If you’re an aspiring restaurateur, restaurant franchising can offer you the opportunity to work with an established, proven restaurant brand. Once the paperwork is finalized, one of the next steps is to get your restaurant marketing up and running.
As you get your restaurant off the ground, marketing is one of many tasks you have to juggle, so it’s important to make your marketing efforts as efficient as possible. Following are five simple steps to attract customers and ensure marketing success.
A benefit of becoming a franchisee with an established restaurant brand – as opposed to opening an independent restaurant – is that marketing materials are readily available to your business. In some cases, franchise agreements even require franchisees to spend a certain amount on marketing or use a set amount of marketing collateral. Rather of having to create your own collateral, franchisors provide flyers, menus, table tents, signage and more. Any time you need additional marketing support, get in touch with your franchise director, who can work with you to promote your restaurant location. In the long run, this will save you time, which you can dedicate toward other tasks.
Social media is a simple, cost-effective way to connect with local diners about your location opening, events, specials and more. When used effectively, social media – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – can amplify your brand and reach new potential diners. Work closely with the corporate office’s social media team to get the word out about your new franchise location – even before it opens. Depending on the franchise, some don’t allow individual locations to create their own social media pages, so make sure to check with the franchise owner before kicking off your social media efforts.
Promotions and discounts are a tried and true method for attracting diners, and an effective way to get the word out about your new restaurant location. Connect with local businesses, sports teams, and more to offer exclusive specials during your first few weeks of business. As word of your restaurant deals spread, diners will keep coming back for more – and they’ll bring their friends and family along, too.
Search engines like Google are one of the top tools for diners looking for a restaurant. But customers can’t find you if your restaurant isn’t listed. Be sure to list your franchise location on Yelp, MenuPages and Google Maps, and include up-to-date contact information. You can also include pictures of menu items. When diners are searching restaurants locally, your establishment will among the first to appear in search results.
Just because customers can’t physically come to your restaurant location doesn’t mean they’re not craving your food. To meet the demand of diners that prefer takeout and delivery, consider leveraging an online ordering platform to field requests. Doing so can put your restaurant in front of hungry customers who might have otherwise been difficult to reach.
To learn more, check out our latest whitepaper, The (Aspiring) Restaurateur’s Guide to Opening a Franchise.