Even as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, President Biden’s promise to administer 100 million doses of the vaccine by May means light on the horizon for the restaurant industry still struggling to find its footing. QSR, pizza, and casual dining restaurants, as well as independents, continue fighting to increase traffic and revenue — at best, to keep 2021 from looking like 2020, and, at worst, to stay alive.
In our last blog, we looked at seven operational things restaurant owners can do to be more successful in 2021. Once the operational side of the house is in order, it’s time to look at ways to bring in more customers. In part two, we’re looking at seven marketing and advertising ideas to help restaurants increase their traffic and revenue in the coming year.
Take a new look at your core customers.
A year to 18 months ago, you may have had a solid grasp on who your core customers were, and you still might. But if it’s been a while since you analyzed where the majority of your business is coming from, now would be an excellent time to take a look. Traffic is going to be slow to return and the opportunity to bounce back strong will come from evaluating the change in your customer base and how they use you. The pandemic that dominated 2020, and looks to be with us well into Q3, has altered the restaurant landscape quite a bit; changing eating habits, buying patterns, and frequency like never before. One of the smartest tenets of advertising and marketing is first understanding WHO you should be communicating to. In the past year, there’s a better than even chance the profile of your core customers may have changed and there’s also a good chance you’ve picked up new customers you wouldn’t normally include in your core audience. It’s important to understand those new folks as well.