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How to make an effective marketing plan for restaurants in 2018

Posted by Jan 15, 2018 11:35:53 AM

Promoting the services and products we intend to offer is similar to a big league baseball game: we have the spirit to come out as the winner, we are driven and have the will to defeat the opposing team yet, in order for that to happen, we must set out our strategies way before we show up to play and become champions. In this post we will share 5 keys to design a simple marketing plan for restaurants that will allow you to reach your goals in 2018 and step way ahead of your competitors.

What is a marketing plan for restaurants good for?

To achieve your business goals, it is imperative to adopt the proper set of actions, those that will allow you to boost sales and help your organization thrive. A well thought-out marketing plan is essential in order to guide you and define a clear path to follow until your potential and objectives are fulfilled. It is a fundamental tool that will help you meet certain aspects we will now point out:

1. It allows you to minimize expenses!


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A marketing plan for restaurants should not become an intimidating matter, its proper execution only requires a bit of research and defined objectives before you begin to apply it. Once you are set on what you want, you can develop an action plan and set aside a budget that will cover the investment that will start bringing customers in. What are your goals regarding the sales you expect your restaurant to make this year? What is it you need to do in order to meet those expectations? Are you aiming to expand your presence on the web which in turn will lead you to reach a larger volume of clients? Go ahead and start by asking yourself these questions, follow up by using the answers you obtain and make final decisions based on them.


2. Teamwork motivation


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It is quite easy to get discouraged when a project ploughs ahead without well-defined objectives. As a result you could end up providing terrible customer service or your company could become extinct after meeting conflicts or situations where bouncing back to regular levels of operation would become impossible. However, counting with a good marketing plan brings your organization the opportunity to set goals for the short, medium and long terms; this is a wonderful way to keep your team members motivated. They will feel as important components within the work process which will in turn promote the achievement and conclusion of the goals you have set from the very beginning.


3. Do you know, in depth, how your business really works?

When carrying out something as important as a marketing plan, the possibility becomes available to closely analyze the way your business works and the attitude customers have towards the products and services your restaurant offers. You will also get to discover so much about their specific tastes and those details that might pleasantly surprise them when they return to visit you again; you'll even get to recognize the occasions when your establishment generates most of your overall income, and how you can take those earnings further than any basic amounts made by your competitors.


5 Keys to get a head start with a simple restaurant marketing plan

An advantageous marketing strategy should include these 5 basic but crucial elements:


Up to date business analysis that will allow your organization to surpass any efforts made by your competition

Before starting a marketing plan you must truly be honest about the way your enterprise works and perform a 'SWOT' analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) which will easily allow you to identify the value that defines the goods you intend to sell (for instance: quality, price and self-supply capacity) and the possible weaknesses that may place you behind other commercial entities that offer products and services similar to yours (for example, untrained personnel, prolonged waiting time, unsafe areas, lacking areas of basic services such as inefficient toilets, appliances that operate under accepted standards and so on). These are essential matters you must take into consideration whenever you build up a plan that intends to position your business as the best in the market.

Framing a unique brand identity that will set you in a privileged position among the rest, depends on details like the ones we have described above, they make up the essence of organizations that have earned trust and respect from customers worldwide.


Define your ideal client: The Buyer Persona

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What kind of client is your restaurant aiming to attract? What type of customers do you aspire to seat at your tables? Are they business executives, family, students, coworkers looking to share time together, groups of female friends?

Once that specific profile is defined, it is necessary to zero-in on their age, income, origin, appearance, roles, concerns, figure out the way they think and most importantly: to discover what is it they expect each time they visit your restaurant.

By settling these aspects, it becomes possible to establish if, for example, your restaurant needs to offer free Wi-Fi service, what preferences should be included in the menu, the style you choose when you first greet them, how their spending capabilities adapt to your pricing schemes and how to approach customer service taking into consideration their most essential needs.

The importance and priority of all these elements must be outlined carefully in order to achieve the results that will facilitate setting up your clientele and commercial organization for those levels of success that most closely resemble your loftiest and most cherished ambitions.

Set definitive goals!

Delineating specific objectives demands exhaustive and detailed steps, we must always ask ourselves: what is it we truly want to achieve?, what monetary figures are we hoping to make?, when do we expect to reach them and how we are going to accomplish getting there? For instance, thinking: “I want to increase income in the month of February by 20% through the marketing content uploaded to the restaurant's blog” is a specific approach that provides us with truly accurate instructions, as opposed to just saying: “I want to boost restaurant revenues”.

Encompassing goals precisely will elevate the motivation of your work teams and leave your staff feeling fulfilled after distinct objectives have been reached and finalized in satisfactory ways.

Define the strategy to will set in motion

Once you identify who your ideal client is and how far you expect your business goals to take you, it will be time to choose the series of restaurant marketing strategies you are willing to embrace, either through the adoption of the use of social networks and blogs with SEO strategies (Search Engine Optimization), or by implementing traditional advertising methods such as promotional campaigns offered through mainstream media. You must then follow up by figuring out how to place your restaurant right under the spotlight and once your customers arrive, finding a way to keep in touch with them, either through email, live interaction interfaces or other processes that will facilitate feedback and effective communication. It is important to show your clientele that their hopes and expectations are going to be fulfilled, in addition to keeping them up to date about all those offers and perks that will positively encourage them to spend prolonged stays at your establishment.

Define your marketing budget

The goals established in your marketing plan should go hand in hand with the costs you are willing to assume. In order to build up solid and complete strategies, all expenses must be anticipated. It is important to make sure you have the required funds and capital before you execute productive marketing plans.

The size of a budget depends directly on the series of marketing strategies being chosen to promote the services offered by your restaurant. Remember that a positive experience will naturally motivate satisfied customers to spread the word about the positive aspects your brand has to offer, these recommendations passed on from one customer to the next are publicity that is highly effective and won’t cost you a dime!

Marketing is a worthwhile investment that should not be perceived as a meaningless factor, it will certainly bring a wide range of benefits to your organization. It acts as an essential element that will positively impact the future of your restaurant and extend its presence and permanence in your community.

Establishing plans that will allow your business to connect with loyal customers (who will then proceed to spread the word about the benefits you have offered to them) will facilitate raising the popularity of your brand beyond what you may have already achieved locally for your clients; reaching worldwide respect and acceptance on the long run is not a goal that should be discarded, other commercial organizations have already accomplished this, therefore, reaching such heights is certainly not impossible. We are hoping this fact alone will  keep you motivated and on the right track!

Take the time to research the facts that will define your goals and the budget required to carry out effective strategies, discover the type of customer you are aiming to interact with and build up a unique brand identity that will set you apart from the rest.

If you feel inclined to spend more time learning about dedicated annual marketing strategy options, we invite you to browse through the articles available at business.miamismith.com/blog a free resource that will provide you with the information needed to help your business move closer to your most cherished ambitions.

Tags: marketing strategy, marketing plan, marketing strategies for restaurants, content marketing, buyer persona, Marketing plan for restaurants, marketing budget analysis, SWOT analysis


Content is a non-invasive way of selling the product or service you are offering. The purchase decision is based on the information that the customer has at the moment. It is your best ally because it doesn’t only allows you to educate your audience but also increases your sales potential.

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