Why You Need a Restaurant Marketing Plan

One of the biggest mistakes that I see restaurant owners making is not being organised with their marketing and leaving everything to the last minute.

In order to manage that you need to have a marketing plan and a marketing calendar. And by doing that, you won’t be rushing around at the last minute and hoping that you can get some marketing together in order to get people through your door.

One of the things about Australia is we're really lucky. Every month of the year, with the exception maybe of August, we have something that we can market or celebrate. We have Australia day, we have St. Patrick's day, we have Valentine's day, Melbourne cup, Mother's day Father's Day you name it, we've got it all, except for August, and I think there is something in there, like an international coffee day or something like that. But every month basically, you've got something that you can do.

So get on Google and Google what events there are in each month of the year. And then write that down on your calendar. That's not your plan. That's the marketing calendar.

The next thing is you look at which of those would we market, and you might pick five or six out of them that you're going to market. And then you’ve got either six or seven months where you've got nothing in there. So then think about wine dinners, school holidays, local events that are going on, partnerships that you can do with local teams and local businesses and things like that. Guest chef experiences, new menu launches. And so when you’ve thought about all that and put that into your calendar, then you can choose the ones that you're going to market each month.

So January might be Australia day, Valentine’s day definitely is going to be something to market in February. Mother's day in May, Father's day in September, Melbourne cup in November sporting events through the years. They're definitely going to be on there. Then look at where are we going to put wine dinners if that's what you're going to do, where are we gonna put beer matching, where are we going to put something like a guest chef experience and do a chef swap with another business? What are we going to do for Christmas? What are we going to do at functions and quickly, you're going to start to have a plan?

The way that we do things, we plan six weeks ahead. Whenever we're working for our clients six weeks before we start to work on the next thing. So that's things like, what are we going to do on social media?

  • What are we going to do in email?
  • What are we going to do as offers or bribes to get people through the door?
  • How are we going to get them back after that?
  • And then what we're going to do with print media and print media might be newspapers and things like that, or it could be sending out hard mail. We send out birthday cards and anniversary cards. All through the year too.

So having a marketing calendar, having a marketing plan and then planning ahead and executing six weeks ahead means you'll get people through your door and your staff will not be overwhelmed.