Marketing within a school might seem intimidating at first. However, there is no one way to market your business. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Host fundraisers in your establishment. Many restaurants have a school night where a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the school. Another option is to cater school lunch. This could be for Teacher Appreciation Week or professional inservice days. It doesn’t just have to be for the teachers or administrators. Catering meals for the school athletes on game days, supplying food for concession stands, or for graduations are also great alternatives. Many of these events take place at the school. Being mindful of when they occur is important. So, pay attention to the school calendar and list of events.
2. Parent Clubs
Booster Club and PTO often meet frequently to discuss upcoming events and activities. Offer to provide the food for an upcoming meeting. Parents are the decision makers -- they will remember the kind gesture and might repay you with future business.
3. Reading Superstars
Getting a child to read is grueling work. Some enjoy it more than others. Pitch the idea of “Reading Superstars” to the school principal. Every child will receive a bookmark with spaces to write down the names of books that they read. For every x amount of books that a child reads, they can return the bookmark to your restaurant and receive a free kids’ item.
4. Encourage Convenience
The first few weeks of school are a hectic time for families. They are coming off a few months of no time commitments. Reestablishing the routine can be time-consuming. Offer “back-to-school” special pricing for family meals. Prepare these meals and have them ready for curbside pickup to promote convenience.
5. Parents’ Day Out
As mentioned above, back to school is a busy time of the year for everyone involved. Provide parents with a day where they can come in and receive special treatment. Offer some sort of deal or pricing during certain hours of the day for the first few weeks of school.
6. Grade Rewards Program
Students who consistently receive good grades are often looked over, as it is expected of them. However, provide a special program for these students so that their efforts are rewarded. Bring in a report card with A’s and B’s and receive a free kids’ item. This will also entice those who might not be interested in school to try harder so that they can also be rewarded.
7. Loyalty Program
Customers are more likely to stay with brands if they are being rewarded. Consider establishing a loyalty program for your most loyal customers --- as a way to give back and appreciate their loyalty.
8. Student ID Discounts
This goes without much explanation. If high school or college students show their valid student ID, they receive a small discount on their entire purchase.
9. Social Media
Social media usage is higher than it has ever been. Use this to your advantage and increase brand awareness across social media platforms. Instagram and Snapchat are among the most popular social media platforms with students and younger individuals. Whereas Facebook and Twitter are more popular with parents and older individuals.
10. Local School Advertising
Promote your business through the school community. Most school yearbooks offer sections for purchase. Advertise your business in yearbooks, in school papers and on websites.
These are just some of the ways that one could market within a school setting. Ultimately you know your business the best. Make the decisions that best suit your goals.