We are in a day and age where people continuously seek thrills, new experiences and the sensation of the unknown. Gone are the days when monotony was prized or even celebrated. Now, it appears that everyone is seeking the next best thing.
When it comes to restaurants, especially, guests search for locations that offer unique food, a comfortable ambiance, and only the best customer service. If you have a restaurant and you have considered stepping up and showcasing a new and exciting proposition of a restaurant pop-up, then congratulations! You have certainly taken steps in the right direction while leaning into innovation.
Part of you may wonder whether this endeavor is worth the risk. However, studies have found that among the reasons for patronizing pop-ups, one of the reasons is to find new and unique products (39%), to shop locally (36 percent) and to benefit from great prices (34 percent). Additionally, 20% of customers who shop at pop-ups decide to do so to share experiences.
The market has changed regarding what people spend their money on in recent years. Spending money on clothes, for example, has received a frivolous portrayal, and its share of total consumer spending has declined by 20 percent this century. Since 2005, sales of food services and drinking places have nearly tripled as customers have changed their focus on where they spend their cash.
So, if you were on the fence about how soon you should plan a pop-up restaurant, the answer is now. To have a successful endeavor, however, you must heavily implement extreme and exceptional marketing efforts to start and end your pop-up with a splash.
How To Successfully Do Pop-up Marketing
In this article, we will look into 7 ways to successfully market a pop-up in 2023.
Go All In
The first decision you must make when marketing your pop-up is to go all in. Pop-ups are known for their unique and priceless experience. Next, consider what you will offer in your pop-up restaurant experience. What will you be offering that is new and attractive to customers?
What makes your pop-up different than just an everyday experience? Then, zone your marketing efforts in on what makes it unique.
Currently, people are excited about pop-ups and are ready and waiting for the next experience. In the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 “What’s Hot” chef’s survey, pop-up restaurants were named the sixth most popular restaurant trend.
Decide how you will wow these customers, then go all in. For example, if you are hosting your
pop-up restaurant at a bar, make a specific and branded menu just for the event. Create unique signs that showcase your pop-up. Merge styles and ideas for the menu with your venue.
No one wants to go to a pop-up that looks like someone just set up shop there because they had nowhere else to go. If it’s a themed pop-up, invest in décor, set up trendy photo sessions and make your restaurant pop-up something to talk about so people will spread the word.
Start Marketing at Least 7 Months in Advance
Planning a pop-up should not be something you decide to put together at the last minute. Just as you prepare for unexpected events by having a lawyer you can call, so should you plan for an event you are putting together months ahead of time. Coordinating a venue, marketing the event exceptionally well beforehand, and the entire planning process takes a reasonable amount of time.
Tease customers with small tidbits about your pop-up along the way to entice them and create excitement for the event.52% of CEOs believe that event marketing delivers a higher ROI than any other marketing channel, so know that the sooner you start marketing, the better.
Once you have secured your venue, add teasers on social media about the event space, then a special menu item and so forth, just so customers will be enticed to visit your pop-up event,
Invest in Good Software
Having software to create a promotional campaign will set your pop-up up for success. Posist’s platform includes a promotional campaign aspect that allows you to create discount offers and promotions for your pop-up.
Additionally, having a multi-management location, vendor management, menu management and
staff management all in one place will facilitate the creation of a pop-up. Posist is an exceptional software option that is exclusive to restaurants, so you really do not want to miss out on all the ease it will provide.
Having a good tool stack to turn to can help for any campaign you are working on. For example, you could use one of many push notification platforms to notify website visitors that you are running a promotional offer or having a pop-up.
Know Timing Is Everything
When creating your marketing plan, make a timeline for how your marketing will begin and end. For example, if you plan the event seven months in advance, plan on adding teasers monthly for the first few months, then slowly increase the ads until you are full-force marketing the event in the few weeks prior. You should plan on heavily marketing your campaign for a full six weeks before your event.
As you slowly ease into your campaign, build an engagement strategy to connect with your future customers and get them excited and anticipating the pop-up event. Ensure that your restaurant website is top-notch, implement great SEO practices, and be prepared for an uptick in social media and website visits. Engaged customers will be looking for future posts and really be invested by the time your marketing campaign is ongoing, so ensure everything is running smoothly beforehand.
Lean into the Power of Email
Although some marketers feel like email is a fading strategy, 64% of B2B marketers say their email marketing strategy was effective for meeting business goals in 2021. That is a pretty significant statistic that cannot be ignored.
A good email campaign will create results. Marketing your upcoming restaurant pop-up with emails is sure to bring success. Even something as small as mentioning your upcoming pop-up in your monthly newsletter is a good practice for keeping your customer abreast of the upcoming event.
If you are looking for the best way to implement an email campaign, Posist CRM marketing teams can set automation to communicate with customers through emails, so the program provides an excellent way to market your pop-up through email.
Focus on Social Media
It should go without saying that social media should be one of your primary marketing strategies for a pop-up restaurant. In 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost six billion in 2027. In addition, the latest statistics show that Facebook continues to reign strong, with 2.93 billion active users in 2022.
Choosing not to use social media in your marketing campaign would mean missing out on an inordinate number of users. Be sure to include a good chunk of your marketing budget for boosted ads, sponsored posts and other paid venues of social media advertising to reach an incredible clientele.
Don’t Go Cheap on Photos
When considering your social media marketing budget, be sure to invest in high-quality photos. Social media is bombarded with images, so you want to bring awareness to your event by featuring beautiful dishes or plates that will attract customers to your pop-up.
Have a Good Social Media Timeline
Market your pop-up heavily in the first six weeks before the event, insanely during and frequently after the event. Create dishes and drinks you are certain to be posted on Instagram by customers who crave specialty foods and genius presentations.
Make You Pop-up Picture Worthy
Every aspect of your pop-up should be worth taking a photo. Customers are there because they want to experience something special and unique. Many customers also want the opportunity to post on social media about the event so make sure that every factor of your pop-up has a wow feature to it.
Understand What Makes Pop-ups So Attractive
People are actively seeking experiences. The current generation is saving money to have experiences instead of just widgets or gadgets. The days when purchasing items and having gadgets are slowly fading and being overtaken by the need for an exceptional experience. This directly influences buying decisions in almost every industry, specifically 74% in restaurants.
People want to enjoy an atmosphere where they feel special and well served. Therefore, ensure that you provide excellent customer service at all moments throughout your pop-up event. Shockingly, 54% of U.S. consumers say customer experience at most companies needs improvement. Make sure your pop-up does not fall under that statistic by having the best service at your pop-up.
Pairing excellent customer service with the unique experience of a pop-up will ensure a spectacular event that customers will be buzzing about for weeks afterward.
Final Thoughts on How to Successfully Market a Pop-up in 2023
We are in a day and age where people are continuously seeking the thrill of unique experiences. A specialty pop-up restaurant that serves exclusive food and has an original concept will bring awareness to your brand through all the buzz around your event. 74% of consumers say that engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the promoted products, or in this case, visiting the promoted restaurant.
Know that the positive outcome is not just based on how many people attend your event but on how the event will impact your restaurant after the fact. Once customers have experienced a unique pop-up, they will be thirsting for more experiences and more of your excellent customer service and food.
Prepare to market for your pop-up event and your restaurant after the fact. The more opportunity you have to bring awareness to your brand, the better, and a pop-up is a perfect opportunity to do so.
Guest posted by Freya Laskowski
Freya creates content related to marketing, sales, and growing businesses. She is a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Business Insider, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, and the Huffington Post. She also owns CollectingCents- a personal finance blog that she grew from the ground up. You can reach out to her at [email protected]