Beginners Guide to Restaurant Marketing

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Beginners Guide to Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant marketing plan for beginners

Promoting Your Business is a Full Time Job

Restaurateurs come across a lot of confusing and conflicting ideas concerning restaurant promotions with each passing day. However, a restaurateur needs to understand that growing the business is an organic process which only responds to nurturing efforts made from the inside.

A good way to start will be to limit promotional ideas that could end up devaluing the restaurant. You have to build the business on a solid foundation, without creating unsustainable expectations from the clientele such as getting their food at half price.

The following tips will help you promote your restaurant to a wider customer base.

Sign-up for Success

Signs have been known to generate a lot of business, and you must, therefore, make sure that you make the most out of in-house and outdoor signs, table tends, carry out containers and in-house advertising on the sales receipts.

Make copies of the restaurant menu, post some on the windows, post a copy online and give others to your clients to take home with them.

Have Your Website Ready

So as to get anywhere in restaurant marketing, you will need to have a functional website that has a great design.

The website should be your priority because almost all digital marketing ideas are dependent on having a good website where they can be anchored. Publicize the restaurant website on all stationery and promotional materials given that it is as important as the physical location of the business.

Define Your Business Goals

You have to make a decision on who you are trying to reach so that it becomes easier to map out a plan on how to get to where you want to be.

Unless you have a good idea on which customers to target, you will be reduced to relying on inefficient methods that not only cost too much but which also end up being a waste of resources.

Once the target market is identified, it becomes possible to establish how you can reach them efficiently. Social media, especially Facebook makes it possible to target precise customers.

Optimize the Restaurant’s Online Presence

You have to claim the restaurant’s business listings on review sites as well as on directories. Send out press statements to magazines, newspapers and nearby schools with the aim of informing them that your facility is open for business.

Many customers are today making their reservations and placing orders using their Smartphone’s. They should, therefore, be able to find your menu and your restaurant on the web.

Use Multiple Promotional and Advertising Channels

To market your business successfully, you must have an action plan in place so as to establish how you will achieve the short and long term goals. Testing the effectiveness of available restaurant marketing channels is the way to go. 

For new businesses, the recommended practice is to allocate eighty percent of the advertising budget to web-based promotions, and the remaining twenty percent to traditional advertising mediums such as radio, billboard ads, directory, and television.

As a way of ensuring that you get cross-promotional benefits, you will need to make sure that you refer to the website in all the ads.

Make Use of Social Networks

If you do not have an active social media presence, then you are definitely losing out on business. You have to get involved with as many social networking accounts as possible so as to know what works well for your concept, cuisine and customer base.

Always ensure that you post content that has keywords related to your menu, concept and cuisine.

Communicate, Engage, and Interact

By using digital tools such as social media platforms and Smartphone’s, you can be able to communicate directly with targeted prospects as well as existing customers.

Take time to respond to concerns raised by people as a way of showing that you are engaged. Make certain to encourage your customers to post photos, share their dining experiences and write reviews on the web.

You can also show your food preparation process every once in a while. It is a kind of communication that engages your viewers and attracts a lot of interest from the other social media users. It is also possible to engage the online audience by hosting special events, scavenger hunts as well as occasional contests.

Monitor the Web

You can set a Google alert, or use a monitoring app to locate mentions of your cuisine, restaurant, competitors or chef.

As a restaurant operator, you have to stay on top of the online chatter, or you could end up suffering from a damaged online reputation.

Good news could also hurt your restaurant if it leads to the generation of new business that the restaurant is not in a position to handle. Regularly monitoring the internet is the best way to ensure that you prevent nasty surprises and also get to capitalize on the numerous restaurant marketing channels that exist online.

Marketing is critical to the success of business, but ensure that you do not end up giving away your restaurant just to get some clients into the seats.

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