So, you’re the new restaurant in town. Now what?
As you’re probably already aware, launching a new restaurant is a monumental task. From finding the right location, acquiring permits, hiring staff, and dealing with every small hitch along the way, you and your team have surely dealt with no shortage of issues.
Here’s the thing though. All of that will be for nothing if you cut corners on marketing. Especially while you’re new. The effectiveness of those initial marketing efforts will determine your success for months, and even years to come.
Let’s make sure your new restaurant is a huge success. Here’s five marketing ideas to help promote it.
Nail the opening. It’s important to put your best foot forward. Whether you just opened your restaurant, or you’re getting ready for the big day, you’ll want to get as much mileage out of the honeymoon phase as possible. You can plan a grand opening, invite the local media, and spend a ton of money on advertising. That’s all well and good. But what you really need to plan for is the long-term.
How are you going to engage and retain these customers from the beginning? You’ll get plenty of customers showing up out of pure curiosity, just because they want to check out the new restaurant. Give them a reason to return. Get them signed up for your loyalty program. Add them to your email list. Tell them about your upcoming events. If you can build a base of repeat customers from the start, you’ll continue to prosper long after the honeymoon phase ends.
Sell your experience. What makes your restaurant unique and interesting? If you’re just the new BBQ joint in town, what’s to stop potential customers from visiting your competitor across the street? They don’t know that all of your food is locally-sourced. They don’t know that you have a full bar and craft beer list. With the right audience, these can be huge selling points.
Cover your digital bases. As soon as people see your restaurant even being built on the street, they’re going to start researching. It’s important that you get your digital presence up and running as soon as possible.
- Detail your website.There’s no excuse to have a totally barebones website, even ahead of your restaurant’s opening. Your website is often your initial sales pitch to the interested customer. Get as many details in there as you can (e.g. menu, schedule, photos, etc.)
- Social media presence. Similar to your website, you’ll want to flesh out your social media presence as much as possible. As your restaurant launches, there’s a lot to post about. And tons of people will be checking your pages. Get your social pages launched well in advance of your opening to help build the hype.
- Google My Business. When people pick up their phones to Google your restaurant, you’ll want to be ready. That’s where Google My Business comes in. This allows you to detail your profile that appears when customers search for you on Google platforms. That means not only the search engine, but also on Google Maps. Click here to set yours up now.
Event marketing. Beyond any grand opening you have planned, scheduling a line of events can help keep customers engaged over a consistent period of time. Additionally, hosting a variety of events can bring in new customers, ones who may not have been lured in by the curiosity factor. Cooking classes, live bands, beer and wine tastings, charity events, and trivia nights are just a few great examples to consider.
Partner with local businesses. Establishing partnerships with local businesses that share your target audience can be a good way to raise brand awareness for your new restaurant. You can try catering local events, distributing coupons, and offering delivery discounts, just to name a few. At the earliest stages of your restaurant’s life, it’s important to get your name out there however you can. Partnerships can put a new set of eyes on your brand.
Promote With CoGoBuzz
Ready to succeed at marketing your restaurant from day one? Get started with CoGoBuzz. Leveraging state-of-the-art WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, our powerful (and affordable) service) promotes your restaurant directly to your customers’ mobile devices.
Here’s how it works. After a one-time login through social media, email, or phone number, they’ll receive Internet-access and arrive at your business’s custom landing page, where they can check out your menu, sign up for your brand new CoGoBuzz-powered, text-based Loyalty Program, and more. From every single customer that logs in, we’ll automatically create a customer profile to aid in your marketing efforts. On top of that, we’ll enhance your social media by hooking you up with automatic Facebook followers!
What is your new restaurant doing to market itself? Let us know in the comments!