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Marketing Meal Prep – Tips On Getting Your Marketing Calendar Started

restaurant marketing calendar tips

I’ve been married just over a year now. Sharing life with another human has changed my world in many ways,
the majority of which are overwhelmingly positive.

But I have noticed one
thing… I’ve noticed a unique trend in our eating habits.

About every three months, while my wife is innocently browsing Pinterest, she stumbles upon a juicy new
article about healthy eating. Usually it has the world “cleanse” or
“challenge” in the title, and before I can ask what gluten is, all our bagels are
in the trash, our milk is down the drain, and I’m sitting in front of a bowl of
spaghetti noodles made out of squash.

There was a lot of resistance initially. I mean, if you remove meat-lovers pizza and baby
back ribs out of any man’s life, there’s bound to be a period of withdrawal.

But I’ve been roped into enough of these now that I actually don’t mind them as much. It’s hard to
admit, but by the time it’s through, I almost always feel better and weirdly
enough, all my pants miraculously get a little bigger.

Whether it’s abstaining from sugar, dodging carbs, or focusing on “clean-eating,” there are always a set of
guidelines we have to operate against in order to stay within the boundaries of
the chosen program.

These programs, while being good for my health and whatnot, can end up being terribly inconvenient and
radically interrupt my day-to-day eating habits. But I know if I want to see
the health benefits of this program, I need to set myself up for daily success,
knowing I’m going to get hungry at least three times a day. Also knowing that
my go-to lunch buddies of old aren’t going to cut it… bye bye cheesy gordita
crunch.

It’s wildly unrealistic for me to think, with my sporadic schedule, that before every meal, breakfast,
lunch, and dinner, I’ll have the time, resources, or energy to cook up a fresh
meal tailored to my dietary restrictions.

It’s just as wilding unrealistic for any restaurant owner to think they are going to be able to give
their marketing the attention and preparation it deserves trying to figure it
out day to day.

It all comes down to one word.

Preparation.

Meal prepping, I believe is the term my wife uses. For those of you like me who didn’t know, that means
planning out, shopping for, and cooking up all your meals on Sunday for the
entire week ahead of time. If you look up the #mealprep on twitter, you’ll see
exactly what I mean.

We meal prep to make sure there’s enough good food to get us through and I don’t end up scarfing down a
bag of cool ranch Doritos because we didn’t cook enough broccoli, or, for a
restaurant, making sure there’s no poorly thought through social media posts or
under-utilized email marketing efforts.

You won’t know whether or not your efforts are successful if you don’t
intentionally invest in your marketing plan. If you randomly post content or
send emails to appear active, how will you ever know if your efforts are
contributing to your business’s success? Some speaks to meal planning. If I eat
steamed broccoli with my Big Mac at dinner, chances are any affect those
vegetables have on my health will be hard to notice.

When meal prepping, there are three steps we have to think through in preparing for each week.

1.] Outline what we want to eat this week day-by-day

-How many meals do we need to prep?

-What do we want those meals to be? (Monday: Turkey
burgers and sweet potatoes, Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Chicken…) 

What do I want my restaurants marketing to look like this week? 

-How many Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts do I want?

-What do I want the contents of these posts to be?

We recommend posting on Facebook and Twitter no less than once every three days, as a low-end rule of
thumb. You really don’t want your frequency to drop any lower than that though.
People dropping by your page want to see you’re alive, you’re active, and you
have something to say. Allow the personality of your restaurant to shine
through online, don’t be afraid to have fun with it!

2.] Map out what we need to get from the grocery store

-What ingredients do we need for each meal?

-Do we have the right balance of meat, vegetables, and fruit?

What do I want the content of my restaurant’s posts to be made up of?

-How many pictures of menu items do I want to showcase? Dessert items? Alcoholic Beverages? Are there menu
items we would like to sell more of?

-How many staff highlights should I do?

-Try to keep it high level

Sometimes when you start to prepare and outline your marketing, you realize you may actually have an
opportunity to delegate some of this responsibility to other staff members. For
instance, if you have a socially savvy server that you know is already active
on Instagram, maybe ask her pre-shift to keep her eye out for a moment to snap
a photo of that she could pair with a clever statement and post online. Maybe
you want to post it right then and there, or maybe you want to save that post
for a later date. Possibly even give her $10 bucks for every usable photo and
phrase; some employees might even get excited enough to share that photo on
their personal page to get the ball rolling.

3.] Go get the food and prepare those meals.

Take the outline you created, and sit down and make
your restaurant’s social media posts in advance.

-The key is to have a plan that is actionable, and do it. It won’t take forever, but make sure to set some
time aside before the week begins to prepare your posts.

For many people, myself included, preparing ahead of time for anything is extraordinarily difficult
because there are probably 83 other things screaming for your attention that
feel much more pressing. But without a clear strategy, your marketing plan
becomes lost in your to-do list.

Creating a simple outline for yourself is always a great idea. The best part about an
outline or framework for social media posts, is that once you find a few
structures that work, you can reuse them month-to-month. As long as you’re not
carbon copying posts and reusing the same images and catch-lines, a solid
framework for posting can go a long way.

This is something we believe quite strongly in at Restaurant Logic; so much so that we actually created a
Marketing Calendar for our customers to us when mapping out their social media
content. It’s filled with dozens of different posts every month that you can
use as inspiration for your posting, or even use them word for word if you’d
like. Our calendar makes it very easy to plan your posts and schedule them out
for automatic posting, so you can focus your attention on your business.