When it comes to marketing a restaurant, two things should always be at the forefront of any campaign. One is finding customers and the other is turning them into repeat customers. If your strategies are not doing this then you have failed to properly market the restaurant and your business is likely to fail.
Some key areas to look at when promoting a restaurant include the signage used, the name of the restaurant, the menu and the theme. Once some, preferably all of these are included in your restaurant marketing plan you stand a better chance of succeeding.
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While there are tried and proven methods of marketing, coming up with new ideas is also useful. Since competition is high in the industry your marketing efforts must stand out from the rest. The first step is to determine your target market and the area where you expect the bulk of your customers to come from. Are you aiming for upscale clientele or the average person? This will determine the marketing methods employed, and help avoid generic campaigns.
The sign you use to advertise should be attractive and capture the attention of passersby. The same is true for print or electronic advertisements – the logo and the message must stand out and make people take notice. This doesn’t mean going over-the-top, just different so that it doesn’t look like just another restaurant.
The Name of the Restaurant
Name appeal plays an important role in the success of any restaurant. You want to use a name that will say something meaningful about the establishment. A run-of-the-mill name such as John’s Restaurant will not do for most areas. Look at successful restaurants and pay attention to their names.
The ambience of the place will also be a great marketing tool. While it will work well for after the restaurant is open, hints of what’s in store can also be used in marketing material to pull customers in. The atmosphere should be determined based on the clientele being catered to.
The way this is marketed will help pull in customers. Some will come to try something new, while for others it may be to have a taste of something they love that no other restaurant offers. For example, Caribbean or Taiwanese cuisine may be intriguing.
Marketing to Repeat Customers
Ultimately, if your promotions efforts work and diners come to your restaurant, you need to keep them coming back. Not only do you want them to be repeat customers, you want them to tell others about your restaurant. Nothing beats word of mouth in the restaurant business.
It goes without saying that the taste of the food will be a significant factor in getting people to come back and to provide positive reviews. Not only should food be tasty, but periodically adding something new is a great marketing strategy.
Involving staff into the marketing effort is also worth considering. This can be as simple as giving staff discount vouchers to give to friends during slow periods. The staff member that brings in the most vouchers could get a prize.
Finally, the greatest marketing effort and most delicious food will be all in vain if the service is lousy. Service is one of the most important tools for keeping customers happy and coming back. A restaurant that is known for great service can use this fact in campaigns. Diners will also tell others of their positive experience.
Successful restaurants don’t normally get to that stage without being innovative. They frequently reinvent themselves and work hard to pull in new clients with creative marketing techniques and attentiveness to customers.