In this article, we will describe what should be included in each component of your marketing plan and provide some restaurant marketing strategies that can help you reach your target audience.
What is a Restaurant Marketing Plan?
A restaurant marketing plan is a written document that outlines the specific actions you’ll take to achieve your restaurant’s marketing and sales goals.
The marketing plan should be designed to support your overall business strategy and objectives. It should be updated regularly as your business changes and grows.
Your restaurant marketing plan should be built around your unique selling proposition (USP), which is the one thing that sets you apart from other restaurants in your market. From there, you’ll need to develop targeted campaigns, create compelling offers, and craft a promotions strategy that will reach your ideal customers.
Once you have all of the pieces in place, you’ll need to track your progress and adjust your plan accordingly. The best way to do this is to set measurable goals and track your results regularly.
Why You Need a Restaurant Marketing Plan
There are many reasons why you need a marketing plan for your restaurant. First and foremost, a well-crafted marketing plan will help you focus your limited time and resources on the activities that will have the biggest impact on your business.
Second, a restaurant marketing plan can help you track your progress and see whether or not you’re on track to achieve your goals. This is important because it allows you to make changes to your plan as needed.
Finally, a marketing plan can be a valuable tool for communicating your restaurant’s marketing strategy to your team. By having a written plan, you can ensure that everyone on your team is aware of your goals and knows what needs to be done to help you achieve them.
Marketing Plan Basics
A typical marketing plan includes the following components:
- Executive Summary
- Target Market Segments
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- Pricing and Positioning Strategy
- Marketing Materials
- Promotions Strategy
- Digital Marketing Plan
- Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy
- Financial Projections
How to Write a Restaurant Marketing Plan
Use the following restaurant marketing plan template, guide, and examples to write your own marketing plan.
Although the first section of your restaurant marketing plan, it should be the final section of your marketing plan that is written.
In two or three pages, summarize all of the information you have presented in the other sections and include a summary version of any graphs or charts you have included.
You should also include your marketing goals, objectives, and success metrics for the first year of operations.
Target Market Segments
Begin by dividing your potential patrons into segments based on their demographics, geography, lifestyle, behavior, or any other factors that are relevant to your restaurant. Be sure to explain how you determined these target market segments.
For example, you might segment your customers by:
- Family size and composition
- Behavioral factors
Once you have identified your target market segments, you’ll need to create profiles for each one. These profiles should include information about their needs, wants, and values. They should also include information about their buying habits and preferences.
You can use this information to develop targeted campaigns that will appeal to each segment.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP is the one thing that sets you apart from other restaurants in your market. It’s what makes you unique and it’s what will make customers want to visit your restaurant over others.
Be sure to clearly define your USP and include it in your marketing plan. You’ll need to use it as a guiding force when developing your marketing strategy and campaigns.
To develop your USP, start by identifying your unique strengths. What do you do better than anyone else in your market? What can you offer that no one else can?
Once you’ve identified your strengths, use them to develop a USP that is clear, concise, compelling, and communicated through your website, marketing materials, and offers.
For example, if you’re a pizzeria with a wood-fired oven, your USP might be “the best wood-fired pizza in town.”
Pricing and Positioning Strategy
Your pricing and positioning strategy will be determined by many factors, including your target market, USP, and the overall goals of your marketing plan.
When setting your prices, be sure to consider your target market’s ability to pay. You want to position yourself in a way that allows you to compete against other nearby restaurants in your market. You want a pricing strategy that will be profitable for your restaurant and competitive in your market.
Your positioning strategy will determine how you communicate your USP to your target market. It will also determine the overall tone and approach of your marketing campaigns.
Be sure to clearly define your pricing and positioning strategy in your marketing plan. Include information on how you determined your prices and how you will position yourself in the market.
For example, will you be the high-end restaurant with premium prices or the budget-friendly option for the typical middle-class family?
Your offers are the incentives that you’ll use to get potential clients to take action. They can be in the form of coupons, discounts, freebies, or anything else that will entice your target market to visit your restaurant.
Your offers should be aligned with your overall restaurant marketing strategy. They should be developed to appeal to your target market and support your USP.
Be sure to include information on your offers in your restaurant marketing plan. Explain how they support your marketing strategy and what you expect them to achieve.
For example, if you’re trying to attract families with young children, you might offer a discount on kids’ meals or a free toy with every child’s meal.
Your marketing materials are the tools that you’ll use to reach your target market and deliver your message. They can include things like your website, menus, flyers, posters, and more.
Your marketing materials should be consistent with your overall branding and messaging strategy. They should clearly communicate your USP and support your offers.
Be sure to include information on your marketing materials in your marketing plan. Explain how they support your marketing strategy and what you expect them to achieve.
Your restaurant marketing plan should also include samples of your marketing materials. This will give readers a clear idea of what your materials look like and how they support your overall restaurant marketing strategy.
Your promotional strategies are how you will promote your products and services to your target market. It should include information about the types of promotions you’ll use, the channels you’ll use to reach your target market, and the timing of your promotions.
As a restaurant, you’ll likely use a mix of online and offline promotions to reach your target market. Your promotions should be designed to appeal to your target market and support your USP.
Be sure to include information on your promotions strategy in your restaurant marketing plan. Explain how the promotions support your marketing strategy and what you expect them to achieve.
For example, if you’re launching a new menu item, you might promote it with a special offer or discount.
Digital Marketing Plan
Your digital marketing plan outlines how you will use digital channels to reach your target market. It should include information about your website, social media, email marketing, and any other online marketing tactics you’ll use.
Your digital plan should be designed to support your overall marketing strategy. It should be tailored to reach your target market where they are spending their time online.
For example, if you’re trying to reach young adults, you’ll want to focus on social media channels like Snapchat and Instagram.
Your restaurant marketing plan should also include samples of your online marketing materials. This will give readers a clear idea of what your online presence looks like and how it supports your other marketing efforts.
Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy
Your conversion, referral, and retention strategy outlines how you will turn potential diners into paying customers and keep them coming back for more.
It should include information about your sales process, customer loyalty programs, and referral marketing campaigns.
Be sure to include information on your conversion, referral, and retention strategy in your marketing plan. Explain how it supports your marketing strategy and what you expect it to achieve.
For example, if you’re trying to increase customer loyalty, you might offer a loyalty program with discounts and rewards for repeat business.
Your financial projections outline the expected revenue and expenses for your restaurant. They should be based on your marketing strategy, target market, and other factors.
Be sure to include financial projections in your marketing plan. Explain how they were developed and what you expect them to achieve.
For example, if you’re trying to increase sales by 20% over the next year, your financial projections should reflect that goal and include the essential KPIs that will be used to measure success.
7 Restaurant Marketing Strategies
For most restaurants, a mix of marketing tactics will be the most effective way to reach their target market. The following are some common restaurant marketing strategies:
- Social media marketing: Use social media channels to connect with your target market and promote your restaurant. There are multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great for sharing photos, updates, and special offers.
- Email marketing: Use email to stay in touch with your restaurant customers and promote your restaurant. Send newsletters, coupons, and special offers to your email list.
- Promotions: Run promotions and discounts to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. Offer a discount for first-time customers or run a contest for a free meal.
- Events: Host events at your restaurant to generate buzz and foot traffic. Partner with local businesses or charities to co-host an event.
- Offline marketing: Use traditional offline marketing tactics to reach your target market. Place ads in local publications or distribute flyers in high-traffic areas.
- Public relations: Generate positive press for your restaurant with public relations campaigns. Pitch story ideas to local media outlets or hold a grand opening event.
- Word of mouth: Encourage customers to spread the word about your restaurant with word-of-mouth marketing. Offer discounts or freebies for customers who refer their friends.
Sample Marketing Plan for a Restaurant
Example – Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant is a high-end seafood restaurant in New Orleans, LA. The restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere and a la carte menu with fresh seafood options.
The marketing plan executive summary for Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will outline the restaurant’s overall marketing strategy, including its goals, objectives, and tactics. It will also include a financial projection for the restaurant’s first year of operation.
The goal of Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant’s marketing plan is to generate buzz and foot traffic to the restaurant. The restaurant also hopes to build a loyal customer base and increase sales.
The objectives of Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant’s marketing plan are to:
- Attract 100 new customers within the first month of operation
- Increase sales by 10% each month
- Build a loyal customer base of 200 customers within the first year
The tactics that Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will use to achieve its objectives include:
- Social media marketing: Use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share photos, updates, and special offers with potential customers.
- Email marketing: Send a monthly email newsletter to subscribers with coupons, discounts, and restaurant news.
- Promotions: Run monthly promotions and discounts to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back.
- Events: Host events at the restaurant, such as wine tastings and cooking classes.
- Offline marketing: Place ads in local publications and distribute flyers in high-traffic areas.
- Public relations: Pitch story ideas to local media outlets and hold a grand opening event.
- Word of mouth: Offer discounts or freebies for customers who refer their friends.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant expects to generate $3,000 in sales per month in its first year of operation. The restaurant plans to spend $600 on marketing and advertising each month, resulting in a net profit of $2,400.
Target Market Segments
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant’s target market segments are high-income individuals who are looking for an elegant seafood dining experience. Demographics include:
- Location: New Orleans, LA
- Age: 35+
- Income: $100,000+
- Interests: Fine dining, seafood, wine
The restaurant’s location in New Orleans puts it in close proximity to some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city including Uptown, the French Quarter, and the Garden District.
Additionally, Black Pearl’s menu features fresh seafood options that are not typically found at other local restaurants, making it a desirable dining destination for affluent local and tourist diners.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere and a la carte menu with fresh seafood options that are not typically found at other local restaurants. This makes it a desirable dining destination for affluent local and tourist diners who enjoy exotic Cajun seafood cuisine.
“A Unique Dining Destination for Exotic Cajun Seafood Cuisine”
Pricing and Positioning Strategy
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will charge a premium price for its high-end seafood cuisine. The average meal price will be $30-$40 per person.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will position itself as the go-to spot for upscale seafood dining in New Orleans. It will target middle to high-income individuals who are interested in experiencing fine dining at an affordable price.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will distribute flyers in high-traffic areas to promote its grand opening. It will also place ads in local publications and pitch story ideas to local media outlets. The restaurant will also use its social media platforms and email marketing to reach potential customers.
Offers and Incentives
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will offer discounts and coupons to customers who sign up for their email newsletter. The restaurant will also have monthly promotions and discounts to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. For example, the restaurant could offer a buy one get one free entrée coupon or a percentage off the bill for parties of a certain size.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategy
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track customer data and interactions. The CRM system will be used to send automated marketing emails, track online reviews, and measure customer satisfaction.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant’s marketing materials will include a website, social media posts, email templates, flyers, and business cards.
The website will feature the restaurant’s menu, photos, and location. Social media pages will be used to post updates about special events and promotions. The email template will be used to send monthly newsletters to subscribers.
Flyers will be distributed in high-traffic areas to promote the restaurant’s grand opening. Business cards will be given to customers to encourage them to spread the word about Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will offer a variety of promotions to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. The following promotions will occur during Q1:
- January: “January Blues Buster” – 20% off the bill for dine-in customers
- February: “Valentine’s Day Special” – Two for one entree on Valentine’s Day
- March: “Lucky in Love” – Enter to win a free dinner for two when you dine at Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant
Digital Marketing Plan
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will use a variety of digital channels to reach potential customers. The following channels will be used:
- Website & Search Engine Optimization: The restaurant’s website will feature the menu, photos, and location. The website will be optimized for search engines so that it appears as a top result when customers search for keywords related to the business in Google searches, local search results, Google Listing for Business, and rank well on other search engines.
- Paid Ads on Google Ads: Create ads on Google Ads to display Google.com, Google Maps, and delivery sites when customers search for keywords related to the business.
- Social Media Platforms: Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will have active social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The pages will be used to post updates about special events and promotions.
- Email Marketing: The restaurant will use email marketing to send monthly newsletters to subscribers. The newsletter will feature discounts, coupons, and upcoming events.
- Online Review Sites: Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will monitor online review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google Maps. The restaurant will respond to both positive and negative reviews in a prompt and professional manner.
Conversion, Referral, and Retention Strategy
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant will use a variety of strategies to convert potential customers into paying ones. The following strategies will be used:
- Sales Techniques: The restaurant’s sales team will be trained to upsell and cross-sell menu items. They will also be taught how to handle objections and close the sale.
- Referral Program: The restaurant will offer a referral program to loyal customers who refer new business. The customer will receive a discount on their next visit for each referral.
- Loyalty Program: The restaurant will offer a program to our most loyal customers who frequently dine at the restaurant. The loyalty program will include discounts, coupons, and exclusive access to events.
- Customer Retention: The restaurant will use a customer satisfaction survey to measure customer satisfaction. The survey will be used to identify areas of improvement.
Black Pearl Seafood Restaurant’s financial projections for Q1 are as follows:
- Revenue: $50,000
- Cost of Goods Sold: $15,000
- Gross Profit: $35,000
- Operating Expenses: $30,000
- Net Profit: $5,000