A Marketing Plan is not just made overnight, it is composed of different ideas and analysis from different sectors of your restaurant business. It is crucial for every restaurant business to have an effective Marketing Plan because it serves as their guide in managing the business. It provides clarity for your business system and allows you to achieve what you’ve set to achieve.
It is easy for restaurant business owners to get overwhelmed when it comes to Marketing. From the big marketing firms to every platform available, there are just so many options to choose from and this leads for restaurant owners to make a mistake – trying everything that’s available. This mistake will make you waste your effort, time, and resources.
If you have a good restaurant marketing plan, you can observe more with your business and its workflow, it’ll be easier for you to manage your restaurant business and you’ll know what’s working for you and what’s not. This feature is about the 7 essential steps to check if you want to create a marketing plan.
7 Essential Steps in Creating a Restaurant Marketing Plan
- Identify your Objective
You have to start by knowing what you really want. A business without its goal is like running on a race without a finish line. It’ll just wear you down until you’re tired and eventually you’ll just give up. An objective is like the finish line, it is something you want to achieve. For example, if you want to generate more customers, know what getting more means to you. Is it an increase in sales? Or increase in customer engagement? In order for your marketing plan to be effective, it has to know what it is working on to. There are different methods to meet different goals, that’s why knowing what’s the end point is very important.
Tip : Use SMART Goals. Now that you’ve identified your Objective, it has to be attainable. SMART goals are Specific, Measured, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. If you set your goals in to “Generate more profit”, you have to be more specific, how much more is to you? What’s the time frame to use in meeting this goal? Is generating more profit during this situation even possible? Instead of just producing a broad and vague goal, it is better to set it as “Generate an increase of 10% in profit using Online Ordering Service”. From there you’ll be able to work around your objective and find ways to achieve it.
- Do a Marketing Research
Before you come up with a Marketing Plan, a restaurant business owner must have enough data and information about their business. You have to have enough knowledge regarding your current situation, market, and competitors.
You need to see what’s the status of the Restaurant Industry with the current situation, what are the demographics that supports the industry, and how’s the operation of every competitor running.
A good Marketing Research will give you access to important information and details regarding the standing of the market with your business.
Note : Knowing your competitors and how the competition works around your industry helps you to understand their process thus you’ll be able to see their next step. This means, you can stay ahead of the game by providing a better option from their “next step”.
Tip : SWOT or Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Analysis is an effective way to have a better and deeper understanding of your market research.
- Brainstorm Action Plan
Now that you’ve set your goals and have enough knowledge regarding the Restaurant Industry, it is now time to set out plans on how to achieve your objectives. These are activities that you and your team can do. These activities and strategies should align with you and your objective.
Should you want an “Increase in sales” your activities should include promotions, collaborations and doing outreach to bigger brands and suppliers. But if your goal is to have “Increase in community engagement” activities like community events, influencer marketing, and giveaways should do the job. Now this is what we meant when we said there are different methods in meeting different goals. If you do a method that’s contradicting your goals, you’ll just end up wasting time, effort, and money along with you.
Tip : It is important to keep in mind that your action plan should help people associate with you and your restaurant business.
- Choose your Platform/Channel
Choosing which platform to use and dominate is quite a challenge for every restaurant owner. They all show potential and are very affordable (if you’ll look at how they would impact your restaurant business). In order to know which one would work for you and your concept, you have to observe and research what’s working with your current customers, and where they usually hang out and engage with you.
Common mistakes restaurant owners make is trying to utilize every platform that is available. This mistake could hurt your restaurant brand as customers won’t see authenticity within your process. There are different strategies to use on different platforms. You can just identify which platform/s works with your restaurant business, do great with it and you’ll observe the increase with your engagement and hopefully with sales as well.
- Work Backwards
The next step for a Marketing Plan, logically, is to execute the plans and activities you’ve set out. While this is also effective, you may miss out some important points if you rush into things. In this step, we ask you to change your perspective to start with your end goal and work your way back.
It could look like this : END GOAL > What steps needed to achieve the goal > What resources are needed to achieve the steps > Where would you get the resources needed. Visualize your way to the end, and identify the crucial set up to be done for your to achieve your end goal.
- Execute and Track
Making the plans into action and monitoring it is one way to know if it’s working for your restaurant business. Upon executing it, you have to set out deadlines and have your team commit with it. Stick to the objectives you’ve set, delegate tasks to your in-house staff, track the feedback , and keep note of the leanings along the way.
From getting it done and tracking your process properly, you’ll see what’s working and not, you’ll see what methods are effective and what are not, and other observations can be made if you continue to track your performance upon execution of the plan.
- Repeat and Improve
Now that you have a better view of the industry and the market, you also know what’ll work for the current situation, it is now time to make use of the notes you’ve kept from tracking your plan’s performance. Your new plan will now work on calculated risks because it’s been done and you should be able to implement improvements to avoid making the same mistake.
A marketing plan is a proof that what works for others may not work for you. It helps you not to do business blindly, and not to follow the competition in the same manner. It gives you restaurant business a safe space to operate while continuously innovating ways to improve your existing system.