Restaurant: How to effectively launch
HOW TO LAUNCH YOUR RESTAURANT BUSINESS
If you’ve taken a plunge into the F’n’B industry, chances are you are passionate about food. And good for you because the one thing we’ve learnt is that the restaurant business will never die or become old. It might change with times but it will NEVER die.
So you’ve got yourself a killer location and the chef’s ready to chop… your staff is being hand picked while the fresh veggies roll in. You’re getting ready to whip up some serious culinary goodness. But aren’t you forgetting something? Bringing in the customers!!!
Sure your friends and family will come and the local neighbourhood will finally find you but will that sustain your business? How do you ensure that the launch of your restaurant is seen and heard and creates a buzz in town so that all you have to do is stand at the door and welcome your guests with a big smile?
Starting your business on a solid foundation will sustain your business for longer, instead of you having to roll our 50% OFF discount coupons every now and then to lure people into your restaurant and devalue your brand.
Disclaimer, we are by no means restauranteurs or have any knowledge of food but as designers we have worked with many food and beverage entities to help them launch and grow by marketing and promotional design and have learnt a few things along the way. SO, we’ve listed out a few must haves for your restaurant business to make your launch a seamless success:
Create a Brand not just a sign board!
If only we got a penny for every stand alone restaurant that had a bad font for a logo and a sign board from the 80s!! What is up with that? It’s not that these restaurants are crappy, but they were established in the 70s when none of this mattered and now they are all seeing a downfall in their following. Why? Because they can’t stand out from the chain restaurants that are cheaper, faster and more vibrant.
So if you are starting off new – One of the first things to survive is to make yourself look like you know what you’re doing and you’re going to do it good!
Creating a brand not only defines your food and your style, but it attracts that EXACT kind of client as well. If your signboard looks cheap and crappy, then people coming in are going to expect a discount and haggle you over a free drink. And we’re not making these up – These are true stories from our clients.
Having a brand sets you apart and creates a recall value. It makes you look more professional and hence trust worthy. So invest in branding like you would, in buying a location to start on the right foot.
Get a photoshoot done!
What is the product you are selling? Where are you selling it? What does it look like? When you approach a customer, these are a few standard questions that will run through their minds. Being a restaurant owner, your food IS your product and skipping to showcase is the worse mistake you can make. Sure stock photos can do you fine, but make sure you can live up to the fancy crockery and beautiful floral displays or else you’ll watch your rating go down within weeks.
Investing in a a good photoshoot for your food and your interior is your ultimately marketing tool. It’s what you’ll use on your menus, website, promotions and basically everything. And let’s face it, nothing makes you hungrier than a picture of beautifully laid out food!
Get yourself a responsive website:
We say responsive because it’s an absolute necessity for websites to be able to function seamlessly on mobile phones now. 80% customers have smart phones which they are glued to 7 days a week 20 hours a day. No one goes to the desk anymore – infact offices should probably move to trains, and freeways.. but that’s a later discussion.
A website that works on all media gives you that much more traffic coming in and makes a better viewer experience. Have a little write up about what the restaurant is all about, showcase your menu and state your opening hours and special offers. It makes it easier for people to find you when they google before a night out!
Here’s one we did for Jalori Indian Restaurant
Online ordering / reservation system
Having an online ordering and reservation system can really automise your business and allow you to concentrate on sending out those orders rather than being glued to phone. This can be a part of your website itself or a separate Mobile app. It’s great for take away restaurants who are generally very busy and very short on staff.
Find your niche:
This goes for any business. Finding your ideal client is the key to using your resources rightfully and more efficiently. You can either go on sending out ads and flyers and dissolving your budget or you can have a think about what kind of food you sell, what your capacity is and who is suitable for your palette. This will allow you to focus and market yourself in the right place to the right client.
Create a social presence
Gone are the days when social media was just for school and college students. 90% of businesses promote and sell through social media. But more importantly, social media presence is a great way to stay connected to your audience. It creates a following and a trust in your brand and allows you to get real time reviews and feedback from your clients.
We’re all for digital marketing but it’s not to say that you can skip print marketing all together. A takeaway menu,
a flyer to announce the launch
and a tempting offer for the first 100 customers is a great way to kick start any restaurant business. Send out ads in your local newspaper to create awareness in your local community. Goes without saying that if they food is good, word of mouth will be your ultimate marketing tool.
Every new restaurant brings excitement in town and while the above are great ways to attract new customers, nothing withstands bad service and shabby food. So keep em happy to keep em coming back!
If you’re looking to start a restaurant business and need help getting your brand out, give us a shout!
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