When considering various marketing tools, keep this in mind: Research by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) shows that word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. More than four-fifths of consumers can choose a table service restaurant that they have never visited before based on recommendations from family or friends.
So make the foundation of your marketing plan an absolutely stunning dining experience that customers want to talk about and repeat. Scott Redler, the owner of Freddy’s Frozen Custard, said: “I really think people will give you a try. If you take care of them when they walk in the door, that’s your best marketing method. Turns out this is right for us.”
Ask each new customer how they understand you and write down this information so you can understand how effective your various marketing efforts are. Then you can decide to add some programs and remove the ones that don’t work.
A key component of successful restaurant marketing is making sure your information is consistent with your actual thinking. Of course, high-end restaurants won’t put the menu on a clear vinyl cover and use photos of kids enjoying burgers and fries to illustrate. But the same restaurant owner who mocked this absurd image is likely to have committed other more subtle marketing offenses.
For example, if older people are a key part of your market, do your menus and signs take into account the physical changes that come with age, such as decreased vision? If you want to attract families, are your photos and illustrations modern and relevant to your market? Do all elements of the marketing package, from decoration to menu options to print materials, reflect a consistent marketing message? Have you considered social changes when designing your marketing materials?
Looking for Marketing Opportunities
Marketing opportunities are often the places you least expect and deserve attention. One summer, when the road in front of the Maxine Turner building was being built, her deli business was drastically reduced. “The weather was very hot, so we distributed brochures to all businesses in and around our own complex, aimed at all those who entered our deli but were frustrated by the construction that made it difficult to get here,” he recalled.
“We did a campaign of ‘Conquer the heat, conquer the building, bring friends and have lunch with us.’ This is a two-to-one promotion, just to remind us that we are there and serve the community. Our business is immediately. 30%, it’s amazing how many people entered without using a 2-in-1 card. ”
Turner also pays close attention to the situation in the offices around his store.“ If someone moves, we will give them a free lunch so that please come forward and we invite you to join our business community, “he said. “We do our best to put our name in front of people.”
A modern business card is your website. People will find you here, where you can show the world what you have to offer. Not only can you post menu items, photos of the products sold, and make reservations, but you can also include customer recommendations and reviews that have been printed or posted elsewhere.
The video can be part of your website, or it can show that your chef is making a favorite house. It can also include the history of your restaurant, nearby attractions that visitors can enjoy, and even some trivia. You want visitors to participate and return frequently, so you need to keep your website up to date. Make sure all your marketing materials can lead people to your website. Remember, this is your business card.
One of the most effective and affordable ways to promote a foodservice business is through social media. “We entered the world of Facebook very early and we continue to be amazed by this extremely cost-effective method of communicating directly with guests,” said Scott Redler. “One person in our office is Freddy’s ‘voice’ on Facebook.
He responds directly to friends who send us messages. We have launched a fan club that allows guests to sign up to receive email reminders and special offers.”
Don’t limit yourself to a social media platform; explore all of these and focus on trends and new opportunities. The social media landscape is evolving at an incredible rate; Find someone on your team, be it an employee or a consultant, whose job it is to keep up with the latest trends and let them work for you.
Social media is important. Redler said: “We have been expanding our understanding of the benefits of social media and programs that allow people to broadcast their location to their friends. You can’t make up for poor food quality or poor social media operations, but you can Use them to increase guest loyalty.”
Understand different websites and interacts accordingly. For example, Facebook is known for establishing social connections, but companies do a good job of being friendly, approachable, and interacting in a social way. Twitter is known for its short and direct comments. Provide quick updates and feedback related to your business. Other sites like Pinterest and Tumblr are very visual, so you can visually think through beautiful photos of food and people enjoying the dining experience (if possible, especially local celebrities).
Public Relations and Promotions
An easy way to promote your foodservice business is by giving away gift certificates, such as dinner for two, coffee and bagels for ten, or free pizza. Post coupons, specials, and upcoming specials.
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