After having everything done in your restaurant from establishing your restaurant to constructing the menu and hiring the right staff, there is one step left to succeed; a marketing plan. A good marketing plan is able to show you how to perceive your goals, determine your deficiencies, and take advantage of your strong points. After reading this article, you will be capable of creating the killer marketing plan you were looking for.
What is the marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a guide that shows you what specific steps you need to take to attract customers to your restaurant and convince them to come in, through adopting a particular framework, focusing on the core areas, and tracking the progress to know where you are standing.
Facts to know before creating a marketing plan:
- Marketing is 90% execution and 10% inspirational ideas.
- Inspirational ideas have already been stated, so you do not have to put too much time in generating new ideas. Alternatively, a quick search on Google will give you countless ideas.
- There are countless ideas, it is true, but not all of them may work for you. Don’t stick to one idea. If one fails, another one would succeed. Keep trying.
- Keep tracking your progress to know what works for you.
- A marketing strategy that works for another restaurant may not work for you. Think of applying it your way, as every strategy may be applied in different ways.
- Again, there are countless ideas. Therefore, avoid the temptation to apply them all and focus on a few ideas, at first, to ensure its working for you. This will maximize results and minimize stress.
- The marketing process is a long-term process. You will not find the results immediately. However, with determination and hardworking your efforts will eventually be paid off.
What to do before creating your marketing plan?
Identify your goals:
- Your goals must be realistic, achievable, and measurable.
- Sort out your goals to simplify the process of tracking them.
- Examples: I want to increase revenue from Thursday’s lunchtime by 40% within 4 months.
Identify your customers:
To create a killer marketing plan you should identify your customers to know how to address them effectively so that your marketing plan would work.
You should construct a customers’ profile, including the following data:
- Their type, age, gender, profession, residence.
- How much do they spend at your restaurant?
- What does attract them to your restaurant? Is it your food quality, the ambiance, or the service?
- What time do they show up? And when did they leave?
- What do they order?
Identify your brand:
Before starting marketing your brand, you should identify your mission statement, value, and vision, in order to know the customers you are targeting and how to target them.
Identify your marketing message:
- What would you provide your customers with?
- The food’s type and quality, the ambiance, and the service.
Create your marketing plan:
Start by gathering ideas. This session may include the owner, the manager, the head chef, etc. Welcome any ideas they come up with and write them down.
To generate good ideas, you should:
- See how your competitors are marketing.
- Learn from your previous marketing strategies.
- Enhance your knowledge of restaurant marketing by reading books, articles, posts, etc.
- Make sure that your ideas are measurable to know if they are working.
- Have some help from experts in the field of marketing.
Your marketing idea maybe looks like this:
“By posting daily high-quality posts on Facebook(Action), we are going to get 500 new Facebook fans within 2 months(Quantifying outcome), which will drive 5000$ in revenue monthly, through reservations that people make after Facebook advertisement(Overall business goal)”
Choose your best marketing channels that suit your ideas:
- Social media
- Search engine optimization
- Other platforms
- User-generated content
- Content marketing
- Link building
- Launch an app
- Printed advertisement
- Loyalty program
- Special nights
- Free samples
- Excellent service
2)Implement SWOT and ‘Four P’s’ Analyses models:
SWOT is an abbreviation for: (S)trengths, (W)eaknesses, (O)pportunities and (T)hreats.
Where the four P’s are Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.
These analyses models will show you how to position your efforts to conduct your marketing plan.
3)Write down your plan:
After collecting data and information as stated above, the time has come to write your ideas on paper, following these steps:
- Choose the best 5 ideas, and don’t think of implementing them all.
- Make a scale for your ideas to sort them out according to the time the idea would take, its cost, your experience level to apply it, the upsides and risks that may result.
- Make sure that the chosen ideas are profitable and there is no better way to use the money.
- According to the scale’s results, choose the top 2 results.
Write specific and clear steps to follow. For example, don’t write “complete Instagram’s marketing campaign”. Alternatively, you can write:
Date: May 1st-30th
Event: Eid’s special for the family.
Marketing channel: Daily high-quality posts and ads on Instagram.
Sales increase goal from last Eid’s lunch: 7-10%
Method of evaluating event success: Compare the total sales volume to the previous Eid.
4)Apply and track your plan:
Bring your plan into action. Then, keep tracking and evaluating your execution on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Your revenues shall indicate whether your marketing plan is successful or not.
Having a written marketing plan is a must for your restaurant’s success. It conserves your time, effort, and money, since “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy!”, according to Brian Tracy.