Insights Commentary Restaurant Advice Trends

6 Marketing Trends for BBQ Restaurants in 2024

Sustainability. Personalization. Authenticity. These are just a few market drivers for restaurants in 2024. As experiences and expectations continue to evolve, BBQ joints need to stay ahead of the curve and explore trends redefining the restaurant space. 

1. Fire up new tech 

Technology has infiltrated our daily lives. By now, almost everyone, from guests to restaurants, is plugged in. And tech-savvy guests are driving the expectation of automation. Whether it’s tap-to-pay service, online reservations, table-side tech, or custom promotions that get guests engaged with the brand, it’s important to add convenience to the menu. And reach audiences where they’re at.

2. Get personal(ization)

Guests want to make their dining experience, theirs. From customizable menus to memorable interactions, guests want their individual preferences and needs to be seen. This can manifest in a few different ways:

•  Mix-and-match menus:  Let guests choose their journey. Include permanent or LTO items that allow guests to mix and match sides, proteins, and ingredients in dishes like bowls.

•  Save preferences:  From birthdays to anniversaries, seating preferences, dietary  restrictions and  order history, BBQ restaurants can remember and recognize these to make guests  feel more  comfortable, valued  and  appreciated.

•  Recommendations:  Based on previous orders, restaurants can make  educated recommendations on online platforms for guests, suggesting new plates to try and  add-ons that  would level up their choices.

3. Clean up your practices

Today, consumers  are  largely  considering  a restaurant’s sustainability practices when deciding where to spend their dollars. Restaurants  will need to  embrace new processes to minimize their impact and align with consumers’ demand for more green practices. For example,  prioritizing  locally sourced foods, practicing portion control to reduce waste, establishing effective recycling programs, and switching to energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable or  even  reusable packaging.

4. Innovate the smooth sippin’ experience

It’s  no secret cocktail menus can plus up the dining experience. But guests’ tastes are constantly changing. With new preferences  on the rise, restaurants might need to freshen up their drink menus. Here are a few noteworthy trends and innovations that go beyond that traditional beverage:

• CBD-infused cocktails

• Eco-friendly liquors

• Mocktails

• Experiential enhancements like smoke, edible garnishes, and aromas.

5. Support the community

Guests want to know that their favorite restaurants are giving back. It’s an  important  aspect of building a strong loyalty with them.  Engage the community by hosting charity events for local causes,  hosting  workshops, cooking classes,  or  food-related events that provide educational opportunities, and partnering with local businesses through promos, events, and initiatives.

6. Keep it real

Stay true to your brand. Make sure your messaging aligns with your menu, values, mission, and actions taken. This will help your BBQ restaurant build trust and loyalty with guests. All it takes is consistent messaging, transparency and honesty about practices and shortcomings, and compelling brand storytelling.

Whatever marketing trend you decide to jump on, be sure it aligns with your BBQ restaurant  brand’s  mission, vision, and values. You can see how we  took a locally loved BBQ restaurant to the next level with a re-brand and new marketing strategies  here.  And if you need help deciding what makes sense for your brand or  don’t  know where to start, you can always  reach out.

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