How to evaluate the efficiency of the restaurant communication plan?

"Let's not forget that a company is news"
Maria Laura Garcia
Ceo GlobalNews Group
In the article How to prepare the communication plan for the restaurant? Our intention was to show, not step by step, the content of a communication plan, but to highlight some ideas about how important it is for every organization to have a strategic resource like this, when it aspires to remain competitive in the market and increase value and image of the organization's brand. Playing with the space provided by the magazine, I am convinced, because I am sorry, that not all the elements were treated in the right measure, but I am satisfied to have called attention to those small details that have an impact on the client and that come to constitute essential assets or resources for the organization.
It is no secret to anyone that technological development and the emergence of digital platforms have forced organizations to seek alternatives in order to reach the public and leave traces or, at least, encourage the consumption or use of the services provided, turning to the various forms of communication in an intermediary between the company and the client, given the possibilities that in this process of technological globalization the latter has to be able to know and adapt the resources to their needs.
Television, the flat and written press, radio, internet and magazines on their various platforms are powerful mass media that become possible resources for organizations, to reach different audiences through these different very specific messages, establishing a process of interrelation between communication and the economy to respond to that less and less specific and more dispersed demand.
Faced with this situation, organizations are forced to design alternatives to be able to transgress the borders of a marketing with few resources or without cost to a promotional marketing in which investment is required. The big problem is that these organizations, not all, but many, are sometimes victims of their own ambitions and do not know how to adequately define or choose the way forward and therefore waste financial resources.
The foregoing obliges those of us who have the responsibility and the opportunity to transmit ideas for the best development of our restaurants, to alert, and the only way we now have is by showing or proposing ways that allow our colleagues to assess the impact or efficiency of their communication plans.
As part of the outline of the Strategic Communication Plan presented in the aforementioned article, I mentioned its measurement indicators, disaggregating them into four groups:
  • Physicists: they are the ones that measure the real degree of compliance with the programmed actions.
  • financial: that allow to contrast the actual execution of the budget against the initially programmed one.
  • Impact- Reports the actual number of people messages have reached
  • Of result: measures the actual number of results achieved, such as the number of visits to the website
Measure, compare or evaluate?
The evaluation of the efficiency of a communication plan does not differ much from the methods traditionally followed to measure the impact of the strategic actions that organizations follow. When we talk about the physical, financial, impact and result dimensions, we are not talking about anything other than how, once the strategic promotional action is executed, the changes in the company are perceived.
The opportunities that digital technologies provide organizations to store information in databases not only allow them to obtain information about their own organization and to identify how they influence by areas, but also allow them to store, provided they have it , information about your competitors and make Insights comparative.
In order to reach an audience, whatever the medium, you have to invest time and material and human resources. One of the many indicators to measure the success of a communication plan, according to Laura Corvalán, referred to by Gaby Fuentes in her article “Communication Plan 2.0. Strategies in the Social Network ”, from the Image and Communication Magazine of June 18, 2011, is the ROI (Return on Investment) which is nothing more than a ratio that compares the profit (or margin) obtained with the total expenses or amounts invested in an operation. This indicator is especially useful to follow the evolution of operations or to compare various investment options and the higher the result, the greater can be said to be the return on investment. Its calculation is as follows:
(((Net Income - Net Cost) / Net Cost)) * 100)))
Or what is the same
(Profit or margin produced by the investment / Amounts invested or costs) * 100
But this indicator is not the only one, depending on the type of medium used, as well as the number of instruments that can be used for the Insights of efficiency. In particular, I go first to the basics: How, once the message has been sent, has the demand for the service I promote increased, and how does the revenue behave?
Theoretically, how to evaluate the efficiency and control Compliance with the communication plan is based on four fundamental aspects, which I describe below:
1. Control of compliance with the plan: It will be carried out taking as data each of the planned actions and those actually carried out, which will allow identifying if the objectives to which they are taxed have been met. This form of evaluation, in addition to offering a quantitative reference, will allow control If those responsible for executing the tasks have performed them as planned in time and with the required quality.
In this case an example is:
Broadcast on the local channel a 45-second television spot (4 times a day) advertising the banquet service of the restaurant. The channel sets a rate per broadcast spot of $ 150.00 and clarifies in the contract that it will not be broadcast in the event of force majeure by the channel. The above action will be in correspondence with the strategic objective of the organization to increase by 25% the income from banquet services and the rental of the party room.
 The policy of restaurant It consists of offering a contract with various rates to customers for the banquet service. These rates are as follows:
  • Banquets for more than 500 pax. You do not pay for the use of the salon during the first 4 hours. Additional hours are charged at $ 0.50
  • Banquets for a range between 200 and 499 pax. The use of the room is charged at $ 2.00 per pax for the first 4 hours and $ 0.50 per additional hour.
  • Banquets for a range less than 2.00 pax pay $ 4.00 per pax for the first 4 hours and $ 1.00 per pax for each additional hour
  • Lounge rental without food and beverage service, only for more than 100 pax and $ 2.00 per customer.
In addition to food and beverage services with various offers for different prices, the restaurant guarantees as part of the service a security staff for the control of the guests and the identification of these with a handle.
The person in charge of evaluating how this action impacts the organization, may, provided he / she issues the appropriate information for taking strategic, to use all those possible indicators. In my particular case I have selected the following, which includes the last related service in the policy of the restaurant:
a) (Number of spots transmitted in the month * $ 150.00) = $. This indicator allows me to know the total expense incurred for the concept of payment to the local channel.
b) ((Number of banquets contracted from the transmission of the spot / No of banquets contracted the same period of time in which the service was not advertised on TV) * 100)) =% . This indicator will allow me to measure the impact of the spot broadcast on the public, taking as a reference the previous period in which it was not advertised.
c) ((Banquet Revenue / Total Revenue) * 100)) =%. It allows me to measure the behavior of this service on the total of the services I provide in terms of income. I can break it down and then compare income by type of service and in turn compare it with previous periods in which TV advertising was not used. For example:
The above tells me that 29.4% of the total income of the restaurant is due to the banquet service, but 34% of the total income associated with the services in which food and drinks are required to be produced and served corresponds to this item. Comparing with the previous period in which the advertising of the service was not used, information can be obtained on the impact of this service on the economic and financial results.
d) ((Banquet Revenue - (Banquet Cost + Spot Cost in the month)) = $. Here I can really know the real profit margin that the catering service provides me.
e) ((Total of banquets contracted in the month / total of spots transmitted in the month) = Times. This indicator tells me how many spots I have needed to transmit for each banquet hired.
2. Profitability Control: here the ideal is to calculate the Pyramid of Financial Ratios.
3. Efficiency Control: In this aspect, the efficiency and impact of communication expenses are evaluated. The planned budget for the communication plan is taken as a reference and compared with income
4. Strategic Control: through a communication audit, for which questionnaires will be used that will be applied to clients and workers. In the case of the former, in order to identify the means that influenced their purchase decision, and in the latter, to assess the degree of commitment of the workers to the promotional actions and in general of the organization.
It is important to point out that in the selection of indicators, it is necessary to be very precise in delimiting their InsightsThese must be proportional and consistent with the set of planned actions so that they adequately reflect the information that is sought.
Likewise, the evaluations that are made must be done independently and in the case that as a result of the evaluations that are made from interviews or surveys applied to clients and that reflect the impact of various means, the evaluations must be made means to be able to properly interpret the role of each analyzed medium and its impact within the organization.
In the particular case of having a restaurant's own website or inserting advertisements in others, the way to measure the impact of these actions will be related to the number of accesses that have been made or the clicks that have been made to each one of the paid ads on the various pages. If the online reservation option is available, it must be contrasted against the number of services that have been made and that correspond to the reservations made. Many times clients book online but they do not always use the service,
How to measure the effectiveness of our communication plan
There is no organization that does not measure the effectiveness of any operational plan that it develops by quantifying the relationships that occur between the results obtained and the planned actions. The basic formula for measuring this index is nothing more than the division between the results obtained and the planned objectives and multiplying them by 100 to obtain the corresponding percentage.
Variables that must be considered to measure the effectiveness of the communication plan.
In addition to the quantitative elements, the qualitative ones offer important information, given that they show the degree of knowledge that the brand or the service that is advertised and allow, in a certain way, to correct some flaws that are expressed through personal opinion or through empirical research methods, such as interview, survey, and even observation.
  • Recognition: when people declare having been exposed to the ad
  • Memory: the ability of people to remember the ad
  • Attitude: incidence of the advertising act on the brand.
  • Behavior: Interest shown by consumers to use the advertised services.
Efficacy measurement methods
In order to adequately measure the aforementioned variables, the person in charge of this task will evaluate the behavior of consumers before the announcement and after the announcement. To do this, it will use the Insights of the demand and the income in the restaurant that you will later compare. In communicational slang these are known as pretest and posttest.
Finally, the techniques that can be applied in the process of measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the communication plan developed by the restaurant, can be supported by the application of various indexes and psychological techniques that appear in the literature, among which are the techniques cognitive.
I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"