How to Market Your Restaurant Franchise Business

Better marketing at a lower cost is one of the major advantages of purchasing a franchise as opposed to starting your own restaurant business.

In addition, franchise owners can benefit by leveraging the size and expertise of the franchisor to improve their own sales.

The restaurant franchise industry is highly competitive. Because of this, many franchises are rolling out new and innovative franchise restaurant designs, environmentally-friendly elements like LED lighting, solar panels, and energy-efficient heating and cooling.

Take Advantage of Provided Materials

When you purchase a franchise from an established restaurant, you are provided with all their branded marketing material. Save time and don’t re-create the wheel. Use the signage, flyers, menus, and other collateral provided to you as part of your agreement.

Local Marketing

Because you can benefit from brand name recognition as a restaurant franchisee, you can and should spend more time on marketing in your location. Specifically, local online marketing is an essential component to your success. Make sure customers can find you online. Be sure to list your franchise on MenuPages, Yelp, and Google Maps.

Be Consistent

People eat at franchise restaurants because they know what they are purchasing. They know both the quality and what type of food they will find on your menu.  Obviously, you have no control over how customers are treated at other locations of your franchise.

But you do have control over your own franchise and should make sure you provide a positive and enjoyable customer experience. You also want to make sure your local online marketing plan is consistent across all networks.

Local Preferences

Yes, you want and need to be consistent in the branding of your franchise, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a little creativity in your marketing.

You can take advantage of preferences in your locality to add a little spice to your menu. For example, a McDonald’s in Hawaii serves spam and rice. By adding some local flavor to your franchise’s menu, you can create a larger base of local customers and visitors to your area.

Advertising and Promotions

All businesses have the same goal: To attract new customers and retain current ones. Using a combination of traditional promotions and newer online technologies is the best approach for franchise owners to make more money.

Running a contest or advertising in print, on the radio, or on TV are examples of traditional media. Using the Internet for advertising, websites, and social media are examples of how franchisors can take advantage of online technologies to reach a larger group of people at a lower cost.

Make sure you get the word out about your franchise to sports teams, associations, organizations, and local businesses by offering promotions, discounts, and special offers.

Social Media

Before embarking on any social media marketing campaign, check with your franchise owner to make sure you are compliant with your contract and to see if they can offer any help.

Connect with your local customers by using cost-effective social media platforms. Post and share events, promotions, specials, contests, and discounts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Set up a Google+ account to take advantage of the prime online real estate for search. Post delicious looking photos of your food, pictures of happy customers and staff, and links to mentions in news outlets on your website and on social media.

Get on Yelp       

Yelp is an online business listing that combines social elements and Yellow pages into one platform. It allows customers to write about their experiences and rate businesses.

You should know that even if you don’t claim your business on Yelp, people can still find you and leave their review. It is in your best interest to make the most of your listing and have it work for you.

This means completing your profile and adding as many details as you can such as photos, location, menu, hours of operation, and price range.

As a franchise owner, you have no control over what kind of reviews people might leave on your Yelp account. This is another reason it is a good idea to be aware of this platform and to optimize it as much as possible.

You should also check it periodically in case someone leaves a bad review. Hopefully, no one will, but if they do, respond in a polite and professional manner because anyone will be able to read both the negative review and your response.