The pandemic has created unique situation with business reopening after the lockdown disruption and entreprenuers capitalizing on the opportunity of buying and opening new restaurant locations.
When it comes to how to market a new restaurant or reopening location, many operators make the common mistake of deferring marketing to after restaurant opening. The common thinking is let me deal with million things that need to be done to open the doors, there isn’t enough time to think about marketing now.
Defering marketing is not a good idea, there are missed opportunities!
In the months and weeks leading up to the grand opening, there is really a one-time opportunity to create the buzz for your upcoming new restaurant. The work doesn’t end at the opening, however. Below is a suggested timeline for how to promote a new restaurant.
Here are some smart marketing strategies that can make your new restaurant a success.
Market a New Restaurant: What You Can Do to Build an Audience and Create Demand
In the 6-8 weeks leading up to the opening of your restaurant, you have the opportunity to build a audience and create a “new restaurant coming near you” buzz for your business. Here are some steps you can take to begin the process are:
- Register domain name: The absolute first step is to register your domain name. Do not search for domain name availability and leave it to registering it later. You may find that your domain name has been hijacked and demand for hundreds or thousands of dollars to sell it to you.
- Set up website: In the weeks before your grand opening, the website doesn’t need to say much more than the name of your restaurant, and “Coming Soon.” You can also put a brief description of the type of food you’ll have on the menu. Again, you’re trying to provoke some curiosity. It’s also a good idea to install an email registration on the website, to begin the process of building an email list of local customers. This may be an opportune time to determine the strategy for your website after you open, and make the decision on a progressive web app.
- Set up Facebook Page: You can set up a Facebook business page for your restaurant to start building an audience. This is a good opportunity to interact with the local community, and begin to find your voice.
The day the business opens, set up your local presence on Google My Business. The key benefit to this feature from Google is a prominent box on the right side of the search page. There are some key opportunities here for visibility.
Google My Business offers a visual layout, with buttons for directions, your website, and reviews, among other things. Make sure you take the time to fill out all the information for this feature so that you can take advantage of some free visibility.
First 90 days after Opening
In the first 90 days after you open, focus your attention to increase your local visibility and grow your business awareness. There are many digital strategies to implement, such as enhancing Facebook efforts, running ads in conjunction with your growing page. Other methods might be to call your local newspaper, and make your storefront more visible with inflatables or feather signs. Make sure you are working to create awareness with your local audience.
When you promote a new restaurant, it’s also important to create a multi-channel marketing plan in the early days. Not only that, but you’ll want to refer to it through the course of the year. Your marketing plan should serve as your roadmap and blueprint. It should highlight the opportunities you see, and how you want to capitalize on them. It doesn’t have to be overly-complicated. In fact, you can create a quality marketing plan in less than a day.
The most important thing to remember is that marketing can be a lot of work – and there are plenty of resources available for help. If you’re slightly off on your timeline, don’t sweat it. The important thing is to work hard, and do everything you can to market your new restaurant favorably in the local community.
Are you looking to speak with people who have done these hundreds of times before? Contact us for a free marketing consultation today!
How do you attract customers to your restaurant?
Get found online by investing SEO. Engage with potential customers on social media platforms. Manage your online reviews actively. Grow an customer email list to be able to re-market cost effectively. Build partnerships with local businesses and organizations. Create attractive offers and run promotions. Develop a loyalty program.
Learn more about how to attract more customers to your restaurant
How do you promote a new restaurant?
Effectively promote your new restaurant through a multi-channel marketing strategy for maximizing reach and engagement on social media, email and mobile platforms. Use NGAZE marketing platform to run multi-channel marketing campaigns.
Learn more about multi-channel marketing campaigns
How can I generate more sales?
Determine the segment you want to generate more sales – dine-in, carryout or catering. For each of those segments your marketing strategies will differ with the offers and promotions you run. Use the NGAZE marketing platform to run multi-channel marketing promotions to generate more sales for each of those segments.
Learn more about NGAZE marketing platform
How can I get new customers online?
Manage your online reputation since new customers check that first before deciding to give you a try. Invest in SEO to be found online. Maintain a social presence to be top of mind of potential customers. Use email and mobile marketing effectively to drive them to your business.
Learn more about restaurant reputation management
How can I make my restaurant successful?
In addition to providing a great experience that includes good food and great customer service, the expectation of the customer is changing. Convenience is now becoming important. Online presence, social engagement and offering carryout and delivery is becoming crucial for success.
Learn more about restaurant marketing mix