How to make a restaurant marketing plan

All successful restaurant marketing choices start with having a good plan. A plan where the steps to follow are analyzed, defined, and structured contains all the strategies to implement the consolidation of the activity. A document like a treasure map can specify the path to achieving your goals.

We are talking about the restaurant marketing plan.

Do you want to know how to structure it? Let’s begin!

We at The Fork believe this is an indispensable tool, especially when competition in catering is increasingly fierce. This is why today we choose to introduce you to how to develop a restaurant marketing plan to get the most out of your restaurant. Click here for more information.

HOW TO MAKE a marketing plan for restaurants

What are the benefits of a restaurant marketing plan?

  • It allows you to know the details of your business plan, its limitations, and its strengths to make decisions starting from a real situation, as well as the limitations and potential of the context and all the elements that interact with the restaurant.
  • Facilitates the visibility of what you want and the definition of the objectives to be achieved.
  • It allows you to have a roadmap with concrete actions, to achieve all objectives even for a long time.

Step 1 – Analyze the market.

Every marketing plan must start with a comprehensive business assessment. An essential step is knowing what we have and don’t—something like an inventory of everything our restaurant has, both inside and istanbul bayan escort out.

In marketing, a tool is used to carry out these analyzes. It is called SWOT, which is the abbreviation of the following elements:

STRENGTHS – the strengths (internal perspective): Differentiating elements for the restaurant. Competitive advantages over the competition.

WEAKNESSES – the weaknesses (internal perspective): Disadvantages of the business compared to the competition: limits and other improvement aspects.

OPPORTUNITIES – business opportunities (external perspective): Expanding market niches. Favorable trends. Consumer habits and styles that drive sales.

THREATS – threats to the business (external perspective): Risks due to external factors increase. Tougher competition, more difficult positioning, etc.

STRENGTHS – the strengths

WEAKNESSES – the weaknesses

– Has an excellent supplier of octopus caught in the same region?

– It is in a great location in a key location for the area, between tourists and city offices

– Its cuisine is “Mediterranean,” with fish and seafood dishes, without any product that differentiates it from the competition.

– Their occupancy rate is low on Wednesdays for lunch and Thursdays for dinner.

– Their brand image and restaurant environment are a bit old-fashioned.

OPPORTUNITIES – the opportunities of the activity

THREATS – the threats to the activity

– A lot of office buildings are under construction in the area.

– The after-work trend is taking hold in the area, and there are more and more managers coming to eat at the restaurant

– It is a very touristic area due to the beach’s proximity, so new restaurants are appearing offering Mediterranean cuisine and seafood.

The competition

Another important step for the SWOT Analysis is to set up a small study on the restaurant’s competition, paying particular attention to:

Offers and prices offered.

  • The type of customer who sits at the tables.
  • His weaknesses.

By comparing these characteristics with the same aspects of our restaurant, we can easily obtain the maximum benefits.

In Ocean’s casethe competition is quite strong due to the tourist vocation of the area, whose main attraction is the local fish dishes. As a result, practically all restaurants have the same type of business, serving more or less the same products, and are geared mainly towards tourists.

Here is transforming weakness into an opportunity: Specialization. The Ocean could become a restaurant specializing in a specific area product, exclusive and gourmet such as octopus, for example, due to the good quality of the raw material.

The potential customer

Customers are the raison d’être of restaurants, so it is important to define the profile of the customer we want to attract and retain.

To be able to do this, there are several tools. Today, social networks such as Facebook allow you to obtain detailed information on online customers, tastes, and consumption habits, which is ideal for defining a potential customer profile. Read this article to know more about this topic.

We can therefore focus our Ocean marketing plan on this ideal profile:

  • Men and women are aged 30 to 55. Managers, entrepreneurs with medium-high purchasing power, and lovers of fish cuisine.

Step 2 – Define Goals

With all the information gathered so far, we can set goals for our business. In this sense, it is advisable to have a macro objective and more precise objectives that help to understand how to reach the goal.

As for the goals of our Ocean, a long-term goal is certainly better, and more specific goals with different stages of realization.

  • General
  • Position itself as a restaurant specializing in octopus among the customers employed and managers in the area.
  • Specifications
  • Specialize in octopus;
  • Please elaborate on the restaurant’s image to adapt it to the potential customer’s profile.
  • Increase bookings on Wednesdays for lunch and Thursdays for dinner.
  • Increase online bookings.

Step 3 – The restaurant marketing plan

It is time to define concrete actions to plan our business with clear objectives carefully.

To give you an idea, the main actions of the Ocean marketing plan can be the following:

.Changes in the image

  • Change the logo, colors, and concept of the restaurant to give it a more elegant and modern touch to capture the potential customer easily.
  • Adapt the internal and external environment to this new image.
  • Take photographs of the entire offer and image of the restaurant, print new advertising material, and update all digital channels.
  • Create new storytelling based on the preferences of new potential customers.

Changes in the gastronomic offer

  • Include new recipes with octopus as the main ingredient to maximize specialization.
  • Reinventing classic recipes that are always requested, but in this way differentiated from those of the competition.
  • Include well-priced side dishes that pair well with the best products.
  • Include a menu of specialty drinks, cocktails, and spirits that go with the main ingredient and appeal to area managers.
  • Create a new menu with new dishes and new beverages.

Actions of digital marketing

  • Activate and improve the attractiveness of two social networks: Twitter (mostly used by managers) and Facebook.
  • Create a blog within the website to create and share content on potential customers’ interests and lifestyles.
  • Develop a promotional strategy through a competition on social networks to improve Wednesday and Thursday dead times.
  • Optimize restaurant profiles on specialized portals such as The Fork and Trip Advisor with local and global visibility to attract new customers.


  • Insert The Fork Manager among the working tools to increase bookings in each time slot, record the preferences of diners, offer personalized service, and increase sales.

The drafting of the document

In conclusion, all the strategies and content we have developed for our restaurant marketing plan should be written in a document that can serve as a guide. 

The plan must have objectives to be achieved at different times, so it is important to have a small table where you can view the actions to be taken at any time of the year.

We have created the following diagram so that you can more easily visualize the actions to be taken over time:

Annual Restaurant Marketing Plan by: The Fork

January, February, (week 1)

Gastronomic offer changes

Objective: new octopus recipes. Actions: tests with raw materials from different suppliers. We are planning new recipes. Try new recipes. Decisions on new dishes. Setting prices. Person in Charge:  Chef and owner.

Objective:  Menu combinations. Actions: Study the most consumed drinks in the last two years and market trends. Try new drinks and cocktails. Select suppliers. They are setting prices. Person in charge:  Barman and Maître.

Digital Marketing

Objective:  To improve the online presence. Actions:  Update Facebook. Review Tripadvisor. Attract new customers with The Fork. Create a strategy for social networks. Define promotions. Communicate promotions. Agent:  Owner.

As you can see, it is a very simple plan where the areas of the restaurant, the objectives of each site, the concrete actions over time, and the people in charge of them are distributed. It is filled with various strategies to be adopted over time.

If you want to start structuring a marketing plan for restaurants, as in our example, you can download this sheet: click here and download it for free.

Remember that although each floor may change according to the needs and characteristics of the restaurant, the steps mentioned and this fact sheet presented are good starting points for planning any restaurant business.

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