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Restaurant Marketing Plan

David Archer
by David Archer May 17, 2010

What is the goal of your restaurant? If you’re like the rest of the world, you’re in business to make a profit so you can support yourself, your employees, your investors, and continue to grow the business. But do you have a roadmap to reach that goal? It’s been said that a goal without a plan is just a wish. Are you wishing for success, or do you have a plan for success?

The essential plan for success for your restaurant is your Restaurant Marketing Plan. Creating one should be a yearly project where you plan out your roadmap to success for the next 12 months. It is an in-depth look at where you are, what the market is like, and identifies your opportunities for growth.

Before we look at the elements of a restaurant marketing plan, let’s talk about what it’s not. For many restaurant operators, their idea of a marketing plan is essentially an advertising calendar. “We’re on radio this week, followed by a coupon mailer next week, then a newspaper insert.” While a calendar is useful and should be a part of your marketing plan, it is not the plan itself.

The following is an outline of the different sections of a marketing plan.
1. Executive Summary:
2. Situation Analysis
      a. Market Summary
            i. Target Markets
           ii. Market Analysis
          iii. Market Demographics
          iv. Market Needs
           v. Market Trends
          vi. Market Growth
      b. SWOT Analysis
           i. Strengths
           ii. Weaknesses
           iii. Opportunities
           iv. Threats
      c. Competition
           i. Growth and Share Analysis
           ii. Competitor by Growth and Share
      d. Service Offerings
      e. Keys to Success
      f. Critical Issues
3. Marketing Strategy
      a. Mission
      b. Marketing Objectives
      c. Financial Objectives
      d. Target Market
      e. Positioning
       f. Marketing Strategy
      g. Marketing Mix
      h. Marketing Research
4. Financials, Budgets, and Forecasts
      a. Break Even Analysis
      b. Sales Forecast
      c. Expense Forecast
5. Controls
      a. Implementation Milestones
      b. Marketing Organization
      c. Contingency Plans

When you go through the process of creating a complete Restaurant Marketing Plan, you will have a better understanding about your business. It provides an opportunity to really think about where you currently are and identify what direction your company needs to go in the future to grow. This plan is the roadmap to turn your goals into a reality.
For a more complete description on each category of the plan, visit the blogpost at Restaurant Marketing Plan.  Creating a plan takes time and effort, but it will make your weekly and monthly marketing decisions easier because you gauge each opportunity against your marketing plan to see if it will help you reach your goal.


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