Without a strong understanding of how to market a restaurant, it can be a struggle to attract new diners and returning guests regardless of how great the food and service are. You already have everything it takes to do a stellar job. You have some understanding of how to market a restaurant, and you probably already have plenty of restaurant marketing ideas. But there’s always room to grow your skills and make marketing tasks easier and more impactful for your business.

Before launching any new marketing, it’s a good idea to think through your goals. For example, if the goal is to raise brand awareness, you’ll approach marketing differently than a restaurant targeting specific demographics or one aimed at increasing bookings.

You likely already own several channels to market your restaurant, ones that you have total control over. Making the most of these channels requires a time and resource investment, but it costs very little compared to paid media. Even if you have a budget, starting with these low- and no-cost options can be the foundation of an effective restaurant marketing strategy. Don’t overlook them—they’ve got more juice than you may think.

First and foremost on the list of channels you own: your website. This corner of the internet is your digital home. It’s the place online to roll out the welcome mat for potential diners and get them excited about a visit. Here, they’ll explore your menus, read your story, and find basic information about you, like hours of operation and directions. Building a website that attracts online and eventually real-life traffic is a restaurant marketing must.

Email marketing and newsletters are often underused communication channels, but reaching people right in their inboxes is one of the best restaurant marketing ways to get on and stay on their radar. And though email, like most of these strategies, is online, don’t neglect real-life, in-person options. Bringing the local community together in your physical space through imaginative Experiences can spark good old word-of-mouth marketing.

It’s important to remember today that the dominant form of media is actually social media. Spend time creating and maintaining profiles on the most important platforms for restaurant promotion. There are many platforms out there these days and only you know which are the right fit for your business. Conventional wisdom holds that if restaurants have the bandwidth for only one channel, it should be Instagram, which is especially food-friendly.

At the end of the day, the answer to one question can establish the hard dollar-and-cents value of any restaurant marketing initiative: does it convert? Do people who read the article, see the ad, click through the email, or engage with the post make a reservation at your restaurant? When you’re seeing a high number of conversions resulting from some form of marketing, you know it’s doing its job. This is a good sign you should do more of that type of marketing. When your goal is to attract and convert diners, it’s time to get laser-focused on platforms and restaurant marketing ideas that convert.