In the U.S., there are more than 1 million restaurants. Those restaurants all compete with the 200 million consumers who said they visited a sit-down restaurant during 2018. With all this competition, you must stand out.

Think about these facts:

  • 9 out of 10 consumers admit they look up restaurant reviews or information online before they decide to dine there.
  • Almost 8 out of 10 consumers say a peer review counts more to them than a critic’s review, and they want to see 4 stars or better.
  • More than 7 out of 10 Millennials look for meals that involve unique ingredients or foods from other cultures.
  • Almost 6 out of 10 consumers specifically look for an official restaurant website before they decide to dine there.
  • 5 out of 10 people use their smartphones in order to research places to eat.

That’s what your consumers want, what are you doing to ensure they get what they want from your restaurant? This is where event marketing is important. To draw the attention of consumers, you need to offer something your competition doesn’t and an event is an ideal place for this to happen.

Consumers do want great service, excellent food, fair prices given the quantity and quality, and a comfortable setting when they dine out. That’s not always enough to get diners to try you the first time. They may need to see exactly what you can offer them before they start spending their money in your establishment.

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is a type of experiential marketing that revolves around some type of special event. You might set up a pop-up restaurant at an outdoor concert or take part in a beer or wine festival. The goal is to create an experience for the consumer that shows what you offer and how it offers them something they won’t forget.

Taco Bell recently announced they were booking reservations for the Taco Bell resort hotel. It’s only open for four nights, so consumers flocked to the site to book a room before they were sold out. Rooms sold out in just two minutes.

While Taco Bell is a fast food chain, the unique event marketing plan caught attention. People will stay at the Palm Springs Hotel and Resort that’s being transformed into a hotel featuring Taco Bell’s foods and beverages for every meal and snack.

Other Successful Events That Delighted Diners

A grocery store in Denmark created a pop-up restaurant that tapped into something people don’t often talk about. With this event, the grocery store Irma opened up Restaurant 1:1. There was only one table for one diner. People were encouraged to feel comfortable while dining alone. Every available reservation slot was booked within 48 hours of the announcement.

Other events tie in charitable dining with a night out. Each year in Vermont, Restaurant Week allows diners to head to a participating restaurant for a special menu that provides multiple courses for a reasonable price. A portion of the proceeds collected during this week-long event goes to the Vermont Foodbank.

McDonald’s kicked off the summer with an event marketing plan that didn’t require new locations or participation in some festival or tradeshow. In June, they released a special menu featuring four items found in other countries. The International Menu featured Spain’s Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger, Canada’s Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich, the Netherland’s Stroopwafel McFlurry, and Australia’s Cheesy Bacon Fries. This event meshes well with the desire of Millennials to try foods from other countries and cultures.

Consider Your Event Marketing Plan With an Open Mind

Event marketing takes creativity. You don’t have to focus solely on events involving food. If you look at Taco Bell, they tapped into the vacation market in the peak of summer when many people travel. The resort setting appeals to the vacationer, and one thing that is important while you’re away is food. Taco Bell may not be a person’s first choice for a meal out. In this setting, it’s creative and designed to be an experience those who booked rooms won’t forget.

Factory 360 thrives when they can help a brand connect to consumers through experiences. Stop struggling to come up with ideas for an event marketing plan that makes your restaurant stand out. With offices on both the East Coast and the West Coast, you’ll find it’s easy to reach out and get the help you need. Call (212) 242-2417 to learn how to come up with a marketing plan that draws consumers to your restaurant.

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