I have been a restaurant owner and a restaurant and small business consultant for more than 15 years, and I’ve seen a lot of restaurants succeed (and, sadly, fail). When clients and colleagues ask me what the secrets of successful restaurant marketing are, I can boil them down to three marketing mantras:
• Focus on the customer (thus my book series title, Win Win Marketing).
• Keep trying many different marketing methods, measuring each to identify the ones that work and scrapping the ones that don’t.
• Don’t forget the basics.
So, while many of my colleagues are expounding on social media, Facebook and all sorts of other new technologies (deservedly so, since these are powerful methods to start understanding and using), I feel that there is a need to remind restaurant owners about the marketing basics. I have worked with or seen so many businesses that have skipped or neglected the restaurant marketing basics that every restaurant should have in place. These are the quick-to-implement, relatively inexpensive activities that are highly effective for all restaurants. I’m speaking of comment cards and referral programs, frequency cards and special occasions, creative campaigns to fill down times and partnering programs with neighboring businesses.
My personal/professional mission is to make sure restaurants are capitalizing on these tried-and-true restaurant marketing basics. So in this blog I’ll be leaving all the latest gadgets and schemes to the others and instead will focus on showing you (or reminding you of) the restaurant marketing basics that I have seen come back with the highest returns on investment again and again. I believe in a strong community of restaurant owners and food industry professionals, so I invite your comments, thoughts and suggestions along the way.
Looking forward to helping you become more successful in your business,