These 9 Cincinnati Restaurants Are Rocking Their Digital Marketing

By September 11, 2017 No Comments

Are you looking for some solid digital marketing ideas for your restaurant? Look no further than these 9 Cincinnati restaurants who are very effectively using digital marketing to grow their businesses.

Let’s not waste time talking about the benefits of digital marketing for small businesses: we’ve written about that before.

We reviewed at least 100 Cincinnati restaurants to see how they’re connecting with customers online. We were very impressed with what we saw.

Out of all the businesses we evaluated, we were especially blown away by 9 of them. As we give kudos to them in this post, keep your eyes open for how you might be able to use some of the same strategies to improve your own digital marketing, whether you run a restaurant or other small business.

We also got some perspective from the owner, general manager, or marketing manager of each business, so you can read firsthand how each business uniquely leverages social media.

Here at Illumen Media, we like to give credit where it’s due. And we want to show some of our hometown heroes in Cincinnati some love.

Well, maybe more like “lots of love.” In this post, we’ll give you a snapshot of each business, examining how and why their digital marketing efforts are so effective.

Other small business and restaurant owners will be particularly interested in the takeaways section of each feature, as we help you identify digital marketing ideas that may work also for your business.

Read on to see which businesses are rocking their digital marketing and what they have to say about their awesomeness.

9 Cincinnati Restaurants With Rocking Digital Marketing

1. Buzzed Bull Creamery


Alright, Buzzed Bull isn’t necessarily a traditional restaurant—they’re more of a delicious boozy dessert spot, and we’re just fine with that. But their digital marketing is just as delicious as their ice cream, so we had to feature them.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

Buzzed Bull just opened earlier this year and they already have 5,066 likes on Facebook and 2,100 followers on Instagram. But most importantly, the content they post is superb and their posts generally receive fantastic engagement.

Restaurants win on social media by posting delicious, colorful pictures of their food. Buzzed Bull gets it, and whoever does their product photography is phenomenal at their job.

Take this Instagram post for example. In our opinion, this is textbook execution of Instagram done right.

The colorful gummy worm adds eye-catching contrast to the shot. The logo on the ice cream cup is well-placed. The description energetically describes what the item is and makes me want to devour it right now.

I can only imagine how many people stopped in their tracks while scrolling through Instagram to see what deliciousness they almost skipped over.

If you click through to the comments, you’ll see Buzzed Bull responded to one of the commenters—a great practice to cultivate engagement with your brand.

Speaking of comments, check out the awesome engagement on this post:

Almost all of those 26 comments are Instagram users tagging their friends. Hello, organic reach (i.e., free advertising)!

Buzzed Bull posts regularly on Instagram—generally 5-7 posts per week, which is exactly what we recommend for restaurants on Instagram. This reminds their existing customers to keep coming back and tantalizes new customers to stop in.

Their social media excellence doesn’t stop at Instagram, as they have more than double the followers on Facebook. They post much of the same content (as Facebook makes it easy to do) and continue to engage nicely with their followers, like so:

It’s no surprise they have 4.8 stars from 213 Facebook reviews and 4.5 stars from 100 Google reviews—excellent ratings and impressive review volume for a restaurant that just opened a few months ago. By the way, we weren’t surprised to find they reply to most reviews as well!

It’s no wonder people are willing to wait for their excellent, acclaimed product.

Their website rocks too, keeping it short and sweet (heh) and continuing to show off their brand’s casual, playful personality.

Buzzed Bull’s presence across platforms is doing wonders for their business, so we weren’t surprised to hear excellent perspective from their co-owner.

What did the business have to say?

We talked to Kaitlyn Mounce, Co-Owner of Buzzed Bull Creamery, about the importance of social media in getting their new business off the ground quickly.

Mounce discussed how social media enabled them to grow quickly without much of a marketing budget, especially in the beginning:

We are a startup business and self-financed. We did not have a large budget to get this store up and running so every dollar had to count. That meant not much if any funds for marketing. We had to use the power of social media to propel us. It has been a huge component of branding ourselves in the area. The most important part to us getting our name out there was our press release and leveraging the hype through media to build our following.

There’s no question Buzzed Bull is “leveraging the hype,” and their press release was indeed incredibly effective. They were covered by quite a few local news outlets, like WCPO, WLWT,, and more.

Buzzed Bull is now running some social media advertising, but Mounce emphasized the importance of organic advertising as she reflected on the effectiveness of their social media outreach.

Up until this point, it’s been organic growth. No paid marketing until the last couple weeks. Since we’ve recently been exploring Facebook advertising which has been incredible! We can target more accurately than relying on organic growth. It’s incredible to be anywhere and have someone recognize your logo on a shirt and say they’ve heard about you in Facebook! We are taking necessary actions now to start tracking how social media and technology translates into our customers. We’ve only been open for close to 4 months so we are still learning and growing!

This goes to show social media can make an immense difference for your business. All you have to do is believe in the approach—you don’t even need a huge budget, though running a paid campaign occasionally certainly helps.

What are the takeaways?

  • Even though paid marketing is vital to a successful online presence, Buzzed Bull demonstrates that organic growth is still possible. Investing time to continually post engaging content is worthwhile.
  • As we’ll mention throughout this post, show off your product! Buzzed Bull knocks their social media out of the park because—quite simply—their posts make me want their product.
  • Ongoing engagement is critical, so take notes from how Buzzed Bull follows up in the comments, responds to reviews, and so on.
  • Every business has a personality and identity—stay true to it! Buzzed Bull’s voice on social media is on point with their overall messaging. Your digital presence should just be an extension of your in-person business.

2. Mac Shack (And Other 4EG Restaurants)


It’s no surprise Mac Shack is nailing their digital marketing. This carryout gourmet mac-and-cheese shop, right next to Keystone Clifton, is also owned by 4EG.

If you live in Cincinnati and 4EG isn’t ringing any bells, think again. They’re the restaurant/bar geniuses who own Keystone, Igby’s, The Sandbar, and several of your other Cincinnati favorites, plus a number of Chicago venues.

But we’re primarily focusing on Mac Shack, one of their newer businesses that has very effectively used digital marketing to get the word out quickly.

That’s particularly impressive, because the Clifton restaurant marketing is incredibly saturated.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

We’ll hammer a few points home in this post. Perhaps the most important is: If you’re a restaurant, show off your food!

Mac Shack gets it. Out of their 20 most recent Facebook posts, they featured their food in 15, posted pictures of their location in 2, and shared general business updates in 3.

Sounds about right to us. By realizing their goal is to make their customers mouths water, Mac Shack is fully taking advantage of the screen time they get in their customers’ news feeds by showing off their appetizing, unique dishes.

They keep their content (and menu) fresh and interesting too. Mac Shack features a Mac of the Day (#MOD), which is what they generally post on social media rather than the same old content.

Mac Shack understands the importance of appetizing photography too—just scroll through their Instagram for tons of yummy, colorful pictures like this one.

By the way, we’re just featuring Mac Shack over 4EG’s other businesses because it’s one of the newest, and it’s a unique carryout-only concept. If you really want a master class in expert social media for restaurants and bars, check out the Facebook and Instagram profiles for Keystone Bar & Grill, Igby’s, and really any of their other brands.

What did the business have to say?

As we just showed you, one of Mac Shack’s social media strengths is the variety of their content. We asked Cameron Woodruff, 4EG Marketing Director, how they decide what to post.

Each month, when determining our social media content, we create what we call “conversation calendars.” We review the previous month’s engagement with our digital audience and identify what resonated the most, then we build on that momentum. We typically see that stories about people, whether about our loyal guests or cherished employees, generate the most excitement and shares.

Woodruff shares the challenges they face (and some of the tips and tricks) in quantifying the impact of their digital marketing outreach.

The challenging part about using digital marketing to drive traffic to storefronts, rather than converting an online purchase or form completion, is that the results are never an exact science or reflection of your work. We strive to build content that resonates with people, so it might be two or three months before they walk through your door, but perhaps they did so because they saw a post a few months ago that resonated with them. Then again, there are smaller, specific campaigns that we employ to measure online traction, like secret menu items or Facebook limited-time offers. These can be effective tools that push us in the right direction, but they don’t always reflect the bigger picture.

Indeed, it’s difficult to quantify an exact ROI from social media outreach. But that’s the same with most other forms of marketing too. Business owners have no way to know for sure (other than asking) how many people came in due to a radio advertisement, billboard, Yellow Pages ad (yuck), or social media.

So Woodruff’s idea to post exclusive content is not only a great way to give value to their audience, but it can also help them determine the impact of social media on their business.

What are the takeaways?

  • We were very impressed by Mac Shack’s efforts to plan out their content. If you own a restaurant, you can save a ton of time by handling your outreach this way rather than trying to remember to post something every day.
  • Variety is king—rather than posting the same old stuff again and again, Mac Shack posts #MODs. If your restaurant doesn’t have some kind of varying special like this, consider adding one and advertise it!
  • Pay close attention to Woodruff’s quote about secret menu items and Facebook limited-time offers. This win-win strategy brings recurring customers back in and helps you quantify the impact of your marketing efforts. It’s also important to offer value to customers with your content to give them a reason to keep coming back to the page.

3. Grand Central Deli


Grand Central Deli has one of the best brands we have ever seen for a restaurant, including their graphics, digital marketing, and even their menu and overall concept.

Not only do they serve up fresh, fantastic sandwiches, but they also have outstanding digital marketing.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

This business showcases its robust, unique brand everywhere.

On their website:

And on their Facebook:

It takes a lot of dedication and creativity to build this kind of brand equity, but the efforts are certain to pay off in terms of brand recognition (and ultimately more revenue).

Their memorable theme is on display throughout their website, Facebook, menu, logo, and really everywhere. This makes being a customer of Grand Central Deli far more of an experience than just eating a sandwich.

Of course their engagement with their audience is excellent too. Check out that quick, classy reply to a positive review:

And they post regularly to their page, including videos, Facebook Live broadcasts, events, memes, and other engaging content.

Grand Central Deli has turned their awesome product and concept into a memorable brand experience. Digital marketing has helped in their efforts to do that.

What did the business have to say?

Grand Central Deli’s owner Sheelah Parker is one of the coolest small business owners we’ve ever talked to. I actually met her at Bunbury 2016, far before her storefront ever opened, as she hustled to get the word out about Grand Central Deli as a festival food vendor.

When asked about the importance and difficulty of getting the word out to customers as a new business, Parker described her extensive social media efforts.

I use several social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to a lesser extent to get my news to the masses. I’m selective about which posts I boost. I repeatedly cross promote on each site for my bands, events, beer and wine tastings, and daily specials. People tell me they like the pictures I post and they often bring them in for food. Everyone seems to respond positively and tell me they like the fact that I keep them updated. It is a fine line between being obnoxious and getting the word out.

And when asked about how social media outreach pays off for Grand Central Deli:

My biggest goal right now is trying to reach the businesses in the area and promote our happy hour/bar. I do see the time and money paying off when my events are well attended, or people give direct feedback.

While Parker has seen results from their social media outreach, she did acknowledge there’s always room for improvement as they refine their efforts.

What are the takeaways?

  • With so many restaurants out there, it’s important to have a defined theme. Ultimately, Grand Central Deli serves sandwiches, just like thousands of other businesses. But we would never just call them a “sandwich shop.” Yes, their food is high-quality, but what sets them apart is their theme and brand.
  • Further, it’s important to deliver a consistent brand experience. From their restaurant decor to their website and Facebook page, Grand Central Deli does this right.
  • Save yourself time as a business owner by cross-promoting content across platforms. Customers have different favorite platforms, so don’t leave any of them in the dark.

4. Mac’s Pizza Pub


There are quite a few pizza restaurant-bar combos in Cincinnati, and Mac’s Pizza Pub uses digital marketing to keep business booming for their 4 local locations.

I was a regular Mac’s customer myself as a UC student, so it was cool to dig in and learn more about how they’ve built their business.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

First of all, Mac’s manages the unique challenge of promoting multiple locations.

They have a separate social media presence for each business, so the locations can keep in touch with their regulars about the latest specials and events.

And Mac’s has a strong social media presence across the board. Their content is unique from page to page and varies from pictures to videos, from specials to events, and from general updates to content likely to engage their fans.

For instance, Mac’s featured the Bengals game for one of their locations, knowing it was likely to be a strong Sunday draw.

And of course, don’t forget the power of getting a conversation started by asking a controversial question.

This strategically selected content and their excellent page visuals help drive their strong social media presence—which translates into real results for their business.

What did the business have to say?

We asked Niki Meiners, Marketing Director for Mac’s Pizza Pub, about their considerations for managing social media for multiple locations.

Each location has different demographics and we tailor our events, menus, and marketing to reach the right audience for each location. Prior to my position, each location handled their own promotions. I was brought into create a marketing plan with a purpose for the brand as a whole. I help each location brand their marketing efforts and expand their reach through the rising tide effect. Our social media outreach creates more brand awareness with a unified goal – to reach more people with our great food and 100 varieties of beer.

And Meiners didn’t have to look back far for an example of social media efforts translating into real business results:

Our most recent promotion on Facebook, Burger Week, resulted in a 33% increase in Burger Week sales over last year. That is an impressive improvement that was due to a unified marketing message.

This underscores the importance of constantly quantifying the ROI of outreach efforts. This level of vigilance helps businesses like Mac’s make decisions about where to invest their marketing budget.

What are the takeaways?

  • Mac’s is awesome at blending their content between “food reminders” (hey, our food is great, here’s a picture) and current events. Keep your page current to keep your audience engaged.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of starting an argument, even if it’s as silly (heresy, I know!) as pineapple on pizza. The Facebook algorithm favors content that is getting high engagement, and you can drive this engagement intentionally.
  • Even when Mac’s is posting a simple update, they accompany almost every post with visual content. Text posts hardly get any love on Facebook, so don’t waste your time.
  • Finally, if you have multiple locations, it’s important to drive a cohesive message for all of them. This assures customers they’ll get the same great experience at whichever location they visit.

5. Arnold’s


Talk about savvy business: just because Arnold’s is Cincinnati’s oldest tavern doesn’t mean they’re slacking on newer digital marketing strategies. In fact, their digital marketing is better than many of their competitors who opened far more recently than 150 years ago.

To be precise, Arnold’s opened in 1861—a genuine Cincinnati staple.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

Given their Cincinnati prominence, it’s no surprise Arnold’s has an amazing social media following.

You can’t just attribute their strong following to their age though. They’ve worked hard for their social media following by posting content that consistently receives excellent engagement.

Let’s study a few examples of how they keep their audience engaged.

In one recent post, they advertised a creative upcoming event.

They made the savvy move of tagging the other organizations involved, which can multiply engagement. The post received a great engagement of likes, comments, and shares.

Content doesn’t always have to directly pertain to the business, either. Here’s a post about the solar eclipse that performed pretty well:

This post received 137 likes and 32 shares—probably because it was timely and included an eye-catching video that is bound to make people curious.

Arnold’s also has an excellent website that showcases the restaurant’s storied history.

Arnold’s is a great example of a classic business that has kept up with the times.

What did the business have to say?

We had the pleasure of talking to the owner of Arnold’s, Ronda Breeden. She indicated her son, who is currently out of town, normally handles social media. But she had some interesting, impactful insights to share too:

At the moment, social media is the most effective way to get new customers and maintain your old ones. When people come in from out of town they look on social media or places to go. Being a top ranked business on those sites and being such a historic place is what attracts out of town customers.

In this comment, Breeden points out the power of reviews. Arnold’s certainly has a strong review game. With 4.4 stars from 875 Facebook reviews:

And 4.4 stars from 210 Google reviews:

Breeden couldn’t be more correct that these reviews are powerful in bringing in new customers, especially out of town visitors.

What are the takeaways?

  • There’s no such thing as a business “immune” from needing a social media presence. Even arguably the most well-known restaurant in Cincinnati knows this. As a business, your reputation and history make you relevant, but digital marketing is key to keep you relevant.
  • We loved the eclipse post featured above, because who doesn’t click on stuff like that to find out what it is? Intrigue your audience’s interest.
  • Arnold’s is another business that keeps their page fresh and doesn’t post the same content on repeat. The takeaway is to find ways to vary your content.

6. Bard’s Burgers


A Covington dive, Bard’s Burgers may be small, but their digital marketing effort is mighty. They have some of the most incredible Facebook engagement we have ever seen for a single-location local restaurant.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

Bard’s Burgers is prolific on Facebook. They generally make multiple posts per day, many posts garnering incredible engagement from their followers.

To start, their page is well set-up, with an appetizing food picture in the cover photo and an award recognition as their profile picture.

They are excellent at building a community around their restaurant, regularly featuring customers and running competitions.

They post about their specials and run very frequent competitions to like, comment, and share their posts for “Bard’s Bucks” store credit:

If you check out the engagement their average posts receive, it’s clear the strategy works.

Bard’s also uses Facebook Live regularly. With the prominence of video on Facebook and the extra edge Facebook’s news feed algorithm gives to Facebook Live broadcasts, it’s not surprising this is a sound strategy for Bard’s too.

Bard’s has amassed 14,715 Facebook followers who are an immensely supportive community of the crafty restaurant.

What did the business have to say?

We briefly chatted with Jordan Stephenson, Owner/Manager of Bard’s Burgers. Stephenson considers social media to be a huge component of their competitive advantage:

Social media has been a great tool in building and sustaining our business here at Bard’s.

In fact, Stephenson understandably didn’t want to divulge further details because he feels social media is a huge part of what sets Bard’s apart from his competition. With the awesome engagement Bard’s commands on Facebook, we agree!

What are the takeaways?

  • Facebook Live is a powerful tool. Many followers get a notification when you go live, and I always seem to see Live broadcasts featured prominently in my news feed. Start your own Live broadcast every now and then to get more attention than a simple video or picture post.
  • Bard’s demonstrates the value of giveaways, especially for the restaurant business. Their repeated offers of Bard’s Bucks result in downright insane engagement on most of their posts. We haven’t seen many other businesses replicate this success (hence their owner’s brief remarks!).
  • Use social media to build a community around your brand. Bard’s keeps their fans engaged and talking by posting strategic content. This instills a sense of community and pride of being a Bard’s customer. If you can make your loyal customers feel like a member of a family, you’re doing something right.

7. Injoy


Well, Injoy isn’t exactly a restaurant, but they do serve (fantastic) food. Digital marketing is especially important for this mobile food stand that sets up shop at many of Cincinnati’s greatest venues.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

Let’s start with Injoy’s excellent graphic design, positioning the food stand as a trendy, quality business:

This business faces the unique challenge of not having a single, predictable location where they can always be found. So Injoy’s Facebook page is filled with events to keep their customer base in the loop.

These events always have an eye-catching, attractive graphic design, just like all their other posts. Injoy has shared well-designed customer testimonials on their page too—not a bad idea for a new business!

And one last Facebook example, as customers love to share their opinions and also see behind-the-scenes content:

Don’t think Facebook is their only outreach, either. Their Instagram is full of beautiful food pics like this one:

We recommend staying away from their Instagram page unless you’re willing to get hungry, because that’s exactly what will happen!

With this solid content lineup, Injoy manages to keep their social media presence more exciting than mere text updates about where they’re setting up shop. If that were all they did, they wouldn’t drive nearly as much engagement.

Of course, their website is downright beautiful too.

Injoy is solid across the board, but from a graphics perspective, they’re the best local restaurant we’ve seen.

What did the business have to say?

We asked Ronaldo Gillespie, Partner at Injoy, how they use social media to keep customers informed about where to find their mobile business.

We usually create an Event on Facebook for all events at which we plan to set up, then share it on our timeline. This makes it really easy for people to check our Facebook Events page for a listing of all upcoming events and those, randomly looking for something to do, who click the Events button on their activity log, will also see where we’ll be. Even if they don’t decide to come see us specifically, they might be in the neighborhood and decide to swing by for a quick bite. Never hurts to be in the back of people’s minds.

It’s smart for Injoy to post events rather than simple text updates. This strategy makes these details easier to find, especially for mobile users who are already out and about in the neighborhood.

Gillespie goes on to discuss the value of social media for a small business without an extensive email list.

And those who indicate they’re interested in our event will see any updates we post to the Event. If we can get the host of the event to post about us, that’s just a bit of icing on the cake. We copy all of our event posts over to Twitter, and the larger ones land on Instagram. People can pick their social media poison and still find what’s happening. At our company’s size and without social media, we’d need a large email list we could blast or just hope that people randomly show up.

And finally, Gillespie reflects on the tangible value Injoy has seen from their social media outreach.

We’ve gotten lots of leads and follow through from those who want us to be a part of their event or cater it. We even got connected with our first intern via Facebook. Beyond those tangible results, we’re building a community. Social media allows us to inform, but equally important, we’re able to express Injoy’s personality without filter.

With their awesome graphics, branding, and food, we’re sure Injoy’s brand and community will continue to grow!

What are the takeaways?

  • Great graphic design and branding pay off. It’s a strong message to customers that you deliver quality in everything your business does, and that you’re proud of your brand.
  • Injoy posts incredibly appetizing food photos, and you should too. They aren’t half-hearted cell phone shots, they’re high-quality. If you don’t have a photographer or designer on staff, pay someone to do a photo shoot of your menu so you have content on hand when you need it.
  • This food stand’s premise points out the importance of keeping customers in the loop. As their business grows, Injoy’s recurring customer base will absolutely continue to be willing to go find them. So it’s important for Injoy (and any mobile business) to feature this information prominently!

8. Court Street Lobster Bar


This restaurant just opened in 2017 and is already making huge waves on social media. The concept is one of a kind in Cincinnati, which Court Street Lobster Bar uses to set themselves apart on social media.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

First of all, yes please.

But really, I can hardly resist.

Court Street Lobster Bar’s mouth-watering Facebook and Instagram accounts deliver a constant reminder to their customers: come enjoy our delicious food!

Throw in specials and updates, and you have a powerful restaurant social media presence that really delivers results. It can be that simple!

And Court Street Lobster Bar’s website has the information that really matters: the restaurant’s premise, menu, location, history, and how to get in touch.

We’re featuring Court Street Lobster Bar due to their textbook execution of a social media presence for a new restaurant. Feature the venue, food, and specials, and be consistent (which is especially important for a new business).

What did the business have to say?

We reached out to Dan Swormstedt, Owner of Court Street Lobster Bar, to learn more about how they used social media as a new business.

Social Media has become an integral part of restaurant marketing across the nation, especially with people posting “food porn” to their personal accounts almost every meal. By engaging individuals almost everyday with pictures of our food, we can effectively drive sales of specific items. In this day and age, with multitasking and so many new things popping up, social media gives us a phenomenal platform to stay fresh in peoples minds.

When it comes to “food porn,” he’s exactly right! Why bore customers with most other content when what they ultimately want to see is your food?

As Swormstedt described the information overload in which we all live, it’s important to interrupt their mindless scrolling with visually pleasing (and appetizing) content.

And as with all the businesses in this post, we asked Swormstedt about the results he has seen from social media. His response is compelling.

Social Media has driven around 50% of our sales since we opened on Good Friday of this year. As a new restaurant, we were initially working with a shoe string budget for marketing and social gave us a voice to reach the masses. We can tell the direct influence of our social media by the increase in sales of an item that we post that day compared to the average typical sales of an item throughout the week.

For any new business evaluating how much your marketing plan should rely on social media—there’s your answer. It’s absolutely critical. And Swormstedt’s approach of promoting specific items then tracking their subsequent sales is extremely savvy.

What are the takeaways?

  • Food porn! Seriously, we’ve mentioned it throughout this post, but it’s the most important takeaway. If you’re a restaurant owner and you only learn one thing from this post: you must post appetizing food pictures frequently.
  • Even for a business with a unique concept in a trendy neighborhood, social media is still vitally important. In fact, it might be even more important due to the volume of competition. Sure, you might have a line out the door for the first week—but once media attention dies down, you need a plan to keep customers coming in. Court Street Lobster Bar knows that and credits social media for their success. Attributing 50% of their sales to social media is no joke!
  • It may be the oldest marketing trick in the book, but it’s a good one. Use specials to keep customers interested and give them a time-sensitive reason to come in.

9. Ché


This Argentinian bar and restaurant serves up awesome empanadas, pizzas, and drinks. With a great product and excellent social media presence, Ché claims the last spot on our list of Cincinnati restaurants rocking their digital marketing.

Why is their digital marketing among the best in Cincinnati?

As with all businesses in this post, Ché consistently posts pictures of their food to remind their regular customers to come back in. But Ché does an excellent job changing up their menu and enticing customers with limited-time specials.

Digital marketing is great, but we would never recommend using it for your entire marketing plan. Traditional outreach is still necessary, and Ché gets that. They regularly set up shop at local events, bringing their restaurant to others who haven’t been fortunate enough to try it yet.

But they still incorporate digital marketing with this outreach too:

Also, we love that Ché takes advantage of Facebook’s call-to-action feature by adding a link to their online ordering.

Building a community is important to Ché, and they fully use their social media to stay in touch with their customer base.

By mixing up the content they post on social media from food features to specials, from events to customer/staff shoutouts, and from food memes to friendly hellos, Che keeps their fans engaged and their content fresh. This gives even long-time followers a reason to check the Facebook Page for news.

What did the business have to say?

We talked to Natasha Reolon, General Manager of Ché. Reolon talked about the role of social media in her overall effort to build a community of Ché customers.

I’m at Ché quite a bit talking with guests, hoping we make close connections. So I typically can get a good vibe of what our average guest likes about us, and I emphasize on what they want.

Ché chooses what to post on social media by maintaining a pulse on what their guests are most interested in, taking the guesswork out of the equation.

Reolon confirms the results she sees from social media outreach.

I see a lot of positive results from using social media! We get a lot of reshares and likes, and I feel it really keeps clients close to us on Facebook, because we tend to respond quickly to stay as close in touch as possible. It also helps people recognize us when we are festivals such as Taste of Cincinnati or Bunbury. It gives us a chance to be noticed outside of OTR.

It’s a sound strategy to blend your online and offline marketing efforts. Ché is a textbook example of using social media to build a customer community.

What are the takeaways?

  • Like several other businesses in this post, Ché keeps their menu interesting by adding temporary items. Keep your menu fresh and inform your customers of your new or temporary items and specials.
  • On top of a strong social media presence, Ché incorporates more traditional marketing outreach like setting up shop at local events and festivals. It’s important to do this too and tie it all together with your digital marketing. Remember, as a restaurant owner, your market is highly saturated and you need to do everything you can to stay relevant.
  • And for the final takeaway—build a community around your brand. Ché does this through their content and the solid efforts of their hands-on, energetic general manager. Your restaurant’s regular customers really should feel like they’re part of a community.

Ideas For Your Restaurant’s Digital Marketing

Out of all the businesses we reviewed, these 9 stood out as the best social media outreach among restaurants in Cincinnati.

You’ll notice a few common themes among pretty much all the businesses, like the power of food pictures (or, “food porn”). This seems intuitive, but there were a ton of other restaurants we reviewed who hardly ever post pictures of their food. Or if they do, they’re posting ugly, grainy, camera-phone quality shots, which aren’t enticing to anyone.

This affirms the importance of visual content and that it’s important for businesses to remind customers about their product. Even if a customer has eaten their favorite burger 100 times, seeing a delicious photo of it on social media might just remind them that sounds great for dinner tonight.

If you own a restaurant or any other small business, use this post as a resource to help craft and maintain your digital presence. Implementing even half of the ideas in this post will pay off big time.

Meanwhile, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat all the things.

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