If you’re like 99% of restaurant owners and managers, your answer is probably “not nearly enough.”
After all, running a restaurant is a huge job that can keep you busy from the start of your day until late into the night. So it’s no wonder you can’t find the time to focus on marketing strategies that can help you grow your business.
The good news is, an effective profit-generating marketing plan doesn’t have to take weeks to plan and execute.
Today I’d like to share my top 4 time saving-tips to help you set up an effective marketing plan that will help grow your business huge – working less than 5 hours a week on it.… And yes, you DO have 5 extra hours a week to spend on your marketing, and we’ll show you where to find them.
Time-Saving Tip 1: Schedule 1 Hour a Week for Planning
The best time to do this would be every Sunday afternoon or early Monday morning, when business is slow. This allows you to create a schedule for the week ahead that identifies all the important tasks you need to accomplish and blocks off times when you can work on them.
We suggest you schedule your “planning hour” for the same time every week, so that you create a rhythm that allows for maximum productivity.
Time-Saving Tip 2: Spend 30 Minutes 3x a Week on Marketing Communications
In order to effectively market your business, you are going to have to stay on top of regular marketing communications tasks such as:
- Updating your restaurant website/blog
- Responding to positive and negative reviews of your restaurant on popular review sites such as Yelp.com and CitySearch.com
- Creating coupons and free gift cards to hand out to your customers in order to encourage repeat business
- Writing up posters announcing your upcoming special events
- Creating newspaper ads to promote upcoming events
Time-Saving Tip 3: Always Keep a Pen and a Notepad in Your Pocket
As a restaurant owner or manager, you spend a lot of time on the floor, dealing with your staff and customers. And all that time on the floor is time you’re not spending at your desk, working on your marketing plan.
… Or is it?
The truth is, when you’re in the thick of it, listening to your customers and overseeing your staff—that’s when some of your best marketing ideas can come to mind. You might suddenly think up a status update you’d like to share with your Facebook followers. Or maybe you’ll come up with a great idea for an upcoming promotion or special event.
If you jot your ideas down as they occur to you, then you don’t have to bang your head against the wall trying to remember what they were when you finally have a moment to sit down at your desk. This will save you a lot of time and aggravation and will help you maximize your efficiency.
Time-Saving Tip 4: Schedule 15 Minutes for Facebook Every Day
Facebook can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your restaurant. Best of all, it’s free. It only takes a few hours to set up an effective Facebook Page for your business – and once it’s up, you can rapidly grow an audience and establish a strong connection with them.
And you don’t have to spend more than 15 minutes a day on it.
We recommend you schedule your 15-minute “Facebook Break” for the same time every day – maybe early in the morning when you first get into the restaurant, or in the afternoon once the lunch rush is over.
During your fifteen minutes, here’s what you can do:
- Send out a status update telling everyone about your specials for the day.
- Respond to any comments, messages, or Friend Requests you may have received.
- Spend 5 minutes searching for people you know on Facebook and asking them to “Like” you, in order to grow your audience
- Write a status update letting people know how preparations are going for your next upcoming event. It personalizes your business at the same time as it reminds people about your event. comment that everyone can relate to, say, about the weather, or an upcoming holiday.