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Why you should never ignore a marketing budget for your restaurant

What most restaurants owners and managers ask me is how much money they should be spending in marketing. There is no one fit for all every restaurant business is different and all come s down to the budget. Decide how much you can afford in marketing or how much you cannot not afford. Hope you know what I mean by this, Marketing is vital to the success of a business.


So, first things first your, your marketing budget should be a percentage of your sales, if it’s a new restaurant refer to you forecast and review every three months. However, in the early months you will want to invest a good 20-25% of your revenue in marketing to get your brand known and reach your target market.

Once your restaurant is establish and growing you drop to 10% or lower, as I was mention before every business is different. So once you decide your number that fits with the budget you go and maximise on ROI 'return on investment' marketing. Try to measure everything so you analyse your results.

To make the best of it we must clarify what Marketing is first; Marketing is defined as a communications-based process where individuals and people discover that their existing or new needs and wants can be satisfied with products and services of others; in your case, your restaurant. 

Read about influencer marketing here. 


The question is - do you need a marketing plan with a clear budget for your restaurant or are you waiting for guests to come in? a marketing plan means thinking in advance. Don’t wait until the revenue goes down to do it.

In order to get the marketing plan for your restaurant right, you need to have a good understanding of your potential customers and be clear on why they make decisions to visit your restaurant not from someone else. 

Subsequently, to get it right, you want to look at all of the following factors:

    Restaurant Marketing
    CompetitorsFinancial and marketing history
  • The industry as a whole
  • Any external influences, such as events, festivals etc
  • Obtain a good analysis of what and where your guests are coming from and
    how often customers are visiting your restaurant

Restaurant Marketing Strategy And How To Plan It. Click Here

When writing a restaurant marketing plan, and to achieve on a budget, you have to consider the seven Ps of marketing - plus one of mine.







Physical edidence


Let’s focus on the last four for a moment

To have a good competitive advantage, you need to focus on people, therefore get the right staff and training to deliver what people expert from your business. Aptitude and service knowledge needs to be equal to what your customers are outlaying, the very first marketing starts within the restaurant. It’s much more economical to make a customer to come back that to generate a new one.

The process is the system you have to implement and follow. Consistency is essential in order to get it right and supply what you are offering. Every step in the process is important - from the few words spoken to a guest when they call to make a booking, to the conversation during a guest’s departure.

Physical evidence is a critical ingredient of the restaurant service mix; your guests make perceptions based on their view of the restaurant. Make sure you keep your restaurant clean, friendly, fun, organized and an enjoyable place to be.

People are attracted by positive statements and positive organizations. Do everything in your power to keep your business and everyone who works for you POSITIVE. If you have great power and energy, eventually this will pass on to your guests. 


Branding, Creative, Marketing 


I’d like to conclude by saying that your restaurant should spend at least somewhere between 6% and 8% of the total sales in marketing, but the idea is to do marketing when you are busy. Don’t wait until you are quiet. Remember, for a restaurant it is more, much more difficult and more expensive to do external marketing.

What you want to do is to invest in your current guests and build loyalty and relationships. However, most restaurants spend 85-90% of their budget trying to get new customers. Check This Out for More. 

Do you want to learn more about restaurant marketing? Browse through our blogs to gain access to more trade secrets. If you’re seeking professional help, we have experienced restaurant consultants that are ready to help you. 

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Judy Tse is extremely focused, confident and enthusiastic, Judy is an expert in Branding, Graphic Design and Marketing with great experience of creating, building, maintaining, re-branding and repositioning brands.