How best to market your restaurant is a question of utmost importance in the competitive London leisure property industry. With competition more intense than ever before, our London restaurant property experts give a deep analysis of the key ingredients for restaurant marketing success.
How Competitive Is the Capital?
So just how competitive has London become? In a word, extremely. Cuisines from all corners of the globe jostle cheek by jowl, competing across all levels of dining: from the high-end formal experience, to the takeaway menu.
Take coffee as an example. After the ‘90s ‘Friends effect’, coffee chains colonised the UKs major cities, but the level of competition is now extreme. In 2010 there were around 1,000 chain-operated coffee houses in London. By 2013, that number had risen to 2,500. Now, Costa Coffee alone plans to reach 2,200 shops in the UK by 2018.
What’s happening in coffee is happening across all leisure property operations in London. As the hospitality industry is set to grow an astonishing £10bn by 2019, the amount of interest in restaurants for sale in London is skyrocketing, and the amount of brands clamouring to take your lunch money is set to boom even further.
How Brands Are Using Marketing to Compete
Restaurants have always utilised advertising and marketing to attract customers, but in London’s competitive environment, new, bold ways of marketing are being pioneered by major brands.
Technology is playing an important role in modern restaurant marketing. Diners have become more reliant on their smartphones to find excellent eateries on the hoof, using apps like opentable and bookatable to decide where to eat. A strong online presence is therefore essential to restaurant marketing success.
TGI Friday’s has recently undertaken a marked effort to increase their online engagement with customers by creating a new reward app. The app may be no great innovation in terms of functionality. You can book a table, check out the menu, etc. But, crucially from a marketing stance, if the app is recommended to friends, the user will receive free food. It is this incentive to engage and share through a mobile, online platform that makes the app a powerful weapon in their marketing arsenal.
Apps Driving Sales
Of course, many brands have had apps for years. In addition to TGI Friday’s social sharing innovation, we are seeing a new wave of creativity in restaurant app marketing.
Zizzi’s new app offers users online scratchcards where the prizes are Zizzi dishes. The campaign is part of a bid to raise £1million for Cancer Research UK, and has been equally effective in raising the money as it has been in driving customers to the popular Italian chain. In concrete marketing terms, the campaign increased newsletter click-through-rates by 300%.
It is not just brand-internal apps which are helping drive sales. Restaurant apps like Belly and LevelUp are being used by brands as a restaurant marketing platform on which to serve users offers and discounts. Importantly, brand loyalty – a concept that many assume to have died out over the last few decades – is now being rewarded through increasingly attractive deals and offers.
Click & Collect
Currently, we are seeing a scramble by major restaurant brands to modernise their service. The idea is that, particularly at lunch times, customers are increasingly in a hurry to be fed. By showing customers they can meet this demand, restaurants go a long way to capturing the trade at busy times.
One way restaurant operators are doing this is the addition of Click & Collect functionality on their websites. Customers can order and pay from the office, then walk down to the store to collect their meal. This is particularly helpful for operators since much London leisure property lacks the space to accommodate large queues which would put other customers off.
This functionality is gold for a marketing strategist. Marketers can link to the Click & Collect application from social media or newsletters, meaning that customers are only one or two clicks away seeing a menu and buying a meal. This drives social engagement, increases traffic to the brands website and boosts sales.
Our London leisure property experts know just what it takes for operators to succeed. If you are a Landlord seeking a suitable tenant for your property, or you are an operator with restaurants for sale in London, speak with one of our highly experienced London restaurant property experts today.
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