For restaurant operators, 2011 was a better year than 2010. But with continuing unemployment in the U.S. and Europe, and slow economic growth forecasts for 2012, finding innovative ways to drive customer visits and revenue will be a big challenge this year.
2011 will be remembered as the year of the daily deal. Many restaurants continued using traditional marketing tactics, but also succumbed to the promise of daily deal providers such as Groupon and social media, with Facebook fan pages alone increasing exponentially. However, these traditional tactics and the newer tactics have performed well below expectations in attracting customers. Below is a quick analysis of many of the traditional and newer marketing tactics that restaurants relied on in 2011:
1.) Daily Deals: While most of the customers visiting restaurants are from within a 2-mile radius, daily deal providers such as Groupon typically drive customers from 3-5 miles on average, and these customers never come back once the deal disappears.