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How to create an online marketing plan for your restaurant business?

By Adil Hussain on Mar 1, 2021

Trying to spruce up your old restaurant business or planning to open a new restaurant?

2021 is the year to turn your restaurant business dreams into reality.

How do I set foot in and market my business better? This burning question might have been lingering in the back of your head.

Let me address it.

You can’t deny the fact that you may have the best resources in your niche, but without a winning plan, the risk of failure is inevitable.

Whether you are fixing your eyes on a small restaurant business or a cafeteria or pizzeria, an effective online marketing plan can be a key ingredient of your booming business. Every excelling business requires a marketing plot comprising two pivotal factors, a comprehensive plan and a well-calculated marketing strategy. 

Before you take the plunge, let me clarify that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ online marketing design. You must reflect on your business and chart your own path.

If all that sounds intimidating, let me assist you in building an online marketing plan that promotes your restaurant after it opens its doors.
You do the background research, and I will shed some light on the process.

Know Your Vibe

This is where your business idea comes to life. 

Before you commence brainstorming online marketing strategies, take a step back and revisit your brand’s mission with a marketing lens. Take the time to answer in detail the following questions-

  • What is the driving force behind your establishment?
  • What is your current position, and how do you see your business in the next five or ten years?
  • What are your objectives with this business?
  • What do you do differently compared to your competitors?
  • What kind of experience do you want your customers to live?


Answering these questions might hurt your brain a little bit, but it will pay off by imparting a degree of certainty. Once you get the real picture of your business, you get the framework for your marketing plan as you step forward.


Analyze the 4 Ps

We started off with the most basic business questions, now, let’s move on to analyze the 4 P’s of the restaurant business, Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.

Product and Price go in concert. When you have a fundamental drawing of the products demanded by your customers, you can assign the prices correspondingly. Understanding the demographics of your intended audience impacts not only your services but delivers a smooth customer experience.


The third factor, Place, determines the site of promotion. It calls for engineering your offline and online presence. With 90% of customers checking a restaurant online before visiting, you can be convinced of building an online presence or partnering with digital delivery platforms.

You can serve your customer’s appetite with good food and services, but without the right business Promotion strategy, you cannot garner those bells and whistles. Relying on the word of mouth marketing can’t keep your business going. Creating a solid digital presence using digital channels like FacebookInstagramTwitter has become the need of the hour.


Keep an eye on competitors

As we are committed to creating a bulletproof restaurant online marketing plan, we stress the entire investigation of your competition. There are primarily three types of competitors:

  • Direct Competitor: Restaurants in close proximity offering the same products to customers like you.
  • Occasional Competitor: Restaurants with similar menus residing outside your service area.
  • External Competitor: Restaurants with differing menus and locations posing a competitive threat due to shared customer demographics. 

 Analyzing your competitors’ pricing and promotion strategies gives you a complete insight into your local market.

Pick your marketing channels

If you feel that cozy dining is enough to attract customers craving for food and uplift your sales figure, let me clear your misconception by stating a few restaurant social media statistics.


  • Nearly 72% of customers use Facebook to make dining decisions based on restaurant images and customer reviews.
  • More than 33% of diners reject a restaurant with less than a four-star rating on review channels like Google, Yelp, and Tripadvisor.
  •  Twitter has the highest engagement with restaurants and the most tweets of food and drink brands out of all brands. 
  •  80% of Instagram users follow at least one food business on Instagram.

Planting your restaurant’s flag on popular social media websites can help you grow your network and scale your business. Utilizing one or a mixture of marketing channels can push you to reach your intended market with absolute precision.


Plan your finances

The necessity to fix a budget for each of your marketing objectives is a no-brainer. The real reason behind planning your finances beforehand is to site a sweet spot so that you can move higher or lower during the process. 

While most of the dining businesses invest 3-10% of their sales in the marketing budget, you can pick your magic number based on your revenue and business requirements.


If you make most of your sales during a particular period of a year, you must put a workable marketing budget into that period, or if you have a regular flow of customers throughout the year, then you prioritize months with specific events and promotions.


Getting into the nuts and bolts of your restaurant can help you find the tactics that make your business tick, resulting in a high probability of achieving the favorable ROI. 


End Note

Launching your own restaurant business can be an uphill battle as the restaurant industry is considered to be one of the most challenging industries to break in.  Hence, it is crucial to propel the odds in your favor with a fail-proof digital marketing plan. You must know your target audience and how to market your services to your audience. In the current digital era, adhering to traditional means of marketing may close your establishment in the first few years. Modern-day marketing calls for an impressive digital brand face. Besides providing excellent dining and rich food, create a detailed menu of your online marketing activities to put your business ahead of the competitive curve.


A five-step marketing plan to grow your restaurant business strategically without breaking the bank. Dive in to learn how a marketing plan can fuel customer engagement.

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