Marketing your restaurant is the first step in building a crowd of loyal diners.
Marketing your restaurant is the first step in building a crowd of loyal diners. A well-designed marketing plan offers a step-by-step outline on how to address your customers' needs and work toward accomplishing your business goals. Use some of the tips below to get your marketing plan started in the right direction.
Decide who your audience is
Your target audience will determine the ads you create. Ads designed to draw in a family for a nice dinner will be very different than the ads that draw in the after-hours crowd. Determine your ideal customer and design your ads to meet this niche.
Decide what tools to use
Modern technology offers more ways than ever to get your message out there. Instead of randomly distributing messages on every platform, figure out which media channels (TV, radio, newspaper, social media) will most effectively deliver your message to your target audience and focus your budget on those sources.
Establish your online presence
Your website is often the first impression many customers have of your business. Make sure you have a well-designed, easy-to-navigate website that includes your location, business hours and contact information. It is also a good idea to include an online reservation option.
Offer coupons and deals
Create deals to share on social media or in newspaper ads that will bring people in to dine. A good trick is to offer a free drink or dessert with the purchase of an entrée. You can also create two-for-one deals to incentivize customers to bring others to eat with them.
Distribute menus to nearby businesses
A good way to get regular customers is to take menus, fliers or coupons to nearby offices. Let employees at these companies know you are open for lunch or drinks after work. By offering lunch specials, happy hours or even discounts to employees at certain companies, you can build a loyal client base.
Engage with the community
Establish your presence in the community by attending fairs and farmers' markets. Hand out fliers with coupons and introduce yourself to community members. This is a good way to make a good impression in your neighborhood and advertise your restaurant.
There is no one right way to market your restaurant. Don't give up immediately if it seems like some of your efforts aren't working – it takes time to build a strong customer base. As you implement your marketing plan, pay close attention to what is and what isn't working. After you analyze some of your results, make adjustments and keep working to promote your business in a way that reaches your target audience.
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