7 Steps to Marketing Your Restaurant to Tourists

Woman eating in tropical restaurant

People travel for a number of reasons; to experience somewhere new, to visit family, and sometimes just to get away from home and relax. We are approaching a peak traveling season, which means your area could be getting a lot of foot traffic. Make your restaurant a hot spot by following these 7 steps towards making your restaurant a tourist destination!

1) Be What Tourists Came to See

Ask yourself why your location is a tourist destination. Are they coming for the warm weather and sunny beaches? Are they coming to experience a modern, urban big city? Or are they coming for the old fashioned buildings and beautiful street art? Incorporate the answer into your restaurant’s style. For example, in a beachy tourist destination you could have bright colors, paintings of the ocean, and surfboard decorations. Tourists come to your area to experience the culture.

2) Get Tourists and Locals Talking

Keep your restaurant clean, food fresh, and staff upbeat so that your customers have a good experience and are more inclined to recommend your restaurant to others. Positive word-of-mouth is one of the most important aspects of marketing, especially when it comes to restaurants.

3) Use The Power of Social Media

Have you ever heard the term “Instagrammable?” If your response is negative, it means that something is stylish enough to snap a picture and post it on Instagram, a social networking app that is strictly photos. You’d be surprised how much delivering your food to the table with a beautiful presentation could do for your restaurant. Some customers have thousands of followers, whom are all interested in the daily routines of those they follow. If your restaurant has a signature dish with an amazing presentation then it’ll be sure to attract a following of its own. Also utilize the #hashtag. Create your restaurant’s own Instagram and develop a #hashtag that customers can connect directly to your restaurant. This will be click bait that’ll reel in a lot of new customers from all areas.

4) Be a 5-Star Restaurant

Monitor your online ratings and reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor to make sure that they’re nice and positive. These are the first places your customers will look when trying to find a good place to eat. Most sites order restaurants from the top rated to the least so patrol your rating and try to get yourself in the top 5! Be aware of any negative feedback you receive so that the problem can be solved before anyone else complains. Despite a review being negative or positive, it’s always essential to respond and acknowledge.

5) Be Available and Accessible

Make the commute to your restaurant easy and accessible. Tourists often don’t know their way around the area, so if your restaurant is difficult to find or has no available parking beware they may find a new destination. Ensure your business address online brings customers to the right location. If you can, try to provide parking or offer to validate parking for customers. Give directions for any doors that may be hard to find. Many times, tourists will wonder around and walk in when they notice an interesting spot. Make your presence known by marketing and advertising your exact location and welcome customers in.

6) Train Your Staff

Most tourists are interested in the history of an area they’re traveling to and would like to know more about the activities available. Prep your staff to be knowledgeable and know a good amount about your location and local amenities. If they can answer the questions tourists have, then the tourist with subconsciously connect your restaurant to the area. It’s the best way to create a repeat customer!

7) Connect with Travel Resources and Visitor Centers

Work with travel resources and visitor centers in your area to promote your restaurant. Create a relationship where you send visitors to them and they send tourists to you. Get your restaurant on their website and travel itineraries. You can also connect with other local tourist attractions such as theatres, museums, and parks to market your restaurant in return for putting up their fliers.

Attracting tourists should be at the top of your priority list during the spring and summer seasons. Follow these steps and make your way to number one on tourists’ list of things to explore!