Many restaurateurs spend most of their time running the daily operations: inventory control and ordering, making sure that the place is clean, that the employees turns are in order, that the broken dishwasher gets fixed, etc.
There are a million tasks that form part of the daily routine of running a restaurant business. All are important and all of them need to be taken care of.
However, there is usually one task that most of the restaurateurs are happy to delegate: their restaurant marketing.
Most restaurateurs are not very business savvy people. They open their restaurants because they love to cook and to mingle with their customers. They naïvely think that offering good food at reasonable prices is enough to attract customers to fill their tables…
The reality check is often brutal and leaves restaurant owners scratching their heads in disbelief, wondering why their place is mostly empty while other nearby restaurants seem to be always full.
The problem is that the world is full of good restaurants. Competition in the restaurant business is brutal and, if you own a restaurant you should know that is not enough to offer good food. You also must compete with many other restaurants that are often wiser than you investing their marketing dollars.
So, if marketing is so important, why is that restaurateurs are more than happy to give their marketing budget away to sales reps?
You know whom I mean. These are the sales people who flock to restaurants always offering a good deal, although “You must act now because the next issue is going to print and you are going to miss it!”
You know what? Miss it! It is probably a waste of money anyway.
I’ve just started coaching a restaurant. When I sat with the owner and we did an inventory of all his marketing expenses, his eyes almost popped out of the sockets.
He is spending more than $3,000 USD a month in mostly useless marketing. And the best part is that, until now, he never did an analysis of the return of investment that his marketing expenses are bringing him.
You don’t need to be a marketing genius to expend your marketing budget wisely, just follow one simple rule. Just one. If you follow this rule and do nothing else, I guarantee you that your marketing will improve dramatically.
Ok are you ready?
The rule is: Never invest in any marketing that you can’t track and measure the results.
That’s it: Very simple, very straightforward and very logical.
If a sales rep comes to your place and ask you to place an ad in his newspaper, or directory or whatever he is selling you, just ask them: How can you guarantee me that if I spend $1,000 with you, you will give me at least $1,500 in business?
If all they offer you is their word that their ads work, just ask him to guarantee it in writing. If their marketing is really effective, they shouldn’t be afraid to back it up with a solid guarantee. However, I can assure you, they won’t do it. And you know why? Because they can’t.
Most of the traditional restaurant marketing only benefits the advertising companies that produce it.
If they can guarantee you the results, go for it, you have nothing to lose and much to win. If not, think about other ways where you can track and measure your results.
It sounds simple but it requires that you have a marketing plan and stick to it.
Jose L Riesco
© Riesco Consulting Inc.
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