Branding, Marketing & Advertising Your First Restaurant

These three factors can make or break your venture, so it’s essential to understand the role each one plays.

When you start your first restaurant, you need to know how you’re going to reach your potential customers.

As I said last week I’ve decided to break this post into a three-part series.

This week’s post will cover Marketing. If you missed last week’s Branding post download it here.

A brief definition- Branding regardless of the size of your restaurant is more than a logo, colour or tagline. A well-articulated brand emotionally connects with your ideal customers and conveys to them who you are, what you stand for, and what you can deliver.

How can you entice your restaurant customers when there are so many options for diners when looking to eat out?

And then once they have become your guest, how can you make sure they’ll keep coming back?

The answer to these questions and more, a strong marketing campaign, which leads me to this week’s post!


Marketing is defined as the process of identifying customers’ needs and figuring out the best way to meet those needs. At this point, you should know who your potential target customer is.

If you are still not sure you may want to download:

How to Find Your Ideal Customer Step 2  in my Step-by-Step Formula for Starting a Successful Restaurant

The success of your restaurant hinges on knowing and satisfying your customer’s dining Desires & Needs!

To service and sell to an audience, you have to understand them, and this takes careful evaluation.

Your ideal customer should have a need for your cuisine and service and be willing to pay for it.

If you have BRANDED your business now it’s time to MARKET it!

Marketing Avenues

While there are many available, consider your audience when you are determining which to use.

Options include a business website, social media, blogging, menus, and flyers, networking events, print advertising,  and word of mouth, etc.

Goals and Budget

Marketing goals will help you to define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities.

Your goals should be specificmeasurableattainablerelevant and time-based.

You must also allocate a budget to your marketing activities.

Your marketing budget will need to include:

  • website development and maintenance
  • search engine optimisation strategy
  • design of branding
  • printing of promotional material (business cards, brochures, signage, etc)
  • advertising
  • donations and sponsorships
  • employing staff to undertake marketing activities.

As a rule of thumb, you should spend between three and five per cent of your actual or expected annual turnover on marketing.

If your business is new you may need to allocate more funds initially to build your business profile.

How Can Marketing Keep Your Customers Coming Back?

Your customers are the key to your success so it is important to look after them and encourage loyalty.

Providing delicious consistent food and exceptional customer service can keep people coming back and set you apart from your competitors.

Strategies to keep them coming back include:

  • communicating regularly with customers through social media, blogs or e-news
  • delivering on your promises
  • going the ‘extra mile exceed initial expectations
  • using feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve services
  • listening to customers
  • training staff in the kitchen and front of the house customer service

Review Your Marketing Campaigns

To determine whether your marketing is are achieving the outcome you are desiring, you should review your marketing plan every three months to ensure it is working.

Once your restaurant becomes more established you introduce new cuisine or service, if a new competitor enters the market or if an issue arises that affects your industry.

Included in your review should be your sales figures on a regular basis (monthly) or monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign.

You can also access and review free analytic tools to determine the effectiveness of your social media or website campaigns.

A Website Is a Digital Storefront Allowing You to Always Be Open Even If Your Not

You must have, a website to promote your cuisine and services.

Most customers will search you online before making a decision to order or go to your restaurant.

Before I end this weeks post on marketing I would like to point out that your website is your most important digital marketing media!

Your website should include:

  • outline your cuisine and services
  • include high-quality, drool-inducing photos
  • show off your staff to humanize your business
  • functional online menu
  • enable people to contact you

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