We often suggest investing in marketing for your restaurant through email and social media or hosting promotions and customer appreciation events. Marketing might seem expensive, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re throwing money down the drain. In fact, when done correctly, you should be seeing a return on your investment (ROI). But the only way to know your ROI is to measure your campaigns. Once you do that, you can determine which initiatives are the most effective (and worth reinvesting in) and how to improve the less profitable efforts.
Measuring the success of a promotion or marketing tactic starts with tracking everything and dropping the data into two categories—your costs and returns. Costs includes all the time, money and labor you put into preparing for your promotion.
When calculating the returns, look at gross sales during the event, the number of bookings you had, the number of transactions and any press mentions. You can also look at the reviews you gained during this time period.
Don’t forget initiative-specific data points like ticket sales for events, coupons collected, codes scanned, click-through and open rates for emails, and engagement on social.
The tracking lifecycle
One of the most common mistakes that restaurant owners make is that they start tracking too late. If you start tracking during or after the event, your data won’t be very useful because you’ll have nothing to compare it to. If you’re planning an event on a Tuesday night, track the number of transactions and gross sales on Tuesdays in the weeks leading up to the event. That way, you’ll know if your event moved the needle. If you’re running a discount for two weeks, track sales in the weeks leading up to the promotion period to see if it made a difference.
How to track your marketing initiatives
One of the simplest ways to track the success of an event or campaign is with an excel spreadsheet. You can also use tools like those offered by Bar Business Owner. With social media and email, the systems you’re using should have built in analytics, so you won’t have to worry about tracking.
If you’re running a special promotion, consider adding a code to your POS system for easy tracking. Whenever possible, ask people to bring in the coupon or have your staff scan codes on customers’ phones. It allows for clean tracking and avoids customers using the same coupon twice.
Don’t forget to analyze
Once you’ve collected your data, compare the profits from various marketing initiatives to determine if they’re worth trying again and identify which are the most valuable. If an event was somewhat successful but your staff had takeaways on ways to improve it in the future, that’s worth exploring too.
You can also send out a survey to guests to get feedback on ways to improve your promotion and learn why they did or didn’t like a particular event.
As you’re analyzing things, be sure to look beyond sales. If the discount offered cancelled out the profits you would have made, the promotion might still be worth it if you acquired a slew of new customers.
Need help tracking your promotions? The experts at Accel are ready to help our gaming locations! Leave a comment below and we will reach out to you as soon as we can!