If you are a foodie and has a passion for cooking, we bet, at some point of time in your life you have pondered over starting a restaurant. If not, at least a food truck. The reason is simple. You love to cook, but then you want more people to try your kind of food and feel delighted.
At an age of start ups, there are a lot of people like you. Chasing their passion, they take start their own restaurants. They would deck those up with a neat interior, a contemporary theme and tastiest dishes. It seems like a bed of roses. However the reality is harsh. They face challenges, funding dries up and footfall goes lower. They realize it was the worst decision of their life. But now going back is difficult. Not just the place, you have paid so much for interior and everything. Food business has a lot of profit margins, but with hell lot of risks. It’s one such business, which can’t be started until and unless you have each and everything ready. For a t-shirt business, you can just say your customer that X t-shirt isn’t in stock. In food business, that brings you a bad reputation. But before you get discouraged, let’s cheer you up.
Meet Gurpreet Singh Tikku a.k.a Mister Tikku, one of the prominent entrepreneurs in Delhi dealing with promotions of restaurants. He is the magician, for whom a lot of restaurants are getting unprecedented footfall. Not just that, he promotes a new restaurant in digital space to ensure it becomes a brand in no time.
We discussed with Tikku how to promote your restaurant in a better way to ensure massive footfall.
Today the biggest challenge isn’t about creating awareness, but footfalls. One can use different kind of promotional campaigns to grab eyeballs of the prospective diners. However bringing them to the restaurant is a big challenge.
Secondly, the market has become crowded with new players coming in everyday. And each one is doing their bit to attract diners. You would see Live Events happening across restaurants. Each one is outdoing the other. However, at the end it’s the same artist going to different places so there is no USP in this. Moreover every artist comes at a cost and the cost has risen by 200% in last one year. So the problem that new restaurants face is keep doing all this and still makes a profit.
Why digital marketing?
Best part about Digital marketing is that it’s measurable. One can measure the reach, engagement and in most cases even the conversions. So digital marketing is here to stay, rather shall keep growing every year. I want to mention that digital marketing is evolving and to stay relevant the restaurateur has to keep experimenting with new content and platforms.
Streamlining marketing spends
One basic rule that I see the restaurant owners do not follow is Sales-to-Percentage formula. At the launch for sure the restaurant needs to keep the marketing budget high. Then it should be fixed to a certain amount depending on the sales. Restaurant owners have to understand that marketing is a constant expenditure and if done well then your best investment. Also restaurateurs should not put all his eggs in one basket. I have seen many restaurateurs who spend a lot on Social media and not on good content. Or they spend a lot in promoting the restaurants and not self. This all has to be balanced to get the right Marketing Mix.
Unusual branding ideas
The restaurant owners call this “Mister Tikku Touch”. It’s simple. It’s about adding more and more smiles to the diners’ experience. We ensure that apart from food, music, and ambience that the restaurant has created we add our own elements to make that event memorable. Some of them have been getting Prandi’s for Made in Punjab, doing guided tours for our members or something like an entrepreneurs’ mixer at Office Canteen bar, Delhi. We try to understand the brand and then place elements to it.
Ideal marketing budget
An ideal marketing budget depends on various parameters like location, size, concept, restaurant owner, his vision for the restaurant etc. However thumb rule is that for promoting the restaurant well in first 6 months, the ideal budget should be 7-10 %t of the Project Cost.