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Restaurant Marketing Analysis By John B. King

If you're thinking about opening a restaurant, you'll need to do things right. It's common knowledge in the industry that the vast majority of new restaurants don't succeed. Before you invest money in this kind of enterprise, consider obvious factors such as the location, the type of menu and the price range, but also pay attention to some less obvious ones like the demographics of the community, the local competition and the available labor pool. If you address these issues, you will be on your way to making your new restaurant a success.
# The location of your restaurant is crucial. It needs to be close to your target customers, have available parking and the rent must be affordable. It must be in a well-known, easily accessible area, but not too close to other restaurants of the same type. You'll also need to find a clean, attractive space where people will want to spend time. Ideally, your restaurant will also be in a location that has foot traffic and is close to public transportation.
The Menu
# Your restaurant's menu should contain items that appeal to a variety of tastes. Since people are becoming more health conscious these days, it's important that you offer a variety of healthier and lighter items (e.g., low fat, low sodium, low calorie and vegetarian). A good selection of beverages and desserts is also important, as most restaurants find these items to have the highest profit margins.
Price Range
# The price range of your menu should be comparable to that of other similar restaurants in the area where you're located. In general, restaurants that offer breakfast items for $4-$7, lunch items for $6-$12 and dinner items for $10-$25 will get the most business. If you are planning on having a menu with higher price points, be sure that the local clientele will be receptive to this.
Community Demographics and Labor Pool
# Consider the composition of the population in your target community. Is it an older, established area, one with a lot of young single people or one with a lot of families with kids? When deciding on the menu and price range for your restaurant, it's very important to have analyzed these factors, as you'll want to be sure that your menu and prices are appropriate for the community where you're located. You'll also want to know about the available labor pool and to be sure that there are a sufficient number of younger people, as waiters, waitresses and other help normally fall in this group. Proximity to public transportation will also be important for your employees.
The Competition
# Analyze your competition. Make a comprehensive survey of other successful restaurants in the area, understand their clientele and evaluate their menus and prices before finalizing yours. Find out what has made them successful and borrow some of their ideas. Conversely, if you know of restaurants in the area that haven't made it, try to find out why. You'll want to avoid making the same mistakes.
Promotional Ideas
# Experiment with different techniques to drive business to your restaurant. Distributing flyers and coupons and taking an ad in the Yellow Pages are usually successful low-cost options. Another good idea is to hold an opening reception, where you offer samples of some of the foods your restaurant will serve. More expensive options include billboards and direct mail campaigns, and advertising on cable TV and local radio stations. When new customers come in, be sure to ask where they heard about you so you can determine what kind of promotions and advertising works best for you.
(Theo ehow.com)

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