• If you still haven’t listed your pizzeria on Google My Business, you’re missing out on an essential opportunity to attract new customers to your pizza restaurant.
  • As the pandemic continues, your pizzeria’s menu must be easily accessible, including both online and paper copy options.

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We’ve started a brand-new year, so it’s time to start thinking about revamping your marketing strategy. Stale marketing strategies won’t help your business as much as a fresh, exciting one will. Whether you’ve just opened a new pizza restaurant, you’re looking to reopen after a COVID-19 shutdown, or you’re just determined to revamp your strategy, here are five actionable ideas for jumpstarting your marketing.

1. Set up Google My Business. Large chains or franchises benefit from name recognition that small restaurants simply do not have. Picture this: Someone is driving down the street looking for a place to stop for lunch. They see a McDonald’s and decide to pull over because they’re familiar with the brand and the food offered. Small restaurants don’t have the same luxury. They often need to be discovered through word of mouth or a Google search.

One study found that 77% of people visit a restaurant’s website before dining in or ordering out from the establishment. These same customers often search for restaurants in Google using the “near me” function. By searching for local restaurants, users will pull up a map that shows all the restaurants in their vicinity. To show up on this map, you must have a Google My Business (GMB) listing.

Not only will a GMB listing improve local SEO by showing your pizzeria to customers near you, it also allows you to add your website, phone number, hours and more. Customers can also leave reviews on your GMB listing, which can encourage more people to visit if those reviews are good.

2. Make your menu functional. Your menus should be both visually appealing and functional. A beautiful menu will draw your customers in, making a great first impression. A functional menu increases sales, helps customers make decisions and highlights high-revenue items subtly.

By using images, highlighted text and other design elements, you can point customers to high-revenue items. For example, if you’re selling a seasonal pie in the winter and you need to sell a certain amount of it to break even, you might want to highlight that dish. High-margin items are also a great option to highlight, as they’ll make you the most money.

Having a visually stunning menu will also help to increase sales. Many studies have shown that restaurants with ugly menus or poor branding turn customers away. In fact, about 70% of customers are turned off by ugly or bad websites. To create a visually stunning menu (and more) choose a design tool that does it all.

In 2022, a functional menu must be easily accessible, meaning that you should have both online and paper copy options for your customers. Because of the ongoing pandemic, some customers will feel more comfortable using a disposable paper copy or viewing the menu on their phone. By having a variety of options, you’ll be able to cater to all types of customers.

3. Invest in QR Codes. QR codes started taking over the scene in 2020 and 2021 and show no signs of stopping in the new year. Many restaurants use QR codes to link to their online menus, allowing customers to view menus from their phones and preventing the spread of germs across physical menus. However, QR codes have far more potential than simply connecting customers to your menu. They can link to a variety of other things, such as:

  • Your social media page to increase your following
  • Your Google My Business page to leave a review
  • Your website or landing page
  • An event page so customers can RSVP or learn more
  • A phone number or email address for quick and easy communication

Sometimes, the ability to remove a step or two with the help of a QR code is enough to encourage a customer to perform a task, such as leaving a review or going to your website. Removing blockers greatly increases the chances of customers actually doing what you want them to do.

4. Update your social media strategy.Social media has become a must for restaurants. A strong social media presence allows you to keep your biggest fans in the loop while growing your audience at the same time. To find success with social media, remain consistent in both posting and design.

In 2022, social media’s importance has only grown. You need to keep your customers updated on closures, hours of operation, changes to policy and so much more. By using social media, customers can check out this information before heading to your restaurant.

You should post on a schedule to ensure that your posts reach your target audience consistently. Accounts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram find the most success with consistent posting. With these platforms, inconsistent posting often results in decreased viewership or content not reaching your follower’s feeds.

Your social media platforms should also be consistent in design, matching your menus and other marketing materials. By promoting a cohesive brand, you’ll be able to work toward increased brand recognition and awareness.

5. Focus on improving ratings and reviews. As mentioned earlier, all restaurants should use Google My Business. GMB displays ratings and reviews from real customers, allowing people to easily judge whether a restaurant is worth their time. Good reviews (and lots of them) also signal to Google that you’re a reputable restaurant, and they are more likely to feature you higher on their search results. If the reviews on your listing are more negative than positive, it’s time to focus on improving your reputation.

There are many ways to motivate customers to leave reviews. You can use a QR code on takeout menus and table tents with direct links to your restaurant’s GMB listing. You can also offer incentives, like a free beverage or appetizer with their next purchase with proof of a review. Because customers often only leave reviews when they’re upset, these programs help to incentivize customers to leave reviews when they have a positive experience.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started on your marketing strategy for 2022. Now that you have the tips, it’s time to put them into action. Think about how you want to improve your business and how you can use marketing tactics to do so. Write down those goals and get started on working toward them!

Megan Prevost is a marketing content writer for MustHaveMenus, and her work has appeared in The Daily Fandom and FanSided.

Marketing, Pizza News