This evening, I was urged to start blogging. Since many of the "big boys" do it, I crumbled under the peer pressure.
Anywho, I have a particularly special treat, just for my readers, especially any restaurateurs, whom will add incredible numbers to their profits - if they read carefully. What's the secret; what tactic would allow a restaurant to increase... double... triple... or QUADRUPLE its income?
Results marketing. One more time: results... marketing.
Let me explain: most restaurant owners, unfortunately, rely heavily on a few weak strategies for business growth. They are...
A) Word of Mouth (WoM) - Hoping the passerby and family will really relish their meals, then venture out into the world, spreading their good name. Now, I'll preface this by saying every company should encourage WoM - nobody can really deny it is invaluable and convenient to possess. Here is the downfall: innumerable quantities of business owners are dependent on Jim and Sarah telling all their friends about
B) Visibility - This ties in with A; "visibility marketing" is a very base strategy, however quite beneficial for a restaurant. That being said, I feel a fast-food joint makes the biggest killing using this approach. What you are hoping is drivers will notice your establishment and either drive directly toward you (if hungry) or make a lasting mental note regarding your location. Once they've registered your restaurant, you must now wait till they schedule a date and time to pack the family into a car and return for a purchase.
Personally, I despise it. When your primary customer attraction method is just... being seen, you must therefore base every month's revenue on hope. Not science, not precision. Hope, faith, prayer... etc. Not to downplay the value of possessing such leverage, since it certainly adds to one's income, but is far, too, precarious as a "main" maneuver.
That's it. On the odd occasion, Olive Garden will run a thirty second commercial, but otherwise... nothing of any substance. Nothing you can measure.
NO newspaper advertisement
NO magazine advertising
NO direct response
NO internet marketing
So on and so forth.
In light of this, I have been "called" to action. One guaranteed method of generating more revenue... is by incentivizing your customer base.
My advice is simple: find a way to "sell" people on why they, while engrossed in their daily activities, must reserve time and money in order to eat your food. Emphasize why your restaurant is spectacular, how you can provide for them a lasting experience, or how you provide outstanding service and affordable food.
Find your edge!
Are you selling stacks of ribs at a BBQ style outback, with tons of families chomping down? Do you want to see a couple swooning each other over expensive wine in candlelight?
Decide what you want to see in your restaurant, determine how to do it. It is important to specify your market. This is how you create repeat customers.
Here's an idea: let's say you're targeting blue-collar markets. Do a bit of digging; find blue-collar interest publications. Call the advertising director and figure out what percent/how many are in your region. Do this s-e-ve-r-a-l times; find meetings, magazines, newspapers (if you are living in a territory rife with your audience), and any other such HIGH CIRCULATION releases.
I also recommend including discount coupons in your ads; remember what we said about "incentives"?
This will help you to quantify how many customers you should, in a realistic calculation, have by the expiration date of said coupons.
Over and Out,
Angel R. Suarez