Being in the restaurant business isn’t known for offering the easiest life. Not only do you have direct competitors literally at every corner, but you also have to deal with shifting trends within the hospitality industry itself.
But if one thing is certain, you’re going to fail to stay in business unless you learn how to promote and market yourself throughout your tenure as a restaurant owner.
While you might find things like keeping up with inventory fairly easy, knowing when to restock your cream chargers, order liquor, and handle payroll, many restaurateurs are fairly novice when it comes to self-promotional strategy.
But learning the art of marketing within the food and beverage industry is going to be your best bet when it comes to keeping your establishment ahead of the competition.
Take Advantage of Local Resources
As a restaurant owner, your biggest asset is going to be public relations with your community resources. After all, you’re going to be operating within a localized area. And as such, you need to aggressively market yourself within this area in order to gain maximum exposure.
Such local resources that you might want to consider are radio and television stations. You can use these resources to announce new menu items, promotional events that you might have, or any specials that you might want to run.
Additionally, networking with other local competitors is also a welcome idea. Remember that your competitors are also your neighbors. So bringing in business to share is going to be looked upon as a great way to establish business relationships.
With your competitors, you might decide to organize a bar-crawl, or a poker run, or anything that will draw attention to your little corner of the block.
Hold Local Promotions
Being in the restaurant business, you’re often approached by local vendors such as wine, beer, and liquor representatives. And these individuals may ask for you to host an event.
If so, be glad to accept their offers as these types of 3rd party promotions often offer beverages and giveaway items for free.
Some promotional events might include a raffle to giveaway brand items such as bar-keys, T-shirts, or a cash prize. And if you advertise that you’re going to be holding these events, you might see an uptick in customer count during otherwise slower business periods.
You may also market yourself in conjunction with a third-party campaign, such as giving away gift certificates, comp cards, or anything else you think would attract customers to your business.
Crank Up the Music
People love live music venues. And if you have the means such as an area for a stage, a patio area, or anything suitable, you can host live music on certain days of the week.
Local musicians are always looking for new venues to play at. And musicians often have a faithful following that will come and spend money at your establishment just to hear their favorite bands play.
Friday and Saturday nights are the best times to schedule live music. But if you feel that you already have plenty of weekend business, you might consider having a live music night during the slower days of the week, such as on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Remember, you can also advertise on social media, radio, TV, or your business website to spread the word about the live music lineup you have during the week.
Promoting a restaurant takes a little imagination and innovation. But if you’re able to carve out a niche and offer your local community something fresh and different from the norm, you’ll not only see a higher sales volume, you’ll begin to notice that people will start talking about your restaurant more often. And this is the type of exposure that you want.