Your open for business, and aside from making food and creating a stellar ambience there’s more you need to do to get those customers in the door.
Marketing may seem super specialized, however it’s something we do a lot of without even knowing. From marketing your self for that new job, to a new love interest, pushing our politics and philosophies to family and friends and even now showcasing our lifestyle all over social media.
Marketing is the promotion and selling of something-it’s the part of the business you chose to get in to when you opened your new business including a restaurant. So why are so many restaurant owners baffled by restaurant marketing?
With solid marketing in place, you will see tables booked on a nightly basis, customers coming back for more and new customers becoming aware of what is on offer.
We get it not everyone can afford to hire a marketing guru, so like most things when you try and do it all yourself you will make some marketing mistakes along the way. Here we’ll identify some of the most common so you know which tactics to avoid or the right direction you need to be heading in.
NO BRAND IDENTITY
A brand identity is a customers DNA. When you think of some of the most successful brands in the world, you can instantly recognize their brands logo and associate that with what they have to offer.
So commonly restaurants make the mistake of not creating a brand identity that your customers can relate to.
If you can add personality and a story to your brand, you are more likely to build a connection with your customers. These customers will then want to become a part of your story.
If you can also develop a brand promise in your story, something that your customers know you will try your very hardest to deliver on at all times, you’ll be well on the way to establishing a solid brand identity.
So for example if you’re a farm to table restaurant that promotes its self on fresh organic ingredients you can’t stray away from this otherwise you will jeopardize your brands reputation and identity along with it.
NOT HAVING , or HAVING A POORLY DESIGNED WEBSITE
In todays competitive market having a website is a must have for your restaurant- and let me clarify that a Facebook page does not count as a website. Don’t get me wrong it is a valuable marketing tool, but it is not a website. Customers are interested in finding out more about a restaurant before they commit to visiting, or ordering and the best way to do that is via a website. So this website needs to communicate your brand identity and it needs to be clear, eye grabbing and eventually recognizable. Make sure your users journey is easy and search optimized to drive actions. If you have a poorly designed website that is difficult to navigate, you increase the chances of customers looking elsewhere because they can’t find exactly what they are after. So note to self if your going to spend some cash money, spend it here.
NO BUSINESS STRATEGY
Unfortunately, you can’t wing it when it comes to marketing your business. You need a proper thought out business strategy that is goal-driven and measurable. Are you trying to create awareness about your restaurant, drive more foot traffic to your eatery or grow your social media following? Each of these requires unique marketing tactics so it’s essential to establish what you need to achieve and structure your strategy with that goal in mind. You also need to assess the effectiveness of your strategy regularly so you can adjust it accordingly.
ALWAYS OFFERING A DISCOUNT
Promotions that involve discounts are one of the easiest ways to encourage sales. But if you just have discounts for the sake of having them and they never end, you’re losing more money than you’re making. Discounts should always run for a limited time and have a catch that supports your marketing objectives. For example, you can give 30% off your patrons’ next meal if they sign up for your restaurant’s newsletter or you can offer them a complimentary glass of house wine when they order more than four tapas. It all goes back to your strategy and what you stand to gain from the discount.
FORGETTING ABOUT MOBILE MARKETING
8 out of 10 times your customers are viewing your offerings on there mobile phone. Your customers are busy and always on the go, and being able to view menus on there phone , order and/or book a table is advantageous. The plus is you can link this to your POS system.
Mobile apps are proving to be a popular business investment within the restaurant world. You are able to collect information on your customers and provide exclusive discounts to app users, offer rewards for visiting, and provide instant access to menus and online booking functionality.
NOT USING YOUR CUSTOMERS DATA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
You can never know too much about your customers. Yet so many restaurants don’t gather any information about them or if they do, they don’t use it to their advantage. Leveraging customer data is an effective way to improve your service and deliver more personalized experiences to your customer.
If you run a loyalty program, ensure that you use all the information it collects to your advantage. If you require sign ins on your website for delivery , then collect that info and offer your customers a personalized discount on there next order. If your restaurant has an app, pay attention to the buying patterns that arise from mobile payments and mobile orders. No piece of information is too small when you’re building a 360-degree view of your patrons.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,