We’ve covered quite a bit of ground over the past few months. Our summer series intended to help restaurants of all kinds beat the summer slump that so often occurs has been consistent in its approach, while still covering a wide variety of topics. At the end of the day, it’s all about providing value for restaurants looking to increase profits.

Marketing is a funny thing though — you’ve got to spend money to make it. No matter what industry you are in, there is an inherent risk in doing so. Whether the conversation revolves around online marketing, print, radio, TV, or some other form of advertising, there isn’t going to be a guaranteed return on investment, or ROI. While that’s frustrating and anxiety-inducing for many a business owner, if it were as simple as plugging X amount of dollars into a system so that you’d be guaranteed to yield Y dollars, everyone would be doing it, and it would therefore become ineffectual.

That might seem a bit abstract, but it’s true. So where does a restaurant owner begin when it comes to determining the right marketing channels, how much to invest in each, and other budgetary considerations? Well, the internet is a great place to start, and seeing as how you’ve already made your way to this blog, you are well on your way by all indications.

Perhaps you’ve read every one of our blogs in our summer series, or maybe you happened upon this blog by typing into your smartphone something like “online ordering software for restaurants,” (for that’s the main way we help restaurants be successful) — we don’t really care. We are glad you are here because we’ll tell you a little bit about how to determine how much you should be spending on your marketing budget, in addition to what we have to offer at Online Orders Now in terms of restaurant online ordering systems. So keep reading this blog two-part blog series if you are interested in either, or both, for that matter!

Restaurant Marketing Budgeting – How Much Should You Spend?

Here’s the long and short of it — the percentage of revenue that you should be investing in marketing is probably more than you think. The yearly CMO Survey provides the following statistics, and statistics are difficult to argue with:

  • Companies that experienced 1 to 15 percent year over year spent an average of 16.5 percent of their revenue on marketing/advertising.
  • Companies that experienced 6 to 30 percent year over year spent an average of 22 percent of their revenue on marketing.
  • Companies that experienced 31 to 100 percent or more year over year spent an average of 50.2 percent of their revenue on marketing.

To be fair, statistics must be supported with appropriate context. These are all kinds of companies, not just restaurants. And yet, it takes no stretching of the imagination to understand that people won’t fill your restaurant if they don’t know it exists.

New Restaurants

If you are starting out and scraping by, we still wouldn’t recommend dipping below the 25 percent mark. But genuinely, as tough as it is to conceive of, investing between 25 and 35 percent in the appropriate range. There are plenty of factors to consider — namely how competitive of a market you are in. If you don’t have very many competitors, 25 percent might be enough to get by. But “getting by” isn’t the goal, being a popular, profitable restaurant is.

Established Restaurants

Once you get on your feet and aren’t struggling to pay your staff and the essential bills, you can cut your investment down to the region of 15 percent, as a ballpark figure. When settling on an exact percentage, it’s helpful to think about your profit margin as a determining factor. The higher your margins are, the more you should invest in advertising and marketing. For instance, if you only have a 2 percent margin, you can stay under the 15 percent threshold. If, however, you are trying to sustain yourself in a competitive region, you won’t want to dip below that 15 percent figure. It’s a lot easier to hold ground than gain traction in this industry.

Online Ordering Software By NOW

In part two of this two part series, we’ll take a look at some specific marketing channels you should be allocating budget toward. Though no two restaurants or markets are alike, there are some general guidelines each restaurant should consider if they are serious about their marketing efforts. For the remainder of today’s post, we are going to briefly highlight what implementing a food ordering system like we provide at Online Order Now can do for your restaurant’s bottom line.

Online Orders Now is your source for restaurant online ordering software. Since 2006, we’ve been on the front lines of ingenuity when it comes to providing restaurants with pioneering solutions, and our latest suite of offerings is no exception.

  • Fully Integrated with Your POS
  • Simple Yet Powerful Ordering Interfaces
  • $20,000 Additional Revenue Guarantee
  • Enthusiastic Customer Service
  • Advanced Delivery Mapping
  • Exclusive Features Like “My Way”

There are many other solutions, products, and services that we provide at Online Orders Now. For example, we provide mobile web apps, catering menus, dynamic printable menus, and online ordering websites, just to name a few. We encourage you to browse our site and learn more about the full array of benefits working with us at Online Orders Now can provide you with.


But beyond a variety of products, the most important thing we can offer restaurants is ROI. Unlike most anyone else, we are able to provide you with a “ballpark estimate.” Let’s say if you invest $15,496 in your online ordering software. Your return on the investment, with all other factors being equal for the sake of the argument, should be more or less $20,000 over six months. That’s an ROI of close to 30 percent, with a yearly ROI of 66 percent.

Now, this is just an example, and we aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of your restaurant. That being said, we don’t believe these figures are unrealistic. When you elect to go with the Guaranteed Success Plan, you receive a host of benefits along with a $20,000 Revenue Guarantee your first year. This Exclusive Revenue Guarantee states that you will earn $20,000 in one year or $60,000 in 24 months. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll cut your menu monthly fee by 50 percent until you do reach those numbers in the given timeframe.

Now, we understand that sounds like a pretty smoking deal. That’s because it is. It’s also a big decision, which is why we are more than happy to talk you through the details while we learn more about your business and the kind of online ordering software solution you are looking for.

If you are interested in learning more about our POS integrations, products, pricing, or about us ourselves at Online Orders Now, simply follow the appropriate links! If, however, you’d like to view a demo of what an Online Orders Now website looks like, feel free to do so. Contact us if you have any questions or would like to get started. We’d love to hear from you.