Build Sales Through Business Partnerships and Local Store Marketing
Developing a loyal customer base is not an easy thing to do. When your restaurant is the new one on the block, keep in mind that local consumers will be both curious and leery at the same time. This is because you have not established your specific restaurant yet. Local store marketing that is done in a creative and innovative way is one of the best ways to get the attention of the local community and get them filling the seats in your restaurant.
One of the best things you can do to get your name out there and to build a loyal customer base is to start by offer free tasting events. Granted this will cost the business a little money but it lets the community taste your food and in an economy that is still recovering, it is a wise choice. Consumers like to know what they can expect when visiting a restaurant, or any other establishment, before spending money there. Offering up a buffet style tasting event or specific product samples at key day-parts like breakfast, lunch or dinner is a smart way to show the community what you have to offer.
Another smart local store marketing tip is to build solid relationships with other local businesses in the area. Offer their employees discount coupons, such as buy one meal get one free, when other businesses in the general vicinity have sales and promotions. Studies show that more than 75% of people buy lunch outside the home at least 4 to 5 days a week and that 95% eat within 1 mile of where they work. They are already out and about; get them to come through your doors as well. If consumers can save a few dollars at each place they visit in a day, spending a few at your restaurant won’t seem so hard on the wallet. Although you are new in town, show them that you are thinking about their budgets as well.
If you offer a dish that no one else has, make a point of promoting it as a key differentiator of your restaurant from your competitors, people will come in just to try that. Once they are satisfied with that meal, it will keep them coming back to try the rest of the menu. In order to get the word out about those specific dishes, take a few plates to local businesses like a bank, general store, or any other establishment where the employees deal with the public everyday. They will share with their customers how wonderful the food was and tell them what the dish was. This advertising is essentially free and goes a long way.
Word of mouth marketing is the very best local store marketing tactic your can do that gets real results. Consumers talk and read reviews online. Word of mouth is what makes or breaks a restaurant, especially a new one in town. It takes some hard work on your part to ensure that every guest that gives your establishment a try has a great experience. The customer service has to be top notch, the décor needs to be fresh and inviting, and lastly, you have to knock their socks off with your food. They won’t talk about you in a positive way if the food was just okay or was made with mediocre ingredients.
It is important to remember that local store marketing does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Most of what you can do in the local community to get your name out will cost very little or the cost of a small amount of food for some samplings. Coupons and discounts get the attention of consumers, especially in an up and down economy. Making a little bit less money now often leads to bigger profits in a shorter amount of time. Positive exposure and reviews are far more important than spending money on that television commercial or huge print ad.