What is your restaurant mission? And other questions you need to answer
Here is ‘The Clear Guide Light’, a weekly column highlighting the most important actions you can take now to get your communications strategy in place.
Welcome back to the Clear Guide Lite. So far, we’ve looked at some of the basics of hospitality PR and over the next few weeks I’d like to talk you through some of those marketing tools that will help your restaurant get ahead of competition.
But what is marketing? Simply put, marketing involves you actively promoting and selling your services to potential customers.
Sounds straight forward. But why is it important?
In hospitality, marketing plays a key role – you NEED to understand your customers and be able to tap into new audiences to give your restaurant longevity. As a communications specialist, I obviously believe that PR is very important to ensure you keep up momentum but marketing should be the bread and butter of promoting your business in the long-run.
In the increasingly crowded restaurant scene, it’s essential to try to stand out. In hospitality, your main focus should be creating and maintaining positive customer experiences and marketing plays a key role in this. Over the next few weeks, I’ll cover the full range of marketing tactics at your disposal – everything from websites, to direct marketing, advertising, events, marketing platforms and photography/ videography.
In an ideal world, you’d implement all of these ideas but your objective should be to select a handful that you feel will be most impactful and cost-effective for your restaurant.
In order for your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to understand where you are NOW and WHERE you want to be. One of the biggest problems I usually come across is that restaurateurs are not honest with themselves when it comes to the reasons why their restaurant is empty. When you think about it, it can only be one of the following: either the product is not as good as they think, or their communication is wrong.
If you’ve got a nice restaurant, you’re happy with the food, the ambiance and service are good but you are still running an empty restaurant, your communications strategy is probably wrong: you are either not doing enough marketing and PR, or you are simply trying to speak to the wrong audience, using the wrong tone of voice or channels.
Before starting with any activity, I recommend you take some time to answer the following questions:
- What are your business goals?
- What’s your mission?
- Who is going to carry out all marketing activities?
- Who are your typical customers? And what’s their average spend?
- What kind of audience would you like to visit your restaurant?
- What marketing have you tried in the past, if any? What went well? What tactics didn’t get the results you expected?
- What’s your marketing budget for the next 6-12 months?
- Unlike PR, marketing ROI is measurable - how will you monitor and evaluate results?
Once you have had time to answer all of these questions, you can join me next week where we’ll be looking at the importance of websites.
Andrea Klar-Nathan is MD of Clear Communications. With over 15 years of hospitality communications experience; she co-owned her first agency by 2011 which she then sold 7 years later. Her experience includes everything that’s connected to hospitality: Michelin starred restaurants, pop-ups, venues, events, even wine storage solutions. You name it, she’s done it.
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