Pick a restaurant (franchise or non-franchise) to start in your hometown. Picking your target market is the first step; then you will tailor your marketing mix to meet the needs of the market. Here are the steps you should follow and the items that should be included:
- Research the overall your town demographic – population (city, county), average household income, ethnic make-up, children, etc.
- Research existing restaurants (competitor analysis).
- Using 1-3 identify a need/opportunity in the market – What market segment is not being served or is underserved? Who is your target market? Why did you choose this target market? What is their primary motivation(s) in choosing a restaurant (type of food, price, convenience, taste/quality, atmosphere, location, etc.)?
- What type of food, price, quality, distribution will you offer?
- Is the food unique to the market or is your offering going to compete directly with an existing restaurant(s)? How varied will your menu be? Alcohol vs. no-alcohol. Why did you make your menu choice?
- Price–Will the market economic demographics support your pricing? How does your price compare with competitors? Will you use nightly specials, coupons, discounts, happy hour specials, etc.? How did you make your pricing choices?
- Quality–How will your quality compare to competitors? Remember higher quality usually comes with higher costs resulting in either higher price or lower margins.
- Distribution–Where will you specifically locate your restaurant? Will your restaurant be buffet, sit down with linens, order/pick-up at counter, carry-out, delivery? Breakfast, lunch, supper – all or any combination. Why did you make these decisions?
- Draw a perceptual map showing your restaurant versus your primary competitors using price and perceived quality as your measured perceptions.
- What will be your competitive advantage?
- Choose a name and brand identity or slogan.
- How will you promote your restaurant?
- What basic message in your advertising? (Ex. A strong focus on price, strong focus on convenience, strong focus on quality and taste, a strong focus on a differentiated product, etc.)
- What advertising media by percentage? (Newspaper, radio, tv, magazine, internet, direct mail, etc.) Remember advertising is expensive, so make your choices wisely using the media(s) which will most effectively reach your target demographic.
- Where specifically will you advertise within the media you chose? (ex. The Fort Mill News, CN2, WAGL, Facebook, etc.)
- Any unique promotions? (Free samples, free catered meal to a business employing your target market, person in a chicken suit in front of restaurant, all opening day proceeds going to the local charity favored by your target market, etc.)
- Why will your restaurant be profitable?