There are more and more restaurants looking to attract celiac customers . This is hardly surprising considering the following data from the AOECS (European Celiac Associations):
There are around 70 million celiacs in the world
It is also not surprising that more and more restaurants are offering gluten-free menus, when we know that there are more and more consumers who, although not celiac, also have adopted the gluten-free diet , which they consider good for health. In other words, nowadays, on a strategic level, restaurants have every interest in offering an attractive gastronomic offer, capable of meeting the requirements of these numerous customers.
This is a golden opportunity to increase the establishment’s revenues, by being in step with consumer trends . This strategy also implies assuming great responsibility , because a gastronomic offer adapted to celiacs implies having special tools, and a competent team knowing how to avoid cross-contamination and able to concoct 100% gluten-free recipes.
If you have offered gluten-free menus, we encourage you to practice the following marketing ideas to attract and retain customers with celiac disease and anyone who has included gluten-free in their lifestyle.
Make a prominent promotion of your gluten-free dishes in your establishment
Going to a restaurant is always a risk for a celiac customer, because the slightest negligence in the preparation of the dishes can put their health at risk. It is therefore essential that these customers know very clearly from the start that your restaurant offers gluten-free dishes. Some ideas to signal your gluten-free offer:
- At the entrance to the restaurant . Display a sticker or sign with the “gluten-free” logo at the entrance.
- In your advertising media. Information support in the center of the table, information on napkin dispensers, etc.
- In the menu itself, which must absolutely specify what are the dishes for celiacs. A good idea is to group together all your gluten-free specialties and mark them with the gluten-free logo. In addition, if your offer for celiacs is large enough, it is more effective to create a menu reserved only for your gluten-free dishes.
Promote your offer for celiacs in local businesses
With the widespread trend towards a healthy lifestyle, it is very likely that there are stores and businesses in your neighborhood that sell gluten-free products, and they are often frequented by celiac customers. Do not forget to put in these shops advertising material (posters, flyers and cards) promoting your gluten-free offer. The ideal is to conclude strategic alliances with these businesses which will then be able to recommend you to their customers. Direct targeting of the objective audience always gives better results.
Publish your gluten-free menus on specialized portals
There are pages and applications in the various cities whose exclusive purpose is to help celiacs find and choose restaurants offering gluten free. Your name must absolutely appear there!
Another equally important point, other more generic search engines must highlight this characteristic of your establishment, in order to allow you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
TheFork notifies its users of the best restaurants for celiacs registered on its platform, by classifying them by city Therefore, do not forget to specify in your file that your restaurant offers gluten-free dishes in order to attract customers with celiac disease and to encourage them to book a table through TheFork.
Attract customers with celiac disease through opinions
Celiac customers attach great importance to good references from restaurants advertised on the Internet as gluten-free. They therefore particularly appreciate the opinions left by other customers about their experience. In this regard, a great marketing action is to invite these late-night customers to leave their opinion on portals like TripAdvisor , as there’s a good chance they ‘ll want to help others choose . To do this, give them a card with your establishment’s contact details or send them an email as soon as they leave the restaurant, inviting them to rate you on TripAdvisor and TheFork.
Promote your gastronomic offer for celiacs on social networks
Post enticing photos
It is of course essential to promote your gluten-free offer on your social networks and on your website. The secret is to post photos of mouth-watering dishes accompanied by eye-catching texts, which show that your gluten-free recipes don’t skimp on flavor , but on the contrary, are just as delicious as the rest of your offering. Another key ploy is advertising via Facebook Ads, relying on good segmentation of Internet users. The goal is for your ads to target gluten-free customers, including celiacs living near your establishment.
Prove in videos that you are 100% gluten-free
Just as filming your usual recipes and sharing them with your subscribers on social networks is a good strategy, it is particularly wise to film the preparation of your gluten-free dishes in your restaurant. This approach will be greatly appreciated by your celiac customers , inspiring them more confidence in your establishment and making them want to come back. Another marketing idea is to film your customers at the end of a meal, allowing them to share their experience and invite other celiac customers to come and test it. Give them for example a gift, for example a free dessert to encourage them to participate and to post these special videos on Instagram Stories or Facebook Life. There is no better advertising than word of mouth, preferably on video, because video has a more powerful impact on consumers, as well as being a more natural way to sell your gluten-free products.
Invite the media and influential people
Another good marketing strategy is to convince digital media, bloggers and influencers specializing in gluten-free and healthy living to come and test your celiac menu and then talk about it on their digital channels. It is a solution to promote your restaurant on pages and social networks directly targeting the customers you want to attract and retain. It is also an action that positively reinforces the image of your establishment perceived as a supporter of health and well-being.
Celebrate World Celiac Day
A key moment in retaining your gluten-free customers is World Celiac Day . Find out when this event will be held in your city and create a very special menu for that day. You can put yourself forward by offering several gluten-free desserts for the occasion, because this approach will always allow you to score points among these customers. It is also a perfect day to launch a promotion or a special discount on your social networks and thus attract customers and have a full house. And in line with the previous marketing idea, this is the perfect date to invite the media and influencers to come and sit at your restaurant. Set out to conquer them!
It was previously very rare to be able to find restaurants offering gluten-free dishes. Today, the exception may be more restaurants that neglect this food demand on the part of some customers. Although these consumers are not in the majority, they increasingly demand that they be listened to.
An interesting dimension is that a restaurant that manages to attract and retain a celiac customer will also attract family, friends, co-workers and members of the social circle of that customer, and will become their favorite restaurant where they can all. come together around the same table knowing that they will be able to eat there without having to worry about their nutritional health . We hope you will!