The Secret of Restaurant Marketing

Ask someone to explain marketing, and you'll often get what I call "word salad" - a bunch of polysyllabic buzzwords that when strung together are supposed to sound important. You'll nod your head in agreement because, hey, it sounded like a thoughtful answer. And this is why people often avoid marketing altogether: because they're often made to feel stupid. Yes, there are aspects of marketing that can get very complicated. Especially these days when most of our marketing is done online, it can feel like a foreign world. But for now, let's take baby steps by agreeing on a definition. 

A SIMPLE DEFINITION:

Marketing is about creating a product, and then finding a market for that product. 

A BETTER DEFINITION:

Marketing is about identifying a need in the market, and then creating a product to fill that need.

THE BEST DEFINITION:

In our ever-changing, modern world, marketing guru, Seth Godin, tells us that marketing is all about creating change. He asks: "Who do you seek to change, and what is the change you seek to make?"

We'll come back to Seth's idea of "creating change" down the line, but here's my little secret about restaurant marketing:

"Marketing the thing can't make up for the thing."

And by that I mean: If your restaurant is terrible, a marketing budget won't fix it. So make a remarkable product that people want. Even if it's just a pizza place, it needs to be the best it can be. Food, decor, service, cleanliness, attitude. It doesn't have to be fancy. But it has to be good.

Remember that the guest experience will always be the cheapest and most efficient marketing tool available to you. Somehow these people wandered in to your establishment... (think of all the effort you put in to getting people to just show up!)... now make them a repeat customer by providing an excellent experience. Impress them so much that they can't help but rave to their friends. Before you start pumping dollars into Google and Facebook Ads, make sure that each and every guest walking in the door tonight is blown away.

And that's the change we're seeking... turning a first-time diner into a regular... turning a doubter into an evangelist for your brand. It's a simple shift that when implemented will make all the difference. 

Thoughts on the subject? Share below. 

If a Picture's Worth a Thousand Words...

...then what's the price of video?

iPhone-Camera-Grid-Photography.jpg

The experts have weighed in, and the results are unanimous... On social media VIDEO outperforms all other posts by nearly 3-to-1. (No debate required.) I've certainly noticed the trend with my own clients and so if you've been waiting for your invitation, then this is it!

In the past, of course, producing video content was both expensive and time consuming. But not anymore. You do not need a big budget to make a big impact. To get you started, I'm giving you three easy ways to start incorporating VIDEO into your digital marketing strategy. 

HYPERLAPSE

Download the app and make time-lapse videos to engage with your audience. Maybe you've got a new sundae going onto the menu... Go back to the kitchen, open the app, and shoot one of the cooks building the dish. Your two minutes of footage gets sped up to twenty seconds, and the results are both entertaining and mouthwatering. You're giving your audience a behind the scenes look at what you do, plus showing off what you do best. 

CLICK HERE to see an Hyperlapse in action!

BOOMERANG

Download the app and record short 5-second videos that play forward and backward... forward and backward... until the end of time. Sure, it's a little silly, but they get views. Find interesting things to shoot and you'll be providing your audience with a little entertainment to break up their day. 

CLICK HERE to see how engaging Boomerang can be!

FACEBOOK LIVE

Got a new promotion coming up? A deal, a discount, or maybe a special new item is getting added to the menu? Go LIVE and tell the world about it. Keep it short -- maybe 5 or 10 min your first time out -- and just let your personality come through. Tell them WHAT is happening... WHEN it's happening... WHY you made the decision... and HOW they can get it. 

In the coming weeks I'll go into all of this in more depth, but for now that's a little something to get you started. Remember, you don't need special equipment or expensive software... just a couple of eager, able bodies willing to lend a hand (or hold a smartphone).

If you've got questions, the easiest way is to find me on Twitter or Instagram