2016 Marketing Trends Every Restaurateur Should Know

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Restaurant Manager

There
are a variety of trends that culinary entrepreneurs must stay abreast of if the
tables for restaurant patrons are to remain full. Some of the most vital new trends, though,
are those related to marketing. After
all, a restaurateur who uses effective marketing trends from 2009 is likely
handicapping themselves against their competition. With that in mind, these are the trends most
likely to affect restaurateurs in 2016.

Marketing Automation for
Restaurants
Marketing
automation isn’t anything new, but since more and more business owners are
recognizing its potential, it’s finally hit the mainstream. In fact, a majority of marketers in one poll
said that their focus will be on automating their marketing strategies in the
coming year. This means that restaurant
owners who don’t do this will face a distinct disadvantage.

The
overall point of automated marketing tools is to provide restaurateurs with
more time. Instead of stepping away to
share a post a few times a day, they can schedule everything in advance. Want to post a photo of the happy couple in
the back restaurant booth? Tools like Hootsuite make it possible to share the
same photo across multiple platforms instantaneously.

If
a restaurateur doesn’t migrate to automated marketing, their competitors will
continuously have direct advantages.

Virtual Reality Finally
Hits the Scene
Some
companies have tried their hand at virtual reality, but it’s only now that the
world is actually getting somewhere in this field. It was crazy enough when virtual reality
headsets started selling for under $100, but now Google offers cardboard
headsets that literally anyone can afford. This means virtual reality marketing will finally become a thing, but
what does this mean for restaurateurs?

In
reality, it means a lot. While patrons
won’t be able to taste a burger while sitting at virtual tables for
restaurants, they will be able to do things such as take virtual tours. Restaurant owners can provide consumers with
the virtual tours or even create a virtual cooking lesson. This might be a bit of an investment, but
just imagine the marketing opportunities of being labeled the first
virtual-reality-friendly restaurant in the area.

Wearable Technology
Explodes
Wearable
technology also isn’t a new innovation. Since these devices are up to their second and third generations,
though, prices are finally at a level where the average person can buy them. This likely explains the forecast of over 110
million units being shipped out in 2016 alone.

Of
course, the easier availability of these devices means a few changes to a
restaurant’s marketing plan. One such
change, for instance, is email subject lines will need to be greatly shortened
to fit on wearable screens. They’ll also
need to be far more eye-catching. After
all, patrons will see these messages on the go, and it’s essential that they
don’t just auto-delete before ever having a chance to open them.

Filling
the tables for restaurants with paying customers is nearly impossible without a
decent marketing plan. As new
innovations hit the market, though, marketing plans must evolve. Fortunately, simply knowing what to expect is
often enough. If restaurateurs can adapt
to the new marketing realities of 2016, they should have no problem beating out
their competition.