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How Tech Companies Are Competing To Help You Market Your Restaurant Locally

Marketing your restaurant online is a concept that’s relatively new to the food service industry as a whole, and is still a foreign concept to many restaurateurs.  This is not helped by the speed with which marketing channels online are moving.  By the time you set up a Facebook page, everyone’s raving about Twitter, and by the time you finally start tweeting, everyone’s already moved on to Foursquare.

To make things worse, Google’s new feature, Google Places, is a new directory that allows local businesses to submit their business for listing in local searches.  In exchange for a $25 monthly fee, Google Places will post your restaurant’s listing for certain “tags” in search results, for example, “Italian restaurant” in a search in your area would bring up any restaurants that pay the fee.

Keeping up with all the different ways you can market your restaurant can feel time consuming and frustrating – but in reality this is a great time to be marketing your restaurant online.

That’s because these different tech companies are competing for your business, and using their services to market your restaurant is very inexpensive and often free.  The learning curve might be a little steep at first, but if you take the time to get the hang of how to use all of the different avenues available, it can have a real impact on revenue.

This is especially true among customers 30 years old and younger.  This demographic should be especially important to restaurant owners, because converting a young person into a loyal customer means steady income for years down the road.  Eventually, almost all your restaurant marketing will happen online as the younger generation takes over the majority of the market and baby boomers retire.  That means restaurants who get ahead of the curve today stand to reap rewards in both the short and long term.

Google Places is a clear move by the search giant to compete with upstarts like Foursquare when it comes to helping local businesses find local customers.  While these tech giants duke it out in Silicone Valley, you can be enjoying the tools they develop to help you meet your customer.  All it takes is a little research and a lot of time.

If you’re interested in learning more about local marketing, the Local Marketing Source blog is a good place to start.

About Greg McGuire

Greg has blogged about the food service industry for years and has been published in industry magazines, like Independent Restaurateur and industry blogs like Restaurant SmartBrief. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons and enjoys reading, live music, and the great outdoors.

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