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How to Market your Restaurant to Different Groups to Increase Sales

When opening a dining establishment, a close look at the make-up of the community will give you insights on key markets to target and services that will drive them to your front door. We have assembled information to help you jumpstart your soon-to-be fabulous restaurant.

Consider the following demographics:

Demographic: Teens and Young Adults (Generation Y)

Who: 18-34 years old

  • Typically new to the workforce and have less income
  • Enjoys eating out more often than other groups
  • Prefers quick, casual service
  • Views dining as a social experience
  • Demands new flavors and tastes

How to Serve Them

  • Social networking is a must; target them with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Offer rewards and coupons, especially to Millennials
  • Hold social events at your restaurant: local bands, karaoke nights, trivia or more
  • Keep an eye out on new trends and make sure to incorporate them into your marketing strategy
  • Have a contemporary website that features your menu and great images of your establishment and entrees
  • Pay attention to feedback. Work hard for positive reviews, especially on sites like yelp; respond diplomatically to and learn from negative reviews

Demographic: Families

Who: Parents and children

  • Eats dinner earlier than other groups
  • Kids’ preferences are typically the most important factor when choosing a restaurant
  • Prefers an environment where children will be able to eat properly and be entertained
  • Always on the lookout for promotions

How to Serve Them

  • Have all of the critical accommodations for children such as high chairs, sippy cups, bibs, and changing stations.
  • Keep the kids entertained by providing them with crayons, papers, games, or toys.
  • Consider creating a separate arcade-style playroom that is visible and easily monitored.
  • Provide families with larger tables in an open space.
  • Have a kid’s menu available featuring favorite comfort foods as well as healthy options
  • Explore promotional options, such as “kids eat free” deals

Demographic: Seniors

Who: Typically over the age of 65

  • Prefers to dine earlier, similar to families
  • May be on a fixed income
  • Enjoys having customized foods of their choice
  • Cleanliness, convenience, and ease are important factors
  • Appreciates a pleasant, more peaceful ambiance

How to Serve Them

  • Offer early-bird specials (discounts offered to 55+ typically before 6:00 PM)
  • Offer senior discounts: as special menus and prices; free food or beverage; buy-one-get-one deals
  • Consider mix-and-match menus to increase personalization for the customer
  • Leave open spacing between tables to avoid narrow aisles and to comfortably accommodate handicapped seniors
  • As best as possible, keep the noise levels down

Demographic: Health-Conscious Folks

Who: Health food enthusiasts

  • Stays informed of the foods they are eating
  • Looks for menus offering a variety of vegetarian and vegan entrees
  • Demands options such as low-carb, low-calorie or protein-filled dishes
  • Expects foods to be versatile and delicious, not bland

How to Serve Them

  • Have a separate healthy menu to better serve this segment
  • Provide nutritional details of the foods they are eating
  • Consider locally grown produce and organic foods
  • Be transparent by listing calories contained in each food or drink
  • Offer diverse foods with many flavors to make healthy meals more attractive
  • Establish a blog associated with your restaurant and provide insights for why the chef chooses nutritious options as well as tips for healthy eating

Demographic: Tourists

Who: Broad market of potential diners visiting the area

  • Prefers to have insight on a restaurant beforehand
  • Seeks out establishments that represent the native culture
  • Excited to try local cuisines
  • Enjoys unique and diverse restaurants
  • Favors restaurants that are within walking distance of hotels and tourist attractions

How to Serve Them

  • Make your restaurant visible with wide-spread marketing including a website, phonebook and travel guide listings, and advertisements in popular publications
  • Pass out flyers and coupons in places where tourists frequent
  • Have your décor, music, and menu reflect the local culture
  • Provide cultural education by listing fun facts about the area and its history
  • Offer souvenirs for customers to remember their visit to your city and your establishment

Source: Superior Equipment & Supply