It doesn’t make any sense.

Why is your restaurant practically empty every Friday night? You spent ages on that marketing campaign to draw punters in over the weekend, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

What’s more, you’ve noticed that cover numbers have been steadily reducing overall.

Why isn’t your restaurant marketing plan working?

The answer might be lying right beneath your nose.

We’ve got four common marketing errors that restaurants make – how many can you attest to?

1. You haven’t got a plan

Ah… whoops.

That’s it, isn’t it? You haven’t actually got a marketing plan at all.

Don’t worry – you reside among many restauranteurs who are simply too busy to sit down and plan out their promotional campaigns. That means you’re not alone, but it doesn’t negate the fact that you need to do something about it.

Book out an entire day to work on your marketing plan and lean on the many best marketing practices in the industry. In fact, do it tomorrow; it’ll never happen, otherwise.

2. You have no idea how to track the results

Ok, so you’ve got a plan, but it still doesn’t appear to be working. You know your numbers are down – but do you know why?

Restaurants often shovel out social media posts and email marketing campaigns without considering how to track the results. Doing so is akin to taking a penalty with a blindfold on; you might get lucky, eh?

The ability to track marketing campaigns effectively starts with the process of setting clear goals. What do you want to achieve from this week’s social media posts? Feedback on your menu? More user generated content in the form of Instagram snaps of your establishment?

Set some goals and then use the many reporting tools available in your email marketing software and restaurant booking system to see how close you are to reaching them.

3. You’re targeting the wrong social channels

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are just some of the social media platforms you can target smartly as a restauranteur.

However, if you don’t know where your core customers spend most of their time online, you might be exhausting a huge amount of effort sending out messages to an uninterested audience.

Consider the following stats:

  • 88% of 18- to 29-year-olds use Facebook
  • Just 18% of 50- to 64-year-olds use Instagram
  • Only 23% of 30- to 49-year-olds use Twitter
  • 56% of 18- to 29-year-olds use messaging apps like Snapchat


Who are you trying to target?

4. Your mission statement is unclear

A mission statement doesn’t need to be a tangible ‘thing’, but for a restaurant to be successful in the modern world, it needs to have a solid idea of its purpose.

To you, that might seem obvious; the purpose of your restaurant is to serve great food and keep people coming back for more while remaining profitable – right?

Think a bit deeper than that. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What was the reason you opened the restaurant originally? Was it to bring a certain type of food or cultural reference to the area?

If you know why your restaurant exists (beyond being a place at which people can eat out), you can create marketing campaigns that are highly targeted and which ensure you stand out from the competition.

Wrapping up

Restaurant marketing is damn hard, but if you know why your restaurant resides in a bracket of its own and where your ideal customers can be found online, you’ll begin to crack it.

Have we missed anything? If you’re a restauranteur, what marketing tactics have worked for you? Tell us in the comments section, below!

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