8 Steps to Successful Promotion for Restaurants
If you build it, they will come. Don’t jump to conclusions! Good service and food are essential, but a sound promotional plan should be the base on which to establish your restaurant. If your business is already running, you may want to make sure you are promoting to the best of your ability. If you’re a new business, putting together a smart promotional plan should be the start. Remember, food and service doesn’t always mean success.
Analyze Your Situation
Your restaurant is unique, take a step back and try to break it down. You can do this by performing something called The SWOT Analysis. This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. What does your restaurant do well? What can you improve on? What opportunities can you take advantage of? Finally, what outside threats is your business facing? Identifying these four aspects is a great start towards your plan.
Research Other Restaurants
Look at other businesses in the area. What have they done to be successful? Even more importantly, try to learn from their mistakes. This is a great opportunity to learn from others so you don’t make the same mistakes they did. Look at your potential competitors as well. If you can be one step ahead of the game, you can take customers right from under them.
Determine Target Customers
You’ll want to be able to deploy your marketing strategies while hitting all your demographics. The type of restaurant you are running will determine which type of customers to expect. Therefore, it is important to identify your typical customer before proceeding with your promotional plan.
Set Your Budget
You want your plan to be successful but you don’t want to deplete your resources at the same time. Decide how much money can be used to carry out your plan. Once you have learned which strategies work best for you, you will be able to budget even better in the future. This is the next step to help identify your marketing strategies.
Pick Your Marketing Strategies
Now that your demographics are identified and your budget it laid out, you can decide which ways to market your restaurant. Remember, it is important to take your target customers into consideration when deciding how to market. Classier restaurants will have a more laid-back approach while sports bars will probably use a louder and more direct method.
Determine the Objectives and Goals
What do you strive to achieve from this plan? How much do you want this plan to better your business? Objectives are more qualitative such as an increase in revenue, while goals are more quantitative such as a 10% revenue increase. Setting objectives and goals are important for looking back and evaluating the success of a promotional plan.
Evaluate the Success of Your Plan
After implementing and letting your plan run its’ course, it’s important to evaluate whether you achieved what you wanted to achieve. Identify whether your goals and objectives were met or not. Being able to look back at your plan is essential especially if it does not go the way as planned.
Write Down and Record
In the future you may have to draw up another game plan or revise your current plan. Write down, record and take notes on everything. You’ll want to be able to look back and see what has been successful and what hasn’t. You can’t be perfect so it’s important to learn every step of the way.
Don’t just wing it! Sit down and draw it out. Have you put time into your promotional plan?