How to Launch Bar and Restaurant Promotions for Maximum ROI
To make money, you’ve got spend money. The key is to spend it wisely. Discover the simple plan for launching bar and restaurant promotions that deliver maximum bang for your buck. Plus, find out the 4 top secret methods for marketing your promotions (see step #4).
Step #1) Promote with Purpose: 4 Key Questions to Ask First
When is launching a 2-for-1 pitcher promotion on Saturdays a bad idea? When you’re a sports bar with a strong weekend crowd already. Instead, be strategic when creating your bar and restaurant promotions.
First, determine the specific business goal the promotion will help you achieve.
Use these 4 questions to create a plan for your next round of bar and restaurant promotions.
- Daypart: What days or daypart/s need a boost in business?
- Customer: Which customer/s are most likely to visit during that daypart?
- Needs: What do they care about most?
- Focus: How can you launch a promotion that meets those needs?
So, if business is booming at your sports bar on weekends, here’s how you might answer the 4 questions.
- Daypart: Focus your bar and restaurant promotions on the weekday lunch daypart.
- Customer: Your target audience would be nearby professionals.
- Needs: They likely care about getting a filling lunch – fast.
- Focus: A good promotion would be a Perfect 10 Lunch Deal – a meal and drink for $10 served in 10 minutes or less.
Step #2) Select a Target Audience for Your Bar and Restaurant Promotions
The best way to maximize the ROI of your bar and restaurant promotions is to identify a target audience. Here’s why:
- When you know your target customer, you can create promotions that meet their specific needs
- You’ll save on marketing costs since you’re only trying to reach certain customers – not everyone
- Promotional materials can be designed with graphics and text that speak directly to the customer
Now that you’ve identified which daypart or day of the week needs more business, dive deeper into which type of customer is most likely to visit. Here are a few examples:
Daypart: Weeknights 5pm-7pm
Target Audience: Families for Dinner, Happy Hour for Nearby Professionals
Daypart: Weeknights 8pm-Close
Target Audience: Millennials, Couples for Date Night
Step #3) Offer or Event: Which Type of Bar and Restaurant Promotions Work Best?
Step 3 is where great bar and restaurant promotions are made! You’ve determined your target audience, now get creative with a promotion that delivers value to them.
Most bar and restaurant promotions are either one of two things: an event or and offer.
To see 13 of today’s most popular offers and events, download The Pro Playbook: How to Run a Promotion for Maximum ROI.
Here are two examples to get you started:
Online Coupon (Offer)
Create an online coupon for your website or app – like a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrées valid on weekdays only.
With online coupons and offers, you’ll save money (no printing costs or media to buy). Plus, you’ll benefit from better tracking of your bar and restaurant promotions. You can see how many people click on the coupon online, while also tracking redemption through your POS.
This might surprise you: Online coupons are ideal if you want to attract high income individuals! In a study by online coupon giant RetailMeNot, 46% of those making over $150,000 redeemed a digital restaurant offer in the past 3 months, compared to just 16% of people who earned $25,000 to $49,000.
Trivia Night (Event)
If you’re trying to build weeknight business, launch a live trivia event as one of your bar and restaurant promotions.
Ideal for attracting everyone from millennials to sports fans, trivia nights are easier than ever to host…yourself. The old school method was bringing in an outside trivia night host. Now, there are complete live trivia packages that include the questions plus handheld tablets for easy scoring.
Step #4) Where to Market Your Bar and Restaurant Promotions
Once you’ve outlined your bar and restaurant promotions, you’ve got to market them! To see 7 simple ways to spread the word about your bar and restaurant promotions – for $300 total – download the Pro Playbook: How to Run a Promotion for Maximum ROI.
Get on Google
It’s the holy grail in restaurant promotions: to show up on the first page of Google. The best way to guarantee at least some guests will see your offer on the first page? Pay to play. Set up a Google Adwords campaign around your promotion. Don’t forget the other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
This search engine strategy is listed first because it comes first with guests. According to the RetailMeNot study, search engines are the #1 method used by customers looking for bar and restaurant promotions (27% of all guests use them).
Put Your Promotion at Your Website
No matter which customer you’re trying to reach with your bar and restaurant promotions, always put your promotion on your website. Why? Because the same RetailMeNot study revealed that 24% of guests visit a restaurant’s website or app to seek out deals.
While a Google Adwords campaign ensures your bar and restaurant promotions are seen, there’s a FREE way to show up…organically. It’s called SEO (search engine optimization). SEO means you write text at your website based on what guests are searching online.
For example, if you’re a sports bar in Kansas City, you’d include phrases like “restaurant deals in Kansas City” at your website. It’s not a guarantee you’ll be on Google’s first page, but it can happen.
The best way to boost your SEO is with a blog – get tips to start a restaurant blog here.
4 Top Secret Places to Run Your Promotions
Want to get ahead of the competition with your bar and restaurant promotions? Try these innovative methods to market to your target audience.
Want Millennials? Use Snapchat
Over 60% of 13 to 34 year-olds use this up and coming social media app. It’s a snap to get started with these 10 tips for using Snapchat at your restaurant or bar.
Want Sports Fans? Use the Stadium
Go where the fans are! If you’re targeting sports fans, head out before and after the game to distribute $5 coupons.
Want to Reach Existing Guests? Use Your TVs
The best bar and restaurant promotions focus on increasing sales from existing guests. With digital signage, you can turn your TVs into eye-catching displays to promote special offers and events.
Want College Students? Use College Media
To target your bar and restaurant promotions to college students, run an ad in the local college newspaper or on the college radio station. Today, most college papers have an online version, too.
Step #5) Made to Measure: How to Track Your Bar and Restaurant Promotions
When it comes to tracking the ROI of your bar and restaurant promotions, automate the process using your POS system. For example, if you run a $10 lunch special, create a code in your POS system. That way, you can analyze sales to see if your promotions are moving the needle.
For event-related bar and restaurant promotions, get a “baseline” leading up to the event: either by taking a head count or tracking sales on a particular night. If you plan to run a live trivia event on a Tuesday night, start a month in advance tracking data for Tuesdays.
If there’s one rule the best bar and restaurant promotions follow, it’s this: align your promotions with your business goals. Be strategic with targeted promotions that save you money and add value for customers – all while boosting your bottom line.
For a complete step-by-step guide to creating your next best promotion, download the Pro Playbook: How to Run a Promotion for Maximum ROI.