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How To Create An Effective Marketing Calendar for Your Restaurant Today

I have heard many independent restaurants marvel at the limited time
offers (LTOs) and marketing of chain restaurants. Doesn’t it seem like the big
brands are less of a restaurant these days and more of a marketing company? You
know the food you put out and the
service you provide is far superior to most chain restaurants, yet their
parking lots are full and yours looks a bit lacking. Why?

The answer is simple. You’ve been out-marketed. I know what you’re thinking — of
course, they have a much bigger marketing budget than I could ever have. While
this may be true, it is easier than it ever has been to compete and win against the big brand marketing
wave. The internet and social media have equalized the playing field. The real
question is, are you taking advantage of it? 

The key to winning the marketing battle is to have a balanced marketing plan &
calendar. If you’re like most independent restaurants your current marketing
plan looks mostly like this:

Don’t fret – we’re here to
help. Today, I am going to show you how to make some simple adjustments to
create a winning marketing calendar within 6 weeks. The goal – have your
marketing planned out 60 days in advance.

Week 1: Carve out an hour in
your schedule to get your marketing calendar set three weeks out.

Week 2-5: Take ½ hour to add 2
more weeks to your marketing calendar

Week 6 (and beyond): Add 1 week
to your marketing calendar

Sounds simple enough…but what
exactly do you include on that marketing calendar? Here’s some tips:

Start with email. Best practice is 1 email per week. Best things to
email? Glad you asked. Let your customers know about LTOs, coupons, menu
launches, and upcoming events.

Next, add some Facebook and Twitter posts. Best practice for Facebook
is 3-4 posts weekly. We recommend the rule of thirds: 1/3 promotions, 1/3
stories, and 1/3 creative posts; pictures of food, pictures of things happening
in your restaurant, staff highlights, upcoming events, community happenings.  For Twitter? We recommend daily posting. These
posts should include your daily specials, pictures of food, weather-related
posts, holiday-related posts (national burger day, etc..)

If you’re looking for a
template to use for your marketing, you could look into building your calendar
on a google doc, an excel spreadsheet, or even by using Google Calendar. If you’re
looking for an even simpler option (that doesn’t force you to waste time
copying and pasting), we highly recommend the use of our marketing calendar on
Restaurant Logic’s dashboard. By using our Restaurant Logic marketing calendar,
you can visualize your marketing strategy in way in advance. And guess what? It
even offers recommended content and ideas so all you have to do is schedule
them out. If you’ve been searching for a simpler option…we found it.

By following the outline above,
you can make a significant impact on your marketing success. If you feel you’re
not able to make time for it quite yet, we believe adding even 10 minutes a day
to work on your marketing schedule can make a huge difference to your bottom
line.  Focus on some small goals to start
off. Transparently speaking, we don’t believe writing a lengthy marketing
strategy isn’t nearly as important as simply sitting down and planning some
real content.

Here’s hoping these bite size
action items will realistically help you gain a better grasp on your marketing
concept.  Your marketing might not start
out perfect, it will probably need some tweaking and adjusting along the way,
but if you start planning now we know that it will become a valued resource
that will not only make advertising your restaurant easier, but more successful

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