The Caterers Corner
Marketing Caterers Corner: Marketing
By Parachef1 (Parachef1) on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 07:50 pm: Edit

I recently bought a pub and it needs re-inventing and marketing. The pub is an old mansion house so its not the typical style pub. The last occupants had a change of style by having bikers nights, mini clubs etc (Unsuccessfully). I have now done advertising with the local press, also ive put out over distributed over 3,000 leaflets in the area every 3 weeks for the last 9 weeks. I have noticed a slight increase in trade but not a huge amount. We have been associated with clubs for over 10 years, having won many accolade in the Club Competitions, e.g. Catering, Family,Young Persons, Most Improved, King of Clubs & Club of the Year Awards to name a few. Has anyone got any great marketing strategies that ''worked for yourself'' The word of mouth is happening and were retaining customers'' Dave

By Kinglear (Kinglear) on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 10:41 am: Edit

It seems as though you are doing advertising, Dave, but not a lot of marketing. Advertising in only a small part of the overall concept of "marketing".
Marketing involves research, message definition and message dissemination.
First, figure out who actually comes to your establishment on a regular basis. What need of theirs do you fill? You should know what their spending, eating, drinking, lifestyle and work habits are. This is what you call your "core market. Think of this core market as a slice of a pie chart that consists of all the people in your general geographic market area.
Your next goal is to expand your core market. Figure out what message you are selling to your core market and reinforce that message by menu & beverage selections, decor, style of service etc. The stronger you make this message, the more you resonate with your core market and the more that market will talk to their friends and encourage them to patronize your establishment. This is making that pie slice a little bigger by appealling to the same types of people.
The next thing you want to do is figure out what types of people circulate on the fringes (either side) of your core market pie slice. These are the small pie slices on either side of your core. They have differing, yet still congruent needs that you can meet by working to stretch your capabilities a bit, without taking on new and unfamiliar responsibilities.
It is important to reinforce your message about who YOU are and how you meet the needs of your immediate client community.
Do not make the mistake of trying to capture a market segment that is unrelated to the core you have. This confuses the consumer and leads to thier mistrusting you. For example, if your core market is young and growing families, you do not want to try to attract the rebel crowd with "biker nights". Eventhough these events might draw a lot of attention and drive up sales on that particular night, it will alienate your core market and lead to their mistrust, hindering your business on other nights. Likewise, if your core market is as previously described, you do not want to suddenly change your menu to include predominantly upscale offerings with unusual ingredients and white glove service. Again, this would confuse your core and alienate them.
However, if for your own edification, you want to offer more upscale items, consider one or two rotating specials that might appeal to the Moms and Dads enjoying a night out without the kids.
You will also want to do a competative market analysis. Visit similar venues to yours and observe what they are doing right and wrong. Research how much competition you have for your core segment and see if you can streamline your message to be clearer and more appealing than theirs, or is there a related segment not not captured by your current competitors that you can appeal to and bring in.
These are just a few things to think about and research before you start blindly papering the neighborhood with fliers. There are plenty of materials out there for you to use to come up with a marketing plan, but a clear, concise PLAN is what you need BEFORE you start advertising. That way, you can get the most bang for your advertising buck.
Hope this helps a little.

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