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How to Prepare a Marketing Plan for a Restaurant

How to Prepare a Marketing Plan for a Restaurant

So you’ve got your restaurant. And now it’s all about trying to get your brand out there for the world to know and to come give your food a try. Here’s a quick and brief guide on the essentials to preparing a marketing plan for your restaurant. Hopefully, with our help, you’ll have a restaurant brand to remember.

Research the competition

A business meeting

Business ideas are plenty and so too are your competitors. There could very well already be another restaurant or franchise serving customers what you’re serving. So just like any business, take some time to look into the competition.

Get a list of some of your closest competitors and do some analysis on:

  • Strengths and what they’re doing right
  • Weaknesses and what can and should they do better
  • Threats to your business through how they’re better than you
  • Opportunities to exploit their weakness and be better

Also, evaluate your competitors’ presence online. Visit their website and social media and take a look at their promotions, events and deals.

Analyze your restaurant

But besides your competitors, your own restaurant can also use some analysis. How would you pitch your restaurant to people? How would you describe it? Analyze things like:

  • The name and concept
  • The type of cuisines and food you offer
  • What your brand does for your target audience
  • How unique your brand is and what’s your unique selling point

Identify your target market

A waiter serving customers

All successful businesses and restaurants will tell you one thing: knowing your ideal target customer is important. Identifying your target market is critical because narrowing who you’re trying to attract can save you time and make your business process more efficient.

Your ideal customer is someone that fictionally represents the customer that would undoubtedly love your brand and food. It lists out demographic info: age, gender, income, as well as some qualitative details like what they enjoy in certain places, and what their preferences are when it comes time to pick a restaurant for a meal.

Define your marketing strategy

You’ve laid the foundation for a running restaurant with your marketing plan. Next is to build your restaurant marketing strategy. You’ll want to consider what methods of promotion you will use, and for how long you’ll run each promotion before giving it some revamp.

Obviously, you need to do marketing on social media like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. You would also need a website with content that will rank you high on search engine sites like Google. Your marketing should also match and serve the goals you have for both your restaurant and marketing.

Set goals and objectives

A worker serving coffee

Set your restaurant marketing plan with measurable goals and objectives. If you’re really going to make your restaurant marketing strategies work, it’s going to happen because you’ve got a vision of what you want to achieve during the first year and the subsequent years ahead.

Your objectives can range from small and bite-sized (shares and likes on social media) to big and grandiose (doubling sales and branching out). But in general, they all will fit into a few broad goals:

1. Branding

This is where you’re putting yourself in front of customers, to show them that you exist. Branding is your reputation – and you want to have a good one. 

Your brand will be reflected in everything you do as a business. Promoting your brand is vital to capturing the attention of your target audience and sticking out in their memory when they’re deciding where to eat.

2. Customer acquisition

What will entice customers to choose you? This could be exciting drinks, family-friendly promotions, or a fantastic menu that people can’t help but try. 

Just make sure you highlight them in your marketing. These are your obvious objective: to fill seats, fill bellies, swipe credit cards, and collect cash. 

3. Customer retention

Marketing efforts should secure return business and keep people coming back. Customer retention strategies involve capturing customer info and mixing branding and acquisition strategies. 

Customer retention initiatives make sure you can easily lure customers back in with incentives. Your best customers are the ones who bring more customers in –  telling their friends and posting their food. But also get them back with special offers and such.

Manage the budget

Running a restaurant will cost you money for almost all of the above and maybe some more. Managing your financials is as important with your restaurant business as it would be with other aspects of life. 

Finding that balance between where to spend and how much is absolutely crucial to your restaurant’s survival. Proper budgeting and money management are also a must to spare yourself some headaches.

Aiman Ammar

East Coast boy. Writing friendly reads and providing a gentle hand to guide readers through learning new things.

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