BBQ Restaurant Marketing Ideas???

by 25 comments
I emailed a bunch of places this morning about mobile websites. A BBQ restaurant with numerous local chains emailed me back. He already does email marketing and FB. The owner wants to know what other kind of marketing can I help him out with. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Chris
#offline marketing #bbq #ideas #marketing #restaurant
  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Raglin
    The question you should ask him is how often does he do email marketing and FB marketing? Many business owners are not doing enough and you could charge him a monthly rate for online marketing on FB, Twitter, email marketing, article marketing, backlinking etc.
  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    Text message marketing, twitter marketing, Google Places creation/ranking, organic SEO ranking, mobile website creation, web hosting, sell him digi link doctor for his website, google adwords, facebook ads...


    ya know, just to name a few
  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    what do you suggest for text message marketing?
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Cho
    i do the whole package. i hate doing seo & ppc work when their website can't convert.

    traffic + conversion = $$$

    FB should point toward the opt-in and i build a list and build relationship through blog posts and by giving them coupons and send them (especially the ones who didnt join fb yet) back to fb.

    you're not here to sell him a quick service. tell him you would want to really work on the whole package and help him dominate his niche and outrank all his competitors.

    ]hope that helps
  • Profile picture of the author Nick Surran
    Text message marketing would be ideal. With email marketing and FB already in place, he should be able to build a pretty large SMS list pretty quickly by sending his CTA to text into a short (or long) code to his email list and putting it on FB and all over his other marketing materials.

    As far as what to suggest for text message marketing, there are numerous threads with some great information. It's hard to sum it all up here, but look for SMS posts from Steven Carl Kelly and IAmNameless, I've learned a lot from them (and from others, of course).

    I've been researching providers for months, made a decision to go with Lime Cellular's white label, and I have started contacting potential clients and local JV partners today. If you'd like a verbal crash course on what I've learned, PM me and we can find a time to talk on the phone if you'd like.
    • Profile picture of the author Joelrunner
      Another quick and easy strategy would be a "local dumb keyword" strategy. You could simply have them pick a budget, and charge a percentage of whatever they spend.
      1. Set up 2 local keyword campaigns. 1 in search, and 1 in content network. & Drive traffic to a page on their site allowing them to print off a coupon for their restaurant. (Better yet, make sure the coupon expires that week.)
      2. Target "dumb" keywords like "restaurant", "restaurants", "bbq", etc. and DON'T include location modifiers. Instead, do step #3.
      3. Geotarget ONLY the local areas your client serves.
      It's super-easy to set up, and they'll know you sent that traffic every time someone redeems that coupon.

      If you want more clarification on that suggestion, I flesh out that process in a 3-part webinar I did with Perry Marshall at NewbiePPC.
  • Profile picture of the author MaxReferrals
    I know he does FB, but contests with table tents might work well with this crowd.
    I've seen some major chains do this.

    One idea is a ltd contest, submit your own special BBQ combo plate.
    • Profile picture of the author Web Junkie
      I second this idea. You can get them great PR by notifying the local media of the contest. If you want to add another layer, get a local celebrity involved and use the contest to raise money for charity....etc...

      Originally Posted by MaxReferrals View Post

      I know he does FB, but contests with table tents might work well with this crowd.
      I've seen some major chains do this.

      One idea is a ltd contest, submit your own special BBQ combo plate.
  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    Have him run a Customer Appreciation Day where he supplies all food/drinks. That will get people talking and that is exactly what you want, you want to create "buzz" for the business. Think outside the box.

    Call up the local newspapers and see if they'll promote it the week leading up to it. Use Twitter to do that as well. Twitter can be HUGE for local businesses, if ran properly.

    Have table tents there where they can opt-in to a text list so you're not only telling your customers that you appreciate their business, but you are also building a list.
    • Profile picture of the author Web Junkie
      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

      Have him run a Customer Appreciation Day where he supplies all food/drinks.
      Good luck getting a business owner to agree to that one! In theory, the idea is great, but you better show past results to get them to give away that much free product.

      However, I did a little research on the suggestion. Here's a barbecue joint that's already doing it. -- Blog | Joe's Real BBQ

      Looks like they were able to get good news coverage by making it a charity based event. I like how "JOE" positioned himself on the net.
  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    How about a QR code that goes to a promotional money savings coupon printed in newspapers and magazines that serve his areas?
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    What is his goal? What kind of audience is he trying to reach?

    Just blasting out marketing techniques without matching the right channels to the market isn't going to help anyone.

    For example, Baby Boomer men don't widely use QR codes or Twitter.
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      What is his goal? What kind of audience is he trying to reach?

      Just blasting out marketing techniques without matching the right channels to the market isn't going to help anyone.

      For example, Baby Boomer men don't widely use QR codes or Twitter.
      Well, for them you can just post flyers at all the old folks homes

      I kid ....
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Seriously... flyers are huge for BBQ.

    Bandit signs...

    BBQ is a totally male dominated demographic and tends to run a little older.
    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Seriously... flyers are huge for BBQ.

      Bandit signs...

      BBQ is a totally male dominated demographic and tends to run a little older.
      I know this is about a restaurant chain, but nothing draws more people in my area than a BBQ cookout competition or even just an outdoor BBQ stand at a public event. As an example, in Reston, VA, the Town Center has free concerts all summer long and things like Octoberfest festivals, etc. All of the Town Center restaurants set up a stand outside on the sidewalks serving their easier to serve meals and it's a blast, with the favorite being from a BBQ restaurant.

      The BBQ competitions in this area are always a huge turnout, even the ones held in Washington, DC, as are an annual BBQ event at a firehouse. Red, Hot and Blue, a well known BBQ restaurant in this area (yummy) makes a show at a lot of events and that can't hurt their business.
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Yep... the industry is pretty well dominated by the competition cookoffs.... Kansas City judge certified...

    That's the motherload... the "A" list of BBQ.

    I follow the circuit a little bit, a good friend of mine owns one of the better BBQ places in Cincinnati... Jim Dandy's. He is real active in the BBQ scene, and does promote through a lot of events. He's also a Christian, so he's really active in the Christian Businessmen's Association, and even holds a weekly group at his place for young business professionals.

    Competitions are their own thing though. They sort of set the pace for trends in the industry, etc... I know that Jim has hosted a couple of events and for the serious competition stuff, it tends to just attract people from within the industry and not the local market.

    He gets more traction out of the neighborhood festivals... has a couple of smoker trailers with the log cabin concession thing... the whole works... makes a killing because people can smell it 1/2 mile away.

    Going to where the crowd is at is a pretty good strategy. He's talked about even getting into the local King's Island amusement park with a concession booth just to promote himself.
    • Profile picture of the author Hugh Thyer
      Do a joint venture with another business. Find a business with clients similar to the ones you're targeting. Ask them to contact their list and offer them a free meal at the restaurant.

      Then (and this is REALLY important) when they turn up you MUST get their contact details. Name, address, phone number and birthdate (so you can send them a gift on their birthday).

      Now you've got a customer list growing. This is going to be where your money comes from.

      OK, now you might be thinking you can't afford to give away free meals.

      But consider how much it actually COSTS you to do one meal. It's probably not much compared to the prices you charge. So it's not that expensive. Where it becomes really important is remembering that you've now got their details you can keep in touch with them to get them coming back over and over again.

      You wont have to run traditional advertising like yellow pages and newspaper ads (or radio ads etc for that matter) because all you'll have to do is call people or write to them before their birthday and offer them a free bottle of wine for their birthday. Or send them regular promotions and offers. It won't cost much in postage to fill your restaurant to overflowing on special occasions like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and so on.

      Fact is, it's more important to have the process for building a database and making money from it sorted out than it is to develop a process for getting leads.
  • Profile picture of the author Lmr1
    A solid SMS campaign is where it's at....nothing quicker, nothing more targeted, greener and better than SMS.....you can reach anyone, anytime regardless of their location. Wish you the best with this!
  • Profile picture of the author danielkanuck
    Tell him to run a "coupon ad" in the newspaper offering a free sample of one of their BBQ products. People will come in and redeem the coupon, and some will buy more products while their there. Develop a way to get these people's mailing addresses so that he can follow up on his customers on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Backend marketing is important here.
  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    Coupons, coupon, coupons....I assume that the BBQ is reasonably priced and that he probably has lunch specials or other deals.

    Suggest a campaign to get more people on the list to get exclusive email coupons for buy one get one free etc. Make it dine in only and must buy a drink, too or something like that so that he is making some money.

    Make some of the coupons only good for a day so that it gets people to open the email and take action or lose the value of the coupon.

    You can also have a get a free hot link or BBQ rib for signing up for our list on facebook fan page.

    The key with restaurants is to build a clientelle that come in regularly.
  • Profile picture of the author TyBrown
    There was a big article in Entrepreneur Magazine a few months back on a case study in marketing BBQ restaurants. You may want to check it out.
  • Profile picture of the author mariazz
    I think giving promos, flyers, coupon would help. But feedbacks also would be a great help.

    Create a facebook fanpage so that everybody can visit and don't forget to post pictures of the product.

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