When weighing the pros and cons of opening a new restaurant franchise, marketing can be a key decision point. Marketing costs can add up for any new business venture, but there are plenty of effective low-cost marketing opportunities for restaurant franchise owners. Consider these affordable strategies to get the word out about your future restaurant.
5 Restaurant Franchise Marketing Opportunities that Won’t Break the Bank
- Leverage franchisor marketing.
One of the biggest benefits of opening a restaurant franchise is the influential power of the franchisor’s corporate marketing efforts. They often spend millions building their brands – and your location will enjoy the resulting familiarity and loyalty of local customers. Not only that, but often you’ll have access to branded materials such as flyers, merchandise, tents and more that can be used to advertise your store’s promotions and events. In fact, many franchisees are required to spend a certain amount on marketing, so be sure to take full advantage of all marketing resources afforded to you by the franchisor.
- Harness the power of social media.
The most-trafficked social media platforms today – like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat – are free to use, and they’re worth the time and effort for franchise marketing purposes. When used effectively, social media can amplify your brand and reach new diners who are ready and willing to visit your new franchise. For maximum impact, consider starting with Instagram and sharing eye-catching photos of your dishes, employees and events. Be sure to check with your franchisor and ensure that social promotions are allowed, and see if there’s any content or photos they already have ready.
- Tap into your creativity to offer enticing promotions.
Franchise promotions require creativity to attract new diners. As mentioned above, consider leveraging your franchise’s national promotions or if you’re planning to run some of your own consider your target market. Are they parents coming home from work? College students on their lunch break? Professionals looking for a convenient meeting place? There can be a variety of audiences you’d like to target, but highly specific campaigns are often more effective than a “shotgun approach.”
- Take advantage of online directories.
Google is the world’s concierge and is often where people start when they search for a local restaurant. Be sure that your restaurant franchise is properly listed on Google and Google Maps, in addition to restaurant review and listings sites like Yelp, MenuPages and, of course, GrubHub. Always be sure to keep them updated when contact details change; this is a fundamental franchise marketing best practice.
- Offer delivery and takeout.
Consider using takeout and delivery options to reach new customer segments. Joining an online ordering platform can put your restaurant in front of hungry diners that would otherwise be difficult to reach. Also consider offering catering delivery to reach large parties and corporate groups for lunches, meetings and other events.So if your future restaurant franchise doesn’t leverage online ordering and delivery options, you could be missing out on a huge revenue-driving opportunity. And if done right, the costs of delivery and takeout are negligible compared to the sales each channel brings to your restaurant franchise.
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