Effective digital marketing is just one of many ways to build your restaurant business. Many other steps are required.
A restaurant can survive the perpetual competition it faces from established entities and newcomers to the marketplace if it formulates a unique marketing plan and makes wise personnel hires for key positions. In terms of marketing, it is essential to understand your restaurant's market niche, target the right customers, and scout your competitors very well.
Your visual communication with customers must also be impressive and purposeful. The restaurant business is competitive because you must entice customers to dine at your place more than they do at other restaurants.
Many restaurant owners wrongly believe that if they serve quality food, that will translate to a lucrative business. That is not true. Quality food is a given at any successful restaurant, so you must turn your restaurant business into a brand that people can trust and one that stands out from competitors.
A recent study by Cornell University showed that 60 % of new restaurants fail within their first year of business. However, the failure rates drop to 14% and 7%, respectively, in the second and third years for those who can get past the initial growing pains.
That means you need to get things right before you open your restaurant, rather than learn on the fly, to expect long-term success. Here is a list of 10 key factors to consider before starting your restaurant:
Chefs are the superstars of the restaurant industry. People choose a restaurant primarily because of the chef's track record for consistently creating great food and unique dishes. The key is to make sure your chef is skilled at creating the type of food that fits your restaurant concept.
Before launching your restaurant, you need to identify your target consumers. Some concepts you can choose include:
A sudden slump in business can be unbearable for a startup restaurant. But they do occur, which is why you must keep a cash reserve available. Most new restaurants require eight to nine months before they break even. Keep enough money in reserve until that period is over.
Also, invest in restaurant reservation software and other features to make your business user-friendly and digitally savvy. Restaurant owners who discount the reality of growing pains are not being realistic. Set aside enough cash reserves to get your restaurant settled when you open your doors.
Because customers will see your logo on billboards, TV commercials, websites, menus, and other places, you need to make sure it is memorable. A logo is more than a copyrighted mark to identify your restaurant. It helps you build a trustworthy brand & image for your restaurant.
Whether you stress fun or elegance, the logo should do the same. A memorable design helps to build a solid customer base.
The quality of your menu can make or break your restaurant. It needs to be attractive and easy to read, with pricing and dishes neatly categorized in the design. Use a mix of images and text that is unique & attractive to diners. To become regular customers, they must maintain a good memory of your restaurant that brings them back. That starts with a top-quality menu that offers enough choices to bring them back for more.
The future of the restaurant industry involves lots of online traffic, so make sure your business has a strong online presence. That starts with a dedicated website that clearly details your menu features and services. Make certain that the website is user-friendly and contains all the necessary information (hours, location, contact information) as well as online options for reservations, ordering, deliveries & more.
One of the most effective ways to promote your restaurant is through social media. Your customers are active on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You must be active, too. Create a social media page for your restaurant on multiple platforms and post relevant content. Provide details about new dishes, daily specials, upcoming promotions, and more. Focus first on Facebook, the world's most popular social media platform.
Aggressive promotion of your restaurant is crucial to create brand recognition. Use lots of social media platforms to spread the word, along with cost-effective print marketing efforts. Distribute leaflets at crowded venues and mail attractive flyers to local addresses to introduce yourself. Post information on a billboard. There are many ways to promote your business. Explore them to see which ones generate the best results.
Treat your customers as guests. This implies more than providing quality food and service. Spend money on quality tables, chairs, and decorations to create a warm ambiance. Train your servers to exercise good manners while dealing with customers. Make efforts to connect with customers during their meals. These value-added touches will create a good reputation & positive impression for your restaurant.
Run your restaurant in a professional way. Develop a system to generate demand for your food and services. Make sure that you retain your most talented chefs as the business expands. If you are operating restaurants from multiple locations, use a similar organizational approach and compatible software at each restaurant.
After your restaurant is established, seek out creative ideas from smart people to make it expand. Once you get the ideas and the people, establish a strong emotional relationship and partnership with them. You must take good care of them. Their ideas are the basis on which you will build a reputation of your restaurant.
You must take some strategic steps to run a successful restaurant. Consider it a corporate entity and run it professionally. Make sure that the restaurant is located in a popular area with ample parking options. Hire a great chef to satisfy your consumers’ taste buds and surround yourself with smart employees as you grow.