How do you get out there and let the public know about your restaurant?
Advertisement - it sounds simple; you spend money on advertisement, and the customer gets the message, and comes to your restaurant. Well, we all know that's not the case. Today, in our society, we are virtually bombarded with advertising almost continuously, and for your advertisement to be effective it has to stand out.
How do you make your restaurant advertisement stand out?
Think about what is special about your restaurant, that others don't have? Is it the setting - overlooking that special view, the top international chef, your special children's play area, or the Thursday night specials? Something to remember you by, something no-one else has, that will spring to the mind of your prospective customer when he or she are planning their night out.
If you are advertising over the radio - create the atmosphere you want to convey in your restaurant; romantic, casual, or a place to party and have fun.
If in print - think what picture will leave the most lasting impression; your uniquely designed dining area, a close-up of the food, or a happy family sitting at the table enjoying your pizza.
Most people will spend only seconds of their attention on your advertisement, so your message will have to be 100% effective or you'll lose them. You'll have to think hard what that message is, and express it as briefly and clearly as possible.
Keep it simple. Don't overload your ad with too many bells and whistles. Once you've decided what you message is, stick to it, and don't be tempted to go on and on about all the wonderful things you have to offer. If your prospective customers are interested, they'll find the details later on. Maybe you can tempt them to come and find out in person, by offering discounts aimed at specific groups - senior citizens or student discount, kids at half price, etc.
If you are advertising a special campaign, 'two for the price of one' of 'free drink with every meal', make sure it stands out in big letters. That will be the initial contact that will draw your prospective customers to your advertisement. Once you've drawn their attention, they might read the rest (like the name of your restaurant). Remember: there's nothing more attractive to your customers than the word 'free'. So if you can incorporate it in your ad (make sure you can deliver on it, though), do so in large print.
If you can think of a jingle or rhyme word for your campaign, all the better - if it rings a bell in someone's mind at a later time, he or she might be your next customer.
Make sure your contact information is loud and clear. If your prospective customers can't reach you, all your restaurant advertisement efforts are wasted. A free-call phone number is bound to increase the number of inquiries and therefore your customers, but unless you are a big operation, it might not be the most cost-effective way to spend your advertising money. Give short and clear directions where you are located - customers that don't know how to find you means lost revenue.
Look at your competitor's advertising. Your restaurant advertisement should not only be as good as theirs, it has to be better - you want people to choose your restaurant over theirs. Think how you would improve their restaurant advertisement, and apply it in your ad. In order to compete and win you have to be smarter, so always be on the lookout for competition, and make sure you have something better to offer to your customers.
You value each and every customer - think about how your ad will get that message across to them.