Increasingly, in marketing it is out of vogue for companies to “buy, beg or buy their way in” to consumers’ affections, as David Meerman Scott so cuttingly put it. Scott recommends marketers “earn their way in” by publishing helpful or entertaining content to draw customers to them, what is termed ‘inbound marketing’: blogs, podcasts, video, e-newsletters, SEO, social media marketing and so on. Try and build a following for your restaurant online through cultivating your customers, encouraging their online interaction with your Twitter or WordPress account, and learn how to upload audio visual media.
However, this does not mean there is not room for well-phrased sales flyers or direct mail, but to add the personal touch consider having a fresh-faced employee hand your fliers out. A poster boy or girl for your establishment can act like a magnet for new punters. Be sure your direct mail has a fresh and modern-looking format. Use a template from Word or Publisher and add a unique photo or image. Think of a tagline that sums up your ethos, and delivers a welcoming message. If you want your fliers professionally laminated, there are plenty of printing companies that will do you a deal. Heck, you could even throw in some personalised screen or digital-printed T-shirts as a uniform – for a minimum order of 20.
Blogs and websites provide a showcase for information services; restaurant managers have a tangible product, so why not incorporate it into your promotion? Hand out vouchers attached to offers like ‘Spend over ____ and get a free dessert’ or ‘Spend over ____ on mains and get a free glass of wine’. Advertise your willingness to cater for large groups and hire out the venue for parties. Consider throwing a themed dress-up night, or occasionally providing some musical entertainment by letting aspiring performers use it to showcase their songs for free.
Perhaps you could collaborate with and sponsor a local charity or sports club. But whatever promotional event you decide on, it is essential to publicise it effectively so your efforts do not go to waste. Let the local newspapers know about your event or your generous sponsorship by circulating a press release. There is a set formula you should follow for these which will make journalists more inclined to cover it.
Start with the news – make the occasion sound exciting with descriptive vocabulary, without seeming verbose or manically enthusiastic. Emphasise how your actions are unique or different. Avoid exclamation marks at all costs. Attach a quote from a senior figure, such as the restaurant’s manager, and one from their collaborator, or an external commentator. This will save the journalist time tracking them down. And give some background about the companies involved, including: how they started, how old they are, what they specialise in, and their vital statistics. These should incorporate number of branches, employees, perhaps annual sales or customer figures, any awards or outstanding achievements, and potentially links to previous press cuttings and restaurant reviews.
CFO Business Growth Solutions, LLC provides Nationwide Restaurant Accounting, Restaurant Bookkeeping Services, Menu Engineering, POS Business Intelligence and Restaurant Consulting Services. For more information go to http://www.cforas.com/why-us/