There’s a reason the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words still gets passed around.
For example, accurately describing the flavorful details, the color, and the presentation of just one dish would take too much space in the average menu. That’s why we love to fill them with photos.
But what about the story you’re telling with words? Memorable taglines and delightful menu descriptions are equally as important as the pictures you choose to share. The right words can mean the difference between a slow evening or a full restaurant.
Before you start any marketing, you need to be clear on the story you want to tell. Most restaurants focus too much on themselves.
But what if you changed the narrative?
What if you helped your guests be the hero of their own stories? Restaurants with successful marketing position themselves as the guide. Follow these tips to get started.
To begin, write down as many details as possible about your demographic, such as their age, gender, class, marital status, education, and employment. Then consider where they spend the most time in your restaurant and why.
Are they grabbing a bite during their daily lunch break? Stopping by the bar for an after-work drink? Brunching on the weekend? Once you know your guests inside and out, you’ll know how to talk to them.
Your restaurant has one job: To provide a solution to a problem. What guest problem does your restaurant solve the best? Would your guests agree with your answer?
Consider what needs, wants, and desires you are fulfilling. Is it convenience, price, taste, a specific menu item, a unique dining experience, an opportunity to impress someone, food allergies, or something else?
Do you know what you don’t want as your answer? Hunger. They come to you for something more. Find the problem and be the solution.
The U.S. chain Cracker Barrel has a story that centers on a classic “down home American” experience that involves homestyle cooking, made-from-scratch biscuits, and a welcoming atmosphere. Guests can browse the general store, play checkers, cozy up in front of a fire, and even rock on the front porch while they wait to dine.
Your restaurant doesn’t need to copy that to stand out. You simply need to identify what your story is and invite guests to be part of it.
Once you figure it out, weave your story into every aspect of your restaurant’s marketing with a focus on wowing your guests.
The right message can resonate with your guests far more than fancy pictures, so make this a high priority budget item. Whether you choose to write this yourself or outsource to a professional, take the time to get the messaging right. It’s worth every penny and every minute you invest.
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