The Marketing Hare comes up with a promotion, spends time creating posts and stories and paying for ads on radio and billboards. As the promotion runs, they don't think about planning the next campaign, and the foot is off the gas. The promotion ends, and things have slowed down. Now they panic and need to start the process over again.
The Marketing Tortoise spends its time connecting with the guests coming into their restaurant. They build a contact list and send short personalized emails consistently and frequently. They automate their digital marketing to continually stay top of mind; they can spend their time and money taking care of the actual guest. With a list of superfans, it's as easy as sending out an email to a friend and letting them know about a new promotion.
Being a Tortoise takes patients but always pays off in the end.
The dollars spent in your full-service restaurant are in most people's entertainment budget, not grocery budget.
Those budgeted dollars are in the same group as movies, concerts or anything else that provides an element of fun.
Wouldn't it make sense to focus your marketing on the experience people are going to have?
How do you accomplish that?
Start with your website. The words you choose to put on our website help potential new guests visualize the experience you provide.
Look at your website.
Within the first 5 seconds, is it clear what style of service you provide?
Most restaurants showcase their most beautiful food above the fold on their homepage. But how does that tell someone if your style is casual or formal?
Is the music pumping where you would want to hang out with friends?
Soft and subtle where you would want to have an intimate dinner with someone special?
Be clear in your communication, not abstract.
If you are not providing a memorable guest experience, stop wasting your time and money on Marketing.
90% of new guests visit your restaurant because of a trusted friend or family member's recommendation.
Once you spend money on marketing, it will magnify guests' recent experiences in your restaurant, good or bad. The point of marketing is to magnify an amazing experience worth someone taking a chance and trying your restaurant for the first time.
Providing a fantastic experience, or as the book Amaze Every Customer Every Time by Shep Hyken says, Moments of Magic is how you earn a guest's loyalty.
How are you creating moments of magic?
But don't take our word for it; read the book.
Amaze Every Customer Every Time by Shep Hyken
Learn about your guests.
Use that knowledge to communicate with them.
Build a relationship.
All of a sudden, your restaurant means more to a guest than just a place to eat. It becomes a place where they feel cared about, listened to, and recognized.
By building an engaged email list, you are doing more than just marketing; you create a family.
Many elements go into your house, like a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, windows and doors. These elements can be arranged in various ways, but how they all fit together is thought of before construction starts.
Your marketing plan is the same way. Social media, SEO, Email, Direct Mail, Website...... These are all components of a marketing system. For them to work, you need to have a plan.
Are you providing the experience you want?
The experience the guest is looking for?
What do you know about your guests?
Do you know what's important to them?
Listen to your guests.
Is anyone there?
I just entered my email to subscribe but I am not getting anything? Should I check back tomorrow?
If you do not have an instant welcome email that goes out to a subscribes you are missing out on the most captive time that lead will ever be.
They are on your website, they are thinking of you, they become vulnerable and give you personal information and you cant even set up an automation that sends them a message?
Thanks (First.Name) for joining our email list.
We are so happy that you are part of our network of friends.
We are always here to serve and we are looking forward to your next visit.
GENERAL MANAGER NAME
Yup, it's that simple. Get this figured out and you'll be in the top 1% of all restaurants that have an email marketing program.
So the premise of the program seems fantastic, people dine with your restaurant, you reward them for coming in, and then they keep coming back because they want to collect points........
This works for quick service and fast food because there is less emphasis on service.
However, you are a full-service restaurant, and your number one goal should be creating a personal and engaging experience.
What is personal and engaging about a guest collecting points for purchases and then redeeming them for money off their bill?
Think about it what would resonate more with your most loyal guests....
Getting a percentage of their spend in points every time they come in.
Taking care of their bill randomly every few visits because you personally recognize them as being awesome.
Both can net out to the same dollar value, but taking care of an entire bill will go a lot further in building loyalty.
1. Do you stand on a table in the middle of your restaurant and scream out the daily specials?
2. Do you have a server approach the table, say hi, introduce themselves and create a rapport. After finding out information from the guest, like if it's their first visit, they can adapt their recommendations to resonate with that specific group?
How does this relate to marketing?
1. Seth Godin refers to this as interruption marketing. Social media, radio, billboards and even generic email newsletters are like using a megaphone to scream your message into a crowded room.
2. Seth refers to this as permission marketing. You are building a relationship with your audience, which creates long-term trust.
"Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them." — Seth Godin
Wouldn't you want to have your marketing reflect this important relationship-building online to mirror the experience you provide in your restaurant?
But don't take our word for it; read the book. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
I know most restaurant owners are saying leads; why the heck do I need leads?
Well, times have changed, and sometimes it takes months to convince a potential guest to come dine with you.
If you don't have a way to collect permission to market to these visitors through an email sign up system, then that one website visit might be the last time you ever see them!
Social media is a tool that has forever changed the way of life and restaurant marketing. But is it more important to spend time and energy creating posts and stories, or should you be spending that time creating an EXPERIENCE worthy of your guests posting and creating stories?
Most restaurants measure their social media marketing success by how many followers and likes they have; however, the restaurants that see the benefits of social media measure their success by how many mentions they had from guests they served that day.
75% of new guests visit your restaurant based on a recommendation from a person they know. 99.9% of guests have a repeat visit based on their previous experience.
So what are you doing today to create an EXPERIENCE worth posting?
A funnel is an essential tool in the restaurant industry. Most restaurants use it every day in one fashion or another.
We have a large container of sauce that we need to portion into a smaller bottle, draining the deep fryer through a cone filter, or even grinding meat.
The thing is about a funnel is that it takes a large amount of something that you can fill quickly at the top and guides it through a smaller space to allow it to be more focused.
Well, the Restaurant funnel marketing system is based on those same principles.
We attract the masses to your restaurant brand, lead generation.
Through an incentive to try your place for the first time, we convert leads into guests.
We communicate consistently to your guests about your offerings to nurture them into superfans.
These superfans are the ones that will tell the world about your restaurant and get to those people that no amounts of marketing ever would.