People love to eat, so there will always be a market for restaurant food. Unfortunately, simply making the food and opening your restaurant won’t guarantee success. What do you need to do to make sure people cross your eatery’s threshold?
Let’s help you put together a to do list. If you take care of certain tasks beforehand like setting up your website and organising appropriate pest control Melbourne locals are more likely to come in for a taste.
In the restaurant business you have to stay innovative but if you focus on this—especially #5—before you have your launch, you’ll give yourself a better fighting chance.
1. Location, Location… Property
You’ll hear this phrase in many contexts and it always rings true. ‘Location, location, location’. Where you base your restaurant is more important even than the ingredients you’ll use for your dishes. If you’re not close to your target market you won’t get the sales, simply because people are too used to convenience. They want everything they shop for—food included—instantly. If your competition is closer to them, they’ll rather go there for dinner.
Talk to other businesses in the area and ask them about foot traffic and the demographics of the people living nearby. Get an idea of the number and type of possible walk-in customers you can count on.
The building itself is also important. In big cities like Melbourne pest control is essential because you don’t want your reputation harmed by someone noticing rodents or insects where they’re eating your food. Do the necessary inspections and get your permits and licensing in place, so you don’t have unplanned legal issues later on.
2. Who is Your Audience?
Your family may love your food but that doesn’t mean everyone else will. Find out who your food will resonate with, so you can align your marketing with their needs, preferences and interests.
This goes hand in hand with finding out who lives in the vicinity. If most people around you are old, it won’t help if you pick décor, music and signage that suit millennials. Older patrons won’t feel comfortable and even though they live nearby, they may not frequent your restaurant. Determine your focus group beforehand, because paying for remodelling when you realise your mistake, can ruin your business.
Your target audience will also tell you about your food presentation and atmosphere to create. Will they appreciate take away food placed in sturdy packaging so they can keep it in their backpacks when popping in for a quick lunch between meetings? Or will you be the preferred venue to sit for hours chatting with friends on a Friday afternoon after work, which will require comfortable seating?
3. Do You Have a Marketing Plan?
When you know who you’re talking to, you can create your marketing plan. This is not something you can leave until after you’ve opened. It’s vital you create some anticipation about the launch of your new restaurant. It’s how you get people curious enough to come and try your food.
People do like trying new things, so that’s already enough to get them through the door. However, if they don’t even know you’re going to open, they probably won’t notice you. These days everyone’s staring at their mobile phones most of the time, even while walking down a sidewalk. You need to attract their attention through digital and print media so they can plan a visit to you. Give people the chance to be part of something new, exciting and original, and you’ll draw them in.
Creative Marketing Ideas
While social media marketing, your website and a few ads in local papers are vital to your advertising, consider these ideas for extra momentum:
- Competitions challenging people to win big after posting the best photograph of your food on Instagram
- Discount coupons for bringing a friend on your next visit
- Loyalty programs
4. What Should Really be on the Menu?
With all of this we’re not saying your food doesn’t matter. It stays one of the main features of your restaurant, so take time before opening to fine-tune your menu.
Your favourite dishes may not appeal to the masses. Having multiple tastings where you ask friends and family for honest feedback can help you identify the best menu items. Make the feedback anonymous to ensure you get the input you need.
5. Are You Up to the Challenge?
It will be an adventure opening your Melbourne restaurant but make sure you’re ready for it, or your dream could become your nightmare. The realities of being a restaurant owner requires the following of you:
- Long hours working on your feet
- Immense capital investment in equipment and technology, such as your booking system or online ordering setup, because it’s the only way to stay ahead of competition these days
- Efficiently managing different types of personalities in your team, since your employees determine the outcome of your dream
To keep going in the long term it may be wise to look for a mentor who has done this before. Advice and support from someone who understands could be what gets you through the challenging times. Good luck with feeding your city delicious food!