Recently a friend contacted me about a marketing whiz he knew who was trying to start her own business, Mrs. Marketing. I met with Melissa and we hit it off right away. Don't get me wrong--I actually have a marketing degree that I got many years ago, but I'm trying to be realistic about the time factor. I will be working at least 12 hours a day, which leaves 8 hours of sleep, and then four mere hours for basic things, like doing laundry, cleaning house, and reading to and playing Lego Dimensions with the little man. This leaves me no time to sit down in front of the computer and spend more than thirty minutes a day to promote our business.
Marketing is completely underrated and under-used in so many businesses, and in the cutthroat restaurant industry, you have to get a leg up wherever you can. The 3-year restaurant failure rate is 60%, and most go out of business within their first year. That is a statistic that I want no part of. I have big plans for In the Raw Test Kitchen & Juice Bar, and the food truck is only the beginning. My dream is to have a upscale raw foods eatery in Downtown Hot Springs by next year fashioned after NYC's former Pure Food & Wine, taking our cuisine to a more sophisticated level; also to open up a juice bar; and even possibly launch a mobile soup kitchen and also a plant-based Southern restaurant (think: beans and greens, real old-school fried potatoes, homemade pepper gravy, and fresh-baked rolls, biscuits, and cornbread). Our little city has seen big improvements these last few years, with Park Avenue cleaning up its atmosphere and the downtown area seeing a surge in great little restaurants and shops and a beautiful new boutique hotel. I really see a need for plant-based dining as more Americans, especially Millennials, are adopting vegan lifestyles.
In order for my vision for our future endeavors to succeed, marketing ourselves well is absolutely necessary. In this downtime that we've had waiting on our truck to be finished, I've had the opportunity to really explore the marketing ideas I've kept in the back of my mind. Teaming up Mrs. Marketing herself with our In the Raw family has been a godsend. Melissa has the passion for marketing like no one I've ever seen, and she understands these far-fetched ideas I have in my head. She's knowledgeable and a go-getter, which is something I can really get down with. Working with her this week has given our marketing plan new life, and it's just what I needed to keep me from going nuts sitting on my hands.
In the next week, we're launching our marketing campaign, so keep an eye out for our Grand Opening event and special deals, offers, and more that we have in store for our guests.