Posts Tagged ‘social marketing’

How to Make Yourself Stand Out Locally

February 7, 2012

These days, patrons are more and more community-centered. That’s great if you’re a local “mom & pop” establishment. But did you know that you can style your restaurant as “local”, even if it’s part of a national franchise?

 

It’s entirely possible. In fact, it’s preferable! You’ll pull more local business, and even more out-of-town business (especially if you are in a tourist location), by combining franchise name-brand recognition with attention to local community and culture.

 

Here are three ways to cement yourself into your community so that you escape the “anti-corporate/anti-national chain” malaise that has come about in the past few years.

 

Have a Signature “Local” Item

 

If it’s allowed, create a signature drink or dish that people can’t find anywhere else (even other restaurants in your franchise – subject to your franchise rules, of course).

 

Also be aware that, in time, the franchise might add your idea to the menu of all its branded restaurants. So be sure and name your dish or drink after your local area, or after something (landmark or event) that local patrons associate with your area. In fact, that is probably something you should do in any case.

 

Host Local Meetings

 

Perhaps you have a conference room that you could offer free of charge to local groups (businesses, non-profits, and other interest groups). Or you could offer discounts to organizations that choose to meet at your establishment.

 

In fact, you may not even need to concern yourself with discounts. All you will need to do in many cases is advertise that you are open to large parties, non-profits, business events, etc. Fliers in the mail can be an effective way of doing this. Often, all you need to do is get the idea out there.

 

Decorate Your Restaurant with Items of Local Interest

 

This can include local sports team jerseys; photographs of local landmarks, events, and celebrities; highway signs and other antique(-ish) memorabilia of anything your area is known for.

 

In the right establishment, newspaper or magazine articles about events significant to your area can also look great while adding local flavor. You may also want to consider event tickets, concern posters, etc., depending on the theme and demographic of your guests.