Awesome Restaurant Marketing Ideas!

Minimum Wage Busters: Robot Cooks a Burger

Cooking robots is not news. 50 years ago automated machines cooked hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries and even make a milkshake.  The engineers of AMF's Central Research Labs in Stamford, CT invented automated foodservice. This entertaining film (circa 1964) describes a pilot operation for the then-burgeoning fast-food industry.

AMF's Orbis system (shown here) pioneered the concept of electronic ordering, price tabulation, and inventory management in foodservice. Today that is the standard worldwide. However, AMF's Orbis system went further; it electronically controlled the machinery that prepared, cooked, and packaged the food items. AMF's automated beverage dispensers (also shown here) are today common at the "drive-through windows" of many fast-food operations.

Topics: Labor Budget Technology Leadership

Low Tech Restaurant Marketing


Restaurant marketing with low tech is very effective.  With tools as simple as "a card, a pen and a friend", you can have a very high rate of return.

The downside for personalized marketing is that it takes time. 

Compare two marketing options:

  • 20,000 fliers distributed with a 1% redemption = 200 responses.
  • 2,000 personalized cards with a 15% redemption =300 responses.

How this will pay off in sales dollars will depend on the average transaction amount and if there are discounts included.

Topics: Guerrilla Marketing Leadership Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Restaurant District Managers - Failures, Faults and Conflicts

Restaurant district managers have a perpetual tug-of-war from all directions.  The role can be as rewarding as it can be a curse.  Restaurant managers are not typically in love with the idea of a floating boss who participates from a distance.  Companies can be known to be distrustful of district managers since they have so much freedom of choice.  Too much freedom corrupts.

Topics: Restaurant Management HR Leadership Training

Dead Man Walking

In at least four scenarios during my 30 year career, you would have called me a “Dead Man Walking”.  This was the direct result of 70+ hour weeks working in the restaurant business.  The restaurant business was not to blame, nor were my immediate supervisors; it was much more related to a mindset for creating success.

Topics: Restaurant Management Restaurant Consultant Leadership

I Want to be a Restaurant Manager

This is a true story about an assistant manager who worked hard, followed directions well and aspired to be a restaurant manager.  She worked in my district under a general manager who had years of experience but lacked the typical “get up and go”.

Topics: Leadership Human Resources Management

Make Your Own Restaurant Rule Book

A large restaurant company will have a book of rules which is so thick that no one is able to remember page 234 or what is supposed to happen every 89 days on leap years.  The restaurateur with one or two locations may not have a rule book which leaves the staff with no direction and no expectations. 

Topics: Restaurant Marketing Restaurant Management Leadership

More than a paycheck

To be a successful leader you must understand the basic human needs and meet them well.   

Topics: Leadership Human Resources

“Do - Overs”

As each month comes to an end, are you calling “Overs”?  Do you hope for a “Do Over”?

  • “Overs” – I wish I had not hired that person.
  • If only the money I gave that salesperson was still in the bank.
  • What if I hadn’t told that employee angry words?
  • What if I had not skipped over the profit & loss reports?
  • Why did I not listen to those guests who said “bad food”?
  • When did the morale begin to slip so badly?  Can we go back?
  • Let’s go back in time and do the maintenance on the equipment (Now that it’s broke down.)
  • Yes, working 65 hours a week is a lot, but I did it for us honey. Please don’t divorce me.
  • Doctor, you don’t understand.  There is no one else who can do what I do.  I have to work more!
  • Sure, it seems obvious now that when competition opens next door that it would be tougher.
  • The franchisor said “Do it”, so I did.  Now I wish I hadn’t.
  • If only I had not let my personal feeling get in the way of firing that employee.
  • That guest blog I wrote six months ago was lame.  I wish I could un-write it. 
  • How much time did I waste on what everyone else said was important? Now I wish I hadn’t.
  • If only I had taken a more long term strategic approach with marketing my business online.
  •  If we had used a mystery shopping service all year, we could have had better result.  “Overs”.

Topics: Restaurant Management Leadership

Which Marketing Plan to Choose: The Waiting Game or The CopyCat

Having a copycat marketing plan in place may beat the waiting game marketing plan but why wait?  With the future looming and studies showing how behaviors are changing, why wait?  Who makes the first move?  Which restaurant manager is willing to raise the bar by changing their reputation?  Who will lead the pack and which business will survive with “same-itis”? 

Topics: Restaurant Marketing Leadership

The Two Faces of Restaurant Management

Two restaurant managers with the same basic skill set and experience will many times have two completely different results.  It might boil down to the perception others have of the restaurant manager.  Each restaurant manager performs the same basic tasks and daily routines.  Neither hesitates at work or the constant flux of the restaurant business.  Neither shirks their responsibilities and their is no doubt of their pride and commitment.

Topics: Restaurant Management Leadership

Steve Jobs Commandments for Your Restaurant

If Steve Jobs was the CEO of a restaurant company vs. a software company, what might he have done? 10 commandments Steve Jobs had for his companies you can apply to your restaurant:

Topics: Restaurant Business Leadership

The Pedestal

Put the staff on a pedestal.  If those on the staff are not true believers, the restaurant marketing campaign fizzles.  The staff must believe that the management has their best interest in mind when making decisions.  It is important for them to believe that the "ownership" is watching out for their income. 

Topics: Team Building Restaurant Marketing Leadership Human Resources