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Yelp NYC Event Recap: Marketing Your Restaurant in a Digital World

On Monday night, a group of top NYC restaurateurs visited Yelp’s office to mix, mingle, and learn more about the hottest restaurant marketing tips and tricks. Guests walked away with knowledge about ways restaurants can get the most bang for their buck when choosing marketing strategies, the biggest social media trends and how Yelp turns restaurants’ consumer audience into revenue.

Our Panel:
David Gruber, Director of Marketing, Mario Batali Restaurants
Krystle Mobayeni, CEO, BentoBox
Pamela Spiegel, Senior Account Director, The Brooks Group
Ware Sykes, VP Restaurant Strategy, Yelp

Yelp’s Director of Business Outreach, Darnell Holloway, kicked off the event asking what marketing strategy each panelist was focused on this year. Social media and overall online presence was a unanimous answer. Restaurants are typically the last ones to adopt new technology and it is important to keep up with digital marketing to drive more awareness and diners to your business.

There were four main takeaways from our discussion about marketing your restaurant in a digital world:

Stay true to your brand: Sometimes it can seem daunting to always keep up with the top trends in marketing. One thing that Pamela Spiegel mentioned was to always stay true to yourself, and stay true to your brand. This starts with defining your messaging and your brand and remaining consistent throughout all of your marketing and branding. Do not feel that you need to constantly change because the trends are changing.

Focus on the entire customer experience: The experience doesn’t just include the time spent in your restaurant. Be sure the diner has a good experience before they even enter your door, and then again when they step out. This can be done easily with the use of email marketing, social media, and incentive programs. This encourages customers not only to come into your restaurant but to also return.

Take advantage of free tools: Restaurants that do not have high marketing budgets can still take advantage of multiple marketing tools to drive awareness. A few tips to keep in mind: update your website regularly, post relevant and new photos and utilize organic social posts. Reposting yummy photos your diner posts, or a stellar review a customer left is an immediate win!

Keep your Yelp page up to date: Businesses who complete their Yelp profiles see, on average, 5X the customer leads each month. Be sure to utilize all of Yelp’s features including uploading eye-catching photos, updating business information and responding to diner reviews to optimize traffic to your page.

Be on the lookout for our next NYC Restauranteur event in November!