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H O W T O D E F I N E
A N D A P P E A L T O A
T A R G E T C U S T O M E R
B A S E
P H I L I P W A R D
N O T E V E R Y O N E L I K E S T H E F O O D :
NOT EVERYONE WILL LIKE YOUR FOOD.
For those restaurateurs battling through their first few years losing even a
handful of patrons can be nerve-wracking; after all, according to a study
conducted by researchers at Cornell, as many as 59% of restaurants shutter their
storefronts within their first three years of business.
FOR HOPEFUL ENTREPRENEURS WHO INVESTED
MONTHS - IF NOT YEARS - OF THEIR LIVES IN
BUILDING WHAT THEY HOPED WOULD BE A
SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANT, THIS DEFEAT CAN
HOWEVER, THIS DISMISSAL IS EASILY
AVOIDABLE IF A SAVVY RESTAURATEUR
MARKETS THEIR FOOD EFFECTIVELY TO THEIR
DEFINED TARGET AUDIENCE.
BEFORE OPENING - OR EVEN PURCHASING - A
LOCATION, ASPIRING RESTAURANTS NEED TO
ASK THEMSELVES THE FOLLOWING
WHAT IS THE
DEMOGRAPHIC OF MY
Are your prospective customers
teenagers? Families? Upper-middle-
class businessmen and women out for
a fancy dinner?
You will need to narrow your target
customer base to determine your
menu, pricing, and marketing strategy.
DOES MY LOCATION
SUIT MY TARGET
The client base that the entrepreneur wants
isn’t always the same as the one the
entrepreneur gets. For example, if a cafe
targeting business professionals is
geographically closer to the local high
school than to any corporate buildings, its
owners may find themselves needing to
shift their menu offerings from paninis and
lattes to milkshakes and burgers to stay in
business. Save yourself the scramble by
setting up shop in an area with a dense
population of your target consumers.
WILL MY PRICES AND
PROMOTIONS APPEAL TO
MY TARGET CUSTOMER
If you intend to sell burgers to teenagers,
you shouldn’t charge $30 a plate. Think
about the financials of your target
demographic; what can they afford? A buy-
5-get-1-free punch card is appropriate for a
coffee house, but a steakhouse might be
better rewarded offering a free appetizer to
customers who spend over $50. Consider
what your consumer base will be able to pay
within the context of your establishment,
and work within what you would expect their
budgets to be!