(By Charlie Sislen) As a new year begins, we can breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 is behind us. Many businesses were shuttered, never to reopen. Some industries may be changed forever. However, others will evolve – new sprouts may grow where an old forest once stood. This is where radio stations can make lemonade from lemons.
One industry hit particularly hard in 2020 was restaurants. According to Bloomberg, 110,000 – or one in every six – eateries have closed since the pandemic began. As vaccinations start to make their way into the arms of Americans, people will return to previous habits, including dining out. Unfortunately, that does nothing for restaurants that were forced to close permanently.
What does this mean? New eateries will begin to open. Smart business people will take advantage of the population’s desire to eat out again. However, these new businesses do not have an established brand or reputation. To use a cooking term, they are starting from scratch. In response to communities that have a pent-up demand to eat out, these businesses will need to promote awareness that they are open for business. Radio advertising will be key.
Local radio can make a pivotal difference for new local restaurants. What can you do to support these businesses and help get the word out to the public?
Radio sales teams need to be proactive. They need to build a tailored plan to help these restaurants take advantage of new opportunities. Start by asking:
- Do your listeners live or work near a new restaurant’s location?
- How can you create a splash for their grand opening?
- Does their style or cuisine have a special appeal to your listeners?
- Can you build a long-term partnership that is profitable for both parties?
Many entrepreneurs will invest everything they have in a new venture. You need to provide them with fresh and powerful ideas that will have both a short- and long-term impact. Most importantly, it must get the message out and help them to start building a brand.
It is unfortunate that so many restaurants did not survive 2020. But from loss grows opportunities. As marketers, you can help new businesses build a plan so that they will not only survive, but also thrive.
Local radio can help local restaurants.
Does your team need help crafting professional, persuasive pitches to bring in these new clients? Please reach out to us here to find out how we can help.
Charlie Sislen is a partner at Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-956-0363 or by e-mail at [email protected]. This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.