After dealing with lagging sales for over five years, it occurred to me that we needed to do something to improve the visibility of our business. We started focusing carefully on marketing, including making our web presence more prominent. We analyzed our demographics, and we worked with a marketing company to make our online content more relevant. The difference was amazing. Within about six months, our company was enjoying a higher customer count and more online traffic. The purpose of this blog is to help you to see how important marketing is, and why every business owner should invest in marketing materials and services.
When you first open a bar and grill-style restaurant, one of your biggest challenges will be building a loyal clientele. Once you draw in customers and make a good impression, you can count on many coming back to watch the big games and become regulars over time. But how can you get more first-time clients? Here are three strategies to try.
Sponsor a Local Sports Team
Get in touch with the organizers of local sports leagues. Many local baseball, soccer, football and basketball leagues are always looking for sponsors. As a sponsor, you will generally pay for uniforms for a team. These uniforms will have your restaurant's information on them, and the team might even be named after your place. For instance, if your bar's name is "Kat's Place," your sponsored team could be called the Kat's Place Panthers.
To persuade your team members to come in regularly, you could offer them special deals -- giving them their first drink free or a half-price appetizer works well. The members of your sponsored team will likely bring in some friends, some of whom will also become loyal customers. Plus, anyone in the stands will see the promotional jerseys during the game and may decide to stop by for some drinks and food. Contact companies like AD-MARK Promotional Products for logo information.
Attend Local Food Festivals
Many locales have "Taste of..." festivals, where various restaurants in the area bring some of their most popular dishes and serve them to attendees. Not only will attending this type of festival give you a chance to earn a little extra money, but attendees who are impressed with your food will likely come visit your restaurant. When you set up at any of these festivals, make sure you have a clear sign that states your restaurant's name and location. You can even pass out coupons to those who purchase food from you at the festival.
Offer Customers A Deal For Sharing on Social Media
The more people you can connect with on Facebook and Twitter, the greater your advertising base will be whenever you post -- and the more new customers you'll draw in. A good way to spread the word via social media is to offer a little discount or special for customers who share your page on their Facebook profile or re-tweet you on Twitter. To make sure the discounts don't get out of hand, make sure it's clear that you'll only offer one discount per person. Ask to see ID and proof of the "share" before giving a customer a discount, and keep a running list of people who you've given the discount to so you don't give it to the same person twice.