You set yourself up for success by finding the right niche for your restaurant. Whether you’re serving gourmet food in a fine dining establishment or flipping burgers next to the local university, there’s going to be an audience that works best for your business. By focusing on niche marketing, your restaurant will flourish.
What is Niche Marketing?
Before you move forward with a communications strategy, it’s important to know what niche marketing is and why it’s important. A niche market is a smaller segment of people that make up a fraction of a larger market. Put simply, when you target a niche, you are appealing to a specific audience.
A niche can be determined by an audience’s location, demographics, psychographics, or budget. When you take these factors into consideration, you can find the customers most likely to be interested in your restaurant.
The Advantages of Finding Your Niche
Once you’ve found your niche, you enjoy numerous benefits. You experience less competition, more returning customers, and more opportunities for brand visibility. All you have to do is narrow your focus.
For example, if you own a food truck adjacent to a university, you could focus your marketing efforts on college students. You could adjust your menu to fit their budgets and include younger adults in your advertising. Before you know it, you could accumulate a loyal audience of returning customers.
How to Choose a Niche
As we mentioned before, a niche is determined by a variety of factors. Based on your location, the type of food you serve, and your existing customer base, it should be simple to figure out what niche you should target.
Here are important factors to consider when choosing a niche:
The location of your restaurant is crucial in determining which audience you could appeal to. Are you in a populated area, surrounded by other restaurants? Are you located in a mall? Or are you a fine dining restaurant located on a wealthier side of town? These are all things to take into consideration when determining your audience for a local marketing strategy.
When you’re choosing an audience, consider your nearby competitors in your town. Learn about what their audience looks like, and determine how to differentiate yourself. If you own a cafe, take a look at the other cafes in your area. Figure out what makes your business stand out, and brainstorm what the ideal audience would be for you.
Your restaurant is going to appeal to a different customer base depending on what type of restaurant you are. Whether you’re a fast casual, family style, fine dining, or fast food restaurant, you’re going to appeal to a distinct, identifiable customer base.
One of the best ways to determine your niche is to pay attention to who is already attending your restaurant. Strike up conversations with your regulars and see what they like about your place. This gives you a better understanding of what current differentiators are attracting returning customers. If you focus on improving your customer experience, growth will follow.
Connect with Online Communities
After you have a general idea of what audience you want to appeal to, it’s important to learn from others who excel in that area. For example, if you’re trying to learn about how to market to the typical food truck audience, join a Facebook food truck group online. You may even want to create a blog as a way to create your own online community.
When you connect with others, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn about the social media strategies of other successful restaurants, and research the type of audience they attract. As you research, keep in mind that not every strategy is universally effective. What works for one restaurant may not work for another because of differences in location or restaurant type.
Don’t let this discourage you, however. Just be open to trying different strategies and experiencing trial and error. Take notes of what does and doesn’t work. You will see results in no time.
Finding the Ideal Niche
The only way to find your ideal niche is to test things out. Once you’ve done the proper research and know what market you want to target, give new marketing strategies a shot. Cater your communications materials to the audience you think would be most receptive.
If, after a couple of months of targeting a new niche, you don’t see any results, don’t be afraid to return to the drawing board. Finding the right market requires diligence. Try to get more creative and find a niche where you have a competitive advantage.
When done right, niche marketing can revolutionize the way you do business. Once you’ve found the right audience of returning customers, your restaurant will inevitably grow. To learn more about finding the perfect niche, check out the infographic below.