Love Comes Through the Stomach
It’s now clear that Valentine’s Day is great opportunity to attract new guests in your restaurant. If you did not have success last year, read some ideas for your restaurant promotion on Valentine’s Day and don’t let that failure happen again.
Valentine ‘s Day is the perfect opportunity to introduce your guests with your offer and to give them an unforgettable experience and a romantic evening or lunch in your restaurant.
- The average annual Valentine’s Day spending is $ 13.19 billion dollars.
- Amount that average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day is $ 116.21
- 61.8 % of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day
- 34.6 % of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day will go out to have dinner in restaurants.
Source : Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
People, regardless of whether they are old or young are always in demand for new special events and experiences, and for their money they demand more, not only good food but also the appropriate ambiance and something special.
Valentine’s Day is an event when your restaurant simply must be changed into love nest.
If some couple regularly visits your restaurant, it means that they feel comfortable in it and that they like specialties that your restaurant offers. Probably same couple will decide to have dinner at your restaurant on Valentine’s Day so it is very important that you offer something unexpected and unusual. It would not be nice and not fair to them to offer the same atmosphere that your restaurant provides every day.
Are you missing fresh ideas for restaurant promotion on Valentine ’s Day? There are so many ways to attract new guests on this special day. I’ll write about ideas for restaurant promotion that are easily applicable to all restaurants with large and small capacity.
Planning on Time is Very Important!
People around the world are celebrating this special day. If you’ve decided to organize something special for your guests on Valentine’s Day, then let’s make a really special day in your restaurant.
All actions should be well planned. From “menu for lovers” to decorations. Everything is important, every detail.
If you start planning Valentine’s Day on time, then you can expect that traffic will increase and good results will not fail.
Write a list, underline the priorities and go to action.
Use a few different methods for restaurant Marketing.
Promote a special offer through all available advertising channels, your restaurant website, social networks, radio commercials and printed materials. Start with “Happy Valentine’s Day ” and then proceed with a description of the story that you will give to your guests on Valentine’s Day.
Set the ad about your offer for Valentine’s Day in front of the restaurant so that passers would be able to see it easily.
Successful caterers use online advertising for restaurant promotion in their daily work.
Do not forget to advertise your special offer for Valentine’s Day via web, Social networks , Facebook, Google +, Twitter and specialized Internet portals like Urban spoon, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Groupon, etc.
Send Greeting Cards to Your Guests
You certainly have in your database contact information about couples who often come in your restaurant together or your guest that you know that they are in a love relationship. Send them greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. This can be done by mail or email depending on what kind of contact information is available. Let the greeting card remain a greeting card, not an advertisement for a restaurant offer. Only at the end of your greeting card instead of “bye” you can write something like: “Free champagne, chocolates, rose, etc. for couples during the Valentine’s Day dinner in our restaurant”. They will become interested in your special offer.
Be sure that your restaurant decorations and dishes that you offer
are marked by love
There is no food that cannot be served or prepared in a way to look like a symbol of love – heart. See examples on those pictures. With a little imagination, knowledge and skills, which I believe that your chef already has, he or she can make these little masterpieces. Let’s make your special offer for Valentine’s Day really special.
Free Wine or Beer Tasting on Valentine’s Day
This kind of celebration of Valentine’s Day is one of the best celebrations for most of couples I know. That should not be news for you, a few sips of wine or beer will surely intensify the emotions of your guests and the atmosphere will be perfect. It is quite easy to organize a special event like a wine or beer tasting in your restaurant. This certainly promises good fun and that is what we all want right? Just speak to your beverage Distributor for more info.
Restaurant Decorations for Valentine’s Day
The decoration of the restaurant for Valentine’s Day can be done by you. Be sure to have a lot of red or pink details, heart shaped items and handful of red roses. Let your guests feel a warm and romantic atmosphere at the entrance of your restaurant. Many couples would like to crown their love with an engagement on this particular day. Make your restaurant the perfect place for this event. Red roses and petals of red roses are symbols of love. Be sure that the decorations match with the concept of the restaurant. For example, roses will be a good choice for restaurants with full service, while for restaurants that offer fast food, red balloons will be a better choice. Staff can use rose or heart shaped badge pinned to shirt or t-shirt that will serve quite well.
Valentine’s Day for Students
Young people are full of enthusiasm and are an excellent target group for Valentine’s. However, their budget is limited so most of them can’t afford a romantic dinner. Adjust prices on your special offer for this group. If they enjoy themselves, maybe they will become the next generation of your regular guests.
Have a Happy, Prosperous Valentine’s Day
Super Bowl is Great Opportunity for Your Business
Day of The Big game is probably one of those days in the year when you expect a large attendance at your Pizzeria. Your guests will watch super bowl, but how do you put the atmosphere and excitement on a higher level? Drinks and snacks will certainly be there in unlimited amounts, but can you offer something more than that? Of course you can! And you must do that!
Do not forget the importance of planning on time. Write every detail today. From a special offer to the decoration of your place, compose a list of what needs to be done, underline the priorities and go into action. Planning ahead and the available budget for sporting events will surely result with lot of guests and great fun for everyone.
Super Bowl Specials:
Get ready well for this day. Provide more beer and hot sausages that you even can imagine that you will need. Of course, you will prepare a special offer for this event at special prices. Be sure to offer discounts like “with a burger & a beer you get free fries” or “with a burger & fries you get a free soda”
You can also offer your guests a combo menu – combination of food, drinks and desserts at special prices. Give them characteristic names like – Super Bowl Veggie or Super Bowl Slim Girl or Super Bowl Fat Boy. Chicken wings on the menu are must have. Be sure that you have plenty of them. When creating menus beware that your offer must be attractive to visitors but also beneficial for your pocket. 30 % off certainly sounds appealing and will attract guests, but how that will affect you on your planned profit? Think, Write, Calculate and then Create a Special Offer. Promote your special offer through all available marketing methods.
- On flyers and emails or newsletters that you send, be sure to write on the top of it “Are you ready for the Big Game?” After title you can continue with the description of your Pizzeria offer during Super Bowl week. Printed promotional materials should be available at the entrance of your restaurant and also placed on the tables for at least 10-30 days before the sports happening.
- Special discounts during the Super Bowl week encourage your potential guests to make a reservation earlier. 20 % discount will be more than sufficient to attract your guests.
- Put your commercial on the front door so that your offer is visible to passers. Advertising should be creative, provocative and noticeable to passers. Perhaps some of them become your permanent guest. Another great place to put your ad is in the restroom.
- Bring cheerleaders in your bar or restaurant, and clearly specify that in your offer. Beautiful cheerleader on your advertising flyer will not leave fans indifferent. If it is a large catering facility such as a big bar, host hot dancers who will be dressed as cheerleaders for this special night. Beautiful girls will certainly contribute to a good atmosphere.
- During the week before Super Bowl put some mini grills in your parking lot in front of your Pizzeria. Whether it is a restaurant or a bar, sausages and burgers will surely attract new guests. For every purchase of a burger or hot dog give a gift card for a free drink during the Game. You can also share flyers about your special offer for the Super Bowl party.
- Don’t forget the benefits of video marketing. Record a short video and share it on YouTube and show your offer during a Super Bowl party. You could also make video montage that shows the atmosphere in your Pizzeria or bar. It would be good to use the footage of last year’s super bowl party if you have it. In this way you will present to your fans on social media networks what they can expect in restaurant during this important sports event. This video shows a good example of the restaurant promotion for a Super Bowl party using YouTube channel.
- Use the database of your guests and start an email marketing campaign to promote special offers for the Super Bowl party. Create an email or invitation and inform your guests about special offers.
- Use Social Media for a Super Bowl party promotion. You should be involved in all discussions about the Super Bowl in all social media networks. For this purpose use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and all other existing social media accounts. Write in your status interesting questions, bets, polls, voting, etc. about Super Bowl. Engage your fans to predict the results of teams and individual players. You can organize and run an online quiz, make questions about Super Bowl history and provide the prize – bucket of wings and a drink at your place for the first one who gives correct answer.Lift up the Atmosphere during Half-TimeHost local comedians or organize “open microphone” in your bar. Different funny stories about football and players will bring the atmosphere on higher level during the half-time break and you will certainly bring something new to your guests.Super Bowl Party DecorationsProvide the best possible multimedia eventThis includes a large television screens or even better a big canvas and projectors for perfect view of matches. Also, you need to provide a perfect sound system in your facility that will provide a realistic experience for your costumers while watching important matches and of course, that will attract new guests.Decoration of the catering facility is an unavoidable thing during sporting events. Check on time for fan equipment and d choose your super bowl supplier. Don’t forget flags, and jerseys of players shall be new working clothes for your staff during the Super Bowl party.
Whether it is a Pizzeria, bar or restaurant during the sports season decorate your place with a lot of flags, balloons, ribbons and balls. Let it be everything in the sign of The Big Game!
You can set up a scoreboard for monitoring the results in a visible place, it can be a digital board for the results, and if not, some small school board will serve quite well. Choose one of your staff to be responsible for writing the changes of the score.
Suit up in style. The best Super Bowl parties don’t take a ton of planning or elaborate decorations. A few sports page spreads, internet photos of key players, bright balloons, and twirled paper streamers in strategic team colors can set the stage. Why shoot the wad on a load of licensed paper goods and pinups for a gathering in which everyone’s eyes will be glued to the television screen??
Super Bowl Specials
Get ready well for this day. Provide more beer and hot sausages that you even can imagine that you will need. Of course, you will prepare a special offer for this event at special prices. Be sure to offer discounts like “with a burger and fries you get a free drink” or with a “Large Cheese Pizza you get a garden salad”. You can also offer to your guests a combo menu – combination of food, drinks and desserts at special prices. Give them characteristic names like – Super Bowl Veggie or Super Bowl Slim Girl or Super Bowl Fat Boy. Chicken wings on the menu are must have. Be sure that you have them in your recipes. When creating menus beware that your offer must be attractive to visitors but also beneficial for your pocket. 30 % off certainly sounds appealing and will attract guests, but how will that effect on your planned profit? Think, Write, Calculate and then Create Special Offer. Promote your special offer through all available marketing methods.
Simple snacks trump frou-frou foods.
Finger foods are tops for Super Bowl parties, no matter whose favorite teams take to the field. Save the fancy appetizers, dainty sandwiches and labor-intensive dessert pastries for a spring bridal shower. Sure, folks love those elaborate football field delicatessen trays and NFL field sheet cakes. But such flair is not necessary for a successful Super Bowl party.
Think of the Super Bowl fiesta as a tailgate party at your Pizzeria. Just fill the crock pot with hot chili, spread out some nachos, arrange a bunch of fresh veggies and dip on a big platter, and put out a few bowls of chips. Boom! The party is on.
Super Bowl Party Ideas for Promotion
Promotion of Super Bowl parties, or perhaps better to say your Pizzeria’s offer for the whole week before the game and the day after you should start at least a month in advance.
In this way you will ensure that every table, chair or even a standing place in your place will be booked in advance. Promote a special offer through all available modes of advertising: flyers, invitations, posters, radio and TV commercials, social networks, and certainly on your website if you have one.
Lots of people will not watch this event at home so be sure that you have fresh ideas in your offer that will guarantee one of the best parties and will attract them to your Pizzeria.
12 HOLIDAY MARKETING TIPS
1. Outfit your staff in seasonal clothing. You can start with Santa hats or holiday-themed sweaters or shirts. Help your employees get into the holiday spirit, and their enthusiasm will spread to your customers.
2. Offer gift ideas on your website. Partner with local stores in your neighborhood to create a special section on your website that lists unique but affordable gift ideas under various categories, such as “For Him,” “For Her,” “For Boys” and “For Girls.” Make sure to include gift cards to your pizzeria, but also feature merchandise from partner businesses in your area.
3. Engage customers on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to reach out to your customers at this time of year. Let them know that you’re here to help them feed their families during this busy, often hectic season. Use photos of your food, and employ humor and uplifting, positive messages to get their attention!
4. Send out a direct mail piece with a holiday promotion. Create a promotion with an expiration date to convey a sense of urgency and work with a skilled professional designer to create an attractive, eye-catching piece.
5. If you don’t have a loyalty program, create one. Get your customers hooked on your loyalty rewards now, and you’ll reap the dividends throughout 2015. Use social media, direct mail, e-newsletters and in-house signage to spread the word. Make sure to give new members some kind of instant reward for signing up, such as a free appetizer with their next visit or order.
6. Host a fundraiser for a good cause. Customers are usually in a generous and giving mood during the holidays, so now’s the time to promote a cause that’s dear to your heart, such as a local food bank or a toy drive. Reach out to local organizations and find out how you can help them.
7. Hold a Christmas caroling event. Partner with other businesses in your community to organize a night of Christmas caroling. Invite the public to join you in making the rounds in the neighborhood. Of course, you’ll want the route to end at your restaurant, with pizza specials for the participants.
8. Outfit your staff in seasonal clothing. You can start with Santa hats or holiday-themed sweaters. Help your employees get into the holiday spirit, and their enthusiasm will spread to your customers.
9. Give away free ornaments. Select the right ornaments for the right customers. For example, give away kid-friendly ornaments—snowmen, reindeer and elves—to families with small children. Offer more romantic ornaments as keepsakes to couples.
10. Offer gift ideas on your website. Partner with local stores in your neighborhood to create a special section on your website that lists unique but affordable gift ideas under various categories, such as For Him, For Her, For Boys and For Girls. Make sure to include gift cards to your pizzeria, but also feature merchandise from partner businesses in your area.
11. Create a social media fan campaign for the holidays. To build up your social media fan base, offer a free holiday-themed dessert to people who like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Also offer a deal-of-the-day promotion on all of your social
media channels to keep customers coming back every day through December.
12. Host a wreath making event. Bring in local craftspeople to teach your customers how to make beautiful holiday wreaths. If wreath making isn’t your thing, try a cookie baking event or offer lessons in making pumpkin pies.
Menu Boards are the most powerful merchandising tool. It’s the cornerstone of a restaurants image and success
Server Training Front of house has key impact on customers
On site marketing Signage, table tents, how the phone is answered, how servers greet guests, receipt messaging
Communicating with loyal customers collect email addresses, create databases, send regular emails & newsletters, create loyalty programs providing loyal customers with coupons and discounts, create a “wall of fame” for loyal customers, posting pictures on the wall enjoying their meal, name specials after loyal customers, start birthday clubs, wine tastings, sponsor special events (Chamber Bus after Hours)
Tape it and they will come tape local baseball teams, bowling league, etc to replay in restaurant. Players, friends and family will come to watch
Yappy hour instead of Happy hour, Cute and different catch phrase especially if restaurant doesn’t offer beer and wine. Use during off peak hours such as 4-6 PM offer chicken wings, app platters, etc.
Spin the wheel Purchase an inexpensive wheel of fortune, customer spins for 5, 10, 15% off, free drink, app, pizza discount, etc. At the end of the meal they spin for their chance to win for their next visit.
Post it in the restroom post new menu and upcoming events or specials
Play dessert Black Jack or appetizer Black Jack, servers sell the fact that if a customer beats them in 21/Black Jack the dessert or app is either free or percentage off. Customer must agree to purchase item before they play
Comment Cards Get them on the tables and give the customer a voice. Make sure there is a spot for address, email address, birthdates and anniversary
Kitchen mistakes when staff makes a mistake don’t let them eat it. Sample it out to the guests in the dining room (as long as it’s good)
Thank you Cards Have drivers hand out “Thank You” cards with deliveries. Use these in lieu of box-toppers. Put the customer’s name on the envelope — and the card. Offer free cheese bread or something on the next delivery (I’ve seen 82 percent returns on these).
Mommy & Me Day Have elementary school tours where the kids can make their own pizza (one pizza shop owner told me about a wildly successful “mommy & me” day where moms and kids come to the store in the morning and the kids get to make their own little pizza).
There truly is a science to creating a highly profitable menu. Although the menu design experts might tell you different, you don’t have to be a “menu scientist” to get started. There’s no doubt, If you want to get the MOST out of your menu, you should seek out a professional company that specializes in the placement, formatting and descriptive writing that goes into a killer menu. However, you can start ringing up bigger sales TODAY, by just improving your menu copy.
These examples and tips on menu copy may help you raise your guests’ expectations for your food, but keep in mind, the capabilities and skills of your kitchen. It does more harm than good to use this type of descriptive copy if your kitchen can’t deliver the food quality so eloquently described in the menu.
An important factor that effects your guest’s perception of quality and selection are the words (or copy) that are used to describe the items on your menu. The right words and phrases will create positive mental images of your food and enhance customer expectations.
Good menu copy can give you the opportunity to differentiate your restaurant with creativity, flair and pizzazz. Some restaurants also use the menu as a vehicle to entertain their guests with humor and wit. Whatever the case, your menu is your #1 sales vehicle and it deserves careful attention to detail.
Let’s start with the first level of copy, the words used to describe your menu categories. Here are the more traditional and common category descriptions – appetizers & soups, salads, pastas, entrees, sides, deserts.
Now this may get the job done, but here are some ideas to say it with a little more flair –
- Just for Starters
- Food to Share
- Local Favorites
- Hearty Sandwiches
- Wood-Fired Pizza
- House Specialties
- Fresh pasta temptations
- Classic Favorites
- Chef’s Choice
Another idea is to add a short sentence or phrase about the category. This is a great way to add a story or higher degree of quality to a specific menu category.
- Desserts – Like everything else, all our desserts are made fresh daily in our kitchen.
- The Grill – We grill over a mesquite wood fire that seals in natural juices and imparts a rich, smoky flavor.
- Rotisserie & Grill – We fire up our rotisserie twice a day and slow-roast these moist specialties in their own juices. Get it while it lasts!
Menu Item Names
The next level of copy is the name of your menu items. You can easily differentiate your offerings from the competition and create interest and individuality by coming up with some creative names for certain menu items. For example:
- Lobster Tail – Caribbean Lobster Tail
- Chicken Pasta – Herb Roasted Chicken Pasta
- Salmon – Mesquite-Grilled King Salmon
- Grilled Vegetables – Fire Roasted Vegetables
Think about adding just enough of a description, or unique name, to peak some interest and set your food apart from the competition.
Menu Item Descriptions
The final level of copy has to do with the descriptive copy of the menu items themselves. Following are some examples of what one restaurant did:
- Oyster Cocktail: Fresh, local, yearling oysters served with our famous tangy cocktail sauce
- Chicken Pot Pie: Generous portions of plump, chicken breast, fresh vegetables, rich creamy sauce, and our made from scratch flaky crust.
Here is a list of words you might consider when you develop your own menu copy:
- made from scratch
- fresh from the oven
- unique flavor
- simmered to perfection
- melt in your mouth
- golden brown
- served piping hot
- generous serving
- the best you can buy
- spicy grilled
- premium quality
- 100% cholesterol free
- fork tender
- loaded with . . .
- full-bodied flavor
- chef’s choice
- natural juices
- loaded with flavor
Have Some Fun
Some restaurants include fun and good natured humor in their menu. It’s not a bad idea. If it reinforces your desired brand image…then do it. You menu is there to enhance the positive distinctions of your restaurant. Take advantage of this opportunity to define and reinforce your unique identity.
If you don’t use humor, use a good story. People are drawn and endeared to stories. They act as mental magnets and they will help customers remember you. They will feel a closer connection to your restaurant if they know the people, the history and unique qualities behind it all
Menu pricing 101
One of the hardest parts of menu design is pricing. Unfortunately, there is no single method that works for every menu. Here are four methods for you to consider when pricing your menu.
Multiplier is a very simple method that involves totaling the cost of the plate, and all ancillary items, and then multiplying that by 2.5, 3, 3.5 or 4. The problem with this method is it will be very inconsistent to the real dollar profit needed to be successful.
For example, a ¼ chicken plus ancillary cost is equal to $1. Multiply $1 x 3 = $3. With a $3.00 selling price you only make $2.00 over cost on that seat. You may have a $3.00 fixed cost so you lose $1.00 on that customer.
Some people use a multiplier and then add one or two dollars to the item for good measure.
Food Cost Percentage
Food cost percentage is nothing more than wanting a fixed food cost for all items. It uses the multiplier to determine what overall food cost will be
- 20% Food Cost – Multiplier is 5
- 25% Food Cost – Multiplier is 4
- 33% Food Cost – Multiplier is 3
- 50% Food Cost – Multiplier is 2
As with the multiplier system, the same problems exist. One other problem is using the same example of chicken with a multiplier of 3.
For steak with a cost of $5 x 3 = $15 selling price. Consistency in pricing is very important. Your menu should be balanced and a $12 range for entrees would not be considered well balanced.
When considering this method, remember, you take DOLLARS to the bank NOT percentages. Think through the dollar amount you charge and the volume it will generate. For example, Steaks may carry a higher food cost but typically they will deliver more gross profit dollars to the bottom line.
Gathering menus from competitors is a very popular way to price a menu. In comparison, the prices on the menu may vary greatly. The problem with this method is comparing
- Portion Size
- Quality of product
- Overall points of difference
What the Market will Bare
What the market will bare has more to do with raising prices. Every market has a perceived idea of what each restaurant should be. We all know examples of restaurants that charge considerably more for basically the same food.
A good example is going to a baseball game and paying two or three times the normal price, because a captive audience will pay for it. The important feature to remember is to be careful and do not try to be something you’re not.
To sum up pricing, it is very important that you do not use only one of the pricing methods listed but use common sense and combine all of the pricing methods. Food cost is more directly affected by product mix than any other factor. All items must be adequately priced in order to ensure profitability