This morning Tom Martin was the plumber; by mid-morning he was the accountant. All afternoon he was busy doing research and development and ended his work day concentrating on purchasing. Like many small business owners, Tom Martin wears many hats on a typical day as a restaurant business owner.
Despite all of his responsibilities as the owner of Taco Box restaurants in Clovis and Portales, N. M., Martin has recently begun to focus on marketing in a whole new fashion. “For the past 20 years I have been working with a local advertising agency which mostly managed our advertising budget by purchasing bulk radio ads and print ads. We had a birthday club and had gathered some addresses, but our account representative didn’t really know how to work with it,” says Martin.
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“We were never really able to track the results of our advertising dollars. I knew there had to be a better way.” Tom began looking for a software program that would help him work with his birthday club and help him with his other marketing as well.
In a typical restaurant business, 30 percent of the customers are bringing in 70 percent of the business. So one of Martin’s goals is to get his existing customers to increase their frequency to his restaurants. By building a database of his frequent customers and marketing directly to those loyal customers, Martin can accomplish those goals.
In addition, Martin wanted to encourage new customers to come to his store. “I have put together a new move-in program. Clovis is a military town, so there’s high turnover. They will automatically go to the national fast food chains. I want them to see and taste the difference that we offer. Past research shows that people who have lived in our area for more than two years prefer Taco Box over the national chains. That isn’t the case with those who are new to the community. They first need to try us before they can build brand loyalty,” says Martin.
In addition to the New Move-In Campaign, Martin has developed a “Boxpitality Club,” where customers are asked to fill out a card indicating their birthdays and anniversary. As members, they are offered free products on their special days and receive redeemable offers throughout the year.
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“By offering redeemable offers that are time sensitive, I will know within a short amount of time exactly how profitable the promotion was and what the return was on my investment,” adds Martin.
He continues: “At this point in my career, after having spent 35 years building my business, I need a shot in the arm.”
Martin is starting to look at his exit strategy and plans to retire in another six years. Before he does that, he wants to see how far he can build his business with sound marketing principles. The success he has experienced so far has been very exciting.
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