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In the past, when you want to open a diner or a simple grill, all you need to do is put an OPEN sign and start serving. Today, things are run a bit differently. Most diners do not simply want a good meal. They want to record the experience as something to remember, a moment where they can have fun with family and friends. As a restaurateur, how do you make sure these targets are met? Of course, you need to have your own marketing plan. Whether you have or you don’t have it yet, we simply have to make sure that all the important things are part of the big plan:

Effective Marketing Strategy for your Restaurant Business

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How do you position yourself in the market and what can you offer to your customers?

Before you start with the rest of the steps, you need to identify your brand. You have to act like a customer and try to look at the bigger picture, every angle from the inside and out. You need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and check if your brand answers their needs and wants. Most importantly, you need to truly identify what makes you different from your competitors that the customer must choose you and your brand.
You need to set your goals. How do you want to be known? And you must hold on to that goal. Your best asset can be barbeque with a special kind of sauce that is to die for, or the special burger where people will patiently fall in line to get that most wanted bite.
Most importantly, check you competitor. Use tools like Google Analytics to find how they are doing and then you strategize your next move. Take note for later when you need to go one by one on your marketing plan details.

Direct Marketing: Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.

Never take for granted the oldest marketing strategy which is the word-of-mouth. People come in to you for your product; they go out happy; they share to the community and the community will come to you. Even if there are pros and cons in marketing, the word-of-mouth is still the most effective marketing mileage in any restaurant. Not like in the past, you do not need to hear local critics to know if you are effective at it. You can offer some teasers like promos when you refer a friend to dine. You can also ask the diners to leave a review in the social media. Register your business to Google and your customers can leave their review. Millennials and almost all other generations who use mobile phones are asking google on places to dine and shop. The more accessible your company is, the better chances of dining. If they get satisfied, the greater the reviews you get.

Loyalty Programs: For possible repeat visit

Almost all restaurants are offering loyalty programs to invite their customers to come back, and for the main reason that these things actually work. Whether you simply have a simple loyalty card that entitled them to a free item on the menu or a POS system that can connect or handle email marketing, these will give them reasons to come back. A simple free dessert or coffee is more than enough to invite customers to return to your restaurant. You do not need to spend more than $15 for a meal, unless you can and you want to.

Website and Social Media: Everybody is on the Internet

If you are unaware of what online presence can do to your restaurant business, you must change that mindset. You may ignore the thought of spending too much on creating a marketing plan, but you cannot ignore the fact that you need internet accessibility. Most people have cellphones nowadays and with just one click, they can search any restaurant of their choice. They can find your restaurant in an instant, unless you do not want to be found online.
Most companies ideally have websites and are active on Social Media. If the website is not yet part of your budget, at least you should be active on facebook, Instagram or twitter to invite customers to visit your restaurant. Once you have your account you must commit to post updates and promos so your customers will know that you are present. You must be consistent on this because the customers deserve to know what you have so when they visit your restaurant, they know what to expect.
If you want to take your strategy to the next level, create your marketing plan. You need a solid plan before taking on google and understanding the use of SEO. Failure to have the solid plan and greater understanding of all of this will result to traffic blocks, falling ranks and even money loss.

Email Marketing: Don’t Let those promos sleep

Your customers normally do consider coming back after they leave your door. If they are first time diners, they have variety of meal options to try. Emailing them of your coupon and latest offers can go a long way. Your email marketing can bring information of your restaurant through monthly newsletters in their mailbox, to inform them of the latest promos and event. It can also be an avenue for surveys of their experiences and probably a possible venue of their next event like birthdays, thanksgiving and the like.

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