You have the best recipes, the freshest ingredients, and the perfect location. Why isn’t anyone coming to your restaurant? If you think part of the issue might be your marketing campaign, it’s time to look at your product market fit and whether you can revamp how you’re telling people about your product.
What’s a Product Market Fit?
Why do people come to your restaurant, and why do people pick other restaurants over yours? Answering these two questions lets you understand your product market fit. As a small business owner, you create products; these might be warm burritos, freshly baked bread, or vintage spaghetti sauce. The market is who you’re trying to cater to and how much they want your product. If you’re the only Italian restaurant within three miles, customers want your product. If there are 10 other such restaurants nearby, your product — even if it’s delicious — doesn’t command the same influence. Your goal is to have a product that fits the market you want to cater to.
The Importance of Finding the Right Fit
The right product market fit drives your marketing campaign. Before you can decide how to brand your company, you have to know what you want to be known for. This is directly impacted by your target market and the products you’re able to give them. A company’s vegan and dairy-free menu might not mean anything to a pack of carnivores, for example, but building a campaign toward people with allergies or strong moral preferences can make for an effective message.
Tailoring Your Restaurant’s Message
A simple way to change your product market fit is to change the way people think about your restaurant. You don’t have to change anything on your menu. Instead, craft a marketing plan that changes your market. If you’re competing against 10 other authentic Italian restaurants, think about a market you can cater to that’s different. Is your menu more affordable? Do you have more experienced staff? Are you able to pull off a meal that nobody else can? Whenever you promote your company, send a message that speaks to a market that’s bound to listen. If you’re trying to promote a product with a poor product market fit, it doesn’t matter how good your food is — the message is ineffective, because it’s not tailored.
Defining Your Clientele Base/Demographic
Before designing your marketing message, make sure you know who you’re talking to. Instead of promoting your restaurant to everyone, focus on small groups with things in common. This may help you realize new market opportunities to make products for. If nobody’s serving gluten-free Italian meals, for example, any new item you make of that kind could be a perfect product market fit.
Leverage Internal and External Information
It’s pretty easy to find the market that enjoys your menu the most. Just use QuickBooks reporting to see how much you’re spending on different types of advertising. Does the medium you’re spending money on make sense for the types of people you’re trying to feed? Are you spending more money on advertising but not seeing any results? Keep a constant eye on the costs and benefits of your marketing plan, and adjust how you promote your product if your product market fit isn’t as strong as it could be.
If you’ve got the best food but no customers, that means you haven’t thought out your product market fit or aren’t promoting it correctly. Think about who you want filling your booths, what your target market looks like, and how to get your food on their minds and into their bellies.