6 No Cost Ideas To Market Your Restaurant
80% – 90% of restaurant marketing budgets are spent against NEW TRIAL – getting a new customer to visit for the first time. This is the least effective place to spend your money if done through mass media which is costly and has dismal return on investment. The fact is, new customer acquisition is 7-10 times more expensive than building restaurant sales through increased frequency, check average and party size.
As restaurant owners you wear so many hats that sometimes you do what’s easiest. You write the check for mass media advertising and hope for the best. This method is often more about feeding the ego of the restaurant owner than driving sales. Subway spends $290 million per year on television. They can do that because they are a multi-billion dollar enterprise – a title less than 100 restaurant corporations in the world can claim. Do you want to jump off the bridge just because so many other people are?
We recommend a tried and true method. Market to your existing customers. Solicit their email addresses and market through them. Just for starters….
- As soon as a guest is seated, bring them a ’sample’ along with their water. It can be as simple as a bite or two of a new dish, or your specialty bread. This starts the romancing!
- Create a fish bowl drawing – give away a lunch or dinner each week. Be sure to post the winner (everyone loves to see their name prominently displayed)
- Have a customer satisfaction sheet on each table and presented with each tab. Include where they heard about you, how often they visit, what their favorite dish was. Make it clean, simple and easy to complete.
- Offer guests a bounce back that expires within two weeks.
- Offer guests a 2 for 1 – to encourage them to bring a friend.
- Create a Facebook page, Twitter account, Myspace Page, a local business social club – anything with social media. Its free and it works. (more on this subject in our social media posts)