4 Online Marketing Actions To Take 30 Days Before Your Opening

online marketing Marqii
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Article contributed by Marqii

Your restaurant’s opening date is approaching fast, and you’re diligently working your way through the heaping plate of obligations involved in opening a business.

You’ve meticulously selected your kitchen equipment, battled through endless license and permit red tape, and assembled a menu that’s a veritable work of culinary art. Still, your to-do list seems neverending; to say you’ve got your hands full is somewhat of an understatement. While it’s tempting to think marketing can wait until after you’re open, certain marketing efforts are time-sensitive and can’t wait until the last minute. Here are four important online marketing actions you should tackle at least 30 days before your restaurant opens its doors.


Claim and verify your Google Business Profile

Customers seeking nearby dining inspiration will likely depend on Google to meet their needs. Because of its ubiquity, Google is the greatest search referrer for local businesses. You can’t discount the power of a completed Google Business Profile (GBP) in your restaurant’s opening strategy – having a GBP means patrons are 2.7 times more likely to regard your restaurant as reputable and 70% more likely to pay you a visit!

Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free online business listing provided by Google. This listing permits you to upload and edit important restaurant details, including your location, hours, photos, and menu. Creating a GBP for your restaurant is an excellent (and free!) way to improve your visibility across Google services, such as Google Search and Google Maps.

Verifying your Google Business Profile requires you to request, receive and follow instructions printed on a physical postcard that Google will mail to your business address. Generally, postcards arrive within 14 days of your request, though you may need to factor in additional time to account for potential delays. Because having control of your GBP depends on you completing this verification process, the earlier you request your postcard, the better!

  • Easy Ice
  • Imperial Dade
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • McKee Foods
  • RAK Porcelain
  • RATIONAL USA
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Atosa USA
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • Inline Plastics
  • Day & Nite

Get all your online listings in order

As much as Google is the search leader, there are plenty of other places online potential guests will search for dining options. And there are few things as frustrating to patrons as finding contrasting information across the Internet, especially when famished. Hungry consumers can be quickly dissuaded from dining at your restaurant when faced with having to investigate which information is correct. When you’re straddling that line between functioning human and downright hangry, even needing to phone a restaurant to confirm their hours can be enough of a hassle to send you seeking another dining experience.

Conflicting information can also give the impression that you don’t take your business seriously enough to standardize your online presence. Don’t let patrons interpret a confusing, mismanaged presence for how you approach other areas of your guest experience.

As soon as you can access listings, ensure that Facebook, Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Apple Maps, Bing, Foursquare, etc., all have your restaurant’s correct hours, contact info, location, and online menu links. Double-check for accuracy, then schedule listings to go live on your opening day. If you wait until you’re already open, you’re running late!


Invest a little money in Facebook & Instagram ads for opening week

Social media advertising is a great way to make sure your restaurant opens with a bang. Like you, your patrons are likely active on social media, checking their feeds multiple times a day. Social media ads are an unobtrusive, inexpensive way of getting your restaurant in front of many eyes using little spending. Bonus: it’s also a great way to get mouths watering by showcasing photos of your delicious cuisine!

Social media advertisement is significantly less expensive (and arguably more effective) than traditional advertising efforts. It doesn’t require carving out hefty portions of your marketing budget, and with an abundance of online tutorials on how to manage social advertisements, there’s a low barrier to entry. A little bit of spend goes a long way with social ads, especially if you target consumers within a 5-10 mile radius around your restaurant.


Prepare your review management plan

Online reviews are too influential in your business’ success to overlook as part of your restaurant’s opening strategy. According to a 2022 consumer review survey, 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 80% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Therefore, strategizing about your review management is critical in attracting new patrons and maximizing return visits.

Decide ahead of time how you’re going to encourage guests to leave reviews and how you’ll respond when they leave one. Be mindful that customers expect quick, considerate responses from business owners when they submit reviews—neglecting to respond leaves the reviewer feeling disregarded and looks poorly to potential patrons who peruse your reviews. Plan to respond to all reviews – good or bad – within a day or two.

  • Cuisine Solutions
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Easy Ice
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Inline Plastics
  • Atosa USA
  • McKee Foods
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • RATIONAL USA
  • Imperial Dade
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Day & Nite