Does Your Restaurant Have a Menu Marketing Strategy?
A new year, a new start. Many restaurants view this as an opportunity to start fresh with a new menu. Last year is over and it was a tough one for many restaurants. Many major chains went through buyouts, many restaurants closed. The brave that made it were concerned much of the year. Time for a fresh start with a menu marketing strategy as part of your overall marketing plan.
One of the major elements that consumers make choices by is your menu. Sometimes your restaurant defines your menu as in the case of a Mexican restaurant. In other cases, a menu tries to be everything to everybody. You often find this in diners. The question remains, how do you use your menu to drive traffic.
Let’s look at the eight ways your menu can drive traffic for your restaurant.
- Your restaurant website. Most restaurants have a website for consumers to look at to view information such as hours, location and your story. One of the main things consumers also look for is your menu. Having an up to date menu is critical. Choices are made based on what the see and need to be what they get at the restaurant. Another key asset of your menu on the website is online ordering. Todays consumer wants to be able to order online and be able to pick up or have it delivered. Finally, your website needs to be mobile friendly.
- Search engine listings. When consumers look for a new restaurant to try the often look to the internet. If you have done your job with correct information for the search engines, your website will appear, and the consumer must be able to find your menu. If they can't see your menu in a readable format, you have lessened your chances to have them visit your restaurant.
- Menu designs. The items you have on your menu and the design can have a large impact on profitability. A menu engineering review can am impact on both the front and back of the house. Inventory management can result in profits when non-productive items are removed from the menu. These actions will create larger sales of your better selling menu items. The analysis is then translated into the menu design which can guide the consumers eye to better selling more profitable items. The net impact is larger check averages by as much as 25%.
- Weekly or seasonal specials. Keep your menu fresh and lively with specials that will offer your customers another reason to visit. A “stale” menu can often lead to consumers making decisions because the menu never changes. Give them reasons to visit by promoting your specials on social media or with email marketing.
- Beverage or dessert menus. Signature beverages or desserts are just another way to use your menu to drive higher sales and traffic. Promote them on social media and let your customers buy with their eyes.
- Takeout menus. Take out sales are increasing everywhere due to online ordering and delivery options. Do your customers have a copy of your menu at home? Direct mail strategies often work, but another method to get your menu in the home is by giving your dine in customers a takeout menu when the leave. A will designed menu will make it to the “menu drawer”.
- Online ordering platforms. Consumers want convenience. Online ordering enables them to order, pay and have a meal delivered without leaving their homes. Look for delivery services in your area that will help grow your business.
- Social media platforms. People buy with their eyes and social media gives you an opportunity to showcase your menu to your community. Targeted ads on Facebook and other platforms helps you reach your desired customer at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.
Each of these menu marketing tools can help grow your business to new levels but it does require some effort to coordinate the activities. Work with your internal team or outsource to an agency that knows how to use all the tools with the proper timing. The results are worth the expense. To learn more, download our free eBook.
With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues. To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry visit our website or give contact us at email@example.com