You’ve probably been tricked into thinking that the best restaurant marketing plans are complicated and require a team of expensive “experts” to get right. But what if I told you that the best restaurant marketing plans are actually easy to understand and simple to create? What if I said that there are just three parts to building effective marketing plans and that everything else is hogwash? Would you be interested in learning more?
Well, good news! That is the case. You might be thinking: Who is this Adam guy, and how would he know? I’ve been obsessed with marketing for the last decade, acquiring over 10 million customers along the way and spending the last year specializing in restaurant marketing.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Define your objective.
The first step and single most important factor of any restaurant marketing plan is to define your objective. What’s your goal in the first place? Getting new customers? Increasing your average check size? Becoming the top restaurant that people go to for your type of food in your city?
Think carefully because the goal you define should dictate everything you do in terms of marketing. Everything.
Why is setting the goal so important? Because you can’t hit a target if you don’t know where to aim. And, no, you cannot have multiple goals for the same plan. The same plan may lead to multiple benefits, but your goal should only be the benefit that you decide is most important to your business. So pick one and roll with it.
Now that you’ve set your goal, you need a way to measure your progress.
Pick your measurement metrics.
Based on your goal, what metrics give you the best indicator of your progress?
If your goal is to increase revenue, for example, you’d measure using metrics like revenue increase and percentage revenue increase year over year. These metrics would be useful because they are direct reflections of your goal. And they give you a clear sense of where you are on achievement.
One important note: The fewer metrics you can focus on to measure progress, the better. Trying to measure progress using more than three metrics creates confusion.
Metrics aside, the most important part of any marketing plan is to …
Understand your economics.
What can you afford to spend to acquire a new customer? Your answer to this question will help you understand what type of performance you need to make your marketing plan a profit machine. And it will be based on the product of three simple numbers: average check size, average visits per customer and net margin.
Multiply those three numbers to get your customer lifetime value. And then use that magic number, the product of your equation, to understand how much you can spend. For example, if your average customer spends $20 per visit and visits five times throughout their lives, and you have an average net margin of 20%, that means your average customer gives you a net profit of $20. And that means you can afford to spend up to $19.99 to profitably acquire a new customer.
As long as you spend less than your net profit per customer to acquire a new customer, your campaign will be profitable. Plus, the lower your customer acquisition cost, the higher your profit will be.
To summarize, the most important parts of your restaurant marketing plan are very simple. Once you understand your objective, define how you’ll measure progress, and calculate how much you can afford to spend, effective marketing becomes a simple math equation.
And now that you have the formula, you can plan your restaurant marketing like a pro without expensive marketing consultants overcomplicating it with smoke and mirrors. So use this marketing plan framework to clarify your vision and unite your team around it.