Restaurants – market your way through the recession

Recessions are a sad fact, but marketing is the last thing you should cut from your budgets


Sam Trainor-Buckingham

When times are hard the natural reaction is to rein in spending and cut back on non-essential expenses. It’s a very sensible way to operate. However, what would you consider to be non-essential? That office refurb? New technology? Marketing?

Surprisingly, marketing is usually one of the first things to face the chop in an expenditure cull yet it’s one of the most important ways to not only survive the recession but to achieve a bigger share of the market in recovery. It’s proven that businesses that maintain or increase their investment in marketing during economic instability not only consistently outperform their competitors during recession but actually find that customers remain loyal in the longer term.

Recession is a sad fact of life but it’s important for businesses to remain focused on the opportunities that a downturn creates. Businesses will inevitably fall by the wayside, leaving you the chance to grab some of the market share they leave behind. It’s vital that you and your business are ready to capitalise on this golden opportunity:

  1. Invest in a marketing or operational audit. An audit can highlight numerous ways to drive new revenue and make existing business count
  2. Look after those on the front line. Your staff are the driving force of your business so make sure they are well trained, motivated and inspired to take ownership
  3. Listen to the market and find out what your customers want. The way people are eating and drinking is changing massively so make sure you are equipped to react appropriately and quickly
  4. Follow the lead of the major players. Clever operators know that intelligent marketing brings measurable results. Think of marketing as an investment rather than a cost
  5. Online marketing is essential. Without a website you are invisible to the 89% of your target market who regularly use the internet* to decide where to eat, drink and stay. Social networking and review sites are a fantastic way to reach both existing and potential customers, giving you valuable feedback
  6. Call in the professionals. Marketing experts are trained to maximise revenue and raise awareness. Don’t be afraid to use them!

The landscape of the food and drink market is changing forever, so this is the time to look forward to new ways of doing things, so be brave, drive your marketing efforts and beat that recession.

* source : Restaurant coaching solutions

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