Marketing Budgets for Restaurants

Does your restaurant establish a marketing budget?

As we head into the new year, it gives us a time to set up a new perspective for what we want to accomplish in 2018. Many things have changed in the restaurant industry over the past year. Now is your time to step back and develop your 2018 restaurant marketing plan.

It all starts with setting up a budget. The average restaurant plans to utilize 3% of revenue for marketing during the year. How and when you allocate spending depends on your business and seasonality issues. You may also want to take into consideration special events such as an anniversary or promotion after remodeling.

Restaurant Marketing Strategy

Once the budget has been established, here are some recommended marketing activities you to consider.

Engaging with your customers with quality food and service will drive you revenue growth in 2018, planning and executing the marketing plan are often the largest problem independent restaurants have. Much of this is centered around the time it takes to work out a plan and execute against it. Most owners I speak with admit they fail at this part of the business management due to lack of time. Setting up a strategy to deal with this should be considered a major objective for 2018 and be part of your marketing budget.

Setting up a quarterly or annual marketing plan helps in mapping out your budget and activities. Once the plan is set it is often easier to execute against. Often restaurants have an internal staff member or outside marketing service implement the plan. These actions in combination create an effective strategy that work against the plan development and implementation. Monthly and quarterly reviews allow for revisions to the plan to seize any opportunities that may present themselves during the year.

As you begin 2018, marketing will be more important than ever. High expectations for the coming year coupled with anticipated tax relief for consumers to spend more is not a strategy but simply a wish. If your competition is chain restaurants, you know they have an internal marketing team planning out their year. Now is the time to get ahead of the game rather than reacting when business in not performing well. At Core Restaurant Marketing, we offer restaurants a complimentary marketing audit to identify areas for improvement to assist you with your planning.

About Core Restaurant Marketing

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues.  To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry visit our website or contact us at

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