Marketing basics for restaurants


Food outlets such as restaurants, bistros, fast food bars and others are very popular these days. We like to go to an establishment for breakfast, lunch or dinner - whether it's for business, leisure, socializing or we just can't or don't like to cook.

These days we are not limited by distance. Having a bike, car or bus stop nearby, we can go for dinner to a restaurant even a dozen or so kilometers away from where we live. With so much competition, restaurants and other catering facilities must have a well-developed marketing to attract customers and thus obtain satisfactory profits.

Marketing - definition

Let us first explain what marketing really is. One definition states that marketing is the process of planning and executing plans for the pricing, promotion and distribution of products or services. The purpose of marketing is to exchange these products or services in such a way as to satisfy the needs of the consumer but also to achieve the company's goal of a satisfactory profit.

Marketing activities should be undertaken by every industry including of course the restaurant industry. Restaurants should analyze the market, check the competition and the group of customers and on the basis of research and knowledge set a marketing strategy. The basic marketing principle is the orientation towards the buyer, so you need to think about who you want to see in the group of customers and adjust the strategy to this group.

Restaurant marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is how a restaurant intends to achieve its marketing goals. It should take into account the skills possessed by the management and by the employees but also the resources in the market. In order for marketing to be effective, the management or the marketing specialist of the restaurant should plan the strategy. The strategic marketing planning process consists of several steps:

  • set goals - realizing what our goals are, what our mission is, and what we want to accomplish.
  • review of the market situation - market and competition analysis, SWOT analysis.
  • forming the strategy - determining the marketing strategy, estimating costs and profits.
  • resource allocation and monitoring - confirm financial capacity and create an annual financial plan.

SWOT analysis or overview of the catering market

To some people it may seem that marketing is just a trick to make a restaurant profitable. Nothing could be further from the truth. To be or not to be a restaurant depends on properly conducted marketing. Every year new restaurants open their doors but not all of them are able to stay on the market. To make the place actually profitable and bring in a lot of profit, the matter should be approached seriously and meticulously.

SWOT analysis is very helpful in determining the marketing strategy. This is a very simple technique used to analyze information about a company and its environment. Its name comes from the first letters of the components of the analysis:

  • Strengths - strengths,
  • Weaknesses - weaknesses,
  • Opportunities,
  • Threats

In every company and also in restaurants it is the analysis of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and threats that allows to choose an appropriate marketing strategy. Their awareness and analysis help in eliminating weaknesses and strengthening strengths. On the Internet you can easily find a description of how to perform this analysis - even for a layman in the marketing topics it should not be a problem.

The most common types of marketing in the restaurant industry

Of course, there are very many types of marketing and the manager should familiarize himself with them and apply the ones he deems right and expedient. Marketing is mainly used in restaurants:

  • internet marketing which is action through websites, e-mails, etc.
  • mobile marketing where the content is used to promote the restaurant.
  • mobile, where the marketing content is transmitted via cell phones or various types of advertising banners
  • sensory, i.e. activities affecting our senses, i.e. our sight, smell or hearing
  • whispered, i.e. conveying marketing content to a potential client in such a way that he thinks it is unplanned and spontaneous.
  • in social media by sharing content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  • remarketing i.e. campaigns conducted by Google Ads.
  • event marketing i.e. by organizing events, meetings, thematic evenings.
  • standard marketing in the form of a newsletter
  • standard in the form of paper advertising leaflets.

Izabela Praska

Editor of, passionate about gastromarketing and good cuisine, marketer. product specialist.

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