90 Day Restaurant Marketing Plan for before you open

So, you’ve got a loan, signed the lease, hired the chef and started getting the fitout done on your new restaurant or take away. One thing that many owners don’t do when they are opening a new restaurant is think about the marketing of the restaurant or take away.

Update: May 2016 – This is one of our most popular blog articles, so we have revisited the topic and create a new Podcast with a lot of new ideas around how you can better open a restaurant with planning and ideas for before you open.  Have a listen on either your iPhone or Android, or on your PC.  This has been one of our most popular podcasts as well!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

This is a marketing plan that starts 90 days BEFORE you open the doors or take over. Of course, there are limitations if you are buying a business, but if they don’t have a website, you can register and build your website prior to handover.

Venice Daily Photo blog

La Pesa 90 day marketing plan to open a restaurant
La Pesa Trattoria in Sydney
Photos: La Pesa restaurantPhotos: Darlinghurst

Turn this into this with a 90 day marketing plan for before you open your new restaurant, cafe or take away!

Bear in mind that you may have two opening dates, one which is a soft launch, just relying on walk ins or maybe a small Facebook campaign to get the word out if you are off the beaten track just to make sure the kitchen and front

90 – 60 days:

  • . Purchase the domain name for the restaurant or take away.
  • . Build your website. It takes Google a few months to find a website and the longer it is around, the more important it is.
  • . Start building links to the website. Try the local government, local business organisations and all of the restaurant finder/list websites. The more incoming links the better.
  • . Get the logo and graphics design work done.
  • . Start organise where you are going to get leaflets printed if you plan on an opening special with a mail drop campaign.
  • . Start talking to other businesses about alliance marketing. Is there a nearby cinema that you can do a meal deal when they present their movie tickets?
  • . Are you going to use an A-Frame to advertise daily specials to customers walking by? Now is the time to start getting it made.

60 – 30 days:

  • . Get your leaflets printed and ready to go. Mailouts using the Unaddressed Delivery Service require weeks of lead time, so you want to have your brochures ready to go.
  • . Start your Facebook page. Get all your friends and family to Follow you on Facebook.
  • . Advertise your opening special on Facebook.

0 – 30 days:

  • . Setup your twitter account and start following local businesses and identities.
  • . Review the website, make sure the menu is up there along with the opening date and your opening specials.
  • . Start training the wait staff to collect feedback cards, business cards and birthdays so you can start building your database from day 1.
  • . Work out your offers for Facebook and Twitter. The offers may not be going out to a lot of people, but if you get the right person following you, they will share it with all their friends and the social marketing magic starts to work for you. Even with only a few people following, down the track people will see your old offers and sign up for future offers.

This is the quick blog entry on marketing. There are some great sample marketing plans – try for an in depth marketing plan with lots of great ideas to think about.

That’s it, hopefully there is something there to help you make the first day in your new restaurant or take away a busy day. Great marketing comes from great marketing plans. If there is anything you think we’ve missed, email your ideas to morecustomers@marketing4restaurants.com and we will add it to the list.

Remember: If you fail to plan you plan to fail!

Also read: Best Tips for Groupon and Living Social Marketing for Restaurants and Cafes

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