Many Japanese buffet restaurant, regardless of whether located in Singapore or anywhere in the world, face a very big challenging problem: they are not able to generate enough business and sales to break-even or even make money. Many of the manpower cost and food cost are taking up most of their profits, we have not even talk about marketing for the Japanese buffet restaurant yet! Cost of marketing for Japanese buffet restaurant can take up a huge cost and below we will cover some basic aspects of marketing for Japanese buffet restaurant which can be affordable and more importantly, it works!
To generate more business and marketing for your Japanese buffet restaurant, here are some recommended marketing methods:
1) Have a presentable website with your own Japanese buffet restaurant domain name.
When you meet someone, most of the time, you will judge how he dresses and how well he communicates. It is the same way online—you need to dress your website well, which means your website must be quality work done by a professional designer. Do not just DIY and save money; an average Joe will be able to judge whether you doing it “cheap” or has engage a professional to do so.
Your Japanese buffet restaurant WILL be judged by your website. The content of the website must be great; don’t just copy and paste from another website. The reader will know, if they are smart enough. In short, make an effort to put aside some funds and budgets for your website. It will be worthwhile. And it does not really take alot of money to make a very decent website, imagine you are spending so much for your restaurants in setup, kitchen equipment and renovations, a decent website cost will not burn a big hole in your pocket.
Make sure your website have a blog section where there are constant updates on the restaurant and any promotions, any news update will be good too as it helps in the Google organic rankings.
2) Get a very unique logo
This is your brand, your icon, and how people remember you. Make your design simple, straightforward, and easily remembered. Find a designer who can make it for you at a good price—even students in design schools should be able to do the job for you. After you get the logo, ask at least 10 people to look at it, and let them give you their comments. If most of them feel good about it, that should be it.
3) Create a fantastic tagline
A tagline for Japanese buffet restaurant is a sentence to describe what you are or how you want people to remember you; for example, in Apple Computer, their tagline is “Think Differently”, people loves to think differently so that it automatically creates an immediate impact and this one of the reason why they are so many people in the world love Apple brands.
4) Have a corporate email address
Do not use the free email services such as Yahoo or Hotmail. If you have corporate business, you need to project a corporate image. Having a FREE email account will never give a great impression. This is a very basic requirement, and it is quite surprising that there are still many Japanese buffet restaurant using a FREE email account for their restaurant communications.
5) Engage in Search Engine Optimization
Do ensure your website is optimized. You see, a website without relevant traffic is like opening a shop without any customers. Your presence in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others will bring many visitors to your website. On one of my website www.dougleschan.com, which is branded as The Recruitment Guru, I have over 53.24% of my visitors coming directly from search engine itself. This is just how search engines can really bring your business to another level. However, be very cautious—if you are new to search engines, I would suggest that you read plenty of books in this area. If you are not careful, you can be seriously burned in this business when you are not totally familiar with it.
6) Engage in social media
You will need to be visible to the public. This is part of branding and marketing. The cost is very cheap, and it will have a positive effect on your business. With social media, you can share alot of your interesting dishes and food to the public and perhaps because of that, you will be able attract more clients to your restaurant.
7) Create an offer to attract crowds
When you are starting a new Japanese buffet restaurant, remember that NOBODYS knows you, you will need to start building the momentum by offering something that makes people comes to your restaurant. And more importantly, your taste of your food and the presentation must be of a good standard. If you choose not to pay attention to the quality of your food, no matter how much marketing you are doing, you will not have a good number of fan base for your Japanese buffet restaurant.
Some of the offers you can create for your Japanese buffet restaurant:
- Discounts up to even 50% discount
- 1 for 1 package, when a diner order a main dish, he can have another dish for free.
- Side package – Offer a drink or dessert for free when diner order a main dish.
8) Emailing Your Database:
Once you managed to attract the crowds to come in, it will be best to get their business card or their email contact so that you can send them regular offers to attract them to come back again to your restaurant. Some may not be too willing to give but of course if you can reward them something special, many of the unwillingly diners will be more than happy to give you their business cards.
Take note that this point is one of the most important in building your Japanese buffet restaurant business in terms of marketing, because if you food is of good quality at an acceptable price and the offer is good, you will have a high followings of fans that will continue to return and gives you more business and sales in the long run.
9) Adwords Pay-Per-Click
If you want immediate short term results that will start to fill the restaurant, go for this adwords Pay-per-click advertisement method. It will be able to immediately brings you enquiries and walk-ins to your Japanese buffet restaurant. Go to google.com and search for any restaurants or good restaurants name, you will likely to see [Ads] reflected at the top and bottom of the page, these are paid advertisements, why it is call pay-per-click means the advertisers only pay when someone click on the ads. If there is nobody clicking on the ads, then the advertisers need not have to pay for the ads. This not just a fair advertisement and marketing method, it is a good way to reach your brand more people without paying to a branding company which usually yields little or no results.
10) Signature dishes – Create 1 or 2 of them.
Prepare and cook some of your signature dishes in party serving sizes. Promote and give out those dishes for free to the crowd. Let the crowd taste them and make sure it is really nice, and yummy. Make sure to make a lot of noise on this in online and offline marketing.
This is kind of traditional but it works in the long term, Pay-Per-Referral refers to a commission payable to a third party, regardless whether it is an app based, web based or private individual, you only pay a commission to the party when there is a sales. Remember to get the diners contacts and keep it as a database so that you can invite them for a meal next few rounds.
12) Target Corporate Clients
Can your Japanese buffet restaurant target to corporate clients so that they are able to get their company to dine in your restaurant? Why not target on those company within 2 kilometers within the restaurant? Get 1 or 2 sales person and knock doors or do cold callings to invite the corporate companies to your restaurant. You can also use Facebook ads to target 1-2 kilometers within your restaurants too!
13) Events, events and more events
You should also create weekly events to attract more crowds to your restaurants, remember that your job here is not to make profit at this point, not yet though, you will need to build a good sizable database of paid diners and used them to re-invite them to your restaurant next time. Hence, by creating more events within your restaurants, you first attract the crowd, build the database and slowly start to make profits from there.
Do you have any other shops near your Japanese buffet restaurant? Why not talk to the owner of the shops and work out some partnership where you will introduce your diners to their shop and the shops can also refer their customers to your restaurant? The way your restaurants and the partner shops can partner together is pretty unlimited, it is a matter of how creative you are.
15) The Third Party Eye
Ok, your Japanese buffet restaurant is the best, your food is the best, your marketing methods are the best….but, says who?
By yourself? By your employees? Or a restaurant or F&B consultant? Wait, there is a BIG problem. As a Japanese buffet restaurant business owner, likely you will be rooted within the circle and may not able to see the real problem of the restaurant, your employees may give you some good ideas and suggestions but they will not be able to give you the best because they are still an employee where they are always in that “circle”. The restaurant or F&B consultant likely not able to give you the best prospective because they have a different agenda.
The solution is that you will need a third party eye, someone who has no benefits in your business, it can be a diner, forums, Facebook reviews and many other platforms where people can give you some suggestions on how to make your restaurant better.
Here is a rule of thumb, where there is no money involved, the opinion are usually quite honest.
Here you go, some basic steps to market your Japanese buffet restaurant, hope you have enjoy the session and implement some of the steps above to make more money for your restaurant.
Some of the restaurants I have assisted in their digital marketing are:
- Jin Shan Lou (金山楼)
- Angelina Paris (Singapore)
- MUSEO Singapore
- Zipang Japanese Dining Bar
- Wine Bos
- Royal pavilion
If you need a restaurant consultant that specialised in digital marketing , which I am specialised in SEO, Facebook marketing, Facebook Advertising, Adwords Marketing, Pay-per click advertisement, you can drop me a message, call me at +65 93880851 or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit my digital marketing website at www.scottsdigital.com