Every year over 100,000 franchises are established in the United States. Whether you are a franchisor with multiple locations, a franchisee running a single establishment, or not even affiliated with a franchise having a smooth and continuous marketing plan is strongly encouraged. Although parent companies typically have a marketing plan for their locations, it is not their sole responsibility. Drawing up a personal plan of action to attract customers to your individual establishment, whether it is franchised or otherwise, is a must. 

Know Your Audience

Before honing in on what sorts of bells and whistles your establishment can add to concoct a marketing plan, it is essential to thoroughly determine your target audience. Start with demographics – where are you planning to establish your business? and what type of people live in that area? The country and city that you will set up shop in can reveal a lot about how you will approach a marketing plan. Different regions have different types of consumers, and understanding this information is necessary for an effective marketing campaign. 

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Start Marketing

So you’ve chosen a spot to open a franchise and know your target market — great! Next step in making your franchise successful is to start creating a buzz immediately. Don’t put off marketing until the establishment is officially open and ready for business. Get people excited for your restaurant’s opening and create a sense of anticipation. This will better guarantee a packed grand opening for yourself. Use social media to post about the exciting new restaurant that will be popping up soon in your potential customers’ area, and be sure to follow plenty of local foodies.

Create a Location-Specific Social Media Presence

There’s nothing worse than searching for a restaurant on Instagram and thinking, “Wait, which location is this picture from? Can I get these mouth-watering chicken and waffles in the Lower East Side? Or is this the Brooklyn location?” Failing to individualize your establishment can cost you some customers — yes, you are part of a franchise but Alphabet Soup Brooklyn and Alphabet Soup LES are different and customers should know. Creating a website or social media profiles for your business and adding its location is a free and easy way to show off the restaurant’s unique personality. Likewise, it reminds people in the area that they have an awesome place to grab a bite in their neighborhood.

Turning A Blind Eye To Reviews Could Cost You

People will always have things to say about your business, and unfortunately, services like Yelp, allow people to make their thoughts public. Whether their opinions are good or bad, it’s foolish to ignore what people are saying about your restaurant. Search engines are how millions of hungry customers find restaurants, and, if a one star rating is the first thing to pop up, that’s a problem. Respond to your reviews by thanking your positive reviewers and making amends with your critics.

As a franchise owner, buying into a company that has an existing brand may sound enticing and simple. And deciding to franchise your own business can be compelling too. Regardless, franchise marketing is not a walk in the park. You still need to treat each establishment like its own business. Failing to consider your franchise’s customers, location, and overall restaurant feel can make your unique establishment(s) seem ordinary. Let your franchise marketing plan reflect the unmatched authenticity of your restaurant.