This year, Southwest Florida consumers will spend $1.8 billion in local restaurants and drinking establishments. There are thousands of restaurants from Marco Island to Port Charlotte hungry for a bite of that cash.
Unfortunately, many of the restaurants that are here today will be gone tomorrow. According to FSR, a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, 60% of restaurants fail within their first year. Eighty percent never make it to their fifth anniversary.
CBI Insights studies why small business owners, such as local restaurants, fail. Reason number eight is poor marketing and advertising. Good food and friendly service are not enough to make a cash register ring.
“Think you have a great product?” asks the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Unfortunately, no one’s going to know about it unless you advertise.” The SBA goes on to say, “Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business."By any metric, the best way to advertise a restaurant is on Fort Myers radio, here's why.
Nielsen recently conducted a study to determine which elements of an advertising campaign have the greatest effect on sales. The most important component is the message itself.
A second crucial element, though, was how many different consumers actually heard the message. This is what advertising professionals call reach.
It turns out that reach is more potent than branding, targeting, and recency.
Percent Sales Contribution by Advertising Element
Of all local media, Fort Myers radio reaches significantly more consumers who visit restaurants than are reached by local TV, local newspaper, or social media.
Last week, for instance, 89% of all adults who visited a local restaurant, were reached by Fort Myers radio. No other medium came close.
Radio was the dominant medium for every type of restaurant, regardless if the establishment was quick-service or sit-down.
Most importantly, for any restaurant owner, radio is the key advertising medium used by SWFL consumers who not only dine out, but who dine out often.
Regardless of the number of seats a restaurant has or it's location or the type of cuisine it serves, to beat the odds of surviving an eating establishment must advertise. The big chains like McDonald's and Pizza Hut plow 3% of every receipt back into its advertising budget.
For local business owners, however, the SBA suggests that newer businesses should invest 10-12% of sales back into advertising, while more established operations should invest 6-8%.
Fort Myers Radio Drives Rapid Growth Of Local Restaurant
Biggy's Place is a 164-seat restaurant serving breakfast and lunch in Fort Myers. Since new owners took over the location just over five years ago, sales have increased an astonishing 65%.
"We've grown every year since we started," says Bob Bigelow (aka Biggy) who now owns the restaurant along with his wife, Dawn. "Advertising on Fort Myers radio has been a large, large part of our growth."
"Three months after we took over the restaurant, we began investing hot-and-heavy into our radio advertising," he says. "I've been involved in marketing for over 37 years, but I have never been as overwhelmed by the response to our current advertising. Almost every day a new customer will tell us they learned about us on Fort Myers radio."
To illustrate this last point, Mr. Bigelow recalls a very successful small business owner that works just up the street from Biggy's Place. "He drove by us almost every day but never knew we were here," he says. "Until one day, when he heard our commercial on a Fort Myers radio station. Now, he and his father come into our restaurant four times a week for lunch."
Mr. Bigelow says, "Every small business in Fort Myers and Naples can make radio advertising work just like us. I recommend setting aside 6% of every sale to use for marketing. But the real key is to stick with it. You must promote…promote…promote. If a business does not begin to see results after about three months, then the problem isn't radio, it is a problem with the message. I learned that with Dominos, and I learned that at Biggy's Place."
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