Restaurant Marketing Report Reaches #500th Issue

The Wow Street Restaurant Marketing Report just published its 500th issue – 500 issues of giving great no-nonsense profit-building advice to its subscribers. For subscription information, click on:

One of the longest running restaurant marketing reports, the WSMR is not free. “There’s no value in free,” says’s Joel Cohen.

Most freebies are always upselling you to buy more and more. If you bring value to your readers, they’ll appreciate paying for it.

The 500th issue featured the masthead, “It’s Okay To Be A Student Of Success” and features various corporate templates for success that can be adapted to the restaurant model.

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Restaurant Marketing: Why Do Servers Use The Same Lines?

Restaurant Marketing: Why do servers use the same lines like, "Are you still working on that?" Is there some kind of a servers handbook where these worn out phrases that you hear in most restaurants originate from? 

I love servers. They've got a difficult task to please people … some people who are even jerks and come in with a bad attitude. But, on the other side, they've got their own little business inside the restaurant. What a business to have! They don't have office rent, don't have inventory, don't have the typical costs of running a business. Their business is a little area of the restaurant providing a great dining experience for those who are seated there … and for that they can get a well-deserved gratuity. They can make as much money as they want, or as little as they want. Though I would suspect, if they're making little, they won't be around very long.

Unfortunately though, server jargon gets a little cliched, tired and boring. It's like servers have their own language that customers are supposed to understand. "Working on that?" Or, upon waiting for the meal to be delivered, "It'll be up in a sec."  What the hell's a "sec?"  Or, "you'll have it in a minute." Is that one minute as in 60 seconds, or three minutes or five minutes? Start counting.

So, if you're a server, I just have one request: You're doing a great job, I understand what you have to go through, but let's just not use the tired old sayings that we hear from every other server.

You're much better than that. Differentiate yourself from the others … you'll be remembered – and well rewarded.



Restaurant Marketing: 6 Ways To Increase Dessert Sales Up To 40%

Restaurant Marketing: Desserts can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Even restaurants that don't normally sell desserts – pizza restaurants and Chinese restaurants – are all getting into the act, realizing the importance of getting that additional dollar – even if it's just selling simple fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies at the counter, as an impulse buy.

In a diet and price conscious world, it takes a fair amount of creativity to sell desserts, whether that creativity is in the product itself, the price, the packaging or the promotion – revisit my WOW issue on "The World's Smallest Chocolate Brownie" – and you'll then realize the financial benefits of doing dessert.

Here are some great recommendations to increase your dessert sales with the impetus of at least adding a $1 to your average check. Do this and you'll see the bottom-line difference.

1. Make Coffee A Dessert: Coffee is the easiest to sell. Thanks to Starbucks, we've all become coffee connoisseurs which makes it easier to offer premium coffees, lattes and cappuccinos. Consider offering Starbucks or Seattle's Best Coffee – mentioning those brands makes it easier to get that additional sale. Include the various liqueur flavorings and wow your coffees with peppermint or cinnamon sticks along with whipped cream.

2. The Famous Dessert: Become famous for a specific dessert. Make it a signature item and promote it heavily in your restaurant with large table tents and posters.

3. The Super Huge Dessert Tray: Most restaurants display desserts on a table in the lobby area. That’s great, but as soon as a customer is seated in the dining area, they've forgotten how great that visual display looked. Instead, place the desserts on a tray and present them to your customers.

4. The Separate Dessert Menu: A separate dessert menu is a must. List at least 5 desserts with great photos and descriptions. It's the eye that buys! Present your dessert menu (or dessert tray) to your table after the entrees are removed.

5. The Dessert Festival: Turn your signature desserts into special event promotions like a Strawberry Pie festival or a Holiday Pumpkin Pie event. Have fun with your desserts. Give them special names that are appropriate to your concept.

6. Special $1 Mini Slices: A lot of guests are turning away from pricey desserts like a slice of Carrot Cake at $4.95. Rather than lose a $4.95 sale, offer "mini slices" for $1.



Restaurant Marketing: Death By Couponing

As mobile couponing becomes more active and Groupon becomes more popular, the trend to discounting via the mobile platform seems to be increasing.

What’s not increasing is the bottom line—the profit line for restaurants. Death by couponing is a slow and painful decline in a restaurant’s health that creates cutbacks in staff which leads to a cutback in good service and a cutback in operations.

More importantly, the art of couponing trains the guest to only go to a restaurant when they’ve got a coupon in hand.

Fact: You can’t wean people off of couponing and once they expect it from you (hello, pizza chains) you’ll have a hard time getting them in for a regular price offering, especially when it’s easy for them to go to the myriad of other restaurants that offer coupons.

Couponing is not a magic bullet to success. Couponing is a double edged sword. Restaurants do it because they need sales and customers use it because it feeds their desire to be frugal and smart when dining in this economy. If you’re hurting for business, don’t get into the death spiral. There’s hundreds of other things you can do to build your business.


Restaurant Marketing: Cracking The Marketing Code Pt #2

Restaurant Marketing: If you can understand the marketing code, then you're on your way to having a successful restaurant.  Here's Pt #2 of the series of 3 videos on "Cracking The Restaurant Marketing Code." Use the social media buttons below and share this with your friends in the business.


Increase Restaurant Sales With Top Ten List

Restaurant Sales & Marketing. This time of the year you get inundated with top ten lists.  There's a reason that people are fascinated with these lists. They're easy to read, easy to remember and easy to talk about.  Some lists are ridiculous, some are humorous and some are factual.

Lists can play an important role in your restaurants sales and marketing efforts by educating your customers in an easy format, about the value of your products.

Does your restaurant have a list of the top ten reasons that make you different or better than your competitor?

Having a top ten list gives you and your staff the ability to easily verbalize how your restaurant stands out from the others, especially if you're building name awareness within a highly competitive business sector.