Your Marketing Checklist before Launching Your Restaurant


Congratulations! You’ve decided to enter into the wonderful world of running a restaurant or cafe. Your construction has already started, you’ve started relationships with your suppliers, you’re dealing with the liquor and food laws, and dealing with all the different inspections, but then there’s the one crucial factor that’s still missing, marketing.

In this article I’ll be going over a marketing checklist for you to go through so that you’re ready for your grand opening of your restaurant, and watching the flood of new customers coming in.

1) Create a Website. I’m still so shocked the number of restaurants that don’t have a website, or one that is built so poorly that you wonder how any good restaurant would even have such a poor website to begin with.

2) Create Your Social Media Accounts. It’s important to start your presence on Twitter and Facebook. I would also highly suggest reserving a You Tube channel for your restaurant and a photo sharing site like Flickr or Pinterest.Register for your business accounts on Yelp and Urbanspoon as well.

3) Google Places: Get started on reserving your Google Places so that you have as much control over information as possible. This is going to take time to arrive at your restaurant, especially if you’re located in Canada.

4) Mobile Marketing. It’s best to start creating your mobile marketing campaign with Foursqaure and Yelp to ensure that you capture walk in traffic. Does your restaurant need a mobile website? Or do they want to try a text messaging campaign?

5) Ensure your site is SEO (Search Engine Optimized): Ensure that your website is search engine optimized for keyword terms that your customers are searching.

6) Have a PR Kit ready to go. It’s important that your restaurant develop a good press kit that’s ready to distribute to the members of the media that would be interested in knowing about your restaurant’s opening.

7) Have a list of media ready that you wish to contact. Once your PF Kit is ready ensure that you know who you need to specifically target, and when you are be ready for interviews. The media list should not just include newspapers, but online magazines such as Urban Diner and Scout.

8) Inform targeted food bloggers. Many food bloggers have a specific preference for food, ensure that you do your research and bring in the ones that would enjoy your food the most.

9) Plan a pre opening party. One of the best things to do is to have a pre opening party that’s only for the media, or socialites in Vancouver. Making it an exclusivity party helps a lot in getting buzz once the restaurant is open.

10) Hold a contest. Another great way to get buzz going around your restaurant is to host a contest before your restaurant starts to attract people and have them aware of your restaurant.

11) Develop strategic partnerships with associations or businesses that reflect your values. If you’re a restaurant that is focused on sustainability or being ocean friendly, then start partnerships with them as soon as possible. Also let the businesses in your neighborhood know when your restaurant is opening up and offer them an incentive for them to come in.

12) Create a budget for how much you want to spend on marketing. Some restaurants have been known to spend up to $20,000 for a 3-4 month marketing campaign leading up to the grand opening of their restaurant. Too many restaurants don’t create a large enough budget for marketing, and as a result they have a very poor first year. While the restaurants that focus heavily on marketing months before they open generally have a fantastic first year and reach profits much faster.

If you’re looking for a restaurant marketing agency to help you have a successful restaurant launch then feel free to contact us. We’re standing by.

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Written by Vincent NG

I’m a social media marketer, particularly for Pinterest, It all started back in 2010 when Pinterest was in beta. It was the fastest independent website to get 10 million unique visitors in the U.S. This really struck a chord with me, and it was then that I knew that Pinterest was going to be a powerhouse in the world of digital and social media marketing.