Setting a restaurant marketing budget is one of the major dilemmas of restaurant owners. It is always a huge challenge, especially for small restaurant owners, to promote their restaurant if they have a small restaurant marketing budget.
One of the most common mistakes when starting a restaurant is overspending on restaurant marketing without setting objectives and not applying the proper marketing tactics. Restaurant owners need to know that their marketing campaigns’ effectiveness doesn’t depend on how big the budget is.
This article aims to raise awareness on the importance of creating a restaurant marketing budget and how to make it work given a small budget.
TIPS ON HOW TO MARKET A RESTAURANT ON A SMALL BUDGET
- UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
- START A BLOG FOR YOUR RESTAURANT
- USE BEHIND THE SCENES CONTENT
- KEEP YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE UPDATED
- MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
- UPDATE YOUR RESTAURANT WEBSITE
- BUILD A PRESENCE WITHIN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
HOW TO CREATE A RESTAURANT MARKETING BUDGET
It is essential to set a restaurant marketing budget while planning for your marketing programs. It will soon reflect if your marketing strategy is effective to your current target audience. Here’s a basic guide on how to make a budget for your restaurant business.
START WITH A MARKETING PLAN
Plans may not always work out, but it is better to have something that will guide and help your restaurant with its marketing strategies. Formulating a basic 52-week marketing is ideal, but if you’re just starting, don’t just plan for a long term strategy but make a plan feasible for the first three to six months as there could be unknown factors that would arise and affect the operations.
IDENTIFY YOUR MARKETING OBJECTIVES
Setting a goal or series of goals is crucial to a successful marketing plan. These goals should be aligned with the restaurant’s culture and philosophy. Establishment of goals helps the business owners to show the direction they want for their restaurant business.
Tip: Make it easier for the whole team to review these goals and list them down in bullet form.
PRIORITIZE YOUR RESTAURANT MARKETING NEEDS
As a restaurant owner, it is important to know what your basic marketing needs are. Keep in mind that trying to address all concerns in one would lead your marketing efforts to drain. That’s why it’s ideal for business owners to have clear and realistic objectives because it will help you to ascertain how much of the budget you’ll set for the marketing campaigns.
Small local businesses spend 7 to 10 percent of their sales as marketing dollars, but since the Restaurant Industry is a highly competitive environment, restaurants can set at least 30% in their first year to their marketing programs.
TRY THE 70/20/10 BUDGET MODEL
Now that digital marketing has proven its worth, it is still important to review the ones that will work for your restaurant. Business owners are responsible for the monitoring of the marketing tactics’ effectivity and the other types of marketing that are slowly gaining popularity.
To achieve the proper mix of marketing tools and tactics to utilize, you should not just rely on the proven and tested ones. Your restaurant marketing plan should also try out the new and experimental ones.
Here’s how this budget model works :
Allocate 70% of your restaurant marketing budget to the necessary and proven tools for your brand awareness. The 10% is designated to test new marketing approaches. Consumers will eventually get tired of your usual marketing campaigns, thus the need for you to try out new ones to keep them hooked with your restaurant brand.
This may seem risky, but at least you’ll know what works and what doesn’t for your brand. Then, the last 20% are for the expansion of the successful marketing efforts tested using the 10%. This helps your restaurant brand to be consistent in introducing fresh and new marketing schemes.
Just like your menu items, it is important for a restaurant’s success to keep your marketing ideas up to date.
SIMPLE TIPS ON HOW TO MARKET A RESTAURANT IN A SMALL BUDGET
Months within this pandemic, the whole Restaurant Industry is forced to pivot their ways of operations against the usual. This goes with marketing as well. Every business owner is now looking for effective ways to promote their restaurant without hurting their highly-impacted sales.
Here are some actionable and easy tips to make sure that your restaurant will still make an impact even with a small budget for marketing.
UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Hashtag campaigns and location tagging are among the most effective social marketing tools that are free and readily available to everyone. This type of marketing allows your social media posts to be available to new consumers within your area and are inclined to your services.
Try out Facebook Ad. They have an excellent retargeting feature that’s helpful for your restaurant. With its billion active users, Facebook helps you widen and broaden your organic reach.
Social media platforms now have useful social media ad features that increase your restaurant’s marketing scheme’s success.
START A BLOG FOR YOUR RESTAURANT
Blogging is known to humanize your brand, therefore it increases the engagement and loyalty of customers. It sets the tone for your establishment thus making it easier for your customers to connect with your brand.
A content marketing that allows you to promote your brand without spending a huge amount on your restaurant marketing budget. Just keep your ideas fresh and captivating for your loyal customers and potential customers.
USE BEHIND THE SCENES CONTENT
Increase your online marketing success by giving your customers special access to your kitchen via going live on social media. Through this, you’ll catch the attention of other prospective customers.
This would mean a lot to your customers because it is engaging, and it shows your transparency. During this time, customers will appreciate it as they are conscious of their safety.
KEEP YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE UPDATED
It is not surprising that modern diners are now relying on the world’s largest search engine. Starting from your contact information to your operations hours, and even for online review, customers would always depend on this search engine site. You’ll be surprised how the ranking in Google search can help your restaurant marketing.
MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Since some initiatives and protocols restrict physical and outside contact, it is crucial to keep your customers updated about your restaurant business. Use restaurant email marketing by sending them promotions and updates during this pandemic season. Let them know your response measures and give them the assurance that they need.
UPDATE YOUR RESTAURANT WEBSITE
This protects your restaurant marketing budget as the website is already existing. It will just fall on how to drive traffic to your website. Make sure all the details and information stated are updated and it is user-friendly. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to perform this task, as many restaurant technology providers will help you with this.
BUILD A PRESENCE WITHIN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
Charity events, special events, and other local outdoor events may not be possible today, but don’t let this hinder you from increasing your involvement in your local community. Be creative and use budget-friendly ways on how to host such events. Conducting an online webinar on making your signature dish is one effective way to increase your organic reach within your community without hurting your restaurant marketing budget.
This type of marketing helps you build a long-term relationship within your local market and community while saving your restaurant marketing budget.
HOW MUCH RESTAURANTS SHOULD SPEND FOR THEIR RESTAURANT MARKETING EFFORTS
The 2019 Restaurant Success Report stated that 67% of restaurants are now paying for social media, 42% pay for Google search or other search engine ads, 53% pay for their community or charity event sponsorships, and 32% pay for a magazine or other printed ads.
This data shows that your restaurant marketing budget still depends on your business goals, objectives, and desired reach. Being aware of your current customer base and knowing which marketing channels appeal to them is a huge help for you to formulate a budget-friendly restaurant marketing budget plan for your restaurant.
There is no fixed restaurant marketing budget for a strategy that ensures return on investment, but as a restaurant owner, what you can do is to prevent spending your marketing budget on the wrong initiatives. Having a clear objective on how you want your restaurant to be known is a good place to start creating your restaurant marketing budget.