Restaurants are not just about food, so let’s talk some business here – know the marketing strategies of the trade
The basic point of all marketing strategies for restaurants is to prevent any major financial wrong decisions. Marketing was, is, and will be the backbone of the restaurant industry. The reason behind it? Obviously, people will not know you exist if you do not tell them you are here.
Marketing has undergone massive changes over the years. It no longer revolves around the product. It has now become customer-centric. The four things that marketing mainly focuses on about customers are creation, retention, attention, and satisfaction. McDonalds, KFC, and Subway are some of the big names in the food industry that can best show that marketing is centered around customers.
In the current corporate scenario, however, you do not have to worry about spending a huge amount of money on marketing. There are several means which facilitate free marketing strategies for restaurants as well. Let’s check out some of the marketing strategies for restaurants that will guide you to get better revenue for sure.
- Restaurant marketing mixes
Now, when it has come to the concept of making customers happy, there are quite a few aspects that need to be considered – Product, price, place, promotion, people, process, and physical evidence. Introduced by E.Jerokme McCarthy, this marketing mix has been used by business owners since the 1960s. It is known as the 7P Marketing mix, this is the extended version of the 4P marketing mix which covers only the first 4 aspects.
The most basic thing that a restaurateur must understand, according to studies, is the needs of the customers. The moment you have a grip on this, your product will adapt itself and so will your restaurant on this basis. Things will become easier to manage. The marketing mix of any kind helps to identify these needs and streamlines the process of providing for the fulfillment of the needs.
Product – refers to what you are selling. In this case, it is your food. Your product has to be in line with the requirement. So, conduct market research before jumping into the business and find out what sells most. In this regard, one should learn from the legendary creator of KFC, Colonel Sanders. He knew that Mcdonalds’ was making burgers and doing very well at it. So, he decided he would make anything but burgers, so he settled for fried chicken. He started as a roadside restaurant but today an empire has been built in the name of KFC.
Price – another extremely important aspect in marketing strategies for restaurants is the price it fixes on a dish. The pricing of your product should be decent and affordable in all circumstances. The cost of purchasing the raw material, the production of the food, the quality of the food, the condition and competition in the market as well as your targeted customers are some of the things that experts in pricing consider. You could fix a price for the food you serve, or could also opt to change it as per the demand; such as on festivals or special occasions. You need to have a fair understanding of the market to be able to price your product appropriately.
Place – this is about where the product will be distributed. According to the marketing strategies for restaurants, everyone needs a proper medium to distribute the product. The place you chose for marketing could be done directly by you or indirectly with the help of some other distributors. Deciding where you should put up a restaurant will largely depend on your research. You will have to understand the masses of a particular area and find the right place to market your restaurant.
Promotion – Making yourself known to the masses is the only way you will draw customers to your food place. This is what makes promotion an extremely important aspect of marketing mixes. this is by far an extremely important aspect in today’s context, for people do not want to go to a place that is not known to them. In the case of a restaurant, this is very crucial because we are dealing with food here. Therefore, as a restaurateur, you will have to focus very accurately on your promotion work.
In the present times, you have the convenience of social media, emails, websites, sms, podcast and so much more you can do with these social platforms. You need to know how to use them optimally so that you can draw traffic to your restaurant. And the best part of using all this is that they come for free. You do not have to invest any money to promote your restaurant on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other common platforms. However, you will have to make sure that your posts are attractive. The key here is to let the people know your restaurant’s specialties at a single glance so that they ask about you and want to know more.
Of course, you could also use other traditional methods of promotion via billboards, pamphlets, etc. But those are comparatively more difficult to conduct along with the expenses they carry. The ultimate aim of promotions is to bring about a change in the decision of the customer.
People – this is the extended part of the original 4Ps of marketing strategies. The front-line staff that you use at your restaurant is conveyed by this criterion. Training is a very important part of this, you must be very careful of the people you are hiring to interact with the customers. In no way, can u afford to lose a single customer due to the fault of your employee. Hence, the staff ought to be thoroughly trained with especial emphasis on how to deal with the most common issues of customers. In the present scenario where online ordering numbers are increasing by the day, the staff is also trained on how to handle the requests and complaints of orders and services of the customers. They must be mindful of providing prompt responses and resolution of grievances.
Process – according to Cowell’s works the entire flow of activities through which a service is provided to the customers of your restaurant, is considered as the process. As a restaurateur, one of the important marketing strategies for restaurants is to ensure that the process followed always aims at customer satisfaction.
Physical Evidence – though this may be the last yet it certainly is not the least. This has a heavy impact on the ROI of your restaurant. Physical evidence according to experts is everything else other than the people in the restaurant that affect the minds of the customers. It refers to those things that take care of the psychology of the customers, such as the ambiance, the music, and the arrangement of things. Free samples of newly introduced dishes or complementary drinks while the customers wait, can be considered as examples of physical evidence.
This is another means by which you can market your restaurant effectively. You should set up a website since digital media has an in-depth impact on potential customers. Gleeca is a free restaurant management system that can help you set up your website with the sub-domain we provide free of cost. Stack up your website with all important information about your restaurant and use it as a medium for placing orders, conveying offers as also highlighting your key features. Your vision and mission statement should be such that help the masses identify with your brand – such as the sustainability or increasing the bond of relationships even in these times when everyone is so self-obsessed.
- Make your place among the restaurant apps
This is among the ideal free marketing strategies for restaurants. Put in all the relevant details of your restaurant here and get found by your prospective customer easily for your menu, location, price range, etc.
- Activate your google business profile
Getting seen digitally is the basic aim of today’s marketing. Only when your restaurant appears in searches regularly, you can undoubtedly expect a constant flow of customers without much effort.
- Newsletters, emails, smses
Marketing in the present times is also carried out aggressively through newsletters, emails, and SMSes. The customer data is easily available to the restaurant owner during the first transaction itself. This data is used to keep the customer informed of all the current offers and discounts that you make from time to time. This helps you keep within the view of the customer; it avoids the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario.
- Restaurant loyalty programs
This is another effective marketing techniques and a replacement for the traditional method of handing out punch cards which the customers can use when they visit again. This is a great means of retaining customers and thereby adding to the revenue considerably.
- Take feedback and work on it
Running a restaurant successfully can only be possible when you as a restaurateur are open to taking criticism and to improving on its basis. It is therefore that customer feedback should be taken and based on those reviews the required changes be made. A link can be included in the bills, menu card, or any other similar thing. Alternatively, you could also for feedback by surveying social media posts. Prompt responses to such feedback often work wonders in customer retention and recurring sales; the customers feel flattered that their feedback is being taken into consideration. The more you make the customer feel important the more loyal they are to you.
Marketing thus, as we can see is a wide topic and can be done in numerous ways, which can be either with or without any investment. Irrespective of what method is used, the above-mentioned marketing strategies for restaurants have always guaranteed the return of a customer and its consequent increase in sales and profit for restaurateurs for you. Hence, sign up with the free restaurant management system Gleeca which truly works to empower your business in every way.