Okon Joseph April 12, 2017

Mankind needs food to survive and thrive. This need not only occurs on a daily basis but it transcends race, religious affiliation, political inclination, age demographic as well as other parameters.

Businesses that engage in the provision of prepared meals to customers are referred to as Restaurants. In Nigeria, restaurants are a part of life; they range from those that serve local delicacies to the upscale types that serve an array of intercontinental dishes.

While most restaurants in Nigeria are concerned mainly with the provision of good meals and excellent service, it is also just as important for them to also pay adequate attention to promoting their restaurants, in order to ensure continuous patronage and better financial inflows.

You can decide to promote your restaurant in Nigeria, using the following tips as guides:


1. Adjust your Menu

Nigerians have a legendary appetite for good meals and are open to trying out new local recipes. You can promote your restaurant by tweaking your menu. A wonderful plus in this regard is that Nigeria has a host of local dishes that you can choose from.

So, look up recipes from the various ethnic groups and within the confines of your operating budget, you can go the extra mile in hiring expert chefs for the various meals.

Taking this route of offering a diversified menu list will give your restaurant that cloak of professionalism and diversity; attributes that will surely lead to increased patronage and sales.


2. Start a Food Blog/Website

Nigeria is fast catching up with the rest of the world in terms of internet usage and penetration. Many business transactions take place online, even the search for restaurants. Online platforms like V-connect have listings of restaurants in Lagos and other states across Nigeria.

You can promote your restaurant and enhance its visibility by creating a blog/website for it.

Many food blogs offer viewers recipes and how-to-cook instructional materials and videos. In addition, these blogs offer cooking and buying tips as well as other relevant information.

Your food blog should incorporate these elements and more. Consider that your blog will continue to market your restaurant even when you are closed, and you will appreciate the mileage that can accrue to your business by having it online.


3. Effectively Utilize the Social Media Ecosystem

This tip follows from number 2 above. You can register your restaurant and its blog/website on the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest et al. These platforms have the highest numbers of daily users. These individuals are in the search for entertainment items, news, and information, social interaction as well as business opportunities.

You can take advantage of the fact that many Nigerians are on Facebook, for example, to engage with them on the offerings of your restaurant. You could also conduct targeted marketing using these platforms, to existing and potential customers who are in need of a reputable restaurant.


4. Start a Home/Office delivery Service

You can boost the operations of your restaurant in Nigeria when you can deliver meals to your customers wherever they are. Home/office deliveries are fast becoming the norm in the dynamic business ecosystem worldwide.

The food industry is not an exception. Your restaurant can test the waters by offering limited delivery services to selected areas around the vicinity of your operations at inception. You can now expand your net as your profits grow.


5. Deploy Frequency Marketing

Another way you can promote your restaurant in Nigeria is to utilize frequency marketing. Frequency marketing incorporates means and methods that will induce your customers to regularly check beck for repeat transactions. This stance is in line with the nature of the average Nigerian customer’s desire to always get full value for his/her money as well as receive rewards for such patronage.

In this regard, you could run promotions and offer discounts. So if a customer pays for a plate of food, you could decide to offer such a customer a takeaway package as a thank-you gift. Such a gesture will not only win over the loyalty of the customer but it also has the potential of giving your restaurant free advert and publicity. Such that your business is able to attract more patronage by word-of-mouth referrals.


6. Utilize the Tactics of Up-Selling

Another veritable means of promoting your restaurant in Nigeria is to engage in the act and art of up-selling- which is suggesting that the customer tries some side dish or complimentary drink along with his/her order.

There are many advantages to adopting Up-selling in expanding your operations. The first is that you will engender more sales for your restaurant since payment will be made eventually for the additional items. The second is that the customer is given a sense of the attention and professionalism that your accord to your service delivery.

Your staff will have to play an active role in this regard, by studying individual customers and making suggestions based on the preferences of the customer.


7. Stage/Host Events

You can give your restaurant a wider spread and reach when you decide to host events and ceremonies. A careful analysis of the social scene in most Nigerian cities reveals people like to celebrate occasions like marriages, house warming, child naming ceremonies, get-togethers, community meetings and so on, especially during weekends.

Once you incorporate event hosting into the services rendered by your restaurant, you can be sure that you will most likely be offering the meals and drinks to be consumed at the event. This, in turn, will boost your sales as well as give your restaurant greater publicity.

Promoting your restaurant in Nigeria should form a major plank of your business strategy. It not only helps you in attracting more customers but it reinforces your brand identity, hence you are able to amass a large base of loyal customers.

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