December 20, 2019

Proximity Marketing

If you are a restaurant owner, you must be thinking how you can market to the people around you. While most restaurant owners think that they should market to locals, others think that they should market to people who are passing by. Marketing to people who are passing by is called proximity marketing.

Proximity marketing can be powerful because the people you are marketing to are in a position where there is the highest chance of entering your restaurant, literally. They are probably within 2 buildings from your restaurant.

So how do you communicate with these people while they are that close to your restaurant so you have the highest chance of getting them as a customer? There are many different ways. Some ways are considered very guerilla while others are more discrete. Some require more resources while others require no resources at all, just a use of your strategic mind.

Below I am going to go through some of the ways that restaurants can execute proximity marketing so that they can maximize the chance that they get people who are walking by as their customers.

First I must say that if we are to go over these options of proximity marketing, we must first look at the range of how far proximity marketing can reach, and which strategy is best for each range. For example, if you wanted to get people who are directly outside your restaurant to come inside your restaurant, you can have your staff stand outside to try to sell people to come inside. You can also have a sign outside your restaurant that lets people know your specials for the day. However, these strategies wouldn’t work for people that are a block away. For marketing to people that are a block away, you would most likely hire a sign spinner that can point people in the direction of your restaurant.

  1. Driving Distance (5mi) – Getting people to drive to your restaurant wouldn’t apply to proximity marketing. This is more of a destination marketing idea where you get people to plan to go to your restaurant. Proximity marketing relies mostly on impulse decision making. We’ll talk about getting people to drive to your restaurant in our destination marketing writeup. The writeup talks about how people do research and plan some kind of group outing when it comes to destination decisions.
  2. Biking Distance (2mi) – There are many biking cities in the world. You might be in one which could be a good thing or a bad thing for your restaurant. The good thing is that if someone is thinking about wanting your delightful food and experience, they can bike there easily whereas they couldn’t walk there as easily. On the other hand, this puts them within reach of many other of your competitors where they can literally bike anywhere they want and access any restaurant they could be thinking of. So how do you convince people within biking distance? We also cover this in our destination marketing writeup.
  3. Walking Distance (1mi) – Dense city environments call for lots of walking. People know that they have to walk to get somewhere and they are very willing to do it. If they are thinking of your restaurant and how it would make them feel for that day, there’s no doubt that they will get their workout in before gaining the calories back in your restaurant. But how do you reach brand new customers that have never heard about your to walk to your restaurant? This is also in our destination marketing writeup.
  4. Within 4 Blocks
  5. Within 1 Block
  6. Directly In Front

If you want to market to people who are directly in front of your restaurant, you should definitely have great signage outside of your restaurant which displays your resturant’s branding as

After you’ve implemented these strategies, you are now optimized to get people who are nearby your restaurant actually into your restaurant. From here, you want to make sure that each guest has the best experience inside your restaurant. There are so many cause and effect variables from within the restaurant that lead to great free marketing for your restaurant. This type of marketing is called four walls marketing, where you focus on the elements within the four walls of your restaurant so that your customer leaves your restaurant as a happy camper and tells his/her friends and family all about their great experience.

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Wilson Muh


Wilson Muh

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