When you own a restaurant, one of the things you absolutely need are customers! Regulars are essential but so is keeping in front of new customers too. Marketing all the time can be a headache, we have all struggled to know if our promotional flyers are really being delivered and social media??? Really…..you are some kind of Jedi Knight if you have the time. So, how do we keep our restaurants in the front of peoples minds and stand out in the crowd?
Well the marketing Guru’s will try to sell you a number of things – you need a website, you need a Facebook page, you need to be a member of this or that business association or club. You must be on PINTEREST, you MUST be on Periscope or Snapchat. NO no no – you need a Pavement sign or you need to be in this local paid paper or this local free paper. It’s a lot – right? And who do you believe?
I know, as a business we have been in exactly the same place and all the ideas can really make your head spin! Quick article below written just for you and to address this very issue and if you don’t have the time or inclination then check out the quick explainer video – just scroll down the the bottom.
Effective & Simple Restaurant Marketing
Would you like a really simple solution? One that pretty much guarantees you NEW customers weekly and of those customers there is a good chance they will become regulars or repeat patrons?
How about some marketing sprinkled to encourage a feel good factor. A technique that naturally gets a lot of social interest and shares and comments? Would that be good for your restaurant brand?
If you are enthusiastically nodding your head or even viewing this post with one eyebrow raised scepticism, thanks for sticking with is.
Restaurant Birthday Club Marketing
OK, it’s not a trumpet fanfare and ticker tape moment YET but trust me – having a birthday club can revolutionise how your restaurant is seen and the impact on your bottom line can be crazy good. The reason for that is that every person has a birthday (unless you’e the Queen who has two!) The majority of us celebrate our birthdays and have fun. Of all the occasion around the world, a Birthday is the most common and most-celebrated the world over.
We’re not event talking about the usual milestone birthdays, the 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th and 50th to name a few. A birthday gives us an excuse to celebrate, to catch up with friends, to head out on a school night and to just have some fun.
A lot of restaurant owners disregard Birthday Clubs and they fail to adapt it into their marketing strategy (if they have even heard of it). This is a BIG mistake. Birthdays are big business and In this short article, we will discuss the importance of why you need to have a Birthday Club set up at your restaurant and also the MANY MANY benefits of creating one. And better yet……what you need to do it.
WHY YOU NEED TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY CLUB FOR YOUR RESTAURANT
Here are just some of the reasons why your restaurant needs a Birthday Club:
HIGH SPENDING CLIENTELE
Open Table have said that Brits LOVE eating out, we spend a quarter (25%) of our income doing that. We spend up to to £53 ($83) per meal. That increases for special occasions (birthdays being a primary one) when we tend to prefer something extra special on the menu or ramp up the drinks bill.
People that dine at your birthday restaurant on their birthday bring energy to your restaurant’s atmosphere and makes the other guests happier. We’ve all been there when a cake comes out with the candles lit or the guest spontaneously crucify “Happy Birthday To You”. It might be a cringe to some, but usually the majority of other guests join in the applause.
INCREASED COVERS & GUESTS
Birthday celebrants rarely eat alone on their birthday. Most of the time, they are with large groups consisting of friends and family. On average, a birthday celebrant brings about 3-4 people with them.
MEET MARKET DEMAND
Why not capitalise on the fact that more than 70% of Brits eat out with friends and family on their birthday? Guess where they want to eat? Well somewhere where the food is great, the atmosphere is fun and they are likely to choose your birthday restaurant if you recognise and encourage them to be part of your Birthday Club.
Do a Google search for Birthday restaurant or Birthday meal. There are entire websites dedicated to providing a list of restaurants who offer birthday meal offers. Sure, let’s go out and celebrate but hey, even better if you can get a bargain.
People who celebrated their birthday at your birthday restaurant have a much higher chance of visiting your restaurant in the future. They’ve had a good time with you, why wouldn’t they come back?
Also, you might be surprised by how many birthdays there are being celebrated daily, even in a relatively small location. Over at RD.com they have calculated around the world that on YOUR birthday then on average there are 5.2 MILLION people who share that birthday with you. Ok, an interesting fact but how is that relevant? Well how many people are local to you? For larger towns and cities you can just look at your area, if you are in a more rural location, look within say a 5-10 mile radius. Then divide the population by 365 to get the daily number, x by 7 to get the weekly number….you get the idea.
That’s a LOT of celebrations so if you can attract just a small percentage of that, how could that impact your restaurant numbers?
HOW TO START A RESTAURANT BIRTHDAY CLUB
So, you’re still reading here with me which means you are seeing that this could be a little gold mine, or at the very least, a good and simple marketing element for any decent restaurant to make use of. Here are the steps to get your Restaurant Birthday Club set up:
CREATE AN IRRESISTIBLE OFFER
Make sure to create a very convincing and irresistible offer that customers can’t refuse. This way, they will eat at your restaurant rather than at your competitors. Some common offers include complimentary desserts or meals for the birthday celebrant if they are with a paying guest. Be GENEROUS. A Free desert is not that WOW but a FREE main course or free meal will get someone’s attention.
Look, this is about marketing so it does cost some money but as a restauranteur the real cost of giving away 1 meal is negligible. Also, the deal has to be, the birthday boy or girl gets a FREE meal when accompanied by a paying guest. Think bigger picture here. If you give away one meal and get 3 other people paying, that more than makes up for the cost. Lot’s of places offer 50% discounts or BOGOF deals for that reason. We are just anchoring it to a birthday so we get people who are programmed to spend more money.
ADS AND MARKETING MATERIAL
You’ll need to create some marketing material to present your birthday club to your existing guests to encourage them to sign up for the club. This can either be postcards or business-sized cards that you give your guests after they pay for a meal. This can also be added to your website or social media as a call to action button.
NOTE – this is good for your existing customers, that will encourage repeat business but would you like to know how to access brand new customers? Read on…..
WEBSITE & AUTORESPONDER
When it comes to the marketing material, you’ll need a landing page for the guests to visit when they want to sign up to your Birthday Club. A landing page can just be a simple single-page website that is connected to an email autoresponder that gathers the information of the customer and automatically sends them a birthday offer before and/or on the exact date of their birthday. That might have caused your eyes to cross if you do not consider yourself to be particularly technical. Honestly, it’s not too tricky to do.
OR FILL IN A FORM
If you want, you can also manually gather information by giving your guests physical forms for them to sign up to your birthday club. These forms should capture all their pertinent information which you can then put in a database. That can be a bit strange in the 21st century of technology and automation but we do not some restaurants who do it that way.
DISADVANTAGES OF HAVING A BIRTHDAY CLUB
What?????? what is this??? You lead me along and tell me the benefits and then hit me with disadvantages? Yes, as these things do take a little work. I may well have lost some of your at autoresponder. Having a Birthday Club at your restaurant WILL bring lots of benefits to your business.
However, the Birthday Club will become an additional responsibility for you that needs management. If you don’t have a staff appointed to manage the Birthday Club, manage the database, track the improvements, send out vouchers or invites, message reminders and keep your marketing materials updated, then having a Birthday Club can become a challenge. Honestly, that’s why it has been the marketing secret of the big chains and brands. For local restaurants it might just be too much work despite the great ROI.
Is there a solution? Yeah, of course there is. Let someone else do it for you.
ORDER YOUR FULLY MANAGED RESTAURANT BIRTHDAY CLUB
If you could have the ads done for you, if you could have someone finding customers who are celebrating a birthday near your restaurant this week, that would be a great service to have.
How about if that service also included –
- Ad copy and marketing material creation
- Promoting your restaurant Birthday club over Facebook (can be other platforms but don’t run before you walk)
- Laser like targeting to birthdays in YOUR area
- social sharing and social management for the birthday club to gain interest
- Creation of Birthday Club vouchers
- Creation of a ready made database of customers that you can keep and market too in the future
- Artificial Intelligence to encourage reservations
- Automated SMS (text) and email reminders to guests to increase the attendance rate at your venue
- Follow up marketing done for you to encourage 5 star reviews
So, DISCLAIMER – yes we are a social media agency (of sorts) and yes, we do offer a service (the above one actually) and it works brilliantly for restaurants like yours. What we don’t do, is we don’t sell it. Because we don’t need too. If you qualify for a FREE trial, then we will create and run the Birthday Club for your restaurant FREE of Charge – *no management costs AT ALL. For 30 days.
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DRIVE CUSTOMERS TO YOUR RESTAURANT
Along with the tremendous amount of work and effort required to run an internal birthday club, another concern restaurant owners have is that they need new customers and not just be offering discounts to existing patrons. So getting new customers with a Birthday Club is pretty important.
Social Sales Engine has launched a beta program for Birthday Marketing ideas for small business such as restaurants. This program helps local restaurant owners constantly get more new customers. Our system uses geographic tracking to target hundreds and thousands of people on a daily basis whose birthday is within the next 7 days within a set radius of a restaurant. We send these people to YOUR restaurant so they can celebrate their birthday there.
Social Sales Engine has created a sustainable system that will gather new customers on a daily basis to your restaurant. If you are a restaurant owner who wants to have a steady flow of new customers and be the next restaurant from the few that we apply our birthday system to, make sure to get in touch with us.
*PLEASE NOTE. We will not charge any management for the 30 days trial if you are eligible and qualify for the free trial. Please see the terms and limitations of the trial here. It’s written in plain English and it’s not long or wordy.
If you don’t have time to read the above article, we absolutely know your are busy and won’t hold it against you at all. Quick video for you instead.