Creating a simple yet effective marketing plan for your restaurant does not have to be a source of overwhelming stress. In fact, most restaurants may lack this simple marketing guidepost, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
A strategic marketing plan is something that can give you direction for the course of the year. They don’t have to be overly complicated and include every last detail. They don’t have to be something you rack your brain over for weeks or months. In fact, they shouldn’t be.
A good strategic marketing plan can be developed in less than 24 hours.
It should always be on paper.
It should contain some specific goals and action items.
That way you can go back and review it throughout the course of the year.
5 Easy Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan for Your Restaurant In Under 24 Hours
1. Conducting a Current Situation Analysis (2-4 Hours)
To start creating your marketing plan, it’s important to understand your current situation. Answering these questions will provide a situational analysis that will influence the rest of the decisions that factor into your strategic marketing plan.
Q: What do my customers say they like about my restaurant?
These are your strengths. These will be some of the points you will leverage in your marketing.
Q: What are my customers saying in reviews and through other forms of feedback those things that they do not like or are not satisfied?
These are your weakness. Quickly checking on review sites such as Yelp, Google and Tripadvisor will provide lots of insights into your business from food, service.
Q: What are the opportunities you know you can and should take advantage of?
Examples may include offering free wifi, adding new menu items that there is a demand, etc.
Q: What are the external threats to my restaurant?
Examples may include construction, new competition in local area, regulation and other external factors that affect your restaurant.
What you just did is called a SWOT analysis. This is an important step and which you should dedicate adequate time. Make sure you write these points down under Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
2. Business Goals (1-2 Hours)
Next, establish what your business goals are for the upcoming year that your marketing plan will help accomplish. For example, you can create one large revenue goal for the year, and then break that down by segmenting it into the individual months.
So in the process, you can ask yourself:
What are my revenue goals?
You can then break that down, and segment monthly or even weekly amounts to help you keep on track throughout the year.
It’s also important to take a look at reputation goals, such as how your restaurant ranks on review sites and evaluating your social media numbers.
3. Strategy Roadmap (2-4 Hours)
Here’s the tricky part to be very honest. You can’t just circle Valentine’s Day on your marketing calendar and wish more people to come into your restaurant.
There needs to be some strategies and tactics at play here. Are you going to offer menu specials? Are you going to give a discount to couples who come in to spend the evening at your restaurant?
There are several food-related national days every single month. You can use those days to increase exposure for your restaurant as well. So take a look at a calendar, and evaluate your menu. Develop the strategies and tactics that you want to use to get more people in the door. Then, pay attention when we get to point #5.
You’ll also want to determine what platforms are the best for marketing your planned promotions. What combination of your website, social media platforms, or location-based check-ins do you want to use? Maybe its time for you to seriously investigate a progressive web app for your restaurant.
Maybe it’s time to update your professional food photography. Do you want to utilize your local newspaper or market in conjunction with other local businesses?
Take a look at a proven list of big marketing ideas for a small budget. Try new things. Implement what makes sense for your restaurant. All these things will matter.
Do you need assistance with proven marketing strategies from our experts? Contact us for a free consultation.
4. Set a Marketing Budget (1-2 Hours)
Your marketing budget can quickly become a black hole if you are not careful. It’s important to consider the marketing strategies that have worked well for you in the past, and figure out how to make those happen, economically.
Many restaurants set aside a certain percentage of their revenues to pay for their marketing efforts. It’s not always the easiest thing, but it’s important to consider your marketing efforts an investment. You should be seeing results based on what you spend. So determine your budget to get people through the door, and consider point #5.
5. Leveraging Marketing Resources (1-2 Hours)
Once you have your strategies and tactics, as well as your budget in place, it’s time to take an inventory of your resources. You can quickly do that by answering a few easy questions:
What resources should I leverage?
Should I hire a marketing staff?
Should I use freelancers?
Should I use a specialized marketing agency for SEO, web design or other marketing needs?
Should I use a specialized restaurant marketing agency?
Having these answers in place can help you greatly determine your marketing success for the future.
Once you have your restaurant marketing plan in place, review it quarterly. That is why it’s important to make it a paper document, for continued, convenient access.
It doesn’t have to be painstakingly difficult to complete, either. A good strategic marketing plan with actionable items can be written in under 24 hours by answering the above questions.
Do you want some creative ideas that can help breath life into your plan? Contact us for a free consultation.