The Food Service Industry is one of the most resilient and competitive industries out there. Even with the constant swarm of automation putting people out of jobs, cooking, and serving are two fields that will most likely never be fully automated.
People love the personal touch. And in customer service, the personal touch is the biggest selling point. So you can be assured working in the foodservice industry, whether that be catering or a restaurant job, you are going to be secure for employment.
But, as we said, it is also one of the most competitive industries. More and more we are seeing retail space in high-streets being snapped up by new trendy restaurants and cafes. Wine bars and cocktail lounges. Vegan eateries and all you can eat buffets. The competition for this market is unending. So you need to make sure you stand out, otherwise, you won’t be able to get customers in the door.
But standing out doesn’t mean having a silly gimmick or quirky decor. In reality, it means you need strong marketing. So, how can you make sure your marketing is top-notch. And what is the big difference in marketing when it comes to the foodservice industry compared to more traditional retail?
The first thing you need to get a handle on is the differences between traditional marketing and foodservice marketing. The biggest of those being the idea of demographics.
There are very few restaurants that will actually be looking to hit specific demographics. Kid themed restaurants. Family style diners. Adult only comedy clubs. For these sorts of places, you would take a more specific marketing approach, focusing on what these demographics value most. Cheaper booze. Meal Deals. That sort of thing.
But for everyone else, you want to assume everyone is your target demographic. You want as wide and varied a customer base as physically possible. So our first bit of advice is this: Make your Marketing General. Try to avoid offering deals to certain groups of people. Instead, make blanket statements and offer continuous deals.
Visual Marketing is your biggest asset in foodservice. If you are saying you have the best coolers on the market you will want to have pictures to back that up. The same goes for your food. You want a look of very nice looking pictures of your quality food.
You might consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the essence of your establishment and the food you are serving. People shop with their eyes, so if you can entice them with something visually appealing, you have already won.
You also want to make sure your restaurant or cafe looks nice. People want a good atmosphere while they eat, so you need to, not only make your establishment reflect this, but also make sure you capture it in photos as well to put on your marketing material.
Social Media has become the key to any successful marketing campaign. And in the foodservice industry, this is just as true. You want to have a dedicated team that will continually upload pictures of your restaurant while it is packed out. Share images of freshly cooked meals or highlighting offers you are currently running.
Make sure people can contact you through your social media account as well. Opening more lines of communication mean you will secure more reservations and people will be more willing to recommend you to others.
The most important thing to remember is dedication. A marketing campaign requires you to be constantly observing how effective it is and make changes and adapt.