Start Up: Developing an Advertising Plan

restaurant advertising

So you’ve got your concept, your location, your employees, and you’re feeling pretty good leading up to your grand opening. Don’t get cocky yet, you still have to let the world know about your restaurant. This is where an “advertising plan” comes in. You’re always going to have to pay for advertising in one way or another, so make sure the word your spreading properly lets the world know about the undeniable drawing power of your location.

Putting together an advertising plan will be an investment of both time and dough, so be sure you treat advertising like any other business expense. And just like any other business expense, your advertising should be efficient and offer the greatest return for your buck. What separates advertising from other expenses is that it’s a “speculative” investment – meaning you’re takin’ a shot in hopes that you’ll see a return.

Once you’ve got your target audience on lock you have to figure out how to reach them. There’s local newspapers, social media, TV spots, food magazines, radio, etc. – a nearly bottomless well of resources at your hands. But you have to be smart about it. Common sense goes a long way in advertising. For example, if you’re a sports bar offering nightly wing specials and growlers, you’re not going to advertise in “Cosmopolitan.”

Courtesy of One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment, here are some successful strategies to help you get people through the door through the power of advertising:

• Use incentives! This concept works for pretty much every kind of restaurants, especially family restaurants, diners, and other casual locations.

• TV spots! While this approach can be costly, it’s tried and true. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying for airtime, the film crew, and other production personnel.

• Place print advertisements! Take advantage of local newspapers, circulars, magazines, dining guides, etc.

• Sponsor a local athletic team or event! Think outside the box in this department. Think softball, fishing tournaments, bowling championships, etc.

• Advertise on buses, cabs, trains, taxis, etc.! Think of these as mobile ads.

• Do it up online! The Internet offers innumerable ways to promote your restaurant. Social media, advertisements, coupons, menus, etc. – it can all be done online.

So what should these advertisements convey? Here’s what your ads should get across to your target audience:

• Who you are
• What you serve
• Where you fit into the local dining scene
• Where you’re located
• When you’re open
• How they should respond to your ad (get your tail in here!)

One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment

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