Restaurant marketing is absolutely the best, easiest and most rewarding all types of marketing.
Chuck greets you and says: “Hi Mike! I haven’t seen you for a while! Where have you been? You won’t believe the new copy machines we have at the store! They are twice as fast as last year’s model. They come in four colors and since I know you, I can get you a special discount.”
Chet greets you and says: “Hi Mike! It’s been a while. How are you doing? Are you going to be in the area next week? Why don’t you drop in for lunch? We have a new unbelievably delicious dessert. In fact, when you stop in, let me know so I can buy you dessert? I would not want you to leave without trying it. Will you come and visit me?”
It you were to listen to either of the conversations, the first scenario sounds like a quick pitch and the second sounds like an invitation to experience pleasure. Watch the face of someone who is having a food experience described to them in advance. (Especially when they are hungry.)
Restaurant marketing is not only enjoyable; it is something to be thankful for. As the millions are reminded to be thankful, food will be at the center of the occasion and restaurants will be serving five minute bites.
I love restaurant marketing because restaurants are one of the very few businesses which touch the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. If there was a sixth sense, it might be “anticipation”. People anticipate the experience before the first bite is taken. Restaurant marketing invites folks to experience pleasure like no other business since all five senses can be literally dominated and influenced.
I love restaurant marketing because the benefits are personal. Beyond the five senses and health benefits of food, each person takes their food experience very personally. This can be a negative for a marginal operation. If a restaurant team understands the impact of this personalized attitude, they can leverage the moments into the ultra-experience.
I love restaurant marketing because of the human condition. Since people wake up hungry and the thought of food is one of the first of the day, there is an automatic audience. It is not a matter of if someone is hungry enough to eat; it is a matter of when and how often. Everyone eats. While a restaurant will focus on a cuisine, or day part or possibly even an age group, no scientific study is needed to know that people eat.
I love restaurant marketing because the benefits are emotional. When invited to be a guest at a restaurant and they are treated like friend, family or royalty, the ego can be stroked. Making the guest feel like family, friend or royalty is free.
I love restaurant marketing because it is easier to create “magic marketing”. You know when this occurs. It is when you have busy nights, increased sales, more large groups and you can’t quite put your finger on why. It seems to be “magic” since it does not appear to have a direct cause and effect.
Everything about a restaurant sends a message and leaves an impression. It is not just the logo and menu which is restaurant marketing; it is also the team and the connection to the community.
It matters little whether you are a restaurant manager, a restaurant owner or a middle manager in a larger organization. I would make a bet that you have it wrong. Restaurant marketing gives opportunity to change lives, ensure smiles, influence health and well being. Restaurant marketing invites people to celebrate, to share lives with people they love and create memories of a lifetime.
As you use tools to evaluate the performance of your operations, think about whether you have anyone on the team who believes that restaurant marketing is not just a series of tasks
Be thankful for those crazy people who love restaurant marketing and believe the restaurant business is more than just a plate and fork in one hand and a checklist in the other.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how a survey company does more than simply measure results related to tasks but also of heart? Add one or more of these questions to a mystery shopper’s survey:
- How many on the team appeared to have “Heart & Soul”
- Are there enthusiastic restaurant marketing activities in the restaurant?
- Which staff member would you say would give you are reason to return?
- Do you feel appreciated?
- Do you feel important?
- Do you feel special?
- Will you return? How soon?
What you are looking for in a restaurant survey is NOT the number of negatives that exist. (Though these do highlight what more can be done.) Use a survey tool to note those who are standing out in a positive way.
If you are hoping to avoid “marketing” because you love cooking, think instead of it like having a party at your home. You get people to the party by extending invitations. Even if you don’t love marketing, you will certainly invite people to experience your awesome cooking.