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ps ti 2 ON MARKETING A 1 restaurant
A 2007 study shared by Bloomberg Business showed that restaurants don’t fail as easily and quickly as was commonly believed. Instead of 9 out every 10 dining ventures going south in the ﬁrst year, a more realistic number may be in the 60 percent range. Which tells us it’s still a risky venture but maybe not exceedingly risky. But people still want to eat interesting food or at least better fare than they get at home. And culinary connoisseurs keep on inventing creative recipes and themes. So if you want to join the eﬀort, get ready to work hard at not just the food but getting the word out.
Focus on a lot of marketing, all of the time. Restaurantowner.com said a good marketing plan doesn’t just include clever ads. It includes promotions, public relations, community involvement, and building a database of customers.
Look the part. Danny Meyer, a longtime restaurant owner and investor, said part of his success is dressing at least as well as the top 10 percent of his clientele out of respect for them. Whatever kind of restaurant you have, owners/marketers help express a certain image.
Join an association. Though individual restaurants can be competitive, as a whole, they like to share ideas. Each state has a restaurant association, and there are chapters in larger cities. There’s also a greater National Restaurant Association.
Bring in a marketing consultant. This is the advice of Steven Howard from Chef’s Blade, who suggests this as a ﬁnal step in planning your dream restaurant. There are a variety of organizations who do nothing but help restaurants get the word out and improve operations. Consider bringing in an agency, such as BIGEYE.
Get involved in local charities. Oﬀer to give proceeds from an evening to a community cause. This may attract people who may not have entered before but support this eﬀort.
Contact local media. Oﬀer to write a local food/business column for free. Or oﬀer to be a source next time a writer is looking for someone with expertise in your area.
Collaborate. If there are other businesses in your geographic area, consider sharing resources. Maybe plan an event or co-op on advertising something that you may not have been able to buy on your own.
Invite staff input. If you have a seasoned staﬀ, you should solicit ideas that have worked or failed. They may have less hands-on marketing, but they can at least share memorable campaigns.
Back to basics. While coupons are simple and handy for people looking to save money, they may suggest that your food was originally overpriced. Consider adding an additional item of value instead, such as a glass of wine or dessert sample.
Go fancy. Along with your “regular” specials, consider having quarterly special events. Maybe invite a local brewer or winemaker to oﬀer pairings and educate diners.
Wall of fame. Put up pictures of patrons, especially if they do something noteworthy. Ward’s House of Prime in Wisconsin puts up pictures or drawings of guests who have mastered a jumbo cut. This can draw repeat business and newcomers wanting to try the challenge.
Don't neglect online. A quality site, online ads and social media engagement all can draw visitors and build loyalty. Remember people are sharing reviews on sites like OpenTable, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, Google, etc. So jump into the online community, engage and respond.
500 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando, FL 32801 BIGEYEAGENCY.COM | 407.839.8599 Sources: 500 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 BIGEYEAGENCY.COM | 407.839.8500 http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2007-04-16/the-restaurant-failure-mythbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-ﬁnancial-advice http://www.restaurantowner.com/public/How-to-Turn-Your-Good-Restauran-tinto-a-Great-Business.cfm http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/interviews/a163/esq1106interview-64/ http://www.restaurant.org/Membership http://chefsblade.monster.com/beneﬁts/articles/1292-7-reasons-opening-a-restaurant-should-scare-you?page=8 http://www.restaurantconsulting.us/ http://restaurants.about.com/od/marketing/a/10-Restaurant-Promotions.htm http://www.beeradvocate.com/articles/498/ http://www.wardshouseofprime.com/milwuakee-wall-of-fame/ http://vision-advertising.com/restaurant-marketing-tips-success-online-and-in-the-restaurant/