Matt Plapp is one of the foremost restaurant marketing experts in the world, CEO of America’s Best Restaurants, Repeat Returns, and author of many books including his latest: The RGA [Revenue Generating Activity] Guide for Restaurant Owners. In part 1 of at least 2 parts, I chat with Matt Plapp on the blueprint restaurant owners can follow to build their marketing machine and the power of restaurant offers that work.
In this episode, we unravel the secrets of digital marketing with Dennis Yu, a veteran in the field, renowned for his work with global brands like Quiznos and Rosetta Stone. Dive into our conversation and discover unconventional insights that redefine restaurant marketing.
Key Insights from Dennis Yu:
Seizing the Mid-Afternoon Opportunity: Harness the power of timing! Did you know that 70% of people remain undecided about their dinner plans by mid-afternoon? Restaurants can swoop in during this critical window. Crafting compelling narratives and sharing them during this period can profoundly impact dining choices, transforming potential customers into loyal patrons.
Strategic Storytelling over Content Overload: Break free from the content treadmill. Dennis advocates for the Dollar a Day strategy—a method where $1 is invested daily for 7 days behind select content pieces. By identifying the most impactful narratives, businesses can focus on quality storytelling. It’s not about flooding platforms; it’s about crafting narratives that resonate and endure, driving genuine engagement.
Uncover Your Unique Business Identity: Resist the urge to mimic media conglomerates. Every business is unique, and understanding your distinct identity is paramount. Authenticity trumps quantity. Rather than inundating your audience with content, focus on telling your genuine story. By embracing your individuality, you create a magnetic pull, drawing in customers who resonate with your narrative.
In essence, Dennis Yu advocates for intelligent and authentic storytelling. By recognizing the ideal timing, curating impactful narratives, and embracing your business’s identity, you can revolutionize your digital marketing strategy. Stay tuned for more groundbreaking insights from our conversation with Dennis Yu. Discover the simplicity, timing, and authenticity that drive effective digital marketing.
As the school year approaches, restaurant owners and marketers have a unique opportunity: marketing to college students and effectively attracting and retaining these student diners. In this blog post, we’ll explore a highly effective restaurant marketing strategy tailored for our restaurant partners. Discover how to harness the purchasing power of college students not only this September but also in the long term.
Why Target Student Diners?
The first question you might ask is, why bother attracting students in the first place? Here are some compelling reasons:
Population Size and Impact: College and university students represent a significant portion of the population. In 2022, there were over 22 million students enrolled, and they spent a whopping $71 billion on back-to-school shopping, including dining expenses.
Increased Dining Frequency: Students often eat out more than the average person due to their busy schedules and social nature. This presents a fantastic opportunity for restaurants.
Group Dining: Students frequently dine with friends, making them a valuable target market for restaurants looking to fill tables.
Mobile-Centric: A staggering 88% of Gen Z students use social media to decide where to eat. To reach them effectively, you need a strong digital presence.
Long-Term Loyalty: Establishing a connection with students early on can lead to long-term brand loyalty and a lucrative lifetime value of customers.
Seasonal Influence: The back-to-school period is a prime time for students to explore new dining options, making it an ideal time to capture their attention.
The Three Fundamentals of Restaurant Marketing Success
The Guest Getter Framework for restaurant marketing success is built on three pillars:
Attention and Awareness: Your marketing should aim to get noticed. After all, people can’t dine at your restaurant if they don’t know it exists.
Attraction: Once you have their attention, you need to entice potential customers to step through your doors. Getting those “butts in seats” is crucial.
Retention: It’s not enough to get a guest one time. Building long-term brand loyalty is the ultimate goal. This involves retaining customers and fostering lasting relationships.
When these fundamentals work together harmoniously, you achieve “accelerated word of mouth,” a powerful force for restaurant success.
The Winning Strategy To Attract College And University Students: Lotteries
One key strategy is the use of student lotteries. Here’s how it works:
Epic Prizes: Offer enticing prizes like a new TV, a trip, a MacBook Pro, or other high-value items. Offset costs by partnering with suppliers.
Low-Cost Prizes: Include low-cost prizes such as complimentary appetizers, desserts, or swag items to maintain excitement.
Gamification: Implement a digital scratch-and-win or spin-to-win mechanism. Participants must provide their contact information to claim their prize, and they must dine at your restaurant to redeem it.
Database Building: This strategy helps build a database of student diners that you can engage with through email marketing, SMS, and retargeting campaigns.
Targeting Student Diners with Precision
To effectively reach students, you need to use digital ad platforms. Today, we’re working with Meta’s Ad Platform (formerly Facebook). Here’s how you can do it:
Geographic Targeting: Drop a pin on the map around college campuses and target a specific radius. We recommend creating separate ad sets for different campuses.
Specific Callouts: Craft ad copy that specifically calls out the university or college, creating a personalized connection.
Creating a Compelling Ad
The anatomy of a compelling ad includes:
Specific Callout: Address the students directly (e.g., “Hey, UWO student” or “Hey, Fanshawe student”).
Benefit-Driven Hook: Capture their interest with a benefit-driven statement (e.g., “Want a new TV for your dorm room?”).
Transparency: Explain why you’re offering prizes (e.g., “We’ve put together over $10,000 in epic prizes because we want to be part of your university journey”).
Strong Call to Action: Encourage them to take action (e.g., “Click to scratch and win over $10,000 in prizes with a 95% win rate”).
Creative Visuals: Use visuals that interrupt patterns and stand out.
Additional Benefit CTA: Reinforce the benefits in your headline and call to action (e.g., “Scratch and win over $10,000 in prizes”).
Where to Send Them for Opt-ins
To collect contact information and engage potential diners, create a landing page with a gamified experience. This page should:
Include a scratch-and-win or spin-to-win game.
Ask users to enter their information to claim their prize.
Making gamification easy is key, and we recommend a tool called Coupon Tools. This software simplifies the creation of gameified campaigns, making it a breeze to implement this strategy.
By following this strategy, you can effectively attract and retain student diners, boosting your restaurant’s revenue. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the student market this September and beyond. Start implementing these tactics today and watch your restaurant thrive. Remember, it’s not just about getting one-time customers; it’s about building lasting relationships and accelerating your word-of-mouth marketing.
In this episode, we’re diving into digital ad targeting for your restaurant.
We’ll break down how marketing actually works—starting with making sure people know your restaurant exists. Then we’ll move into some smart strategies for reaching the right people online without the guesswork. Plus, we’ll uncover a powerful technique involving your most valuable customers that could reshape your customer base.
Here are the three key takeaways from this episode:
🤝 Addressing Obscurity: Most people either don’t know about your restaurant or they’ve forgotten. Overcoming the challenge of obscurity is essential for restaurants. So getting attention is important to build awareness in your local market.
🎯 Data-Driven Targeting: Avoid interest-based guessing in ad targeting. Instead, leverage data-driven strategies to engage interested audiences. Let the platform’s machine learning capabilities optimize ad delivery for better results.
🗝 VIP Guest Strategy: Focus on your top-spending guests. Their behaviours and preferences can help identify new customers who share similar characteristics. By building “retargeting” audiences based on behaviour—not guesswork—you improve marketing performance.
Tune in for a clear and straightforward exploration of effective digital ad targeting. It’s practical knowledge you can put to use right away. Let’s get started! 🍔📈🍕
Discover the effective marketing insights of Robin Goodfellow, a powerhouse in Toronto’s restaurant and cocktail scene.
In this episode, Robin shares his counter-intuitive secret to packing the house every single time. With his background as the owner of Vela Restaurant (newly added to the Micheline Guide), founder + former owner of Bar Raval and Pretty Ugly, and creator of Little Bones Beverage Consulting, Robin’s expertise shines through as he delves into the art of marketing for thriving restaurants.
Join us as we unravel the unconventional strategies that have transformed Robin’s venues into bustling hotspots and learn how you can apply his wisdom to captivate your own audience.
A few takeaways from this episode:
Understanding Consumer Readiness: Robin introduces the Prochaska wheel, a behavioral change model, to tailor marketing strategies based on consumers’ willingness to embrace change. Adapting your approach according to where individuals are in this process can yield more effective results.
Value in Moderate Pricing: Instead of focusing on high prices, Robin suggests adopting lower pricing strategies to attract a higher volume of foot traffic. A bustling establishment not only creates a vibrant atmosphere but also signifies a thriving business.
Catering to Diverse Audiences: Whether in the restaurant or bar industry, Robin’s philosophy revolves around creating environments that appeal to a wide range of patrons. This inclusivity fosters a welcoming atmosphere and contributes to the overall success of the establishment.
Realistic Insights and Learnings: With his extensive experience, Robin shares practical insights and real-world lessons from his journey. His transparency about his mistakes and growth provides valuable learning opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts.