The restaurant industry has struggled in the last few years as the recession has set in; more people are staying home instead of going out to eat. The growth of companies like Deliveroo has not really helped the sector. As a result, many restaurants are offering discount days, Happy Monday, Early Bird offers (and some are using Groupon) in order to fill seats. Discount pub chains like Weatherspoons offer steak night, curry night etc. This does have its downside however; seats are filled and the hope is that the people who are drawn in will spend more on alcohol and drinks. This does not always happen and sometimes, despite being busy, they can still make a loss. This is where PR for restaurants can come in. To bring you into the media spotlight, and draw in more customers, particularly on days that are normally slack.
People go to out to eat for different reasons:
For these reasons, you need to position yourselves accordingly. If you are targeting people looking for something quick, healthy and tasty, serving that kind of food is needed. Older people, students or people who want a cheap deal will come and probably not spend as much. Business clients are more likely to want to impress. Even so, higher value drinks, such as imported beers and fine wines, will also not sell as well if the price angle has been pushed. Consider the many restaurants in London that are always busy; it is down to defining their market. Are they geared towards a family setting, with play facilities for children? Are they up market for special occasions? Getting the right theme will sell the package to people, as it is the overall eating experience that people visit you for, as opposed just the food. Once the right theme is found, getting good media coverage and brand awareness is advised for 2 reasons:
You need to either attract opportunist customers (people passing by) or have people book a table. There are lots of your competitors around the UK, so standing out is important
Having something unique about your restaurant is important; otherwise your’s is just one of many. The type of food, the quality of service, the location, the environment are all reasons that customers will visit, not just price. Your brand is important before your profile is raised. Online PR can also work to extend your digital footprint and your branding.
Most of the time, cheap food does sell, but you have to be willing to compete in this market. Indeed during times of recession, people do not have the desire to be as extravagant as they once did, but they do still have money to spend. Once you start offering cheap meals, discount days or discount vouchers, the word spreads and you get a reputation for it. If the decision is made to stop offering discounts, then customers get confused and brand loyalty is lost. Discounting often has a negative effect, and will create a cheap image of a restaurant that is focused on the price of its food, rather than the eating experience. McDonalds works very well, a burger for less than £1.00, however do you want to compete against McDonalds?
With thousands of PR agencies around the UK, it makes good sense to work with one that has a knowledge and understanding of working with the food and hospitality industry. There is a skill and understanding that is needed when marketing for restaurants, and there are many agencies around the UK that have this experience. They will have the media connections in place that will allow your campaign to get up and running quickly, and produce results quickly.
When considering using a media agency, you need to bear in mind that all agencies are independent privately owned businesses, and there is no recognised fee structure. Paying a high fee will not necessarily guarantee good media coverage. Top agencies in London charge more because they have higher overheads, higher staff costs, and more directors than smaller firms. But this does not necessarily mean they will produce the best results; only by shopping around and comparing PR prices from agencies with experience in this sector will you obtain the best results at the best cost. As a price comparison website, we want to help you find the best media agency for the lowest price. PR for restaurants can be very effective, let us show you how.
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