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!
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.
|Photos: La Pesa restaurant
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.
If you take bookings for your Restaurant, you should ditch the old fashioned book and start taking bookings from your own website. This is one of the quickest ways to build a restaurant marketing database. Taking Restaurant bookings online allows you to take bookings 24 hours a day, cuts down on errors, saves staff time and best of all, it builds your Restaurant Marketing Database. Don’t use an online Restaurant Booking system that charges you to take bookings from your own customers, and never share you customer details with other customers. With our Free Online Restaurant Booking System, taking restaurant bookings online has never been easier, and like FROLO, best of all it’s free.
Our FORBS has taken over $15,000,000 worth of bookings for Restaurants.
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 [email protected] and we will add it to the list.
Remember: If you fail to plan you plan to fail!
Take Out is an important revenue stream for many Restaurants. There is less work front of house in serving the customers and you aren’t limited by the number of tables you have. Taking orders online decreases errors, frees up a staff member to serve customers rather than answer the phone and most importantly, it builds your Database. Many businesses offer online order tools for Restaurants, but nearly all of them want to clip the ticket on the way through, some charging 10% and they also take your loyal customers contact details. We think this is unfair and that’s why we built FROLO, the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system. Start taking orders on your website today. It’s quick and easy and best of all, it’s free. FROLO is the perfect alternative to Menulog, Just Eat, Grub Hub, Delivery Hero, and Eat 24.
Is Poor SEO Killing Your Restaurant?
Too many times we see customers with websites that are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every month through poor design, poor messaging and poor SEO. If your website could be improved to bring in 200 extra visits per month and just 10% of those made a booking, and each booking was for 2.5 seats on average at $50 a seat, you would have an extra $2,500 in revenue a month. A 30% food cost, that is $1,750 in profit extra a month. This ignores those customers coming back as regulars – which is more profit.
Remember, if these customers aren’t finding your Restaurant, they are finding your competitors.
Get one of our obligation free 7 point website SEO audits to see what you can get your web developer to fix to increase your revenue today.