Grow your Sales with the 2020 Restaurant Marketing Planner
Updated: Jun 20
Famous writer Thomas Jefferson said, "If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
Happy 2020! I am excited to share with you the 2020 Restaurant Marketing Plan that will help you grow your sales for this year, and hopefully, bring you thousands of dollars in the next coming years.
Here are the things you need to do in constructing the Marketing Plan for your restaurant:
1. Set a Monthly/Year Gross Sales Projection
For us to set a stable sales projection for 2020, we do need to identify what our sales were for the previous year.
First, you need to know your total gross sales for 2019. Extract this data from your POS System and write that in your planner.
Also, we need to take note of our monthly gross sales, from January to December. This way, we can set a percentage for our sales growth projection. We must always shoot for two digits, a minimum of 10% is excellent.
So if we will have a minimum of 10% sales growth from 2019, then we will look at what it was for January 2019. With the 10% increase, what should our sales be in January of 2020?
It is incredibly important to do this step because it will determine the marketing initiatives that you will need to implement so you can hit your target sales for a particular month. How many new customers do we need to acquire? How many repeat business we require to put in place?
2. Run a SWOT Analysis
We must conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis of the marketing of our restaurant.
Observe the marketing initiatives you currently have in your restaurant. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats when it comes to your marketing system?
Maybe, you have a notable online reputation. Your online reviews are good. Your social content and online presence are outstanding. So these things could be your strengths.
You may be doing well on Facebook and Instagram. However, a lot of people are into TikTok nowadays, and you still have not tried it yet. Perhaps, you consider this as one of your weaknesses because you did not maximize promoting your business into this platform.
Facebook Live is still in, but you have not thought of doing that yet. Maybe, that's an opportunity you need to work on, so once a week, go live on Facebook.
You may also want to take the opportunity to join Facebook Groups. It is free and works very well. Or maybe, you can make partnerships with your local realtors to have them sent you referrals. These are some of the opportunities that you must look forward to in 2020.
In the future, we can turn some of these opportunities into projects. To ensure that we are adding these into our marketing system, we must have a timeline, a project manager, and a team.
Lastly, determine the threats in your marketing initiatives. What are some of the warnings that you see? For instance, for us, in the first few years, we put so much effort into Facebook. We may have a large number of followers, but the organic reach is getting low.
Another one is maybe, email marketing. I feel like we put an enormous amount of time into creating an email marketing system. We batch-create things, schedule, and automate them.
However, it is not as effective as it has gone a little bit still, and we have thousands and thousands of emails. So I see this as a threat. We need to work on it and figure out how we are going to maximize it.
3. Outline a Marketing Budget Allocation Analysis (Pie Chart)
After filling in the SWOT Analysis, it's now time to study our budget. We need to look at 2019. What were all the marketing costs and investments we made in 2019?
Here are some of the examples of the marketing expenses that we are going to divide into pieces and form into a pie chart:
✔ Ad spent - Facebook ads
✔ Mailer/Print cost - printed to-go menus
✔ Software cost - Mailchimp (used for email marketing); Many Chat (messenger bot stuff) Later.com (social media scheduling platform); Text Message Marketing platform
✔ Outsourcing/Marketing agency cost - some people use social media agencies to schedule for them
✔ Sponsorships/donations cost - Fundraisers, the money that you donated for different organizations
✔ Food donations cost - Food drops (visiting businesses and giving away food for free)
✔ In-store events cost - beer-tasting event
✔ Content creation and cost - content photographer, writer, etc.
These are all part of your marketing money budget. And for us to set a realistic budget and reach our 2020 goals, we need to look upon our budget in the previous year and set it up for this year.
Putting these data into a pie chart will be helpful for you to compare easily all the expenses you that you are going to incur for the year 2020.
Keep in mind that marketing is an investment. This means that if it is costing you and not making you money, then you are doing it wrong.
We need to view our marketing with something that gives us a good return on investment.
4. Conduct a Marketing System Assessment
In this section, we are going to be assessing your marketing system. This was adapted from Howard Partridge/Zig Ziglar Business Assessment.
A famous quote says, "The lack of clarity creates chaos and frustration."
For us to properly plan the marketing aspect of our restaurant for 2020, we must have clarity as to what is working and not with what we currently have in place.
And then assess those using these 10 questions below. Rate each based on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being excellent and 1 being poor:
✔ I am very happy with our restaurant's consistent sales growth (How satisfied are you with your steady sales progress?)
✔ We have a strategic system in place to respond to our online reviews (Do you have a strategic system to respond to your online reviews?)
✔ We have a pricing strategy that is profitable (Did you increase your prices? What is your system for that? )
✔ We systematically and consistently capture phone numbers and emails of our customers (You must have a system in place to keep your customer's contact information so we'll have a way of direct communication with them no matter what happens to social media)
✔ We are consistently marketing to our database via text and email marketing - weekly (Where are you at when it comes to sending direct messages with your current customers?)
✔ We have a strategic content market strategy on social media (This needs to shift quite often, so where are you at?)
✔ We track our marketing efforts and measure the return on investment ROI (Are you tracking and revisiting your results weekly?)
✔ We have a written and posted marketing promotional calendar (Do have a calendar where you mapped out all your promotions for the whole year?)
✔ Our websites clearly communicate what we do (Your website is your hub. Do people understand who and what you are by visiting your website?)
✔ Our management team meets weekly to review our marketing efforts and plan the week ahead (How consistent are you meeting with your managers weekly? Do you review your marketing efforts?)
After rating each question, add them up, and divide it by 10 to get your Marketing System Assessment score.
Our goal for doing this is to identify what worked and not. This way can recognize our weaknesses and opportunities that we can turn into projects. Get them done, implement, and make some dough!
5. Prepare a Platform Strategy
It is 2020 friend, you and I must have a strategy per platform. Ideally, we can repurpose content. But we need to capture per platform what worked in 2019? What are you going to do differently in 2020?
For our restaurant, we look at Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Text Message Marketing, Email Marketing, and Offline Marketing in 2019.
What worked, what did not work? What are the things you want to carry over in 2020, and what innovations are you planning to make? Write them down in this section of the planner.
This may take a lot of time, but I promise you that it will be worth it. It will give you clarity and direction going into 2020.
6. Assess Marketing Tactics you would like to try in 2020
In this part of the planner, we need to assess the different marketing tactics that you want to try. Or they could be something that you've been doing, and you just want to continue taking those.
What are the tactics for acquiring new customers? How about repeat business? And what are some of the ways to increase your average tickets?
I really want to distinguish these three to see if there is a balance among them. However, if you are a new restaurant, you will focus more on acquiring new customers, obviously.
On the other hand, if you've been in this business for a few years, you already have a large database of your customers. Then you do need to have some tactics in place to increase your repeat business.
As well, you would always need to be working on improving your average ticket. Maybe it is an upselling strategy, raising your prices, or increasing the perceived value of your food and operations.
What we are looking at is the balance. Are we allocating our money and energy to the wrong thing and not maximizing every opportunity?
7. Plot a Strategic Partnership
What were some of the partnerships that you had in 2019?
If you hosted a fundraiser or a spirit night, you ultimately had a partnership with local schools or nonprofits. Or maybe, you have not tried this yet. Then you must start thinking and implementing this in 2020.
We have done this strategy regularly and proactively. Some of the partnerships that we made were strategically established through food drops. We do around 30-40 business every week that we tried to visit personally.
We have a team member dedicated to this at the moment. But in the beginning, my husband and I did this every single day. We just packed some food, went out around noontime to visit businesses, shook hands with the owners/manager, and passed out our menu.
This year, we are doing this a little bit different. What I'd like us to do is not just get folks to come out for our lunch buffet or for them to avail of our catering services.
In 2020, my goal is to tap into their customer database. We will do this by giving them maybe 10 dollar gift cards from our restaurant and ask them to distribute those to their customers.
Maybe, we can offer free kids meal coupons to our local orthodontics so they can give their patients. We serve a lot of families, so this can be an excellent demographic partnership for us. Yours may be different.
We are also eyeing on realtors. We can provide them envelopes with gift cards, and at the time of closing a contract, they can present those to their clients as a welcome gift.
Aside from the online or digital marketing, it is also vital to have offline or on-the-ground strategies.
We need thousands of customers, so we need to be looking at all of our options.
8. Build a Content Strategy
Going into 2020, we need to have a content strategy in place. In any business, this is a fundamental element to ensure we continue to be in front of our customers. There is no way around that.
To come up with a solid content strategy, you must set some objectives first. What is the intention that you want to accomplish?
It is not just to grow your sales or to build your brand. You have to make sure that people know that they can come to you directly if they have issues with their orders. Social Media is a magnificent place for this.
As part of your content strategy, think about how are you going to build your brand and your community? How are you going to grow your sales? What is going to be your strategy in 2020?
I know that this is a lot of work to do. It is easy for us to look at may other establishments or restaurants. See what they are doing. But we really don't know what they do behind the scene. What is working, and what is not working?
Realize what is going to work for you. If you would not find time to be on the five platforms, what are you going to do well?
Think about doing less, but better. Standout among everybody else.
Write down what you can do and what you think is best. Keep in mind that for you to be irreplaceable, you need to be different.
9. Breakdown Quarterly Promotions
We have set our yearly goal, so now it's time to break it down into the quarterly objectives. After quarterly, it goes into our monthly and weekly goals.
What we do, at least for our restaurant, is that I look at promotions that we are going to have. We do have these initiatives, such as email marketing and text message marketing. We send communications to our customers through these two platforms every single week.
We also have a social media strategy that we do every day. All of these are set to get people to come in. And again, it goes back to consistently growing our sales.
Then when it comes to quarterly promotions, for instance, we have a deal called "Feed the Family Deal" that goes out weekly. I map this out for the quarter. So I sit once, I plan it out, schedule and automate it, and I'm done.
Other promotions that we have, for example, the Superbowl, or Valentine deals in February, Easter in March or April, Halloween in November, etc.
These are all big promotions that I'd like to put in every quarter. This way, I can analyze how we can improve or take it to the next level. What is going to be our content strategy? How are we going to promote it three weeks out and make it big?
Take it from me, less is better. I choose 1 promotion per month, which means three things for each quarter. Maybe we host a beer tasting event or a family event.
Think about your promotions for each quarter, write them down in your planner. You can revisit this planner ideally, every single month.
10. Formulate Marketing System Projects
Last but not least is to view things as a system. Look at how things are going to work together as part of our marketing system.
A system gives us predictable results. That's why you need to have a systematized email marketing or content strategy, for instance. That is all part of having a system.
Throughout this planner, we looked at our weaknesses and opportunities for this year. We set a budget and assessed our marketing system, and etc. These all lead to the last section of the planner that is to formulate and implement projects.
Freedom comes from having a system to get you predictable results. That goes to all aspects of restaurant operations or any business.
Identify the projects that you will be working on. I usually do one or two big projects per quarter. For example, our email marketing needs to be revamped. So that is going to be a project for me for Q1 (first quarter).
Another example is our content strategy that also needs a little improvement. Then I need to observe and shift that strategy, so it is going to be a quarterly goal for us. We want to map out content, set up the plan, and batch-create content for the whole quarter.
You are slowing down so you can go faster. That's the way it should be. Focus on one thing. Dedicate two to five hours a week, so by the end of the quarter, we have what we want.
So, you want to write down the projects based on all the things that I mentioned. You need to have a few projects, one or two things will do.
It is very critical for us to have clarity for us to organize things. It will give us so much peace to know that we plan and prepare, set up, and forget about it.
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