As an independent restaurant, business, or small chain, you are faced with a list of new challenges daily; on the top of that list, almost always, is balancing the financials of it all. Maximizing your profits while providing your guests or customers with the best quality product is something you strive for, but when things get tight, you may cut corners in ways that can hurt you more than help.
As a company that works to reassure and aid the independent business owner with marketing solutions for optimal business growth, Ordereze knows that one of the first places business owners look to cut corners is in their marketing. Fortunately, we offer solutions at minimal cost, and are able to shed light on tactics that are easy and inexpensive to execute.
One of the most crucial aspects to marketing your business, is to create a sense of community that surrounds it. Believe it or not, you can do this whether you are located in a remote location, or a bustling city; You just need to use the right tools, and do a little digging to make it work for your particular business.
Here are a few ways to bring that community feel to your business:
Incorporate local ingredients.
Whether you’re in a rural area rich with farms, or you live in a city where you can grow fresh herbs on your rooftop – use this to your advantage. Your guests will LOVE knowing that one of the key ingredients in the new cocktail comes from a nearby herb garden; or that the heirloom tomatoes on their salads are from the farm a mile away. It shows that you care for community growth, support local farmers, and consider where your ingredients come from to be an important aspect of how you design your menu.
Meat, Seafood, Dairy & Veggies.
As mentioned above, linking up with a nearby farm to feature the freshest produce is invaluable, and same goes for dairy, fish and meat dishes as well. Find out who you can form partnerships with to get the best price for the highest quality local meat, fish and dairy. Many times cutting out the middle man can be cost effective if you are legally allowed to deal directly with the farmers themselves.
Create a BUZZ!
Own a coffee shop? Have a cocktail list that you want to get creative with? Why not look for local honey to use or sell? It may be a big undertaking to harvest your own honey, unless you happen to have a bunch of bees on hand, but do a little research to seek out local producers. There is also a lot of research that has been done on the health benefits of incorporating raw/local honey in your diet – which are certainly useful and fun facts to use to your advantage!
Capitalize on Local Beverages.
Whether right in your home town, or local to your state, its a great idea to feature local wine, beer, spirits and even coffee on your list.
Have a beer tap system? Try and rotate a local brew seasonally and match it with your menu items. Inviting a local wine maker to collaborate on a wine dinner or tasting event is also a great way to get people through your door for something different on a slower night. Creating cocktails using local spirits also offers something to talk about to tables and bar patrons.
It’s a win win when you are able to provide a beautiful ambiance for your guests while featuring work from local artists on your walls. Not only will you be able to save costs on decor, but you will be promoting your business to an audience (those coming to check out the artwork) who potentially have never visited you before.
Try hosting special events such as art openings if you are able to feature new artists every so often. You can either work with the artist to sell tickets, or bring people in free of charge with a cash bar and small menu for them to order from and sample your food.
Part ways with guests by offering a coupon for a free beverage or dessert, or offer a small discount on their bill when they return on a later date.
It’s always a wonderful feeling to give back to your community, and what better way to give back, than to partner up with a local organization to bring light to both a worthy cause, and your business. There truly is nothing better than for the community to see local businesses involved in raising money for a good cause; Plus it’s a great way to network with other business owners, as well as a huge marketing opportunity to bring more business your way.
Depending on the direction you would like to go, whether it’s hosting an event or coordinating with others to organize a fundraiser of sorts, consider giveaways and donations if it’s in your budget. Are you able to volunteer yourself or your employees to help at a fundraiser? Can you provide food, drinks, or products to an event? Would contributing money for a sponsorship page in a local publication be worthwhile? All of these are wonderful ways to market your business for all the right reasons.
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