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Fast-food Marketing Strategies

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

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Fast-food restaurants are very popular. Who have not heard about McDonald’s, Burger King or KFC, right? If you own a franchise restaurant, we believe that most of fast-food advertising strategies are being done within the company – if not all of them. Marketing strategies of fast-food chains are very well thought through.  They put a lot of money in advertising and they even have their own food apps. McDonald’s app will allow you not only to view the menu, opening hours and the nearest locations, but to also get special discounts. Other fast-food chain apps have similar features. What is more, some apps are synched with delivery services, so just tap on your screen and get transferred to a specific food delivery app. 

When you run a family-owned business with fast-food, you need to come up with a really competitive marketing strategy for your restaurant. There is a lot competition in food industry, that is why you have to stay updated with the latest food trends. We would also recommend conducting a market research survey, which will definitely help you improve the general workflow of your business and let you understand your customers better. 

Learn all about Fast-Food Industry First

Fast-food industry is expanding. There are fast-food restaurants opening all over the world pretty much every day. Large cities have a lot of different chain fast-food joints. But fast-food does not have to be a franchise business. There are people who wish to open up their own fast-food restaurant and serve some delicious burgers and chicken wings. 

When you decide to run your own business, you need to look up some marketing strategies for fast-food restaurants. It is very important for your restaurant to gain the proper recognition. You can start with a food truck. Perhaps there is a festival in your town and they need food vendors? Make sure to promote your business there. Food trucks are becoming more and more popular. If you are still a bit skeptical about opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, try a food truck first. The cost of opening up a restaurant is very expensive, so you might want to try something smaller first. And if everything goes well, then you can start thinking about expanding your business. 

You may also look up franchise options. But remember that opening a fast-food chain restaurant is also quite expensive. There are some advantages and disadvantages of running a franchise business. You get a lot of support from the company and they do almost all of your marketing, but you are obliged to pay a monthly fee. 

Create a Marketing Plan for your Fast-Food Business

Every business needs a marketing plan. You will also need to figure out your marketing budget. How much do you want to spend on ads, events, banners and other things that promote your business? When it comes to money, every business owner wants to avoid any unnecessary expenses. This is why you have to plan things ahead. Of course, there are some expenses you cannot predict, but when it comes to advertising – you can create a budget plan and try to stick to it. 

Advertising your business might get quite expensive. Paid ads, banners, radio ads – it all adds up. But without all those advertising techniques your business can fail. Your loyal customers might always be there, but if you want to increase your revenue, you must attract new clients. There are different fast-food advertising strategies and some of them can cost you very little to nothing. 

Social Media Platforms are Important!

Many fast-food marketing strategies are linked to social media. Of course, you get those paid ads, but you can also use social media channels as a free form of advertisement. How? We live in times where almost everyone has a smartphone. People use social media for advertising their businesses. Your fast-food joint has to be on social media. You can post pictures and let your customers know about the upcoming events and discounts. Customers who have visited your eatery can also post pictures with the food and tag your restaurant on those pictures. Let us not forget about hashtags! 

Social media frenzy is definitely not slowing down. This is why social media presence is a very significant fast-food marketing strategy and you need to have Instagram and Facebook. Your restaurant has to be visible. There are many apps that can help you keep your social media accounts updated. Trust us – content has to be fresh! Posting regularly is substantial. We know that running a fast-food restaurant is hectic and keeping your business’ social platforms up-to-date might seem a bit overwhelming. You can always hire a special company that will keep an eye on your social media accounts. 

Upgrade Your Website

Your fast-food restaurant needs a website. Preferably with an online food ordering system. When people get hungry, they usually go to Yelp or Google and they search for a restaurant that can deliver their desired food. They usually want to check out restaurant’s website to see if they can find any food pictures, lunch specials or deals. Your webpage should be easy to navigate. There are platforms that can assist you with creating your own business website. You do not need coding skills – just pick a template and customize it! 

Remember to keep your restaurant’s website updated. Most fast-food marketing strategies are very specific when it comes to online presence. Your website should be informative. Information like menu, opening hours, discounts, lunch specials and locations are essential. You can always upload pictures of different dishes – but make sure to use only high-quality images. This delicious burger will look so good on a photo! 

What are Some of the Best Fast-Food Marketing Techniques?

Fast-food restaurants need a marketing plan. How can you get out there and gain more customers? The competition in food industry is quite big. Especially if you have chain restaurants around you. Fast-food joints that operate on franchise may happen to be a tough competition. But no worries, you can always compete! Your food might be called “fast food” but you need to show your customers that you use veggies from local farmers or that the meat comes from friendly butchers. Try to attract clients with the quality of your food. Burgers do not have to be unhealthy. Fries do not have to be greasy! Try to look for some healthy options and introduce them to your menu. Ask customers for their feedback. 

What is more, showing the ingredients you use to prepare meals at your restaurant can also raise the awareness of living a healthier lifestyle. You can create your own campaign and encourage people to try air fried fries! Many fast-food marketing strategies are about the ingredients, so make sure to post some pictures from your food shopping adventures and show your customers how you pick lettuce and tomatoes for their burgers. Who said that a small, family-owned fast-food restaurant cannot have their own marketing campaign, right? 

Offer Your Customers Loyalty Programs

Your fast-food restaurant should have a loyalty program. A lot of restaurant software will allow you to create a loyalty program. You can offer your clients a digital punch card. What is more, customers ordering online will also have the opportunity to collect points on their digital punch card. Technology is very helpful when it comes to running a business. POS systems or restaurant CRM may improve the general workflow of your fast-food restaurant. Restaurant software can also help you with your marketing strategies! How? By collecting contact information from your customers, so that later you can send them email newsletters with all the upcoming events, coupons and discounts. 

Most customers are more likely to come back to a restaurant that offered them a loyalty program membership, than to the one that did not. They idea of collection points and later exchanging them for gifts or free meals is quite encouraging. People like getting freebies. If you keep track of your customers’ visits, you will be able to award some of your frequent guests with a free t-shirt or a mug. Remember to appreciate your clients, and they will definitely come back and maybe even bring new customers with them!

The Best Marketing Strategy for a Fast-Food Restaurant? Discounts! 

Discounts work like magic. “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” or “2 for 1” are some of the best deals. Customers are more likely to visit your fast-food joint when you have deals. You can offer coupons or discounts. Fast-food marketing strategies are often about offering customers some amazing deals. Sometimes even a free drink or complimentary French fries can do the work! People like the idea of paying less ang getting more. You can encourage them to buy two meals and get two chocolate chip cookies for free. 

You must also remember to advertise your discounts. If your fast-food restaurant is planning on organizing a “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” event, make sure to put that information on your social media accounts and on your website. You can also try local radio or newspaper. Paid ads are always an option too. It depends on how much money you want to spend on advertising your business. 

Partner up with Reliable Delivery Services

Just like we have mentioned before – your website needs an online food ordering system. Of course, food apps like GrubHub, DoorDash or UberEats are also important. You need to be visible everywhere! Make sure to partner up with dependable delivery services. People want to have their fast-food meal delivered to them as soon as possible. And it better be hot! Many clients might like the food, but if the delivery people fail, then customers tend to give a slightly bad review. Customer service is important. And we know that sometimes unexpected things happen – like traffic or the order that was placed somehow disappeared. Make sure to make it up to your clients. Offer them a discount on their next order or add a bag of complimentary cookies. 

As for your employees – make sure to hire people who can work under pressure. Working in a fast-food restaurant is very hectic, so you need people who can handle some stress. Your staff contributes to your restaurant’s success, so be sure to let them know that you really appreciate their hard work. You may also introduce your staff members to customers through your restaurant’s website. Upload pictures and add a short bio under each employee. Show your clients all the awesome people who work at your restaurant!

Fast-Food Advertising Strategies

What are some of the most popular fast-food advertising strategies? Many people say that paid ads are the best when it comes to advertising. Others think that a huge banner somewhere in the city center would also attract new customers. What about an ad at a local radio station or a coupon for a free coffee? There are so many ways to advertise your business. You should remember about social media as well. Online presence is also some sort of an advertisement. 

You can also print out some flyers and leave them at local hair saloons or barbershops. Order a bunch of personalized pens and little fridge magnets with your restaurant’s info on them. You can give those gadgets to your clients. People always misplace their pens, so perhaps someone else finds that pen and becomes interested in visiting your fast-food restaurant. You may also take part in a local food festival. Rent a food truck and advertise your business! Food truck is a great fast-food marketing strategy, because it can help you gain more recognition. Just make sure to have your business cards with you! 

As you can see, there are many fast-food marketing ideas and strategies that can help your business flourish and grow. You can advertise your business online, send out email newsletters, offer amazing discounts, give free gadgets or take part in different events. You can also create a video content, so that your customers can get to know your restaurant better. “Behind the scenes” or “How to “videos are the best! Upgrading the menu? Why not! People might want to come by and check out some new dishes! Those fast-food marketing strategies will definitely help you gain the popularity and successfully develop your business.

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

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