Running a restaurant is not cheap. There are a lot of overheads and expenses that cannot be avoided.
Cooking and keeping the lights on use a lot of power. Rent, rates, and wages are not cheap, and those bills have to be paid on time. Also, it is not unusual for the price of ingredients to rise drastically, sometimes overnight.
So, it is easy to understand why some restaurant owners decide not to spend much on marketing. At least not after the initial launch. Usually, this turns out to be a bad decision.
Effective restaurant marketing makes customers aware of the food and dining experience that is provided. It enables restaurant owners to build a strong brand so that they stand out from the competition. Resulting in a growing customer base and higher profits.
Without a good marketing plan, you are potentially setting yourself up for failure. Here are some sobering statistics that will help you to understand why we say that.
Without effective marketing restaurants fail
There is no doubt that running a restaurant business is challenging. Many restaurants do not stay open long.
A study carried out by Ohio University found that, in the US, 57% of independent restaurants fail within the first 3 years. For franchises, the figure is even higher, at 61%.
The majority of failed restaurants have to close because they are not making enough sales to cover their overheads and make a profit. There are just not enough diners coming through the door.
Marketing goes a long way to solving that issue. It ensures people are aware of your restaurant and what you have to offer. Then, tempts them inside to enjoy a meal.
The restaurant industry is competitive
When it comes to eating out, there is no shortage of places to go. It is a highly competitive industry.
For example, according to World City Cultures, in Lisbon, there are over 1,256 full-service restaurants per 100,000 residents (pro-rata). That is a lot of choice for diners. With that level of competition, only restaurants that stand out from the crowd can hope to attract enough diners to remain profitable.
It is not enough to theme your restaurant, run exciting events, offer special dishes, and reward loyal customers. If people do not know all about these things, they won´t be tempted to visit you to enjoy them.
Strong marketing ensures people are aware of all of what you offer and understand what makes dining with you better than eating at your competitors’ establishments. You can also use marketing to prime them to spend a little more and come back to dine with you on a more regular basis.
Marketing tells your customers that you care
High-quality advertising and marketing campaigns leave a good impression on customers. When you shout about what you have to offer through marketing you send positive subliminal messages to would-be diners. It tells them that you care about your business and that you are confident that you have something special to offer.
Marketing is an important component of building a brand
Having a strong brand is vital. The more competition there is in your sector, the more important it becomes.
Your branding is what makes your restaurant pop into someone´s head when they fancy a snack or want to take their loved ones for a special meal. So, you need to invest in building a strong brand. Marketing is a big component of doing exactly that. Every time someone sees your social media posts, is given one of your leaflets or sees one of your promo images displayed on screens in local stores your brand is reinforced. If you do little to no marketing that does not happen, and people soon start to forget that your restaurant even exists.
Start by using our low-cost marketing tool for restaurants
So now you can see why marketing is so important for a restaurant, it is time to act. We suggest you start by trying out our digital signage advertising software. It quickly turns any screen you own into a marketing powerhouse.
It does not matter what your offer is you will find a template that is a perfect fit. All you need to do is to tweak the wording and maybe use a photo of your most popular meal instead of one of the high-quality images we provide. Decide when you want that promo image to be displayed on the screens in your restaurants and hit the button. Then, sit back and watch to see how your customers respond to that offer.
Our digital signage software enables you to track the effectiveness of each image. So, you can keep tweaking things until you find a promo that is too tempting for your customers to resist.
Written by Lachlan Ross
Marketing Manager at Mandoe