Whenever we decide to eat out, we go through the usual routine: “What do you feel like eating?” “I don’t know, what do you feel like eating?” “What’s a new place that we haven’t yet tried?” And so on…
It is very much like trying to decide on a movie. When you are thinking about going to a movie, you see what it’s about. You see who is in it. You see who directed it. You check to see what theater it is playing in. Maybe you look at some reviews (not me), or remember what friends have said about it.
Same thing when deciding where to eat out. What kind of food do they serve? Let’s take a look at the menu online to see if we can get some sort of an idea. Do we know who the chef is? The owner? Do we know anyone else who works there? Should we look at yelp (or as I like to call it: ‘yikes’)? Urban spoon? Do we know anyone who has eaten there? Do we value their opinion? What’s the decor/ambiance like? Are we in the mood for that kind of experience?
They are both part of the entertainment world
In my marketing class, and when I speak with consulting clients, I remind everyone that restaurants, movies, etc., are vying for the same entertainment dollar. If you can get the buzz out there about your place ahead of time, there is a fighting chance that you can succeed. Activity breeds activity.
Just like they do with current marketing of movies. Get the buzz started well before the release of a movie. Start with a good preview. Post it online for all the 13-25 year-olds to check out. Use social media. Take advantage of the Google. It obviously is a bit different with movies. If a movie doesn’t hit in the first week, they yank it and try to make their money with On Demand, rentals, or sales.
#Come see my movie
How about: #come eat at my restaurant. You don’t have the ability to pull the plug on a restaurant if it doesn’t take off right away. You aren’t like the movies in that way. There aren’t other ways to make money by renting it or putting it out On Demand. So, hopefully you are starting out with deep pockets.
If you are able to survive those first few months, than good for you. Now there are other potential revenue streams to take advantage of, however. You can do banquets, catering, maybe merchandising–make t-shirts and hats-bottle and sell your salad dressing, your barbeque sauce, your enchilada sauce.
Let’s not get carried away
Whoa partner. Let’s take care of first things first. Come up with a good product. Figure out the scaling and costing. Come up with a good marketing strategy. Get your feet wet, get through that honeymoon period, and then you can start dreaming of other ways to make money.