Launching a bar and restaurant can be a successful venture, but it relies on some initial legwork to succeed. In addition to finding funding and hiring employees, bar and restaurant management also must develop a marketing plan. Your plan should identify how the business will build a customer base and succeed in a competitive climate. Several elements go into an effective marketing strategy.
The marketing plan for your bar and restaurant should include a thorough analysis of your local market. This analysis should review the current bars and restaurants in your area and their success or failures. It should weigh the demographic in your area as well; for example, if the zip code where your restaurant will be located is primarily inhabited by families, a kid-friendly menu is a must. The market analysis, ultimately, should identify the need for your restaurant in the area.
The trends of the restaurant market in your area are essential to include in your bar and restaurant's marketing plan. For example, the recent success of new restaurants in the region can be a double-edged sword -- while it bodes well for new businesses, you must determine if there is a glut of restaurants in the region. Consider the types of restaurants that people gravitate toward -- in a recession, diners often choose lower-cost restaurants than they do when the economy is booming. Place how your restaurant will fit into this current trend.
As you set your marketing plan for your bar and restaurant, you must have achievable, identifiable goals to guide your marketing efforts. Often, these goals are stated in terms of dollar signs. If you have a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly sales goal, state it clearly in this section. Perhaps you want to see a certain number of customers walk through your doors every day. If your long-term goals include opening up a second restaurant, state this here as well.
Goal-Oriented Marketing Tasks
Your marketing plan should also include specific tasks that you will complete to achieve your overall restaurant goals. Define these tasks clearly so that all members of your organizations, from management down to the wait staff, understand what they must accomplish. For example, to build your customer base, you might strive to start a rewards program that gives diners points for every dollar spent in the restaurant. Outline how you will implement this program and, just as importantly, how it will move you toward your overall goals.
Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.