Restaurant Marketing: Be A Good Neighbor Prt III

by Halisi

This weekend my street team and I were passing out information about upcoming marketing workshops. (see workshop tab for more info) We were running late and ended up in some restaurants during the weekend lunch hours. We walked into this one particular restaurant at 12:45 on a Saturday – there were two booths filled. The manager said to me that he would like to attend the workshop but he didn’t know if he could make the time! I looked around at all of the empty tables and said, “you don’t have a choice, you have to make the time“.

Marketing is not something you do for your opening and then stop. Marketing is not just advertising/promoting either. Nearly every decision you make that directly touches or impacts your customer is a marketing decision. In part 3 of this three-part series we’re going to talk about how you can be a good neighbor to the community.

Schools and school organizations are always looking for a way to raise money.   Now obviously a restaurant or specialty shop is not going to put on a car wash to help their local high school.  However, think about it.  If your parking lot is large enough, why not offer them the use of the lot, and their customers can have a meal while waiting for their car.  You can even sell it as a package deal…lunch and a car wash or manicure and a car wash.  You get the picture.

The easiest fundraiser for any type of organization is offering a percentage of sales during a specific time.  The organization is responsible for marketing.  Help them with this piece if they are not knowledgable on the best way to advertise.  However, let them pay for the advertising.

Beyond fundraising, there are dozens of ways to be a good neighbor.  For instance, partner with local churches.  Offer to help promote their Easter play if they co-promote your restaurant.  The offer:  Dinner and a play.   If they want to offer food at the event; offer to cater at a discount or set up a concession stand and sell the food.  Find other non-profits operating in your trade area and brainstorm on how you can help them.  Be creative and  if you can, find a tie-in.

TAKEAWAYS:

  • Marketing is an ongoing responsibility
  • Find creative ways to help your local community raise money
  • Partner with local non-profits for cross promotional opportunities

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Halisi May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

For restaurants that are not part of a chain the idea that they can somehow grow by putting on a commercial at midnight is a misnomer. Neighborhood marketing is the key, since most of your customers come from a 2-3 mile radius. Thank you Phil for the shout out: http://blog.urbanbacon.com/2010/05/mister-rodgers/
Let’s keep the ideas flowing…

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Phil Novara May 17, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I totally dig this idea…many restaurants are highly involved within their communities, and they crush it! On the other hand, there are too many that sit back waiting for business to come prancing in. Getting involved is a way to give back, and secure a solid customer base. Thanks for the write-up:)

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