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.


Restaurant Marketing: A Customer Promise

Restaurant Marketing –

Without a mission, you’re a car driving aimlessly without a direction, without a destination. Does your restaurant have a “code” – a purpose for being in business and a methodology of treating customers?

Do you have a set of guidelines on how you want everyone to “live/work” by?  You should, because without a mission or a promise, you’re just a restaurant serving food. And any restaurant can serve food!

I promise to deliver the following to my valued restaurant guests:

  1. A sparkling clean restaurant inside and out.

  2. Great tasting, freshly prepared food that exhibits an overwhelming value.

  3. A great staff, friendly, familiar with the product and passionate to provide you hospitality and a great dining experience.

  4. A wonderful greeting, a friendly smile and a gracious thank you for dining at my restaurant, as I know you have a huge choice of restaurants to eat at.

  5. A few surprises that you’d never expect, like an extra serving of fries, an extra scoop of ice cream, a free dessert, a free cup of coffee…just a few extra things on occasion, as a way to say thank you and to make you say “wow!”

  6. An interest in our community that we share, from schools, to churches to businesses to our residential neighbors. If we can help, we will.



Take The Facebook Vote: Customers Or Guests?

Restaurant Marketing: Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor (@TheRetailDoctor) and a great guy to follow on Twitter, had an interesting tweet saying, "They aren't guests they're customers – I don't ask people to my house at Thanksgiving & ask them to buy."

In the restaurant/hotel business, I've always believed that those who dine with you – or stay with you are "Customers."  Customers pay for you to stay in business. You don't make guests pay. If you focus on the fact that customers keep you in business, then you may treat them like guests, but they're not really guests in the true sense of the word.

The fact is, they're customers. Now if only the medical industry would consider patients as customers, the "waiting in the room" experience would be much better … but that's another story.

So, what word do you use in your restaurant, hotel or store? Customers or guests? Take the vote on my Facebook page, and let me know.