Promote your restaurant even before it starts!
Promoting your restaurant is one thing you should not miss if you really want to succeed in the restaurant business. Marketing and promoting are also one of the most neglected things you will find in the restaurant industry.
Mostly because the owners think that if good quality is served, the guests will keep on coming. Though some of that is true, you cannot totally rely on our food quality to get you more business.
You have got to get out there and spread the word. Here are a few things you can do to increase awareness in the marketplace,
Start dedicating some time, money and energy into marketing your restaurant.
Marketing is not possible if you don’t spend.
• Collect their physical address and email ids.
• Create monthly and seasonal promotions and communicate to them as frequently as possible.
• Create your Restaurant Yearly Marketing calendar.
• Update your guests on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social media platforms about upcoming activities and events.
• Launch Seasonal Food festivals and communicate to your guests so that they know what new is coming and when! • Keep on introducing and promoting new recipes and menus to keep your guests excited and curious about your restaurant.
FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR YOUR RESTAURANT
Now where to locate and who to target as far as your restaurant is concerned? Earlier around 10-15 years back, it was a famous saying that there are three things which are very important for the success of a restaurant.
Those were Location, Location and Location – and it was true!
Those days, most of the restaurants which opened, were Udupi style of restaurants. Most of the restaurants were Udupi style orMaharashtrian Style or Punjabi style restaurants which used to cater to masses. There were not that much Fine Dine restaurants.
For example, market areas like Bombay stock exchange, any of the market areas there was a huge floating population. The restaurants in those areas used to flourish. So that is one of the reasons why people used to focus on location!
But now after the globalization of 1992/1993 and after the opening up of the markets and finances – it’s very easy to get finance and money... the earnings have increased, the spending power of people has increased. Now, people have slowly started looking into the other aspects. Now, people want quality.
So now according to me, the ideal thing which is very important as far as success of a restaurant is concerned are three things – the first is the Location, follow by Service you render and lastly Marketing.
The success of a restaurant does not mean that once you give good service, your customer would return to you. People are being bombarded with marketing messages every second.An average person get more than 3000 Marketing messages each day.A restaurant owner has to compete with that much competition and distraction. Taking for instance, assuming someone who has had beautiful tasty food, the next morning you ask him, “Which restaurant would you go to?” It is very hard for him to remember the name of the restaurant.
That is because the market is so competitive. So now the mantra is Location, Food, Service and Marketing. Now in current times in a restaurant, price is not a criteria. The type of food and service is a major Make or Break situation. Earlier, 10 to 15 years ago, people were very price conscious. Now they intend to spend more and expect great value for their money spend. They value the return experience they get!
Earlier,there were masses in the market and they were very skeptical if the prices increased. They used to switch their restaurants if there was a simple increase of a couple of Rupees in a plate of Idli or something like that. But now people don’t even look at the right side of the menu again, they now look at the left side of the menu. A few of them are price sensitive, But a majority of guests value experience over price.
Most of the time, all of the restaurants they go to, they’re looking for is good food, they’re looking for a good experience and good service. Money for that matter, once they go there, they have a rough figure in their mind, They have thought of a approximate expenditure. They’re not that price sensitive.
As far as where to locate your restaurant, you have to find the ideal location by researching similar types of restaurants you want to open.
So for example, you need to have a Fine Dine Restaurant which will serve multi-cuisine like Indian, Chinese and International cuisine like Continental dishes, Thai etc. You have to visit at least a couple of restaurants of the same category, I would recommend three to four restaurants which are serving the food you serve to your guests.
Once you find the restaurants, you can study them by going there to spend some money, maybe with your family. Carefully study their mechanics, how things are done.What is the Décor,What is the Menu being served. That will get you a basic understanding of what other people are enperiencing from them.
This will also help you with choosing your location and you can play with the location a little bit because nowadays people own a couple of vehicles, and they really don’t mind travelling a little far if theywant to have that kind of an experience.
If you are serving them good food and you are giving them good service then they would really not mind driving a little far from their home. Of course, you cannot go very far, you need to be in close-drive distance so that it becomes easy for them to come to your restaurant and go back.
Now you also have to find out whom to target, who is your ideal guest? All these things, once you are visiting these restaurants, Will get crystal clear– a restaurant which you want to build – all these things can be written down on paper.
Conceptualizing Your Restaurant!
The only way to differentiate your restaurant from others is getting a unique theme. To get to your theme I suggest you should have a look at all the existing themes in the market after you have zeroed on the Location for your restaurant.
(For more ideas on location finding, watch the Video above)
Only then can you derive your Uniqueness and differentiate it from others.
For the coming month, Go out and visit at-least 3 new restaurants each week. Research on internet and find unusual concept restaurants. Visit those restaurants and Jot down what is unique in them.