Archives for November 2010

Restaurant Marketing: WKRP’s Turkey Drop

Restaurant Marketing: It's still being talked about years and years after … WRKP's  famous turkey drop in 1978 … the most exciting and whacky radio station promotion ever … even to this day. Word of mouth officially started with that promotion.

Restaurant Marketing: Wasted Opportunities With Birthdays

Restaurant Marketing: Amazing how many people ask you to fill out your birth date on a sign-up sheet and never take advantage of that by sending you birthday wishes. Why ask if you're not going to do send your guests a card? What an amazing lost opportunity.

Restaurant Marketing: Google Launches “HotPot” Restaurant Recommendation Site

Restaurant Marketing: Google just launched a recommendation site for restaurants called "HotPot." A little like Yelp, it lets people search for restaurants in specific areas, read reviews, write comments –  all in all — finding out what others think of specific restaurants in order to help further along dining decisions. Read more on Google's Blog.

Restaurant Marketing: Is A $4.99 Large Pizza, One Topping Too Good To Be True?

Restaurant Marketing: I'm holding a Grand Opening coupon for a Hungry Howie's Pizza opening near me. $4.99 for a large pizza with cheese and one topping.

Here are my thoughts — Hungry Howie's is new to the area, so they're going deep deep discount to get me to try their product hoping I'll love it and they'll be my pizza place of choice … or I'm nervous to think what a $4.99 pizza is really made of. 

Sometimes going too low is damaging. Just what if they said, "Our Pizza Is Made To Increase Your IQ & Help You Make Better Decisions" … and then charge $6.99 

I think if they did that, I'd respect them more.

Restaurant Marketing: Fuddruckers & The Stories They Tell

Restaurant Marketing: Walk into any Fuddruckers. Immediately they tell you through their colorful posters a number of stories.

1. Wild Game Burgers-Fudds Exotics
2. Fresh homemade, baked-here buns
3. Amazing hand-dipped thick milkshakes
4. Fresh produce on the condiments bar
5. Sit in the Elvis or the Beatles area

Fuddruckers understands that marketing is about story-telling. Visit a Fudds near you – it's a great marketing lesson.


Restaurant Marketing: Is Social Media Turning Customers Into Coupon Clippers & You’re Whoring Your Product?

Restaurant Marketing:  While Restaurant owners hate discounting their product, social media platforms keep offering coupon programs that they say will increase your business.  When did they become experts in the restaurant business?

Facebook has a coupon program, (NY Times, 11/4, "Facebook Offers Local Deals For Mobile Users"), Groupon, FourSquare … and everyone else.

I've yet to have met anyone that believes that couponing and discounting is the answer to long-term profitability? So, why are restaurants so eager to utilize these coupon programs? Is there despair in the air?

The fact is that all of these coupon programs are turning us into a "must-have-a-coupon society." Look what happened to the pizza industry? It's barraged with coupons. 

Is that the future outlook for restaurants?  For those who are not yet professional restaurant marketers, yes Virginia, there are other ways to increase sales rather than whoring your product.

Restaurant Marketing: The Impact Of Open Table On Sales

Restaurant Marketing: In Nashville with my American Advertising Agencies CEO Stars Group and 9 advertising agency owners from various parts of the country, the question came up about dinner.

Two of the execs pulled out their iPhones and checked their "Open Table" app for the nearest restaurant with the best reviews. 

The fact is a select number of restaurants were able to get "in front" of these execs because of the Open Table app and a dining decision was made. The others didn't even have a chance.

Restaurant Marketing: Did They Notice?

Restaurant Marketing: Did you notice that over the past week, there was a World Series going on? Most Americans didn't. Used to be that the World Series held front and center stage, but now it was just a blink.  Times have changed. There's much more grabbing for consumers' time and attention.  More snapshots are taken. 60 second soundbites. Just give me the bottom line.

What's this mean to you and your restaurant? It's one of the few times consumers' can escape the clutter of the outside as they spend time to eat, enjoy, entertain or just be together as a family and friends. 

It's also a time when they're more relaxed to listen to your story about how that special product is made, or the chef's recent graduation from a famous culinary school.

Unless you're doing fast food or takeout/delivery, for the consumer, time stands still inside your restaurant. This is a good thing.