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Clubhouse restaurant marketing

 Marketing your restaurant is a two-step process.

The first is finding your customers, the second is keeping them coming back.

In this case the first question to ask yourself is which one do you need to focus on? It is always, in any business, restaurant or not, easiest to sell to the customers you already have. If you have a customer base then that is the first place to focus.

Marketing to your customers

Do you have a list of email addresses to any of your current customers? If not it may be a good time to start. How to collect email addresses is a question that only you can answer. You know your customers and know what they are looking for. If your restaurant offers better prices and a fun atmosphere a signup list or business card bottle can really work. Offer coupons or specials of the month for those who put down their email address. If you're a higher-end restaurant lists and bottles wouldn't be appropriate, but you certainly don't want to miss the opportunity. At the least have a signup form on your website. Offering coupons may not be the image you want to project, but you could keep business streaming in with a few special dishes offered only for a month (or even a special day).

What is it that keeps your customers coming back? Is it your prices, your food, your service or something else? If you know what keeps your customers coming back then make that attribute obvious. If customers come back because of the amount of food they get from the price realize that every new customer that comes to your restaurant won't immediately jump to that conclusion. They need a little bit of help, so throw out the challenge. "Our plates are bigger" - "Warning: Heavy Contents" - "More yummy for your munny" - Make your pile of to-go boxes obvious with a "you're going to need one" sign.

Finding new customers

If you focus on getting your customers to come back, then the finding new customers portion is the easy part. You don't need to worry about sending out bulk advertisements every week if the few times you do you're able to capture repeat business.

When you do your marketing push go big and be ready to catch those that come in. Since you are not spending your marketing budget on weekly advertisements invest that budget into offering a wild promotion. Put a print advertisement in a local coupon books or newspaper that has a very direct two part message:

1. Let them know what they should be expecting when they come it and the reason they will want to come back (this is your USP - Unique Selling Proposition): "Most food for your money", "Best Thai food in town", "Most fun you'll have at a restaurant", "For the perfect date", "We dare you to try our California burrito".

2. Give an offer they simply can't refuse and that supports your USP. Put your extra marketing budget into your offer. If you have positioned yourself as having the best Thai food then really go for that. How about a ticket that says "Pad Thai Challenge: if it's not the best you've ever have had your next meal is on us." - The details would be along the lines of: "Every Pad Thai challenge order receives a coupon for a free order of any main dish, excluding Pad Thai". Present this challenge ticket at time of order." And here is the catch, give the free meal coupon to each challenge order when you bring them the food. Let them know that even if it's their favorite (though you are sure it will be) you still want them to come back to your restaurant and try one of your amazing curry dishes. This way you give them more then they expect and hopefully win them as a long-term customer. Just be sure that your challenge dish really is the best around.

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