In highly competitive markets, a restaurant’s success depends on its ability to target local customers. If you’re trying to build a foundation for growth, learn how a hyper-local marketing focus can help.
The restaurant business is incredibly competitive in virtually every city. Unless you have a unique cuisine or celebrated chef, it’s hard to stand out. The average restaurateur doesn’t have to drive very far to find similar menus at comparable establishments. Fortunately, you can cultivate a consistent following by investing the bulk of your advertising dollars in the local community.
How Local Should I Get?
Most business people are fixated on increasing their customer pools by expanding their geographic boundaries. Unfortunately, in the dining business, this tends to expose lesser-known restaurants to insurmountable competition. A broad marketing campaign is fine once you’ve developed consistent revenue from a steady stream of regulars. Until then, however, you need to get a reliable flow of income.
Since most restaurants get the bulk of their business from the local community, it’s wise to focus the majority of your advertising dollars on the people who live within a mile of your establishment. There are a lot of good ways to do this, including:
- Build strong relationships with local influencers.
- Create cross promotions and brand partnerships with other local vendors.
- Create geo-targeted ads on Google AdWords, Facebook and Twitter.
- Add your restaurant to Google MyBusiness Yelp, Zomato, Trip Advisor, FourSquare and other local directories
- Sponsor local events.
- Provide catering for local businesses.
While hyper-local marketing campaigns aren’t right for every type of restaurant, they are essential for lesser-known establishments. By attracting a high volume of customers within a limited geographic area, you can create a foundation for your business that can fuel expanded outreach at some point in the future.