How much of a budget should be allocated for promoting a restaurant and bar?
Any expertise in restaurant/bar PR/marketing/advertisement? Also should the internal managers be handling this task, or is it more sensible to outsource it to outside professionals? Any experiences from people who have tried both (meaning the internal adv/marketing efforts and outsourcing).
So as other posts have said before me, you definitely don't need the $1 million budgets like these national chains have for full-broadcast advertising. However, as a designer who has worked with restaurant clients before, you should definitely be prepared to have people in your network whom you can perhaps freelance to. Depending on the services you're having done, for instance say digital marketing and graphic design, the overall budget could ballpark anywhere between $1,000-$5,000 for both (both services are very broad and rates for freelancers can vary). Definitely not like a Fortune 500 company, but it's definitely an investment for some of the bigger heavy lifting type of stuff!
Most of the social media stuff you can handle on your own without need of outsourcing. Whether you post the daily specials on Facebook or take a photo of them for Twitter or Instagram, you can do that pretty much at any time of your day. What I would highly suggest is if you're going to do this, think consistent posting. If you're going to post two days a week, keep posting at that rate. It'll maintain and/or continue to engage your customers with your brand.
Hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have any questions!
There are several rules of thumb and ratios in the restaurant industry. A typical restaurant should allocate 3% - 6% of sales to marketing. It’s also a good idea to allocate this money proportionally to your sales volume. Meaning, if May is your busiest month, you should spend a proportionate amount on your restaurants marketing budget in that month.
It’s sad really, but 80% - 90% of restaurant marketing budgets are spent trying to get a customer to visit for the first time. This is the least effective place to spend your money. The majority of new trial efforts are spent against mass media advertising, which is costly and has dismal return on investment. The fact is, new customer acquisition is significantly (7-10 times) more expensive than building restaurant sales through increased frequency, check average and party size.
Marketing can’t change behavior; it can only influence existing behaviors. Spend your marketing dollar where it will have the best return for your restaurant.
It depends. But as a rule of thumb, the more you spend, the less efficient your marketing will be. Yelp might pay off to start up and get some reviews your way, and paying a SEO company to optimize your local search are likely good investments. Where the restaurant is located is your biggest marketing investment/curse, and that's very expensive to change.
Recall Ray Crock considered McDonalds not to be in the food business, but the real estate business- they just incidentally sold food (?) at those fantastic spots with lots of visibility and traffic.
Apologies if I am repeating some of my other answers here but there are many variables. My team has worked with more than a few restaurants (and currently with one high end property in VT.)
Especially in this era of social media, your internal team should be very involved. Having a chef who can snap a picture of a perfectly presented dish and post on Facebook, or a bartender who tweets, or someone from the front of the house who can respond to queries, etc. is marketing gold but having marketing professionals put together a coherent plan, especially if you aren't dealing with a very experienced marketing team, is preferable. I find that with everyone getting the operational side up and running, marketing ends up taking a back seat. If you are to be successful, you need to have your marketing working well. I find the best success happens when it is a team effort.
As for the budget question - again, a huge span. A brand new property that needs to bring people to its door will spend far differently than a property located on Main Street in a resort town at high season. Don't feel that you need to buy a lot of expensive ads - think about your target audience and how you can reach them. You may find them active in various social networks, reading certain newspapers, attending a certain church. Go where they are and talk with them to understand exactly how they want to be communicated with. Do your research and save some money.
If you are not a national chain then any kind of advertising is usually a waste of money. You know who your clientele is and you know where they live (in your area). Spend the money on providing a free dinner coupon for any neighbor during a certain week (any kind of detail is fine) and wow them with the food and service. If you are worth it they will return. It will cost you so much less then any advertising and no advertising can replicate the experience you provide.
Daniel Glickman. A Branding and Marketing consultant.
Dang, he beat me to the punch! That Charlie Seymour Jr guy is quick!! Obviously it depends where your business is in it's growth cycle from start-up, to holding steady, to looking to grow, but always folding 10% of gross right back into marketing and promotion is a fair rule of thumb.
Dr. Marc Kossmann
I can't tell you how much should be allocated, but I CAN tell you that most restaurants try to think like big, dumb companies who spread their money around for institutional advertising. You know the kind - the "image building" kind that (if run 1,000) times MIGHT have an impact. Hey, not talking McDonald, Chili's, or Olive Garden - they each have MILLIONS. But the restaurants most of us work with don't have those huge budgets. They need to do direct-response marketing where they take an action that gets a customer to take an action.