Food for Thought

The statistics are daunting – surveys have shown that anywhere from 60% to 90% of new restaurants fail in their first year. And in these difficult economic times, when consumers are cutting back on dining out to save money, the odds against opening a successful eatery have never been greater.

Still, thousands of new restaurants pop up every year. What separates the winners from the losers? The quality of the food and service are primary factors; but how many times have you fallen in love with a neighborhood bistro or a new pizza place, only to be shocked when they close their doors? Clearly, there’s more to running a restaurant than serving tasty entrees.

Those who toss their menu into the competition for America’s dining-out dollar face two main challenges – attracting first-time customers, and turning those customers into repeat business. However, new restaurant owners sometimes spend so much of their capital in just getting the doors open, there’s not much left for marketing.

Fortunately, effective marketing on a budget is possible with a little research, a little creativity, and magnetic promotional products from Magnetic Attractions.

Start with a direct mail campaign featuring a magnetic postcard or magnetic business card with the restaurant’s name, location and specialties, and magnetic coupons with dining or drink specials. Unlike standard postcards or business cards, magnetic promotions are less likely to be discarded in the wastebasket, and more likely to wind up stuck to a refrigerator.

Choose the type of magnetic coupons to offer based on the surrounding area, and the type of customers most likely to respond. Of course, include the newspaper restaurant critic in your mailing, as well as any other local media people that might provide publicity or a review.

After you’ve served your customers a meal that they (hopefully!) enjoy, give them further incentive to come back with a magnet handout promotion. This will further enhance your establishment’s brand and visibility, and help them to remember your name the next time they’re hungry.

Magnetic Attractions will work with you on a promotional effort to help you get the most out of your restaurant market budget. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

More Restaurant Marketing Tips
In addition to our magnetic promotional products, there are other ways to enhance your restaurant’s brand and product visibility.

•    Research your local area to find out which kinds of coupons are likely to attract the most business. Who should you try to reach – college students on a tight budget? Families looking for a group meal deal? Knowing where to target your coupons in advance will help create a more enthusiastic response.

•    Website specials: In addition to magnet promotions through coupons and direct mail, running special offers on your website will also help generate new business.

•    Call the food editor or columnist from your local newspaper and invite her to lunch at your restaurant.

•    After diners are seated, give them a sample of either an appetizer or the day’s special. It’s unexpected, appreciated, and a great way to start their experience in a positive way.

To read even more… visit our market solutions page on Pizzerias.  The ideas carry over to many restaurant styles.

Posted October 2nd, 2010 in Uncategorized. Tagged: .

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