your product promotions.
Social media is now the best place for marketing your food business, not only in Chicago city but also anywhere in the world. If you can leverage this medium properly, it’s a matter of time to have a successful food business.
11 Creative Food Business Marketing Strategy to Boost Your Promotion
In this ever-changing world of the food business, you need to be creative to draw the attention of your target audience. Your ideas reach the customer far before your food does. Get creative in promotions to increase revenue.
You can implement these techniques to engage your customers more than ever.
1. Build Progressive Web App for Your Restaurant
Giving users the ability to reach your restaurant online makes them more interested in ordering food. Invest in making a web app with great UI/UX design to engage your customers.
2. Post High-quality Photos of Your Food Regularly
Creating a strong online presence has no alternative to grow in the food industry in this era. Make sure you are available on all popular social media. Lure customers with stunning photos of your food.
If you aren’t an expert in photography, hire some professional photographers to capture food photos for you. Use these photos in promotion across social and offline media.
3. Be a Storyteller
With all your competitors in the field, it is quite difficult to get the uninterrupted attention of your customer. Create compelling stories that your customers can relate to themselves. This can be a lucrative way to drive more foodies to your restaurant.
4. Create a Community of Customers
Customers are the best promoters. What can be better than your customers talking about your food in a community of like-minded people! Always share updates on your restaurant with the community.
5. Give Loyalty Benefits
People who regularly orders from you deserve more. You can honor them by giving loyalty points or discounts regularly which will drive more people into the loyal base.
6. Sponsor Local Events to Get Better Exposure
Let people know your name by sponsoring local events. Chicago is known for hosting so many festivals, seminars, etc. This can be a great chance to make people familiar with you and get better exposure.
7. Create a Blog
Be more than just a business. Create a blog to share intriguing news and articles about food preparation, the relationship between health and good food, etc. Let your customers participate in discussions so they feel like a part of the family.
8. Run Geo-targeted Ads
With the growing SEO industry, you can now precisely select your target audience to better respond to locals. Run your ad campaign targeted at locals so that you get a better return on investment.
9. Participate in Food Fairs
Make sure you be present in food-related events held in your area. Provide exotic food to visitors to make them remember your name next time they crave that certain item.
You can also organize promotional events to show your skills and expertise in making great quality food.
10. Send Email Newsletters
With so many distractions on the internet, it is difficult to hold your customers' attention. Design attractive newsletters and send them to your customers regularly, best if biweekly.
Next time when they need to order something, this will remind them of you.
11. Run Giveaways
Spending a portion of your earnings on charity can take you a long way down the lane. Find people who need food and give them away regularly. This will create a humane image of you in the community, which will help you earn even more in the long run.
12. Focus on Interior Design
Restaurants aren’t just eating places nowadays. People love to enjoy their food in a cozy, pleasing environment. Built an aesthetic interior that urges people for taking photos while they eat.
Once these pictures go on Instagram or Facebook, more people will be interested in coming to your business.
13. Create a YouTube Channel
If you don’t have any YouTube channel by the name of your restaurant to date, consider creating one soon. You can share a glimpse of your new menu or food processing videos to grow trust in people.
This can be an interactive medium too. Run Q&A sessions to receive complaints from the consumers and show them you are working to solve the issues promptly. It will increase your credibility.
14. Use Search Engines in Your Favor
Doing SEO properly can take you from nowhere to one of the top ranks on search results. Every time locals search for restaurants near them, your restaurant name should pop up on the first page so that they know you exist.
If you can’t do it yourself, hire expert SEO to optimize your business for search engines. Make sure you have your Google Business profile updated. Also, provide an accurate location of your business and add it to Google Maps so that people easily find you.
15. Show the Specialty of Your Ingredients
Posting just the food photo isn’t often enough. Let people know that they are getting special ingredients that they won’t find in other restaurants. This can be something like specially bred meat or organically grown veggies.
People get intrigued by these terms and feel like they are getting more in return of what they spend.
16. Deliver Foods Online
You can start your own delivery service for the business. But if it takes too much with logistics and management, partner with food delivery companies to be on the easier side.
Make sure you are present on all popular food delivery services. This will lead more people to order food online from the comfort of their homes.
17. Emphasize on Online Reviews
Whenever you serve a customer, try to know whether they liked your food or not. This can be done by placing a tab on the tables or a form on your website. Encourage people to leave their feedback.
Showcase these reviews to increase the credibility of your restaurant. Try to get reviews on your social media and website. It has become more common for diners to check the reviews of a restaurant before going there.
And not just stop there. Respond to people leaving reviews, whether they are positive or negative. Be generous with compliments for both positive and negative reviews. Try to understand the reasons behind the negative feedbacks and work on those issues.
Empathize every negative feedback and tell them you are working to solve the issues. Make sure those mistakes never happen again if you want a happy customer back.
18. Hire Social Media Influencers
Popular food vloggers or social media influencers now play a great role in marketing. You can invite food vloggers or other influencers to review your food. It will then be very easy to reach a large follow base of them.
You can even give them personalized promo codes that their followers can use. This is a great idea to incorporate into your marketing strategies.
19. Get Positive Reviews on Yelp
Having good reviews on Yelp will help your business grow a lot faster. Politely ask your customers to leave a review on Yelp to help other people know about your food. You can also place stickers around the corners to let everyone know that you are on Yelp.
20. Use Retargeting Ads
Retargeting ads are a powerful means of turning a prospect into a customer. For example, if someone visits your website and leaves without ordering anything, make sure they see a stunning photo or video of your food on their social media.
It will increase the chance of turning them into customers. This is a long-term strategy, so appoint some good marketers to handle this carefully so that you get the most out of it.
21. Offer Combo Deals
Diners love combo deals. Show them how they are benefited from the deal and encourage them to order combo deals instead of regular menus. Figure out your best items and pair your less popular items with those to have better revenue.
Encourage locals to come in groups to have better deals. For example, offer special discount for more than two or four persons. This is a great way of selling more without doing much extra.
22. Run Ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
Try to run ads on these mediums to let more people know about your restaurant when you are starting. Run different ads on specific groups of people with a different demography.
For example, target young people with some lucrative photos of steaks or deep-dish pizza. Change the item to something healthier when you target elderly people. Be creative while you design these ads.
And don’t forget to analyze the performance of these ads regularly. It will help you know which strategy is working better. Try new ads strategies and see how they work.
23. Send Personalized Greetings to Your Customers
Collect the data of your guests or website visitors such as phone or email and birthdays or anniversaries. Send a customized email or message to them on those days. Make them feel more personal to encourage them to visit your restaurant soon.
You can also give special discounts to customers on their special days. This is a great way to connecting with them on a closer level.
24. Be Consistent
Make sure everything you post or publish aligns with your brand’s voice. This will help you grow a recognizable brand in the future. Take the help of expert brand managers to streamline everything.
Earning a bare minimum in a food business isn’t a big deal. What matters the most is people putting your name into the list of their choice instead of the list of options. This is when you can expect your business to boom and get you revenue more than your expectations.
So, don’t just sell or run after people to buy from you. Give them enough reasons to do so. This will ensure you sustain for longer, especially in the food culture of Chicago. We hope these ultimate tips to marketing your food business in Chicago city help you grow.