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The Cost of Restaurant Marketing

Ideas are great, dreams are wonderful, and reality is reality. Imagine, then dream. And then see the Super Bowl. In 2001, the average 30-second Super Bowl commercial cost $2.2 million. I’m only guessing, but I’m betting you aren’t made of money. So a couple of spots on the Super Bowl may not be the most realistic marketing idea you will develop. But you will need to market your restaurant, and you will need to spend money.

How much will you need to spend on marketing? This question is important because all marketing plans begin with a marketing budget. The marketing budget is a percentage of your projected yearly sales, usually somewhere between 2 to 7 percent. In the beginning, though, count on needing significantly more.

Waiting to have the sales in hand to pay for the marketing, however, is a backward approach. Marketing leads to sales before sales lead to more marketing. If you don’t market the restaurant, the customer may not even know it exists. In order to come up with a marketing plan and budget for your new restaurant, you are going to have to make some educated guesses.


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