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7 marketing mistakes to avoid when starting a new restaurant

So, you start a new restaurant. Impressive! Many seasoned restaurateurs would like to be at your place – starting a new restaurant with a clean slate.

Along the way, they have probably made some of these seven rookie marketing mistakes. We’ve covered you with corrections for the most common missteps. Here is to launch a new restaurant marketing campaign off Fort!

1. Pressing the factor “Shiny New Toy”

Starting a new restaurant comes with sweet marketing benefits – in the beginning. You will have free press. The activity will be lively thanks to the curious gourmets. You will have four minutes of glory as the city’s bright new toy.

But as clients, we are all 6 years old. The next restaurant that opens is like the last Hatchimal. We must try it. To avoid becoming a forgotten toy (Hello, fidget spinner!), Use these marketing tactics for guests to come back to you:

The fix: Focus on the second visit

In the early days of creating a new restaurant, most homeowners focus solely on acquisition marketing, which brings new customers to the door. But retention marketing is just as important. After all, if you can increase customer retention by 5%, your profitability could increase up to 90%.

“I will turn every customer for the first time into a loyal customer.” This is your mantra when you start a new restaurant.

  • Try a Limited Time Offer (LTO). Show the guests that you can not wait to see them again … soon. An LTO will do the trick. Add an element of surprise and pleasure. Give sealed envelopes containing a coupon. Tell the guests to bring their sealed envelope within two weeks to reveal their offer. It could be a free appetizer, $ 5 off, or even $ 20 off.
  • Capture emails. When you start a new restaurant, email marketing can be your best friend to boost customer loyalty – if you do it right. See the # 6 error and 3 easy solutions. Spoiler Alert: Most statistics cite a return on investment (ROI) of $ 38 to $ 40 for every dollar spent on email marketing.
  • Run a loyalty application. If you create a customer loyalty application, they will come back. A survey of 28,000 customers in 2017 by VISA and Bond Brand Loyalty found that 81% of customers today agree: Loyalty programs make them more likely to continue do business with a brand. Starting a new restaurant mobile app can be super affordable with app builders like AppInstitute and Appy Pie.
  • Do the rounds. Starting a new restaurant, it’s really starting new relationships. As the owner, you are a big hit for the guests. Everyone secretly wants to say that they “know the owner” of a restaurant. So, be known. Stop at each table and introduce yourself.

2. Underutilization of Marketing

Starting a new restaurant is expensive. But there is no polite way to say this: if you skimp on marketing, your restaurant could become a statistic.

Reparation: Budget Using Two Simple Formulas

The marketing trick when starting a new restaurant is to think in percentages – not in dollars. Dollars can be visually alarming, percentages are always less than 100. It is also essential to stick to these percentages even after you have done your calculations.

  • The formula 3-6%. Most restaurant gurus recommend allocating 3-6% of your budget to marketing. This is not so bad. Except that those who start a new restaurant usually spend about 15% of their sales in marketing. The good news? It’s only for the first 3-6 months.
  • The method 70/20/10. Once you have the magic number for your marketing budget after starting a new restaurant, it’s time to figure out how to spend it. Many restaurants rely on the 70/20/10 method.
    • Conserve: 70% The majority of your marketing budget should go towards marketing tactics that you know provide a return on investment. Because you have just started a new restaurant, you will need to cheat a little bit. See what experts say about the best restaurant marketing ideas.
    • Experience: 10% Do you feel risky? That’s what this 10% is all about. It’s like buying a cryptocurrency. It might work, but if it does not work, everything will be fine.
    • Improve: 20% Allocate this money to boost the experimental methods that worked.
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3. To be a social (or socially awkward) butterfly

Remember FourSquare? Does Pokemon Go ring a bell worthy of a grinding toothache?

These were formerly social media tactics “it”. Many restaurateurs have ignored the 70/20/10 method and have invested 100% of their marketing budget in these new social media trends. As you start a new restaurant, resist the temptation to be a social butterfly – moving from one platform to the other.

On the other hand, do not be a digital recluse. Even if you are not in social media, your customers are.

The Reparation: Choose Two

Starting a new restaurant social media campaign is about moderation. Start with two social media platforms. Here is a quick breakdown of the four big ones:

Facebook – Considering that four out of five American adults use Facebook – and 76% connect daily – it should be one of your two platforms.

Twitter – Twitter claims that 80% of its users are wealthy millennials. Studies show that it is mainly used as a source of news.

Instagram – It seems like this platform has been made for those who are starting a new restaurant. Sharing food photos (with the #foodporn hashtag) is a favorite hobby of 40% of all social media users who are on Instagram. Use these 13 Instagram tips to find out how to promote a new restaurant.

Snapchat – To slam or “gram, that’s the question when we start a new restaurant and we bring millennia. Snapchat tips younger than Instagram with 60% of all Americans under 34 using this photo sharing app. Snapchat is underutilized by restaurant owners. This could be your competitive advantage.

Pro Tip: Enter the types of audience you target and the platform on which they are most likely to be used.

4. Overlooking SEO

Every move you make online can help – or hurt – your chances of appearing on search engines like Google and Bing when starting a new restaurant. This is what offers search engine optimization (SEO). Help you find yourself online. Do not neglect it.

Reparation: Do These Three Things

SEO can be complicated, fast. But you start a new restaurant, so start with these three basics:

  • PAN and claim your space. PAN represents the phone, the address and the name of your company. Check the accuracy of the three on Google, Bing, Yahoo and the map listings. For example, if you start a new restaurant in the building of a previous restaurant, your name should appear – not theirs. Set up your card for free with every search engine, starting with Google My Business.
  • Set up a Mobile-First website. Good news for anyone starting a new restaurant site: it costs a lot less than ten years ago. In part, this is due to the rise of smartphones. Today, a good website is a simple website. It’s short on text and images and great functionality. It loads quickly and automatically responds to the size of the viewer’s screen – also known as “responsive” website design. Google gives priority to mobile websites in SEO rankings. Use their free mobile test tool to see if yours is doing the cut.
  • Convert your menu to text. Put a PDF, an image file or a Word document of your menu on your website? This is a no-no SEO and a shortcut to avoid when starting a new restaurant. These three types of files are slow to load and require guests to zoom in and out in search of your craft brew list. Plus, you miss the SEO advantage of keywords. You want your website to appear when a guest searches for restaurants with a specific beer in his area. Search engines can not “explore” a PDF, but they can explore it.
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5. Ignoring negative opinions

The haters will hate. When you start a new restaurant, expect online reviews. In fact, you might accept the occasional bad review since 68% of customers trust reviews only when they see good and bad.

Flat ignoring a negative opinion is not an option. Plus, it’s a missed opportunity to increase your overall rating. One study showed that if you respond well to a bad review, 34% will remove their hard words – and 33% will replace it with a positive comment.

The solution: answer as soon as possible

Answer all reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and all other platforms within 24 hours or less. No need to compulsively check reviews (you’re too busy starting a new restaurant), free Google alerts will do it for you.

Ask someone who starts a new restaurant: This first negative comment hurts. So H.A.L.T. before responding. If you are hungry or hurt, angry, alone or tired … do not hit publish. Through screenshots, your tirade could continue to live in infamy. Instead, use this formula:

The Formula 7A to Respond to Negative Criticism

  • Attribute – Customize it. Address the guests by their first name. Disconnect with your name and title.
  • Authority – Only a person authorized to make commercial decisions should respond.
  • Recognize – Even if the client is lying about their bad experience, their feelings are real. You must recognize their injury or anger.
  • Admit – If you made a mistake, admit it. Fess up to. Do not be on the defensive.
  • Action – Show the guest that you take his complaint seriously. Thank you. Since you are starting a new restaurant, you rely on your comments.
  • Amends – Request that the guest contact you directly for a refund.
  • Ask – Let the customer have the last word by ending with a question. “Do you have any other ideas on how we could improve?”

6. Sending e-mails from an inbox

This is understandable. You are so excited to start a new restaurant, you send an email to everyone you know. This is fine. But it is also the beginning of a bad habit. Formalize the email marketing process with an email marketing service (EMS).

Reparation: Uses an EMS and These Three Strategies

An EMS is web-based software, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, that can do great things for your bottom line. More importantly, you will look professional. Instead of your restaurant emails from, they come from

Plus, an EMS is easy on your budget – always a nice bonus when starting a new restaurant. The latest reviews of the best email services show that most come below $ 20 / month. And yes, this includes access to free design templates, automation tools, and A / B testing.

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Once you have your EMS, try these tactics:

  • Pull the shutter release button on a welcome email. Most EMS can trigger the sending of modeled e-mails. For example, when a guest signs up to receive your e-mails online, the EMS system may trigger a welcome e-mail. Presented to boost guest spending by 336%, a welcome email is one of your best restaurant marketing opportunities.
  • The best of times. An EMS system provides you with in-depth analysis when launching a new restaurant e-mail campaign: from clicks to maximum e-mail opening. In the meantime, use this data for a dozen EMS. It was found that e-mails sent on late Tuesday morning performed best. Sunday after lunch is the worst time. Maybe everyone is taking a nap after brunch?
  • Use list segmentation. According to HubSpot, 66% of customers said that they unsubscribed because the emails did not match their interests. When capturing emails, let guests select the “lists” that they wish to join. Start with: upcoming events, special offers, new menu alerts. Always ask for the client’s birth date and then trigger a special offer inviting them to celebrate their special day at home.

7. The Bad Name

This is the last one for a reason. You may already have a name of bar or restaurant. There is no perfect name there. Do not guess your decision.

However, if you are in the early stages of creating a new restaurant, choose your name carefully. It can be one of your most powerful marketing tools.

The wrong name can even cause you legal problems when it is filed. Or, you could miss out on search engine optimization (SEO) if you’re a sports bar – but the words “sports bar” are not part of your name.

Repair: do your research

Like creating a logo, starting a new list of restaurant names can be overwhelming. There are seven main types of bar and restaurant names:

  • Baptismal names of the owner
  • Based on the experience
  • Rental by location
  • Product Base
  • Foreign language
  • Invented
  • Word Games and Word Games

See which best fits your concept. Then start thinking. Create a list of four or five main options. Before putting your heart on a name, work with a lawyer or use a trademark search database to check for the presence of an existing trademark.

When you start a new restaurant, think beyond the plate. Good food is just a factor to become the busiest company on the block. By avoiding these seven mistakes, you will start a new restaurant that will stand the test of time.

Author: : Created in thousands of bars and restaurants in North America since 1984, Buzztime incorporates games, maps, live sports and events with innovative tablet technology. Although we do not take ourselves too seriously, it’s a pretty serious affair.