What Does Local Marketing for Restaurants Mean to Your Business?

There’s no doubt that if you’re in the restaurant industry, you have encountered the drive back to local marketing for restaurants. It could be anything as simple as buying your tomatoes from the farmer down the road to something as big as the recent Occupy Wall Street’s movement to funnel money back to small businesses and communities. The trend of voting with the dollar is the easiest way for the average consumer to have a voice in the economy.

Supporting the Local Market

We’ve seen the grassroots movements start way before any of the “Occupy” business started. Did you know that 93% of people surveyed by American Express’s OPEN survey reported feeling that it was important to support local small businesses and put money back into the community?

When restaurants started to buck the major food suppliers for local farm fresh and organic produce, meat and eggs, they were able to offer healthier and more flavorful products…AND put money back into the local community. It’s also another way patrons can give back to the local community by honoring these small businesses with their loyalty.

How to Support the Local Market

Without a doubt independent, local businesses have the upper hand here, but how can larger restaurants support the local community that they reside in? Sometimes, local is more of an attitude or awareness than a business address or zip code. Here are some of the more popular ways that businesses of any size can get involved:

  • Sponsor local sports teams in the area.
  • Donate food or services for local school events.
  • Ask your supplier if they are using local farmers.
  • If you can make an executive decision on your suppliers, switch to local suppliers that are closer to your community.
  • Offer seasonal specials on the menu of foods that are abundant in your geographical region at that time.

The push toward keeping the money in the community is still in the early stages. Get creative and come up with some things that support your local community. You’ll feel good about it and so will your customers.

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