Running a restaurant is hard and the profits margin are sometimes pretty tight. Still you know that doing some marketing would help you get some more customers, but you don't want to spent all your money on different marketing tools, so you may have find your self sometimes wondering ''what are the best free marketing tools for restaurants?''.
Restaurants are the few industries where sometimes only good enough food and services are enough to get you more than enough customers. Most of the times, especially in the beginning - that is not the case and you need to do some marketing for your restaurant too.
Many restaurant owners get nighmares when they only thing about marketing, because they think it is so hard, complicated and expensive. We totally agree, It's true: marketing is hard, and it takes time, money, and effort to get your message out there. But there are some best free marketing tools out there that can help you get started on the right foot—and keep your customers coming back for more! Luckily for you we gathered all the best tools you need to run marketing for your restaurant in to this article.
So let's get into it.
First things first. You need a website for your restaurant.
With Typedream you can build beautiful and high-quality websites with zero coding experience.
The site doesn’t and have to be complicated. Just tell at least these things on your restaurants homepage:
With Typedream you should be able to build your restaurant homepage that includes all the crucial information easily in under 30 minutes.
Now that you have a website for your restaurant you should add it the Google too.
Google My Business is a tool that helps you claim and manage your business listing across Google's platforms, including Search, Maps, and Google+ Local.
By claiming your listing and updating it regularly, you can increase the number of customers who find your business online.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to managing your restaurant’s online presence—but Google Search Console is one easy way to get started.
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps businesses manage their presence on Google. It's a great place to check your SEO (search engine optimization) and track your traffic, which can help you figure out what customers are searching for when they come to your site. You can use this information to improve your business or marketing strategy, or even just personalize the way you interact with customers.
Google Analytics is a free tracking tool that allows you to see how people are interacting with your website.
You can use it to track traffic and engagement, gain insight into customer behavior, and understand the performance of specific marketing campaigns.
So if you have been wondering how people or other restaurant owners know how many people have been on their website, Google Analytics is the answer.
Nowadays the social media channels are at least as crucial for successful restaurants as websites. Start by creating a Facebook page for your restaurant and add at least once again your operating hours and location. When you have time you can also start to post pictures of your delicious food. Generally it is pretty good idea to hire a photographer to do a one photoshoot that goes trought your whole menu. Then you will get a lot of material that you can post on your social media channels.
After that you can start to just simply take pictures with your phone about every day scenes in your restaurant. Nearly half of GenZ is using Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to search for new restaurants, so remember to stay active!
You can also use Facebook groups to connect with other businesses in your area, share recipes or ideas, or even hire new staff members!
Facebook groups are also a great way to spread a word about your business. Find groups like ‘’Restaurant lovers New York’’ (just attach your area) and go comment on that group about your new restaurant. You will get great feedback from those enthusiastic restaurant people.
Extra tip - when you have a lot of audience for your restaurant on Facebook and Instagram, you can use this trick to do free A/B testing for your creatives!
What is Facebook Pixel?
The Facebook Pixel is a tool that lets you track the effectiveness of your Facebook ads. It's a simple code snippet that can be pasted into your website's source code, and it allows you to see who visits your site and what they do once they get there. It also enables you to target your ads more effectively by showing them to people who have already interacted with your brand on Facebook.
You will find more detailed information on how to add Facebook Pixel to your site from this Facebook Help Page.
By using the Facebook Pixel on your site, you'll be able to:
- See which ads are working best for bringing in new customers.
- See whether or not people are clicking through to make purchases on your site after seeing an ad on Facebook.
- Better understand why some people turn away from your site after visiting (and how much money they're leaving behind).
Instagram is a place where you can interact especially with people who doesn’t yet know about your restaurant.
Using hashtags and Instagram Reels is a great way to organically attract new customers.
Even though you might think that TikTok is only a place where young people to dance videos, I can assure you that it is not.
TikTok is nowadays one of the best way to get organic reach for your restaurant, and totally for free.
The barrier of entry might feel big to start posting about your restaurant on TikTok, but here are some few great ideas what you can post especially if you don’t want to show your face on TikTok videos:
- Show in a point-of-view style of video how you prepare some of your dishes like this TikTok user Milamidric in Mr.Beast Burger (yeah, he made making simple Mr.Beast hamburger making interesting (and he has done it for Subway sandwiches too) so I bet you can make your restaurant too). The video got more than 2 million views so that just imagine what that kind of reach could do to your restaurant.
We could say that arguable TikTok is one of the best free marketing tools for restaurants.
The video of him shooting himself making a hamburger got more than 2 million views so that just imagine what that kind of reach could do to your restaurant.
Twitter isn’t just one another social media marketing channel for restaurant. It is actually highly overlooked by most of the restaurants, and with Twitter, your restaurant can easily ask some highly engaging questions from the audience and get some really great exposure.
Now that you know all the social media channels where your restaurant should be. Now you need to maybe create some images and creatives too.
Canva is a great and free marketing tool for restaurants because it lets you create stunning posts with just a few clicks. You can pick ready-made templates from their gallery and easily create professional-looking content for your restaurant.
With Canva, you can also handle posting on different social media platforms and schedule your posts.
Spark Email App is not just another email extension, it is more like a productivity tool.
We all know that the life of a restaurant owner is really hectic, and you want to get the tools that help you save time, and money, and be more productive.
Spark Email App helps you stay focused while you crush your way to that magical inbox zero situation.
Spark App has more than 14 million users worldwide and their free email tool has helped thousands of restaurant owners to be more productive.
Email list is one great way to communicate with your customers. From our other article, you can check why your restaurants should start to build email lists.
ConvertKit is free until you have more than 1,000 subscribers, so it's pretty good. When you have got more than 1,000 subscribers, you can give yourself a small applause, because that is a good achievement for a restaurant.
AI (artificial intelligence) generated on content is becoming more and more popular every day. When we look at the tools like CopyAI that is not a surprise why they are becoming so popular.
AI content creation tools like CopyAI let’s you write social media captions and blogs pots in seconds, so that you have more time to focus on running your restaurant.
Now that you have shot that perfect picture of your food either with your photographer or by yourself, you can just simply tell CopyAI to write the social media caption for that post. You can easily save hundred of hours yearly by using this free tool to create all the social media captions for your restaurant.
You can use CopyAi also for creating email newsletters and other email updates.
Overall, CopyAI is really usefull marketing tool for restaurants and all kind of entrepreneurs.
When you have created the copy with CopyAi, you can polish it a bit with Hemingway if you want.
Just paste your CopyAI-generated (or your own) content to Hemingway and it will tell what words you should take away or change to make it more clear for the reader.
Exploding topics will help you stay up to date on the newest trends. You can check what kinds of food trends are on the rise and get some new ideas for your restaurant.
For example, here is an infographic about exploding food topics of the last three months in the October of 2022.
With QuilBot you can paraphrase some cool copywriting from other restaurants and make it look like you write it by yourself (whoops). Don’t use it too much though. Try to be original.
But still QuillBot is really great marketing tool for restaurants when used wisely.
If you want to create written content for your restaurant, but you are not quite sure about your spelling skills - Grammarly will help you make mistake-free writing with their auto-suggested corrections.
When you use Grammarly, you don’t have to be scared about typos or other spelling errors anymore when you want to post quickly something for your restaurant.
Once again, Grammarly is a totally free tool so there is no reason why you should not use it to help your content creation process for your restaurant.
Benjamin cash back marketing tool lets you create card-linked offers (CLO) for your restaurant for totally free. When you create campaigns with Benjamin cash back marketing tool, your campaign will be visible on Benjamin app for millions of consumers. That is one of the easiest ways to market your restaurant and showcase to millions of potential customers for free.
When you use Benjamin software for your restaurant, you only have to pay for the results you generate through cash back campaigns. The best part is that the purchases are tracked automatically, so basically you can get your campaign live in a few minutes.