Marketing Your Restaurant Menu in a Digital World
The latest restaurant industry trends point to an industry in turmoil. Sales are down and customer traffic is off. There are some segments of the business that are growing, but often at a cost. With all of this as a backdrop, what is your plan to come out on top by the end of the year?
In the current environment, it is necessary to have strategies that include both traditional and digital marketing platforms for your restaurant. One of the first places you need to start with is something that everyone of your customers sees when the look at your restaurant, your menu. Do you feel you can do more with your menu to increase sales?
Menu design both online and offline can have a significant impact on your profitability. The chain restaurants are using a five percent food and labor inflation factor when revising their menu pricing. Food inflation has not been great, but we all know the cost of labor is rising.
Effective menu design can help you increase sales and get a higher return for your spend. Recently, we worked with a restaurant that had an outdated menu design. They also had not updated their menu in two years. Deciding to raise his menu pricing on average by four percent, we were able to increase his check average by twenty three percent. A return much greater than he had anticipated, and a welcome sales boost.
Digital menu marketing is another way to grow your business significantly which many restaurants seem to overlook. Social media is a great tool to promote weekly specials, but it is also a great tool to drive online ordering from your website. Does your website have online ordering capabilities? Having an online ordering portal on your site is a great way to drive instant orders in addition to repeat sales from the customer database it generates. This is just one of the many tools of integrated marketing for restaurants.
Not to be overlooked is the rise of 3rd party delivery services such as DoorDash or UberEats. These services do charge a fee, but it does generate business and is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. To effectively manage these services for success, it does require that you run a very efficient operation to absorb the delivery fees. Every step of the sale from order delivery to packaging must be improved to insure positive branding for your restaurant.
Last but not least for the holidays are the effective growth of catering and online gift cards to drive holiday sales. Catering and events are significant during this time of year and you must develop your marketing plan now to get your share of the holiday parties. Gift card sales also soar during November and December, the use off eGift cards is a great way to capture sales in this digital marketing environment.
Effective use of all of these strategies can drive your sales forward in an ever changing market. Your customers have changed their habits, have you kept up with the trends that are driving their purchase decisions?