Tips on How to Advertise Your Takeaway
By Kevin Moyse
Cheap Takeaway Menus is the takeaway’s biggest fan. It doesn’t matter how big or small, new or established, traditional or new-fangled you are, our menu design experts, our menu printing team, and our marketing and internet wizards are working to make sure that your takeaway succeeds and thrives. You may just be interested in takeaway menus or you may be looking for a state of the art takeaway website, Cheap Takeaway Menus has something to offer you which will help.
What we have to offer also includes our combined years of marketing experience. If you’re old enough to remember the pre-internet, pre-smartphone era, advertising your takeaway meant – for the most part – print advertising. There was local radio and TV and even the old cinema advertising was available, but they didn’t really do what advertising needs to do, especially in the modern world where everyone is fighting for those few seconds of your attention: they weren’t immediate or relentless, and they didn’t keep your business in people’s minds, or their field of vision.
Advertising your takeaway seemed like an uphill struggle back then. Today, though, there are so many ways to advertise that your business can be a fixture in people’s daily lives without them even realising it.
So, in no particular order, here are our top five advertising tools your takeaway business should be utilising or thinking about on a regular basis.
This might sound strange but your shop is the biggest billboard at your disposal, and you’re in charge of it! Treat your premises as one massive advert for your business. Advertising is about attraction, and you have complete control over how attractive and attracting your shop can be.
There are some obvious things you already know – keeping things neat and tidy, clean and looked after, but think about things like your logo, your signage, your posters, lighting, and uniforms. Think of your takeaway as being one entity made up of multiple parts, and treat every one with the same care and creativity. That is one big advert you’ve got there!
Make sure your takeaways signage stands out and is illuminated at night to draw attention to it. Passing customers will notice the bright lights and be drawn to your shop. If the branding is clear on the signage hopefully it will be associated with the takeaway menu delivered through their letterbox - “I know this takeaway, it’s the one by the traffic lights near the Post Office. We haven’t tried them yet, so what would everyone like to order?”
You have a chance to be a part of people’s mental landscape. When they picture the high street or the journey home or the bus ride into town they should see your premises as a part of that picture. An eye-catching sign, a well-placed special offer poster, or even just the memory of a good meal and great service could stick with them in ways that a hundred print ads might not.
Your takeaway menu is an advertisement in itself. A high quality, professionally printed takeaway menu can be a thing of beauty. Uncluttered by unnecessary photos and text, it should say everything it needs to say and nothing more. And if it does, it can work wonders. Not only is it evidence of your quality and attitude, it is a tangible piece of direct advertising. A newspaper advert is great, but how about an individual printed advertisement which is dropped through hundreds and hundreds of letterboxes on regular basis. And a menu is not just a teaser, it is your whole business operation laid out in black and white (ideally in full colour!) If advertising is about attraction, then that is a golden opportunity to attract.
The printed takeaway menu is arguably a takeaway business’ most important and primary marketing tool. This is because a takeaway has a defined catchment area (the area surrounding the takeaway within which takeaway menus and food can be delivered). This means it is easy for a takeaway business to identify and market directly to EVERY single potential customer. The best and easiest way to market to this catchment area is by designing, printing and distributing full colour takeaway menus. For information about distributing takeaway menus please see our previous article “What are the benefits of distributing takeaway menus?”
It is good to remember the 7 points of contact rule used in marketing. This means that in general it may take up to 7 points of contact with your business to entice them to order from you. This may be as simple as driving past an illuminated sign at night, seeing an advert in the local newspaper or receiving a takeaway menu through the door. Sending out takeaway menus to an area once simply isn’t going to make your business a success. Our successful takeaway clients are distributing 1000 to 2000 menus every single week and they expect about a 10% return i.e. 100 to 200 orders as a direct result of the menu distribution. This means that every few months houses in the catchment area will receive another menu. We advise our clients to alter the menu at least once a year just enough that the receiver recognises the brand but enough that it’s an updated menu. Advertising should be constant. Sure you can have periods where you are taking one approach more than another, but an all-round overall approach will keep you in people’s minds.
Advertising in the local newspapers, free papers, and magazines can still bring results otherwise businesses wouldn’t be doing it. If done properly, advertising using this method can be a great success, but it can be expensive so any activity must be monitored to make sure you’re getting value for money and a decent return on your investment. Don’t advertise in multiple publications at the same time as it would be difficult to manage the conversion rates. Instead run trials in one publication at a time so you can effectively measure levels of success. Use unique discount codes in advertisements for customers to quote when ordering food, this is an easy way to measure the success of a campaign.
Study local publications before making a decision. Ask around, see what other businesses are using them and if they think their ads are working. Better to learn from someone else’s failures than to have to learn from your own. And when you’re booking advertising space, like most media services these days there is always room for a bit of haggling to get the best deal for yourself.
It is important to get into the habit of contacting customers, old and new. These days advertising is a fluid two-way conversation; it is much more interactive than it once was. You will have built up a database of contacts, so use them. You should be trying to capture a customer’s mobile number or email address at every opportunity because what you have then is a direct line to their eyes and their appetites. Customers become valued customers through regular contact, but that goes both ways. Those takeaways who sit back and expect business are the ones who are soon wondering why no one comes around anymore. Remember that 50% of your marketing effort, time and money, should be spent marketing to your existing clients. Businesses owners often forget that it is easier to sell to someone who has already bought your products. Every now and again text, email or post something to your existing database, this may be in the form of a discount voucher or special loyal customer banquet meal deal. With unlimited texts on most mobile phone contracts, sending a few hundred texts should not be a problem. It’s free direct advertising. It would be a crime not to take advantage, so get texting and emailing. You can put together a few months’ worth of messages in an evening and save them for later use.
It used to be the wave of the future, now if you’re not doing it you’re the odd one out. Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Snapchat, Vine, Google+… there are numerous social media outlets where you can be visible, where you can constantly pop up on people’s news feeds. A simple photo of a dish with a link to your website, an offer for the end of the week, a seasonal offer for those summer evenings in the garden or those cold winter nights in front of the TV, a targeted campaign for when the football is on, or The X Factor final. A simple post or tweet costs nothing and can generate business. Again, this is free advertising; the question isn’t why you should be doing it, the question is why aren’t you doing it already?
If one of your regulars positively tweets or retweets, posts or shares a post on Facebook or any of the various methods of "sharing" then chances are you will pick up a few more interested parties at least willing to give you a shot. Giving your food and service the opportunity to speak for itself is the name of the game.
Doing it this way most of the hard work has been done for you. You can put menus through doors and you can advertise everywhere you wish but one friend recommendation is guaranteed to generate more interest.
Then the viral effect takes over, if those new customers tell their friends, who tell their friends, who tell...
Never before has the ability to share something great with your friends been so easy and widespread. One click of a button and your customer has informed all of the friends on their list, all of their followers, all of their groups. That’s potentially thousands of people with just one click! Those thousands tell thousands more, who tell thousands more...
So that’s our top five, but there are multiple variations on every one of them. Anything which gets your name, your reputation, your products, your logo, or your contact details out there is advertising. It’s all about calling attention to yourself, and we are living in a great time for doing that.
There will always be the traditional methods of advertising your takeaway, but the amount of free advertising opportunities around today is staggering. You can have more control over how you are seen and presented than ever before. They sky is the limit in terms of how much you want to do. If you love your takeaway business and you love its success, then you will always be trying to do more to bring in orders.
Advertising and marketing are two sides of the same coin. Advertising is bringing your brand to people’s attention; marketing is how and in what way you present your brand to them. Do both of these regularly, thoughtfully and properly, and that same coin will find its way into your till along with many more.