This year, Central Savannah River Area consumers will spend $976 million in local restaurants and drinking establishments. There are hundreds of restaurants in the Augusta, Georgia area that are 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 Augusta 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, Augusta radio reaches significantly more consumers who visit restaurants than are reached by local TV, local newspaper, or social media.
Last week, for instance, 91.5% of all adults in the CSRA who visited a local restaurant, were reached by Augusta 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 CSRA 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%.
Radio Advertising Brings New Customers To Evans Restaurant
In 2016, the Robertson's sold the land where the old-fashioned, chrome airstream diner called home to the Chicken Salad Chick.
In March of 2017, Mr. Robertson and his Dad opened up That Flippin' Egg a few miles away on Washington Road. The new restaurant is an 87 seat establishment serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week.
"When we opened, we were able to bring a lot of the old regulars with us from the diner," says Mr. Robertson. "But, to make That Flippin' Egg work, we needed to bring in new customers."
To expand the restaurant's customer base, Mr. Robertson invested in advertising on Augusta radio stations.
"Almost immediately, our radio advertising started to bring in the new customers we needed," he says. How does he know?
"I knew that if our radio advertising was going to work, then we'd have to catch listeners attention. So, I came up with a phrase that I include at the end of every commercial.
Mr. Robertson estimates that on any given day, 50% of his customers are first-time visitors. "The majority of these customers, still, to this day, say they learned about us on the radio."
Although Mr. Robertson has added online marketing and social media to his advertising mix, his biggest marketing investment is still in radio.
"We advertise on eight Augusta radio stations every month," he says, "and it more than pays for itself."
"Our average check is about $18," he explains. "I know because of our great food and value, 30-40% of our new customers will come back again-and-again. Based on the number of customers our radio ads bring in we are getting an excellent return on our investment."
Mr. Robertson believes that any CSRA small business can benefit from advertising on Augusta radio stations.
"Don't hesitate," he advises. "Invest in radio advertising and you will see results. We knew our commercials were working pretty much off the bat."
Listeners in the CSRA will continue to hear That Flippin' Egg's commercials every month. "If we kill our radio advertising," says Mr. Robertson, "we will kill our business."
More Advertising Advice For CSRA Small Business Owners
- Recruitment Advertising: How To Find White-Collars In The CSRA
- Why CSRA Small Business Owners Skip Advertising On Pandora and Spotify
- CSRA Business Owners Recruit Blue-Collar Workers On Augusta Radio
- Advertising On Augusta Radio Puts A CSRA Small Business On The Map