Using Competitions To Promote Your Restaurant

A good way to market your restaurant is to run competitions. Competitions are a great way to increase the customers to your restaurant and build a database of returning customers that you can market to.

1. By collecting customer details ensured that I had a good relevant database of people.

These are the ones that come to purchase and eat at my restaurant, and these are ‘your ideal customer’. They are the ones that come and you know who they are, so are much easier to market and advertise too.

From collecting a customer database, I then sent out regular newsletters to these people with latest news and updates for the venue, and more offers that were generally freebies, so I could entice them to come back into the restaurant and spend more money.

2. How does running competitions increase my customer base?

By making sure that the is prize relevant to your restaurant eg: you would not give a way an ipad but you might give away a romantic dinner for two, you can promote your restaurant at the same time. People also love to share competitions with their friends and also love to brag about winning competitions

3. What sort of prizes can I use for my competition

  • I negotiated many deals with local venues and resorts for the prize packages, and worked with a few of them repeatedly, and this was an excellent joint venture in double promotion for the prize venue as well as my restaurant, and we had many happy prize winners over the years.
  • have a look at holiday sites for shareable packages and include a breakfast at your cafe

4. What sort of competitions can you run?

There are many ways to run competitions, as you can do this through social media, such as Facebook or Instagram, or otherwise use the more traditional methods of giving away a prize.

  • Having a jar with a business card drop and having a weekly or monthly prize of a free meal, will encourage many people to give away their details for you to collect, and is a very low cost way to run a small basic type of competition.
  • Another way is to put together a hamper of goodies that is attractively presented, will get the juices flowing for more regular customers as they are able to see what they could win, is another type of competition that is very popular.
  • One of my most profitable types of competitions was giving away a weekend holiday. This was hugely successful, and gave me an excellent return-on-investment, with over 1400 entries, 777 individual customer details for my database, and over $43,000 in sales revenue.

Keeping records of the different campaigns is important.

From competitions and newsletters, to business card drops and hamper prizes, this complemented the paid advertising campaigns that I did with vouchers and newspaper advertisements, and I could easily see using my spreadsheets and a system like I created for Maralytics, of the best and most valuable return-on-investment options.

It was good to use multiple types of promotions, campaigns, email marketing and competitions to continually be visual to our customers and have them returning continuously and being loyal customers and being able to monitor and record all these details in return-on-investment spreadsheets and programs.

It made for easier business decisions and negotiations for all types of advertising and marketing opportunities, and knowing when to spend more money or pull out of any costly situations.

Having good procedures in the business with operations, staff management and financial manuals, made it easier to run the restaurant proactively and not reactively, and many of these can be found on the Business Manuals Made Easy site for purchase.

The financial analytics of all marketing and advertising activities has been made easier and more effective with Maralytics, a marketing analytics software program that automates all the data directly from your point-of-sale system, into reports that is easy to understand and read.

So look at competitions in your restaurant as a way of building your customer database, and you can market directly to them with very minimal cost or effort to have them returning regularly and spending money in your venue.

Categories: Hospitality.