When it comes to business marketing, there are several things we can learn from restaurants and how they’ve evolved over time. As business owners and managers, it is our responsibility to grow our businesses by utilizing effective marketing strategies.
Part of that business growth comes from takings risks while minimizing losses. In this article, we’ll go over several key restaurant marketing principles and how they could apply to your business as well.
Diversify Traffic Sources
Not too long ago, restaurants mainly depended on one traffic source – dine in customers who specifically came to sit down and eat. But restaurants have quickly dived into trying to expand into other traffic sources as well such as take out, drive through, delivery, online orders, catering, and so on.
Just like restaurants have done recently, one of the key things behind your marketing strategy should be to diversify your traffic sources too.
That means if you are just looking for SEO services, you should stop and re-think what you’re trying to accomplish. Instead of trying to find an SEO agency to help you with SEO, find a full-service marketing agency.
Full-service marketing agencies can help you with much more than SEO. They are usually knowledgeable in pay per click, social media, press releases, and many other marketing mediums. They can create a marketing plan for you that will focus on specific traffic sources that will be effective for your business. SEO services itself can take a long time to produce any meaningful results, so can your business really afford to only depend on SEO for marketing?
Service Or Product Pricing Strategies
When it comes to pricing your services or products, you will be surprised to know that pricing changes can effect your business quite a bit. If you think about it, you probably have competitors, so your customers don’t need to buy your services or products. They usually do it because of your unique selling proposition, and sometimes that can mean more relevant pricing.
Restaurants have several pricing strategies they use. One of the main ones is individual pricing, in which each food item is priced and bought separately. If you want a steak entrée meal and a mashed potatoes side, you simply pay for each one. This is the most common pricing method businesses use. You sell each service or product individually.
Another method is grouping multiple food items into one “meal” and selling it for one main price. The advantage of this method is that you generate more revenue per customer. Depending on how your profit margins look, this could drastically boost your revenue.
For example, if you are selling t-shirts and hats and majority of the customers only buy a t-shirt, that means if you add a hat in the t-shirt sale for an extra fee (such as $5), you will generate $5 more per each t-shirt order. As long as you are making a profit on that hat, it’s still better to move product than have it sit in your storage for a long time.
And finally one of my favorite pricing methods is the buffet-style method. This is where a customer pays one price and they get to eat as much as they can. The reason this method works so well is because it helps you offer a lower price, which makes it available to a larger audience.
For example, in a popular buffet chain Golden Corral, customers pay about $12.99 for a dinner meal. Although that seems cheap, you have to think how much food an average person can actually consume. Sure some people will eat $30 worth of food, but most people are likely to eat less than half of how much they pay.
Using that example, can you try to create a similar pricing strategy for your business? Can you bundle several products or services together and just charge one higher fee? One advantage of that is if the customer does not use a specific service, they still pay you for it regardless. And you didn’t really have to upsell 10 different things.
“All you can ____” type of deals can help increase the perceived value your business offers.
And finally we have performance-based incentives. In the restaurant industry, most of the employees that deal with customers directly such as waiters, waitresses, and bartenders are paid a low base wage with tips as an incentive to provide a good service.
Although you can use that method for your employees, specifically sales people, I’m suggesting to try using this from a marketing perspective such as affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a way to get new clients by having other marketers, bloggers, etc. promote your services and for each successful lead or sale, you pay them a specific amount as a commission.
Almost 90% of advertisers that use affiliate marketing think it is very important to their overall marketing strategy. So there is no reason why your business cannot look into utilizing it as well.
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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com