It’s never a good idea to run a business without a plan, that includes a marketing plan. For restaurants and bars, that holds especially true.
When fierce competition is eating into your market share, a solid marketing plan could be what turns it around. And the restaurant industry is famously driven by fierce competition.
Just like a recipe, a marketing plan brings it all together, ensures everyone is on the same page and keeps everything measured and proportional to achieve the best results.
How do you define a marketing plan?
Any business will find that its marketing efforts are bolstered when they are underpinned by an overarching strategy. A marketing plan is a document that outlines how your restaurant approaches its marketing efforts and helps you to coordinate them to achieve the best outcome by ensuring that you’re always working towards clearly defined common objectives.
Your marketing plan should be based on a marketing strategy – and no, they aren’t the same thing. A marketing strategy looks at a further horizon – it’s the big idea and the long-term vision, and it’s informed by your market position, service offering, and target market.
A marketing strategy should be based on sound market research, not gut instinct. A marketing plan, therefore, is the blueprint for how to execute that strategy. It contains the nuts and bolts, and it needs to be agile enough to account for unforeseen events.
To keep it responsive to changing market conditions, it’s best to update your marketing plan annually, if not more frequently. Pay careful attention to what is working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your marketing plan accordingly and polish your marketing efforts, building on your momentum and growing your brand.
Marketing plan outline for restaurants & bars
Our marketing plan template for restaurants is fully comprehensive, covering everything from your business summary and present business circumstances, including an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, to your short and long-term goals.
It accounts for the different stages of your marketing funnel – from awareness to advocacy – prompting you to consider how to reach your audience at each stage of the customer journey.
Think carefully about the KPIs that are most relevant to your business, such as leads, calls or website traffic, and about what kind of content to use to speak to your market, as well as where they’re most likely to be found.
What kind of marketing budget do you have? That will need to inform the ratio of paid versus organic content, and what channels to use.
Time pressures and resource allocation also need to be taken into account, and our template prompts you to factor them in.
And be sure to use data you can trust. Don’t base important decisions on old or inaccurate information – do your research and use your own customer data to find the insights you need to shape your marketing plan.
Why you really shouldn’t be without a marketing plan
Trying to implement a strategy without a concrete plan could see you chasing your tail.
It’s likely to result in wasteful expenditure of resources and, without a lot of luck, is sure to deliver disappointing results.
Businesses that operate with a marketing plan are more likely to be successful, studies show, dramatically outperforming their less organized competitors.
Marketers with a plan on paper, so to speak, have been shown to be 300% more likely to succeed in their marketing efforts.
Goal setting is also a characteristic of successful marketers (as well as a key part of a comprehensive marketing plan) and those who set well-defined goals outperform those who don’t, by a factor of four.
The attached marketing plan will give you a base to work from as you plan your marketing going forward. Get started and see what it can do for your restaurant’s marketing.
Finally, don’t forget that marketing-as-a-Service works for restaurants, allowing you to position your restaurant, generate leads, and accelerate your business’s growth.