Marketing a restaurant in New York City can be quite a difficult task. The New York City Department of Health lists more than 20,000 restaurants on their inspection itinerary, which ultimately equates to 19,500+ competitors (some restaurants have multiple locations). For such a small geographical region, this means the marketing is intense. Very intense.
To help you gain an edge over the competition, I have decided to write this article and provide suggestions for marketing a restaurant in New York City, which are based on my 10+ years of marketing experience with a heavy focus on the food industry.
Local Search Engine Marketing
To effectively reach locals, restaurants in NYC must utilize Google Business Listings, Yahoo! Local Listings, Bing, etc. The local listings will place your restaurant on the map thus allowing locals to easily find you. Also, map listings appear at the top of search engine results, and they’re free to create, so it’s a win/win situation.
As an example, if a foodie lives in Manhattan and wants to find an Italian restaurant near his home, and searches in Google for “Italian Restaurant Manhattan,” the goal is to have your restaurant appear on the map listing at the top of the page. Quick, effective placement.
Catchy, Functional Website Design
A large part of successfully marketing a restaurant in New York City is having a functional, attractive website. If potential customers find your website on the map, or in organic results (see below), but are turned off by your site there’s a high probability you will lose the customer.
My suggestion for restaurant website design is to use WordPress as a CMS system and totally “trick” it out. it’s a robust platform with endless possibilities, can be updated easily, OpenTable can be plugged in, and it’s SEO-friendly. A high-ranking, attractive website – what more can you ask for?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO focuses on strategically placing a website at the top of search engines for desired keywords/phrases. This is done in an organic or natural fashion where the website appears in actual search results, not paid areas (e.g. Google AdWords). All traffic is free of charge and, unlike Pay-Per-Click (PPC), restaurants aren’t charged each time a visitor clicks from a search engine to their website. Instead, high rankings are achieved and as long as SEO is monitored on a continual basis, and high rankings are maintained, business will continue to roll in. In essence, with SEO a restaurant website can rake in 10,000 visitors in a day and it will cost them $0 whereas 10,000 visitors from PPC, for a competitive region and niche like restaurants in NYC, will cost $2,500+ in one day.
Typical SEO packages from standard SEO companies range from $500-$1,500 per month and retainers from a Top SEO Company will start at $2,000 or so and can go up to $25,000+ per month. For restaurants with multiple locations (20+), you can expect SEO retainers from $15,000+ per month as each location needs local SEO optimization and monitoring.
I hope this article has been helpful and good luck marketing your NYC restaurant! 🙂
The Brainchild Group