Whether you’ve just opened a restaurant or you’ve been in the business for years, it’s easy to overlook marketing. After all, shouldn’t the quality of your restaurant sell itself?

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Not only is marketing essential for your restaurant’s success, doing things poorly can actively damage your brand. Don’t make mistakes. Here are seven common ones to avoid in your restaurant marketing.

No menu on your website. Customers want to know what they’re getting themselves into before they come check out your restaurant. In fact, according to a study from research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey and SinglePlatform, seeing the menu in advance is important to 80% of customers. Even if your menu changes frequently, it’s important to demonstrate what customers can expect when dining with you.

Website that’s not optimized for mobile. Most people are checking your website from a smartphone. If your website doesn’t look right on mobile devices, you might lose a potential customer. I can’t emphasize enough how big of a deal this is. According to that same study, when a menu can’t be read on a mobile device, 62% of customers are less likely to choose the restaurant in question.

You’re not getting the most out of your loyalty program. When loyalty programs are done right, they can be a goldmine for your restaurant. If you’re still using an out-of-date loyalty system (e.g. hole punch cards), you’re missing out on a ton of marketing potential. Setting your restaurant up with a modernized, fully-digital loyalty program will allow you to engage and reward your customers wherever they go.

Upcoming events, specials, and other promotions aren’t easy to find. Whether you’re promoting on your website, social media, or an email newsletter, don’t assume that all of your customers are checking everything. Also, when you are promoting this stuff, make sure it’s visible. Try having dedicated sections on your website for news and specials.

Social media inconsistency. If customers see your posts and wonder “Gee, I forgot I was following them!” then you’ve probably got an issue on your hands. Regardless of your overall social media plan, it’s important to keep things consistent. Even if you only commit to a single post a week, form a schedule and stick to it.

There also needs to be a sense of brand consistency. Think of your social media presence like a human being. It talks and acts a certain way. If it starts acting differently, people will notice. Stick with a consistent tone, voice, and style.

Excessive promotion. Sometimes, there can be cases where you might be promoting just a little too much. If your customers have given you permission to text and email them, don’t abuse that privilege. They almost certainly will unsubscribe if they feel like you’re bothering them.

Not clearly communicating deals. If you’re going to offer a deal, do your best to make sure it’s properly communicated. Because if you don’t, it can often lead to unsatisfied customers. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to offer a free appetizer to new members of your loyalty program upon signup. Depending on how you advertise this deal, some of your current loyalty members might end up believing that the deal is for all members, when in reality, it’s only for the new ones. Be transparent and make things clear.

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With so much to worry about when it comes to marketing your restaurant, wouldn’t it be great if things could be just a little bit easier? Well, I’ve got good news for you. Allow me to introduce you to CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service. Our service will automate your marketing, affordably and effortlessly, setting you up with WiFi Marketing, Mobile Marketing, and Email Marketing solutions straight out of the box.

Our service tracks consumer metrics, boosts your social media presence automatically, and optimizes your digital strategy, targeting your customers both in-store and out. We develop full profiles for every single customer that logs into your in-store HotSpot. On top of that, you’ll take advantage of a powerful text-based digital loyalty program, automatic Facebook followers, and more!

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What marketing mistakes has your restaurant taken care to avoid? Sound off in the comments!

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