Spending money and time on marketing is easy as pie. Spending it wisely is more difficult. But, like a recipe, if you take it step by step, you can cook up a great marketing strategy. Resist the temptation to jump into something flashy for the sake of your own ego and take some time instead to figure the right way.
First, understand that there are really only three ways to increase sales:
- Increase the frequency of visits of your current customers
- Increase the check average of your current customers
- Find new customers and entice them to use the services of your restaurant
If you have Mr. and Mrs. Goldschmidt dining at your Italian eatery two times per month, and you find a way to have them frequent your restaurant three times per month, you have positively impacted sales. If Mr. and Mrs. Goldschmidt spend on average $14 for their meal every time they stop in, and you find a way to have them spend $15 on average, you have positively impacted the check average. If Mr. and Mrs. Sisty have never eaten at your restaurant and you find a way to get them to give your restaurant a try, you have positively impacted the trial of new customers. Restaurants who are great at sales building always have plans in place to affect all three areas of sales.
To create your marketing plan, you need information about your current customers and those you are trying to attract. Collecting market research takes a lot of time and effort, and you can’t do it over a weekend. But you can do it. In Chapter 3, “Choosing Your Restaurant,” you learned about the importance of research in making your concept work. You can use this same research to build a marketing plan. You want to find out information about where you operate, who frequents your restaurant, and what messages resonate. Once you have this knowledge, you will be more prepared to move on to the next step: defining what route you are going to take to try to increase sales.
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