Local and Mobile Marketing for Restaurants: Why They Go Hand In Hand


Both local and mobile marketing are important for all small to medium sized businesses, but for restaurants, they go hand in hand. Whether you are a tourist new to the area or a local looking to try something new, if you’re out and about chances are the first thing you’ll pick-up to find the food that you’re craving is your smartphone. Your customers search for local restaurants the same way. Are you putting yourself in the best position to be found?

The Mobile-Local Movement by the Numbers
  • By 2015, Local mobile searches are paced to surpass desktop searches (emarketer)
  • 40% of mobile searches occur between the hours of 6pm and 12pm, prime dining hours (MarketingPilgrim)
  • Smartphones are used most often during travel (72%) in restaurants (Vocus Blog)
  • 95% of mobile users have conducted local searches (Vocus Blog)
  • Of local searchers, 70% connect with the business found in their search (Vocus Blog)
  • 46% of mobile users claim they will not return to a site when they had difficulty accessing it on their phone and 34% said they would visit a competitor’s site (Gomez)

What This Means for Your Business
  • Get Listed Locally:

    Make sure your business is listed in every quality local directory, from Yelp and Google+ Local to Yellow Pages and Foursquare. Pay special attention to directories specific to your city or geographic area. Be sure that all of the information that you provide on these directories is correct and consistent. We suggest created a document with all of your business information, along with a description optimized for your keywords. Not only does this ensure that the same information is being used across all local directories, it makes creating your listings a breeze!

  • Tag Your Town:

    geotargetGeotarget your keywords to increase your chances of being found in local searches, especially on your mobile site. Also include the name of your city in your PPC ads. Ads using this tactic have up to 200% higher click through rates than those without geographic markers (MediaPost).

  • Facebook Graph Search:

    The new Facebook graph search has an option for customers to search restaurants nearby. Be sure your restaurant has a Facebook Page, not a profile. Ensure that your page is set-up as a restaurant and provides all the local information so Facebook can show you in the local search results.

  • Be Sure You’re Mobile:

    labsinthe mobile
    This is the biggest piece of advice we can give for restaurants. Developing a mobile website, or even better responsive website, supports your business and local marketing in a way that mobile friendly sites cannot. Don’t miss opportunities because mobile searchers are too impatient to manipulate your site in order to see any of your information. Launching a mobile site ensures that when they find your restaurant via local searches they are able to easily peruse your menu, read about your chef, check your hours and so on, increasing the chances that they will spend time on your site and ultimately choose to dine at your restaurant.

  • Support Searches with Service:

    One of the biggest reasons restaurants abstain from local marketing is fear of negative feedback from customers. While this is a valid concern, the overall local sentiment is overwhelmingly positive, with 80% of feedback being positive and only 20% negative. In addition, most negative feedback relates to service, as local consumers are 148% more likely to give negative feedback on service. On the other hand, they are 85% more likely to give positive feedback on your food. The moral here: support your local marketing and your business overall, with excellent service. Ensure that your staff receives all the necessary training and monitor how they interact with guests.

If you have questions or need help with any of the items we discussed here for your restaurant, book a consultation.

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