Restaurant Consultant, Restaurant Expert Witness, and CEO, Howard Cannon advises the new restaurant owner to remember marketing, stating, “If nobody knows about your restaurant, chances are you won’t have very many customers. Marketing your restaurant is a critical component of restaurant ownership and management.”
“Eat Here!” blinking in neon atop a roadside diner is certainly a form of marketing and so is the Ronald McDonald clown. From a blinking neon sign to a familiar clown to a rock n’ roll jingle, to a 2-for-1 coupon to simply distributing a sharp business card, marketing is a big part of the formula for success in the restaurant business.
The successful competition knows how to market itself and that’s what the new restaurateur has to bear in mind. Cannon says, “McDonald’s spends more in marketing dollars than most restaurant chains receive in sales. All the big chains spend many, many millions of dollars in marketing per month. Can you compete with that? You can in your neighborhood. You just need to understand how to make marketing work for you so that you can be seen and heard amidst all these marketing Goliaths.”
In order to start your marketing plan, you must answer these three questions. Number one, what are you selling? And second, what is the core message? Lastly, who is the target? Of course, your marketing plan must fit with your marketing campaigns, your budget, and your public relations objectives, but answering these three components clearly makes mapping out your marketing plan much easier. Mr. Cannon adds, “What is the benefit to the customer?- All marketing has to answer this critical question. In the beginning you will spend more on marketing to announce your arrival. Have a great grand opening. Make it fun, festive, memorable, and tasty. And, one final piece of marketing advice: once you find a successful marketing campaign, use it again and again. Marketing doesn’t stop. If it does, so does your business.”
Howard Cannon is a highly recognized restaurant expert witness, consultant, analyst, and speaker. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Restaurant© – found in 76 countries around the globe. Mr. Cannon is the CEO of Restaurant Consultants of America and Restaurant Expert Witness, and can be reached at 800-300-5764 or via the web at RestaurantConsultantsOfAmerica.com or RestaurantExpertWitness.com.