In the F&B industry, survival is a challenge. The need to continuously attract potential customers while retaining existing ones with effective restaurant marketing strategies is certainly driving restaurant owners to a corner. Customers are seeking newer and greater value from your restaurant. In return for their patronage, you could offer them incentives.
If customers aren’t returning as regularly as you anticipate, could it be due to the lack of restaurant promotion? We feel for you, restaurant owners. Allow us to help you get through this challenge with a list of restaurant promotion ideas we believe will help you grow your F&B business in the long run.
Restaurant sponsorship is a way to create buzz for your business. This restaurant marketing strategy is necessary to effectively achieve greater awareness and exposure for your restaurant. Your restaurant can sponsor an agreed amount of food for any event such as gift shows, a university freshman orientation camp, local celebrity/social influencers meet and greet or even for an opening ceremony of a sports game. Not only will these potential customers get to hear of your existence, they will also be provided with the opportunity to actually taste your food, which greatly increases the chances of their conversion. However, do make sure that these respective organisers do their part by covering the event location with your restaurant's logo/brand and or theme.
2) Customer Loyalty Programs
Customer loyalty programs will never go wrong for restaurants. Customers like being appreciated and rewarded for being your patrons. Keep them satisfied so they will keep coming back to give you the business you need. Good dining experiences will also encourage word of mouth amongst your customers. So go ahead and provide them with their benefits, free birthday meal/redeemable certificates: e.g. free kid's meal after spending a certain amount at the restaurant. We also suggest awarding them with points that can be used as monetary value to waive a certain amount of their total restaurant bill.
3) Participating in food festivals
Participating in food festivals is an effective way of drawing attention from the general public. People will be curious to know what restaurants, cafes or participating vendors have to offer them. Your potential customers are always on a look out for more food options, because why not? Especially if it’s a new establishment offering a food item that could potentially be the next food craze. Some food festivals in Singapore you could choose to participate in are; “STREAT, Singapore Food Festival” and many more.
4) Cash Discounts
The usual perception of most restaurant owners when offering huge discounts or a 1-for-1 meal promotion is that they would experience higher demands for that specific dish.
Most believe the larger the discount amount, the more effective it is to increase demand in quantity. But is it really a wise decision? When are such huge discounts and promotions really advantageous for restaurants?
Let's jump into a few examples with regards to cash discounts to give you a clearer view of how promotions work.
Pre-discount unit profit
Suppose a 50% discount is rolled out:
Our rationale for the relationship between the selling price and quantity of item sold is such: where every $0.50 decrease in the former results in an increase of 1 unit for the latter.
(10* 50%)/50% = 10 (Increase in Quantity)
Post-discount unit profit = $20/20 = $1
There's evidently a lower profit margin of $5 pre and post discount.
For sure, even by providing 50% discounts and/or 1-for-1 meal promotions, you might still be making little amounts of profits. However, they are comparatively much lesser than the profits made when your items are being sold at the original selling price. Furthermore, if demand in quantity fails to reach the anticipated amount according to your hypothesis, you might also run the risk of incurring a loss. Because ultimately, it's your restaurant that is paying to offer such benefits to consumers to drive sales!
So when do you actually roll out huge discounts? Most preferably when you seek to build awareness about your restaurant, a new restaurant menu creation, or if it’s a newly established branch.
It’s during these periods of time where you wouldn’t mind losing some profit to gain more awareness, exposure and traffic so as to drive greater sales.
We might have simplified the case, but in reality always carry out a revenue-cost breakdown with different scenarios to find out the best scenario you can give your customers. When it comes to cash discounts, things can get a little tricky. Always carefully assess whether a huge discount is necessary, or you’d risk running a bigger loss!