Restaurant Marketing – Key To Increase Sales For Restaurant
Right now the marketplace for restaurants is tough. Around the world customers are pinching back on spending due to economic uncertainty while, more and more restaurants are opening up and becoming increasingly competitive. Not only that, but many customers already know what their favorite restaurants and chains are, making it hard for new entrants to gain a foothold.
We live in an age of corporate chains and franchises that have standardized eating experiences across an entire nation, if not world. A cheeseburger from McDonald’s in Singapore tastes almost identical to a cheeseburger from McDonald’s in Toronto. Many customers now prefer chains because they know what to expect, so there’s no risk.
Think of this, less than 25 restaurant chains in the USA account for over 1/3 of sales. These chains are able to buy expensive ad space during popular tv shows, can pay for celebrity sponsors, and can afford large promotional efforts. The average Mom & Pop shop can’t.
So how can you make your restaurant stand out in such a crowded marketplace? Gaining a competitive advantage is no easy task but even in today’s crowded market it’s still possible. Marketing offers a great chance to ramp up your revenue and profits but you need a focused, thoughtful strategy to succeed. Who knows, with the right strategy your restaurant could grow into one of those top 25 chains, so read on!
The Three Ways Marketing Increases Your Profits
1. Put Customers In Your Seats.
Marketing draws people into your restaurant. Whether it’s gaining new customers or reminding old customers, a well-run marketing campaign will help you fill up your tables.
2. Increase Sales.
A good marketing campaign won’t just increase the number of checks but also the size of the checks. Marketing can help convince people to buy more expensive foods or add-on items, like desert.
3. Sell the Right Items.
Quite simply, some items have a higher mark up than others. A nice, cold glass of ice lemon tea might sell for 2 dollars but cost only 25 cents to make. A cheeseburger, on the other hand, might sell for 10 dollars but cost 8 dollars to make. A marketing campaign can steer your customers to the items with the highest mark up.
The 10 Principles Of Successful Marketing
So which of the three previously mentioned tactics should you concentrate on? A great marketing campaign will contain elements of all three, though admittedly that’s not always possible. Either way you will have to develop a concrete and carefully crafted marketing campaign that will build your company’s brand and entice customers. This is true whether you just launched your restaurant or have been around for generations. But enough talk! We will show you the 10 principles you need to follow to launch a successful marketing campaign!
1. Know the marketing environment.
You will need to conduct a marketing environment analysis to understand the so-called “big picture” of the local marketplace. This analysis will help you understand various external forces and how they could impact your business.
2. Evaluate Your Competitors.
You should figure out the strengths and weaknesses of all of your direct competitors. And when you find a weakness, be prepared to exploit it! As the old saying goes, business is war.
3. Lock Onto Your Segments.
It’s usually best to select one or two target segments of the market to focus your efforts on. The simple fact is that you can’t be all things to everyone all at once so select a few segments and focus on them. If you notice one or two segments in the local market are neglected, it might be wise to focus on them.
4. Dominate Your Niche.
You will have to figure out your positioning and selling point. This will require you to focus on your strengths and to address your weaknesses. In turn, this strategy will help your restaurant stand out and build a solid core of customers.
5. Make Your Customers Happy.
A great marketing campaign will draw in customers, but if they don’t leave happy don’t expect to see them again. In order to keep customers happy you will have to perfect your operations, making sure everything runs smoothly and customers enjoy a good experience.
6. Craft & Monitor the Plan.
You will have to develop trackable marketing goals and also the plan you will use to achieve them. There is no one answer to what a great marketing plan for a restaurant should look like. Instead it should reflect the unique circumstances and personality of your particular restaurant.
7. Create a Budget….
… and stick to it! You should write up an estimate of how much it will cost to launch your marketing campaign and then project what types of reasonable returns you would like to see. Each element of the campaign should be broken down in detail. Finally, make sure you don’t let yourself go too far over budget or else costs can spiral out of control.
8. Implement Your Campaign.
You can plan and plan but unless you drum up the will to drive forward you won’t go anywhere. That’s a simple fact, so once you have all the ideas jotted down you need to start implementing them.
9. Assess Your Success.
By using software, your own internal estimates, and other tracking systems you need to make sure you keep a close eye on your success rates and profits. Also, try measuring year-over-year revenues (if available) to measure progress. If something isn’t working, scrap it. If something else is working well, expand it.
10. Always Evolve.
You should always be evaluating your marketing strategy and don’t be afraid to change things up from time to time. Even if a particular tactic works for a while, its effectiveness will likely wear off over time. Keep brainstorming and changing so you can stay ahead of the competition!
You should also try changing up your menu items from time to time and changing prices. If you run lunch or dinner specials, try changing them up from time to time. And make sure you change your other promotions too. Customers tend to get bored of the same old thing, so make sure you never have a “same old thing.” By continually evaluating the Price, Production, Placement, & Promotion (4 Ps) you can ensure your business is always competitive, even in a tough market.