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Restaurant Marketing Plans: Structure & Example

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

A marketing plan, for a restaurant or any other business, guides the promotion of products and services for the coming year. In this lesson, you'll meet the owner of Stizza Pizza and take a peek at a short sample marketing plan for his business.

Stizza Pizza Needs a Plan

Mark Stizza is the owner of Stizza Pizza in downtown Boston. Since he's just starting his restaurant business, he knows he has some paperwork to do to develop not only a solid business plan, but also a marketing plan that will help him promote his establishment to the right audience. He doesn't have the first idea how to get started, though! Let's help Mark and Stizza Pizza by identifying the components of an actionable marketing plan and setting up a sample plan he can use as a guide.

Making a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is like a roadmap that gives you direction and guides you where you want to go. It outlines the actions you intend to carry out to market your products and services to customers over the course of a year. Consider it a blueprint for how you plan to communicate your brand to your target audience and achieve your business goals.

What goes into a marketing plan that will yield successful results for your restaurant? Consider these sections when building a plan that will help you advance your objectives.

  • Section 1: Situation Analysis

Situation analysis allows you to present a short description of your current products or service, the advantages you believe you possess, any challenges faced and outside forces that could impact your business. This is also sometimes referred to as a SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Your strengths highlight ways you exceed the competition, while weaknesses discuss your challenges and limitations. Opportunities are the factors that can help your business, and threats are those things that could be harmful to your operation.

  • Section 2: Target Audience

Writing down your target audience information helps identify who you're marketing to by listing demographic characteristics such as age and gender, as well as other important characteristics that could impact your marketing strategy. The more you know about your customers, and the better you define them, the better you'll be able to target relevant messages and offers that will translate into sales.

  • Section 3: Goals

What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? That's what the goals section is asking. Make goals realistic and measurable so you can later evaluate your performance. A marketing goal might be to increase sales by 20 percent or to acquire 1,000 new names for your email marketing database. A properly formatted goal will have a specific measurable, instead of vague proclamations like increase sales.

  • Section 4: Strategies and Tactics

Strategies and tactics will make up the largest part of your plan, so allocate as much space as needed to fully flesh out your ideas. Using a goal we just described, to acquire 1,000 new names for your email marketing database, identify strategies and tactics that will help you accomplish that goal. As an example you could run a campaign every other month on social media that will entice new email sign-ups by offering a 20 percent discount on delivery.

  • Section 5: Budget Breakdown

The final section of a marketing plan is a brief breakdown of the cost for implementing your strategies and tactics, known as your marketing budget. If you choose to run that campaign on social media every other month soliciting email addresses, you might incur a $100 expense in paying for a sponsored ad each time. The budget section is where you define those costs.

Stizza Pizza's Sample Marketing Plan

So, now that we've given Stizza Pizza an overview of the components of a good marketing plan, let's help them with a small sample plan to get them started.

Situational Analysis

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