As we start a new year it is important to take a step back and look at how you did last year. Was it a good year filled with great things that will lead you into 2015? Was your restaurant marketing plan effective?
Many restaurants owners I meet with are just too busy to take a step back and look at where they have been and what needs to be done to move forward. Outlined below is a very simple process that helps you understand and develop steps for success in 2015.
- Data Review. There are so many data points to look at to see what is happening in your restaurant from the POS system to information on the internet. Are you looking at these on a regular basis to see opportunities for improvement?
- Operational Improvements. Do you know your Prime Cost? Unfortunately many owners do not for good reason. Food cost have continued to rise and many states have raised the minimum wage for employees. What can be done to reduce costs?
- Marketing Plan Development. What worked in 2014 and what did not? Are your current programs performing well? Is your staff trained properly? How do you keep customers coming back? These are all important questions to be looked at in developing a annual marketing plan.
- Measuring Results. Do you have a process in place to quantify the results of your plan. What gets measured, gets done.
What kind of information can you learn in this process? Your POS system has a wealth of information to improve your business. The product mix reports can help you determine the profitability of your menu. Minor changes to your menu can have a major impact on profitability. One of my clients saw an increase in their check average of 37% with information gained from the analysis and the implementation of a new menu design.
From a marketing perspective, developing a quarterly plan of activities and events that will drive traffic is key. There are plenty of events to tie into in your local community that will yield results. Customer loyalty programs on top of event marketing will lead to long-term results with lasting impact.
Take a step back and do the planning, the rewards will be well worth the effort.