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Restaurant Marketing 101

I have an amazing restaurant concept, I opened the doors and no one is coming in. Everyone says I need marketing, but I don’t know where to start. Do I need social media, email newsletters, a website, etc.?

The article will explain that mapping out the strategy will determine the tactics. Most people want to focus on the tactics without understanding the goals first.

  • There are many marketing tactics available. Email Blasting, Advertising in Print or Digitally, Social Media, Website marketing, SEO/SEM, Direct Mailing, Street signage (activation), In-house marketing (digital or printed flyers), etc. But how do I now which ones to do?
  • It is a natural reaction to think on the tactic first “we need costumers, let’s send them an email”, “we have an event, let’s do a facebook event and invite people”, but jumping up on tactics too soon without a strategy can be a waste of time, money and can actually harm your brand if you expose it to the wrong audience. It can also hurt eventually because you kill the opportunity. Sometimes we have only one opportunity to reach out and be heard, and if we don’t use it wisely (with the right message) the audience can reject the brand forever.
  • What is a strategy for restaurants? It’s a game plan. Even though you know that your main goal is to increase revenue, there’s a few ways that can be done.

Strategy is saying:

  1. This is who we are (define restaurant concept)
  2. This is what we offer (define our product; food, beverage, style of service)
  3. This is who is going to be coming to my restaurant (define target market)
  4. Know and understand this audience well – analyze what they do, what they like, how they communicate with their friends. This is going to help define your tactics later.
  5. This are my restaurant competitors (define competition based on concept and location)
  6. This are my objectives (define goals) àe. filling up days of the week that is slow (i.e.Monday-Wednesday), adding a meal time (Brunch), targeting early diners (5-6:30pm), etc.

And after we have all this, then you can start thinking of tactics. Ways to reach out to your target.