Some thoughts to inspire a conversation!

You can't afford to market to the masses.

Getting your message out to a big group of people is expensive. It takes the collaboration of many different media platforms. Social, Billboards, Radio and TV. Don't try and compete on the mass scale as the big chains will always dominate.

Your restaurant needs focus, connection and engagement. You need to find the individuals who love your restaurant and encourage them to spread the word.

You need superfans. You don't need 50,000 followers and 10,000 email addresses. You need to find a group of people who love your restaurant and love hearing from you. This might be as few as 100 people.

100 people who are engaged and you communicate with frequently will always be better than a list of 10,000 people on a list that you send a newsletter to once a month.

The book is always better than the movie.

That doesn't mean that your marketing should be better than the actual experience. However, the pictures you use in your marketing can influence people not to see themselves as potential guests.

The Right Words Are Worth A Thousand Guests

Words are so crucial in your marketing.

Choose words to help potential guests visualize the experience they will have at your restaurant.

Choose words that will make them crave a feeling when they dine with you.

The words you use allow potential guests to see themselves in your restaurant.

But don't forget, this sets the bar high for the experience, so you need to make the movie live up to the book.

Invest in your marketing.

If you don't pay your staff, you won't have anyone to serve your product
If you don't pay your food supplier, you won't have any product to serve.
If you don't invest in your marketing, you won't have any guests to serve.

A strong marketing plan gets them into your restaurant to buy your food and be served by your staff.

Your marketing plan is at the start of the guest journey.

Consistency is the key!

People return to your restaurant in hopes of getting a repeat of the amazing experience they last had.

This is why it's important to have recipes for your kitchen staff and steps of service for your front-end staff.

They are written down and most likely evolve over time.

The same needs to happen with your marketing.
Create a plan, implement the plan, be consistent and then modify the plan as it evolves.

Just like the experience you provide, your marketing needs to be consistent to be effective.

Freight train

It takes a lot of energy to get a train started. It is a slow process to get it up to speed, pulling all of that weight. Then once it gets going, it's a direct path to the next station.

Your marketing is like a train. It's going to take a lot of energy and patients to get started. But once it's rolling, maintaining the direction to the next milestone should be easy to manage.

Get your marketing rolling right now.

Building a sales growth plan involves these three plans.

What is my guest's journey from not knowing my restaurant exists to coming to the restaurant for the first time?

What is my guest's journey from when they arrive until they leave my restaurant?

How do I follow up and have that guest return for another visit?

Consistently develop these three plans.

Are you following up?

Restaurant life is always busy.

Marketing is easily pushed to tomorrow.

And then sometimes tomorrow turns into next week.

You need to follow up consistently with your network.

You don't want to give your guests a chance to forget you.

#1 - Automation

Top 5 reasons you need to build an email list and use it!

Unlike your social media accounts, where you must create and post content all the time, you can build sequences of emails that go out based on contact interactions with your email strategy.

When someone signs up, you can send them a welcome series with emails sent over automatically explaining your unique offerings.

You can create happy birthday emails to go out based on a contact's birth date.

You can send out anniversary emails based on how long a contact has been part of your network.

The options are endless.

Once the automation is set up, you just need to maintain the emails. As things change in your business, you can update the individual emails' content without recreating a new structure.

#2 - Ownership

Top 5 reasons you need to build an email list and use it!

You can't take your followers and likes with you from your social accounts.  

Social media not only controls who sees your posts and when they see them, but they also have a right to inactivate or delete your account at any time for any reason.

An email contact list, by contrast, is an asset you own. You are not committed to any platform or interface, and with the ease of writing an email to a friend, you can contact your entire list with the press of a button.

Would you rather have a business with 10K social media followers or 10K engaged email contacts?

#3 - Reporting

Top 5 reasons you need to build an email list and use it!

This goes beyond engagement levels and open rates. Most email programs give you the power to learn more about your online community.

What links are people clicking, what landing page did they use to sign up, what advertising campaign generated the contact information?

Being able to send a new message based on the customer's interaction with a previous message helps you refine your strategy and send targeted emails to the people who are interested.

#4 - Instant & direct line of communication with your community

Top 5 reasons you need to build an email list and use it!

Hitting send on your email campaign gets your message delivered within minutes directly to each contact's inbox.

Social media platforms limit how many and when people see your post and gets pushed down as more posts are made.

Email lives in your contact's inbox.

They need to make a conscious effort to open it, ignore it, or delete it.

Your message will be seen, even if it is only the from name and the subject line.

#5 - Personalization

Top 5 reasons you need to build an email list and use it!

Social media is like using a megaphone in a crowded field.

Email can be personalized using merge fields to make each email unique to that guest.

Not only can you address your email personally by using the contact's name, but you can also ask questions and learn about them to send the right message at the right time.

Let's Move Forward

There are new challenges; there will be constant challenges,

Life is hard.

But you get out of it what you put into it.

Don't be the one who cries over the spilled milk.

Be the one who looks for the next cow.

Progress means moving forward.

We all want to be perfect, but sometimes you need to sacrifice perfection to move forward.

When it comes to restaurant marketing, posting to social media or getting that email sent is way more effective than taking a few days to make it perfect.

No one is saying you should be sending out ugly communications, but sometimes overthinking how a picture looks or the words you choose makes marketing seem harder than it needs to be.

The most important of marketing is getting in front of people consistently.