You may go through a busy stretch in the restaurant business, but here’s a question: do you have the marketing habits in place to sustain it?
Every night brings about its own set of challenges in the restaurant business. Maybe you had a waiter or a dishwasher call in. Maybe there are some notoriously high-maintenance customers making their presence known. It’s easy to put aside any tasks that don’t have to do with taking care of the customers that are right in front of you.
That’s an understandable response, but what about the next night? What happens when business slows? You’ll need to develop a set of marketing habits that keep your restaurant on top of customers minds and have them returning. You’ll need a way to stand out and differentiate.
These Marketing Habits Will Help You Grow Your Restaurant
Habit #1: Understand Your Strengths
What kind of dishes do you excel at? What is the dining experience like in your restaurant? Marketing is about consistently filling the tables. It’s about effectively communicating your audience what you’re good at. Knowing your strengths will drive all future marketing habits.
Habit #2: Understand the Competition
Once you have an understanding of your strengths, it becomes easier to understand your place in the market. What makes your restaurant different, or better, than the competition? When people are hungry and perusing the internet for their dining options, why should they come to you? Spend some time researching the market and developing answers to these questions.
Habit #3: Planning and Strategy
It’s important to understand your customer base, and where they are spending their time. Developing the right marketing habits requires knowing how to reach your ideal customer.
A younger crowd may be more reachable on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. An older crowd may still be more reachable through strategically placed flyers or brochures. A website with a consistent blog can help you turn your website into a valuable customer resource. This is your chance to get strategic and creative, as you think of restaurant marketing ideas.
Habit #3: Persistence Pays Off
The research states that it takes 6-8 touches before you have a sales lead. It may be similar in the restaurant industry. People need repetition before they work your restaurant in as a viable option. Make sure that you are consistently blogging, posting, and creating viable marketing content that is in sync with your strategy. Whatever platforms you choose, keep at it.
Habit #4: Tracking
Tracking is how you understand which of your marketing efforts are producing results. Google Analytics is a great way to track website traffic. If you are running a social media promotion, ask your customers to mention it for a discount – and keep track of the results, so you can measure effectiveness.
Habit #5: Build Relationships
Sure, it’s nice to have a family spend $50 in your establishment on a particular evening. But what if they became regulars? Get to know your customers, and build relationships on an ongoing basis.
Habit #6: Keep Your Materials Consistent
Many people experience your marketing materials before they ever set foot in your door. They create a powerful first impression. Make sure they all have a consistent look and feel that remains true to your brand.
Habit #7: Measure Return on Investment
You may have a promotion or campaign that does well. But if the ROI isn’t there, it may not make sense to continue. Make sure that you are measuring all costs involved.
Habit #8: Know Your Limitations
Remember, all your marketing materials should have a professional look and feel to them. If you are not a strong graphic designer, writer or photographer, consider outsourcing to an employee, or finding some freelance help.
It takes planning and hard work to be able to keep people returning to your restaurant on a regular basis. Setting the right marketing habits can help your business succeed. Contact us for a marketing consultation!