The Sustainable Approach to Restaurant Marketing

Creating a marketing plan with a long shelf life is easier than you think.

Here we are, two weeks into the new year. If you’ve made resolutions, you’re probably still committed to seeing them through… unless, of course, you bit off more than you can chew.

So if taking on goals that are too lofty is the obvious “don’t”, then the way to ensure a far-reaching marketing plan with an enduring shelf life is to take the slow and steady approach.

shutterstock_96120215 (1)_webThe bite-sized changes you can stick to.

Go ahead and take a look at the list of ideas below. Don’t overanalyze them. Then go back to the ones that caught your eye and give yourself a reality gut check. Do you have the staff you need to implement and maintain it? Is it something that your customers can relate to? Don’t cast aside an idea because it seems too basic…you can always go back and add bells and whistles later once it’s up and running.

THE MENU

Look at your menu as if you’ve never seen it before. Is it vibrant and inviting or can it use some fresh colors and fonts? Don’t overwhelm yourself with the tiniest details. For starters, look for features that can be updated without much work. Remember, slow and steady is the way to go.

LOCAL PUBLICITY

For the cost of a paid advertisement, you could host a local event, like a VIP elite party, where you invite the local food bloggers to your restaurant. These are the folks all about spreading the good word. Or, you can host a chef demonstration the first Tuesday of every month and donate the proceeds to a local food bank. Whatever you do, if you do it well, the community will generate returns by doing the bulk of the positive marketing for you.

DIGITAL MARKETING

What you don’t want is a quick fix e-mail deal that is short-lived and only gets a few diners through the door, stopping there. The way to go is with a plan that will be easy to start and easy to maintain. Easy-to-use services like the Partner Advantage Email Assistant and text marketing by CMS Text streamline the process so you can do what you do best: delight your customers!

LOYALTY PROGRAMS

The phrase itself may sound too labor-intensive, but a simple loyalty program can be a powerful tool for getting a customer’s attention, and keeping them coming back… the two ultimate goals of marketing.

PROMOTIONS

New customers and loyal customers alike love getting a good deal. There are tons of ways to give it to them. You can make sure diners flock to you instead of the competition with deals like a Tuesday Night Kids Eat Free. Continue your engagement with new customers using the Restaurant.com gift certificate program to get them in the door.

CONTESTS

Even a small sweepstakes or contest can foster the feeling of community and loyalty for your restaurant. It helps you stand out from your competition and shows your sense of personality.

BRING ON THE BLOGGERS

Local food reviewers and bloggers can be a reliable source for good publicity. Consumers who are leery of ads that were clearly paid for by a business put a great deal of trust in the opinions of a peer’s experience.

Those are just a few of the many opportunities to get the good word out, and, in turn, to get satisfied customers filling those tables!