August 15, 2023

In a post-pandemic world shifting to more automated service, it’s especially important for restaurants to be able to separate themselves from the crowd online. But barbecue restaurants in particular face an interesting challenge as their reputation is based on authentic flavor and southern charm that can be hard to demonstrate or replicate in a digital space. If you’re a barbecue restaurant faced with these challenges, check out the following marketing trends for 2023 that can help you stand out.

Emphasize guest convenience in-store and online

Service is and has been moving to a place that puts guest convenience in the spotlight. Through online ordering, automation and cleaning protocols, guest comfort is being established as restaurants’ number one priority. 

It’s important for restaurants to implement an online ordering option to provide comfort and minimize human error. Although the pandemic had its hand in influencing the online ordering trend, the food delivery market has been growing even before 2017. By 2028, the market is expected to reach over $250 billion, reaching $121.4 billion in 2022. Additionally, automating your payment process will save time for your employees to deliver exceptional service and put your guest in the driver’s seat. 

While cleanliness has always been a concern, ensuring good sanitation practices and cleaning protocols are in place will establish your business as conscious and respectful, not only to your guests, but your employees, too. It can also serve as a great marketing tool.

Get found online

If you aren’t already aware, Google My Business is crucial to getting your restaurant found online. Google serves as an authority, providing accurate information for search results. It provides your location on Google Maps, your website, ordering link, social media platforms, hours of operation, and contact information. 

And don’t forget to take control of your listing. When you add your name, address, and phone number (NAP Optimization), make sure that it is consistent with your website and social media accounts for optimization. With searches for reservations up 107% in 2022 as compared to 2021, being found online is more critical.

Step up your digital marketing

Digital marketing may have trends within itself, but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t going anywhere. In addition to getting found with Google My Business and NAP Optimization, you need to connect your website to keywords that people are searching for. Consider optimizing your webpage content and getting your page linked on other sites. 

Digital marketing can extend into the app market as well. Leveraging technology, like online ordering platforms (such as DoorDash and Uber Eats) can help reduce labor costs and increase customer reach.

Use social media as a marketing medium

Today, everyone is plugged in. Nearly 80% of Americans have at least one social media profile. Many consume their media through social platforms, making it the perfect medium to advertise. Around 67% of restaurants said they use paid media to advertise through social networks. The best way to help your restaurant get found is through online platforms. 

Build and maintain your reputation

Social media leaves a deep impression on its users, whether it’s something they read, hear, or watch. Even 78% of consumers agree that social media can influence their decisions. Keeping your accounts up to date and celebrating positive reviews will build your reputation and uphold your brand. You can see how Push partners with restaurants to manage their brand image and increase online and foot traffic to stores through social and digital platforms. 

Personalize your messaging 

Make your message go even further with communication tailored to a specific audience. That can be through targeted content, dynamic emails, or loyalty programs offering discounts and coupons to returning guests. Whoever you’re reaching, the recipe is the same: Managing your brand’s online presence and reputation while following current marketing trends will help increase sales and guest satisfaction.