Key Marketing Strategies for New Restaurants
Word-of-mouth will probably always be the best advertising method, so the basis of your restaurant marketing program should always be offering a fantastic dining experience, across the board. However, there do exist other valuable methods for approaching marketing in this industry. In an online excerpt from their book Start Your Own Restaurant and More, the staff of Entrepreneur Media addresses restaurant marketing practices, offering strategies in five different areas:
- Take notice to unique marketing opportunities. Pay attention to what’s going on around your restaurant. New neighbors? Welcome them to the community with a flyer and a coupon. Construction going on nearby? Offer a special promotion for workers.
- Maintain your website. Think of your website as your business card. Determine the information you want to communicate to visitors, and be sure to include it. Consider posting photos, menus, testimonials, reviews, videos, history, trivia—whatever you think will best engage visitors. Be sure to keep your website up-to-date, and to link to it on all of your marketing materials.
- Attract followers through social venues. Social media is an effective and affordable tool for business promotion. Explore a variety of different platforms, understand their strengths, learn how they interact, and then choose which ones provide the greatest advantage for your business. Be sure to designate an employee or consultant to keep your social media presence current and active.
- Utilize promotions. The authors suggest a number of different promotional strategies, including gift certificates, sponsorships, discount coupon books, frequent dining clubs and menu promotions.
- Involve the community. Restaurant owners field numerous requests for help from community groups or nonprofits, asking for donations of time or money. These are great opportunities to give back to the community and boost your restaurant’s image at the same time! Just be sure that the organizations you choose to support won’t cause controversy within your customer base. Be sure to include an item for this in your budget, and stay within your set limit.
To read the excerpt in full, visit Entrepreneur.