Restaurant Marketing: Wow St. Marketing Report 2015 Issues

Restaurant Marketing: A lot was covered over the 2015 – critical marketing issues not discussed anywhere else – which is the reason Wow Street Marketing is not a freebie. For subscription information click here:

Here are the issues titles covered in 2015:

#451 The New Year Quick Start
#452 Premium Pricing: A Radically Rational Concept
#453 The World’s Best Promotion
#454 The Profit Value Of “The Experience
#455 Stop Hunting For Customers
#456 The Top SEO Tools
#457 Your Female Customers
#458 A Monopoly On Trust
#459 The Big Illusion
#460 An Annual Tradition
#461 No March Madness Here
#462 The Apple Watch Story: Why You Need A Story
#463 Facebook Marketing Challenges
#464 Google’s Smackdown: What You Now Need To Know
#465 Want An Inspirational Restaurant? Start With ‘Why’
#466 How To Keep Your Marketing Grounded & Focused
#467 What’s On Your Front Door? Missing A Great Opportunity?
#468 Are You Customer-Centric: Customer Journey Map
#469 Do You Have A Plan In Place For Emergencies?
#470 Silence From Customers Is Dangerous
#471 How To Raise Your Prices in 35-Seconds
#472 Why You Should be ‘LinkedIn’
#473 The Power Of LinkedIn’s Email
#474 What Value Do You Bring To The Table That ‘Sticks’?
#475 Talk To Your Kids About Pizza: What’s Your Headline?
#476 Long-Term Success: It Starts With Culture
#477 Celebrating Restaurant Independence
#478 If Starbucks Can Raise Their Prices, You Can Too
#479 Follow These Two Successful Strategies
#480 Lessons From The Grateful Dead
#481 Your Burgers Are Screaming For A Story
#482 Soaking Your Customers: The Power Of Umbrellas
#483 The Two Minute Drill & Why It’s Imperative You Have One
#484 If It Doesn’t Wow, It’s Boring
#485 How A Story & Presentation Makes Food Better
#486 How To Be The ‘Only” In Your Category
#487 It’s Just The Right Thing To Do, That You Probably Aren’t Doing
#488 Your Exclusive Secret Marketing Weapon
#489 Forty-Five Topics To Post On Facebook
#490 What Are Your Employees Worth?
#491 The Simple Power Of Birthday Greetings
#492 The Power Of Shooting Restaurant Videos
#493 Trademarks & Copyrights: Your Worst Legal Nightmare
#494 Holiday Alert Marketing Checklist
#495 The Powerful Strategy Behind Smiles
#496 How To Hire Special People To Work For You
#497 Waiting For Sales? Powerful Things You Can Do Right Now
#498 The Best Holiday Promotion You Can Ever Do
#499 The Restaurant Holiday Care Package
#500 Successful Corporate Templates To Follow
#501 Bum Marketing: How To Prevent A Bummer Customer Experience
#502 How Santa’s Marketing Is Better Than Yours
#503 Ending The Year With A Smile: Bubba Tablets

The Wow Street Marketing Report is the most concise restaurant marketing report available – a concise short read with valuable sales-building information.


Wow Street Restaurant Marketing Report: Why It’s Not Free

The Skinny On All Of Those Free Restaurant Marketing Newsletters:

Restaurant Marketing & Restaurant Marketing Newsletters: I get a lot of questions on why I charge $15.99 a month (4 weekly issues) for my Wow Street Marketing Report, while others are available for free. The answer is simply “value.” Actually, I don’t charge enough for the Report. Shame on me!

As a business person, I’m sure you despise giving away free product all of the time. It truly hurts the bottom line.

The fact is, there’s absolutely no sustainable value in “free.”

And that’s why amidst all of the free restaurant marketing newsletters that frequent your inbox, ten years and 492 plus issues ago, I made a decision to produce a short concise weekly marketing report, focused on 35-seconds of intelligent restaurant marketing and executive management insights.

My goal was … and still is … to help restaurant owners/executives take it up a notch and be great. I also decided to make my Wow Street Marketing Report subscription-based – as an impetus to provide valuable content not found in the various freebies that are out

While I know it’s easy to get spoiled with all of the free newsletters, there’s always a catch somewhere – an up-sell, a sponsor, a tease, or articles by ghost writers with absolutely no restaurant marketing experience, a way to increase one’s email list, or just plain inferior content.

The Wow Street Marketing Report is written by me – restaurant marketing professional, who consults with restaurants, does workshops for restaurants – all on a regular basis – who like you, places a value on their product.

My client, Barry’s Pizza, one of the most successful pizza/Italian restaurants in Houston – who gets $25 for a small pizza (it’s absolutely fabulous!) – has a sign posted when people flinch about his prices: “Quality is like oats… if you want nice fresh oats, you must pay a fair price … unless of course you can be satisfied with paying a cheaper price on the oats that have gone through the horse.”

The next time you get a free hospitality marketing newsletter, there’s a chance – much like the oats – it’s been through the horse. :)  Click here if you want to subscribe to the Wow Street Marketing Report.




Your Road To Succes For 2015: How To Get There

It's the holiday season; business has slowed down and this Monday is the first real work week of the year. Are you ready to re-new, re-invent, get re-vitalized? Or you going to do the same stuff as last year, expecting different results. The clients that I coached this past year, both restaurants, hotels, retailers and manufacturers all had great years – sometimes it's tough to get where you want to go without a little nudging. So, what about you?

Want a nudge? Need some coaching to keep you on your journey towards success? Here's my "menu of services."  Let me know if you need a "nudger."

1. One on one performance coaching – helping you get where you want to go, because it's difficult to do it on your own.

2. Group performance coaching – with other peers, no geographical conflicts, giving owners and CEO's and chance to meet and talk to others via videoconference sessions

3. WOW Restaurant/Hospitality Newsletter – a weekly 35-second read of intelligent marketing for intelligent restaurant/hotel/restail owners and executives.

If you're interested in any of these and want 2015 to be "your year," then email me a (written in full) – jcohen at restaurantmarketing dot com

Remember, this year, it's "your turn." Don't get caught up in the definition of insanity.


Restaurant Marketing: Staff Replaceable Or Indispensable?

Restaurant Marketing: Who on your staff is replaceable, who is indispensable?
Employee turnover is one of the most critical issues in the restaurant and hotel arena. But what would you expect when a lot of restaurants hire people who are "replaceable" – people who have been hired simply because you urgently need staff; people who have been hired on the cheap; even hired people who have no idea what hospitality is, let alone not even it being part of their DNA.

Many restaurants are just paying people to "show up" – to open the doors, to serve food and to robotically say, "Is everything okay?" or "My name is John, I’ll be your server tonight." Anybody can be trained to do this.  

Since anybody can do this, these people are easily replaced, whether they leave on their own, or you let them go. And, when times are tough, these people are the first to go. Why? They don’t make a difference.

When people are replaceable, rather than indispensable, you're going to have turnover issues.

Woody Allen said 80 percent of success is just showing up. I disagree. The truth is that 80 percent of success is making an impact.

So, here's something novel: What if, instead of paying people just to "show up," their compensation plan was based on making a difference, making an impact or a connection with your guests and those in your community?

That’s when replaceable turns into indispensable. And that’s what building a championship team is all about – having a staff that's indispensable.



Restaurant Marketing: Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?

Restaurant Marketing: Is it interesting enough to talk about? Your burger, your pizza, the restaurant, the experience, the staff, the washrooms anything and everything … because if not they ain't gonna remember you.

  • Here’s the magic question, "Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?"
  • If it isn't, then you're not embedding your restaurant into the minds of your customers. 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 realize 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.
  • Here's the question that should get answered – "Is It Interesting Enough To Talk About?" If not, then what do you have to do to make it interesting?
  • 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.



Good Morning Mr. Smith, Welcome Back! How are the Kids Enjoying Summer Camp?

Written by guest blogger, Jason Ostrander:

It's the little things that can really make your day. Tuesday Morning: I’m running late, and dying for a cup of coffee before I catch the subway into Hell’s Kitchen. Conveniently, a café is only 100 steps away from the front door of my place. This café is always extremely busy and being located in the heart of Spanish Harlem this particular location is often alive with loud conversation. You’re lucky when you get your order in the first try. I walk up to the counter and before I can even open my mouth I get a very cheerful greeting:

“Good Morning Mr. Ostrander, the usual? A large black coffee?”

I’m blown away. It’s the same feeling I get when I come home for the holidays and my parents embrace me and wait on me hand and foot with a 24/7 smile simply because I am gracing them with my presence.

Why was this act so powerful to me? Because I wasn’t at a small mom and pop establishment; instead I was straight in the heart of a corporate, turn-and-burn American eatery. I was at a McCafe – a good old McDonald's.

Now, I don’t particularly like McDonald's, but will I be back? Why? Because I’m no longer the Midwestern-tourist trying to fight my way through the crowd. Instead, I have become part of their club. A regular. Part of their special McDonald's family. Will I be back and stand in a longer line just to engage with the people that remember me? Absolutely.

I enjoy a second job as a "host" at a famed celebrity chef-owned Harlem restaurant.

It’s a Saturday night, and 200+ covers are on the books and another 150+ walk-ins will probably show up yearning for one of the few coveted tables. At any moment Denzel Washington or Jermaine Jackson might call for a last minute reservation. Stop. Let's take a minute and define a typical host’s role in a restaurant: Know little to nothing about the menu, manage reservations, greet guest, seat guest, smile and stand at the host stand until the guest leaves and then wish them farewell. This is NOT the way things are done here.

Instead of engaging with guests ten percent, we are expected be engaged with guests ninety percent – starting from the minute they walk in, during service and when they leave. In all honesty I probably seat guests for about one hour of my seven-hour shift.

The other six hours are dedicated to activating with customers, getting to know them, who they are, what they do, where they're from, how many kids they have and what they like to do, and making sure they are having the best experience. At the end of their meal, I handwrite a Red Rooster postcard with their names thanking them for making my job fun.

Why do all of this? Why take the steps to get to know your customer? Because when we can learn and remember details about customers, it makes the customer TRUST you.

Although I use restaurant examples, this 360-degree holistic approach to customer service is what will take your business or non-profit organization to the next level. Once you have your customer’s trust, they will follow you without question, taking your advice and suggestions.

At my restaurant I recently hosted two guests from Seattle. After genuinely getting to know them, I was able to suggest additional appetizers, desserts and specialty drinks. By the end of the night their bill had increased by over $100 – and what’s more impressive is that they were happy and willing to shell out that money while showering the staff with praise for the food and the EXPERIENCE.

I took their picture and bid them farewell with a personalized novelty postcard and my business card with a note instructing them to “give me a call should they ever be in NYC again and need help getting reservations.”

It’s the personal touches that can make or break your relationships with customers. Yes, you must also stand by your product or cause, but just as important is standing by your guests, treating everyone as if they’re a VIP. Focus on forging a personal relationship with your customer base and the sale will come naturally.

 Guest blogger is Jason Ostrander, son of Big Dave Ostrander. Jason recently earned his Master’s degree from Western Michigan University. He moved to New York City where he is an up-and-coming figure in restaurant marketing and public relations. He is the author of the blog: Aperitifs and Digestifs. Follow him online: and on Twitter: @OstranderJason


Restaurant Marketing: Is Whoring Your Product The Right Way To Build Profitability?

While Restaurant owners hate discounting their product, all of a sudden and riding the popularity wave of Groupon, there's a second  explosion of similar coupon buying programs (Google and AT&T ) that they say will increase your business. Here's my question: When did AT&T and all the others become experts in the restaurant business?

And on the other side of the fence, while I've yet to meet any restaurateur or retail business owner that believes couponing and discounting is the answer to long-term profitability, why then is there an eagerness to utilize these coupon programs? Is there despair in the air?

These coupon programs are turning customers into a "must-have-a-coupon society." If they don't have a coupon, you won't get the business! Look what happened to the pizza industry! It's barraged with coupons. It's dug a hole so deep, even after 15+ years, it still can't get out of it.

How much longer are restaurants going to keep killing the golden goose? When do you say no to coupons and discounts? When do you stop encouraging the addiction rather than feeding it?

It's time to respect your business and the products and services you offer. It's time to tell these companies to go fly a kite.

More importantly, it's time to understand that there many other and better ways to increase profits rather than whoring your product.


Restaurant Marketing: Word Of Mouth Marketing

Restaurant Marketing: Creating word of mouth isn’t necessarily about manufacturing a marketing promotion (free pancakes) and hoping people will talk about it. And if they do, it’s all short term. Real long-term word of mouth comes from the interesting, unique and common sense way you do business everyday.


Restaurant Marketing: Fuddruckers Tells The Stories; The Guests Talk About Them

Restaurant Marketing:  Marketing is about telling stories and then having your guests spread the stories to other guests. Fuddruckers tells a lot of stories inside their restaurants; stories that are remarkable:

1. They are famous for having the “world’s greatest milkshakes.”
2. They display their meats in their “butcher room” to convey freshness.
3. They’ve got themed seating booths—Elvis and the Beatles.
4. They display their condiments, again conveying freshness
5. They display their fresh baked cookies.

And in some markets, they're now telling stories about their "wild game" burgers – Fudds Exotics – that include Wild Boar, Buffalo and Elk burgers.

You just can't leave Fuddruckers without talking about any of these remarkable stories.


Doesn’t Have To Cost A Cent To Increase Your Dollars

Last time I heard, it doesn’t cost a cent to smile and actually sit down and talk to a guest.

Last time I heard, it doesn’t cost a cent to go out and greet your neighbors with a hand-shake, your business card and some good conversation.

Last time I heard, it doesn’t cost a cent to speak in front of a group of 100 potential guests at a networking function.

Last time I heard, it doesn’t cost a cent to call a company on the phone and invite their staff to a special after-hours event.

Last time I heard, the only major cost of growing your business … is when you do nothing.