Creating Restaurant Marketing Ambassadors

Marketing Restaurants: Just Give Them Something To Talk About

Word of mouth just doesn’t happen. It’s planned so you’re always creating restaurant marketing ambassadors. Marketing restaurants by word of mouth happens to be the easiest and best way to increase your profits and increase guest loyalty – yet it’s the least understood in the marketing process.

While there’s a false belief that discounting and gimmicky programs are going to increase long-term profits, it’s more important to understand that the real success of the restaurant business isn’t getting a guest to buy from you … it’s getting them to talk about you and to visit you again and again!

And they’ll visit you only if there’s something remark-able about you. That’s why you need to think of word of mouth as an integral part of your sales-building marketing program.

There’s a feeling that word of mouth is automatic and inherent within the restaurant. But, it’s not. Creating word of mouth takes an effort by making sure that every guest touch-point in your restaurant is remark-able.

Word of mouth is not a quick fix buzz event like the Super Bowl ads. Bet you can only remember 2 of the ads! Word of mouth is long term; it’s what you create in your restaurant every day that catches your guests’ attention and gives them something to chat about.

But it’s not just one thing. It’s many different things to many different people. Some people will remark about your parking lot, your landscaping, your exterior, your décor, your greeting, your plate presentation, your washrooms, and your attentive server who describes how your entrée was made. Some will even remark that they met you – because every guest wants to know the owner of the restaurant.

But your guests will only talk about it if it’s remark-able and brought to their attention through sights, sounds and even smells. And once they’re talking about you … they’re doing your marketing for you.

The best way to initiate word of mouth is simply to “Over-Deliver.”

Where to start? Take a tour of your restaurant from the outside in. Look at every guest touch-point and ask, “Is it interesting enough? Can I over-deliver? How do I take it up a notch? Is this remark-able?”

Only then will your guests have something to remark about and will become your most reliable, trusted and effective marketing ambassadors. If not, your restaurant becomes just a faded memory.

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Restaurant Marketing: Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?

If Not … Whether It’s Pizza, Burgers Or Steaks, They Just Ain’t Gonna Remember You!

Here’s the magic restaurant marketing question, “Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?”

If it isn’t, then you’re not embedding your restaurant into the mind of your guest. And, you’re making it more difficult for them to think about you for future visits. Let me explain–

Because the advertising landscape has changed, one of the most effective ways now to increase your sales is through “word of mouth” — guests talking to others about their dining/take-out experience.

Once taken for granted, “word of mouth” (call it talking or gossiping) is now more powerful than ever, given that everyone’s talking online and offline.

But what you need to realized is that you can actually influence what your guests say about your restaurant. In order to do this, you have to start crafting various facts, sights and sounds — otherwise called “stories” — that give your guests something positive to talk about and share with others.

Answering this question enables you, as an owner, to have a number of stories and experiences about your restaurant in place — stories that give your staff something interesting to tell your guests. Stories that illicit a response, “WOW, I didn’t know that!” Or … “WOW, that’s interesting!”

With this “word of mouth” concept in place, marketing your restaurant becomes much easier. You now have a reason to connect with people and tell a story. It’s the story they’ll talk about and share with others. Just as I said four years ago and now more important than ever, “Quit advertising. Start connecting.”

Here are some thought-starters:

What are you famous for?
What do you serve that no one else has?
What can you supersize to have the biggest? (Monster Pizza, steak, burger)
What can you downsize to have the smallest? (World’s smallest sundae)
What can you tell a guest that makes them say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

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Why Santa’s Restaurant Marketing Is Better Than Your’s

Joel Cohen’s Wow Street Marketing Report features a great marketing template for any restaurant or retailer and it’s based on Santa Inc. Subscribe to this weekly restaurant marketing report by clicking here.

restaurant marketing report

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Restaurant Marketing: Just a Thought About Groupon

Restaurant Marketing: Instead of giving half of the money to Groupon, ($30 offer for $15, half of which goes to Groupon), why don't you just do the offer yourself to your database or a newspaper ad and keep the money? Although offering this to your current database won't help in new guest acquisition, it may be perfect for a special event, like a restaurant anniversary.

While there's a lot of controversy about Groupon, as I've noted in my subscription based newsletter "WOW," it seems that Groupon only works best to your advantage when you're targeting new guests outside of your trading area and you've got a concept where there's a huge opportunity for a good upsell.

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Restaurant Marketing: Groupon Ain’t The Magic Answer

Restaurant Marketing: Contrary to what they may think and hear, the  Groupon concept is not for every restaurant. While the program is incredibly popular with customers – (what customer is going to turn down an offer to get a $50 steak for $20, or a $15 entrée for $8?) – you should be aware that it could potentially devastate your bottom line.

I delve deeply into this in my subscription based WOW newsletter that's specifically for restaurant owners who want to grow their business in an intelligent disciplined manner.

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