5 Common Restaurant Marketing Mistakes

Posted by Natalie Korz

Natalie is the Technical Writer for SpeedLine Solutions. Her adoration for pizza goes all the way back to the early days of her childhood when her family used to have Friday Pizza Nights and watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

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When done properly, marketing can significantly impact your restaurant’s bottom line. The challenge is that many owners are so busy managing day-to-day operations that marketing gets pushed to the wayside (and not without consequences). Here are five common restaurant marketing mistakes and how to fix them!

1. Social Media Presence is Inconsistent

Problem: Simply having a Facebook or Instagram page for your business isn’t enough. Followers expect a reliable flow of content that matches your brand’s voice, tone, and imagery while presenting exciting news or information that incentivizes them to return. Many restaurants fall into the habit of posting “once in a while”, which can hurt their reputation.


  • Play to each platform’s strengths: Instagram, for example, is all about aesthetics, meaning posting professionally curated images of your food, restaurant, and overall atmosphere. In contrast, Facebook’s strong suit is its ability to build communities.
  • Set goals: Think about what you want to achieve and how social media can help you reach your goals. The strategies and tactics you use to increase your following will look very different from those meant to drive traffic to your website.
  • Use social media to drive interest: At the risk of sounding redundant, curate posts that spark genuine interest in your business. Don’t just post anything and everything that comes to mind! Videos, contests, promos, polls, and gamification are all excellent ways to drive engagement.

2. Ordering Site Isn't Optimized for Mobile

Problem: Pizzerias that don’t optimize their online ordering site for smartphone and tablet users are missing out on 70% of consumers who report using a mobile device throughout the ordering process. Warped images, cut-off text, and cumbersome workflows create a frustrating experience that will deter existing and new customers.


  • Make your website mobile-first: Customers should be able to smoothly navigate your website and complete their purchase without hurdles or obstacles. Important considerations include loading times, button placement, text size, and image scaling. Updating your restaurant’s online ordering site is no small task, however, the payoff will be enormous:
    • More orders: Research shows that 45% of consumers are encouraged to use online ordering services more often if they were optimized for mobile or offered a loyalty program.
    • Higher spending: Research shows that restaurants can expect an 18% increase in purchases from online/mobile orders versus traditional phone calls.

3. Messaging is Generic

Problem: Everyone likes pizza, however, that doesn’t mean everyone is your target customer. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of trying to keep all your patrons happy, but it’s important to avoid making your branding and messaging too generic so you don't get lost in the crowd.


  • Identify your ideal customer: Think about your ideal customer and what makes them a perfect candidate to dine at your restaurant. Think about how they align with your business goals.
  • Cater to them: Now that you know who your customers are, think about what you’re doing to attract them to your restaurant and keep them coming back. Consider their habits, budgets, preferences, schedules, and their most used platforms.

4. Strategy is Repetitive

Problem: What was once a brilliant marketing strategy has become dull and predictable. Although some aspects of your marketing strategy may be “evergreen”, keep switching it up. Offering the same 2-for-1 meal deal year after year will get very old. Customers crave something new and exciting!


  • Switch it up: Inject fresh ideas into your marketing strategy. Your strategies don't need to be groundbreaking, risky ideas. A few good starting points could be introducing a new combo or deal, a new menu item, or adding a new angle or tone to your social media messaging. Perhaps announcing an employee of the month to help viewers get to know your store better encourages customers to try the employee of the month's favorite pizza. 

5. Loyalty Program isn’t Marketed

Problem: While restaurant loyalty programs are about building a relationship with existing customers, they are also an excellent marketing opportunity to attract new ones. However, it's challenging to build those relationships and grow your loyalty program when your patrons don’t know your loyalty program exists!


  • Promote on social media: An easy way to raise awareness about your loyalty program is to announce it on your social media pages and website.
  • Create a sense of exclusivity: People want what others can’t have. Offer special deals and promotions for loyalty members to help drive membership sign-ups. As a bonus, customers who are a part of your loyalty program are likely to spend more on their purchases!


Marketing campaigns are a brilliant opportunity to drive excitement and interest about your restaurant while promoting your brand’s unique tone and messaging. The key thing to remember is that not all marketing is good marketing. Done poorly, it can have the opposite effect and deter customers. Focus on establishing a consistent social media presence, optimizing your ordering site for mobile, understanding and targeting your ideal customers, mixing up your marketing strategy occasionally, and being sure to market your loyalty program. Together, these best practices allow you to stay authentically engaged with new and existing customers while driving revenue for your business. To learn more about how your business can optimize its marketing strategy, read our Pizza & Delivery Restaurant Marketing Ebook.

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Posted on Wed, Jan 11, 2023 @ 08:01 AM.
Updated on January 11, 2023 @ 4:00 PM PST.

Tags: Customer Loyalty, Mobile Ordering, Restaurant Marketing

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