You need to write a business plan to write a restaurant marketing plan. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Consolidate the brand.
Before you start brainstorming your marketing activities, you should review your brand mission statement, vision statement, value propositions, and positioning. These elements should already be in the business plan, but reviewing them with a marketing goal is important. Here is a reminder of what these components should look like.
Mission Statement: The mission statement is the reason the restaurant exists. Mission statements usually consist of one to three sentences and are approximately 50 words. They should:
- describe the value of the restaurant
- inspire customers, staff, and stakeholders
- be plausible and realistic
- be specific and concrete
Vision Statement: The vision statement should answer the question of what you hope to create in the restaurant in the future. It has to be stimulating and motivating.
Value propositions: It is important to describe the unique value the restaurant offers customers, especially since it sets itself apart from the competition.
Positioning Statement: In one sentence, describe how you want competitors, customers, and the rest of the market to perceive the venue.
Step 2: Your target audience.
The target audience was defined based on customer segments’ demographics, psychographics, and behaviors. Therefore, all restaurant marketing strategies must speak to one or more parts of your target market.
It would help if you asked yourself the following questions for each customer segment:
- Do they communicate on social media, or do they review sites?
- What do they do before choosing to dine in a restaurant?
- Do they prefer to have dinner or go out?
- What kind of events do they enjoy?
- Are they affected by coupons or discounts?
Step 3: SWOT analysis of competitors.
For each competitor, a SWOT analysis must be performed:
- Strengths: What are the competitors doing? You can do better by understanding what your competitors are doing well.
- Weaknesses: What could the competitor do better? You learn from competitors’ mistakes by identifying holes in their trades.
- Opportunity: How can competitors’ weaknesses be exploited and do better?
- Threats: Do competitors offer something unique that others don’t have?
Step 4: Define the market differentiators.
You have to repeat the SWOT procedure in your restaurant to define the market differentiator in a single statement. This statement should describe the advantage over the competition.
Step 5: Create an elevator pitch.
An elevator pitch is like describing a restaurant to a stranger in 60 seconds or less. It is important to keep this in mind when developing promotional messaging.
- The elevator pitch states:
- The name and concept of the restaurant;
- The type of cuisine offered;
- What you do for your target audience.
Step 6: Define and prioritize the restaurant’s marketing goals.
The restaurant’s marketing priorities will change as the venue grows. In general, however, all marketing initiatives in restaurants will serve at least one of these three purposes:
- Branding: Branding precedes you. It is the reputation, and it must be good. Branding will be reflected in everything you do, including marketing materials, furniture, etc. Promoting the brand is vital for grabbing the attention of your target audience and staying in their memory when deciding where to eat.
Example initiatives: social media, public relations, events, blogs, partnerships
- Customer Acquisition: The goal is obvious: fill seats, browse credit cards, and raise money. These are the marketing campaigns that will get customers to the door.
Examples of initiatives: promotions, coupons, advertising
- Customer Retention: Customer retention campaigns are marketing efforts to ensure profitability. Customer retention strategies involve capturing customer information and combining branding strategies.
Example initiatives: social media, email marketing, loyalty programs
Step 7: choose promotional strategies.
Based on your budget, target audience, and goals, you must first choose some of these strategies to implement.
- Marketing strategies for digital restaurants
- Website and SEO
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Marketing via email
- SMS messaging
- Review sites
- Loyalty programs
- Marketing strategies for traditional restaurants
- Direct mail
- Contests and giveaways
- Championships and events
- When you have chosen your strategies, define the following for each:
- roles and responsibilities
- quantifiable goal
- campaign details
- measurement of results