The Secret to Maximizing Your Sales
Widespread name recognition is one of the top reasons people enter the franchise business. Nationally known chains have built-in marketing machines behind them that drive awareness and brand loyalty. But your franchisor’s efforts shouldn’t be where your quick-serve restaurant’s marketing begins and ends.
Local store marketing or neighborhood marketing involves engaging customers at the location level, where relationships and loyalty are formed. Nate remembers a client with exceptional sales numbers far beyond the norm. When Nate asked how he did it, the client explained that he offered free softserve cones to children with each order. The kids did the marketing for him, pushing their parents to choose his restaurant over others.
Not all franchise agreements allow that level of flexibility, but there are many other local store marketing strategies that too few franchisees use. Paid search is among the most effective local marketing strategies. Local search can pinpoint users within a specific region or zip code, better capturing the attention of many people who search for terms like “restaurants near me.”
Social media is another area many franchisees neglect. Often, owners assume the national social media presence is enough. While franchise-wide campaigns can generate buzz, people like to know what’s happening near them. Paid search on platforms like Facebook or Instagram can prove fruitful, but simply having a well-maintained page is also surprisingly effective. People tune in when you have quality content with regular and relevant updates.
Reputation management is also crucial. Start with local listings on search engines and pages like Yelp. Your address, phone number, website, and hours of operation should always be accurate, or you risk losing potential customers to frustration.
Even more important are your online reviews. Low ratings drive away new customers, so someone must monitor and respond to customer complaints and compliments. Some brands handle this at the franchise level, but most leave it up to local franchisees. Ignoring it will harm your restaurant more than you realize.
Maximum effectiveness for local store marketing requires understanding your customer base. These strategies work best when you know who your diners are, what they want, and where they get information. Once armed with that information, your neighborhood marketing campaign practically creates itself.