The 17 Costly Marketing Mistakes made by Restaurant Operators that Destroy their Advertising Profits

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1 The 17 Costly Marketing Mistakes made by Restaurant Operators that Destroy their Advertising Profits Ross Murphy Managing Director Fresh Restaurant Marketing

2 Discovering what your competition doesn t want you to find out about restaurant operators can dramatically increase your number of new customers and referrals if you avoid these costly marketing mistakes, which are essential to avoid. Mistake 1 Advertising to the wrong market. If you advertise low prices, you ll attract people who want low prices, and the problem with price buyers is that they are never loyal to you they re loyal only to low prices. As soon as your competitor offers a lower price than you, these price shoppers go to your competitor and you ve lost a customer. If you want to attract low price customers, by all means advertise low price. But if you want to attract people who are willing to pay for the service they receive so you can make money, don t advertise price, advertise value. Mistake 2 Advertise percentage off rather than Pounds off or FREE. Many potential customers don t know the restaurant s regular prices so they can t tell how much money they ll save. Instead, introductory offers should be made in terms that your potential customers can relate to. I recommend you advertise in pounds such as 5.50 off your first dinner or FREE starter or specially made desert with your dinner or You save 5.99 off our regular price or We know you are going to love our food, our restaurant, and our service we know you ll be back - that s why the first starter is on us!. Mistake 3 Failing to advertise your unique selling proposition (USP). The purpose of marketing is to tell your prospective customers how you are unique this is what sets you apart from your competitors. Start by identifying what you do that s different from everyone else for example, your USP might be exceptional customer service, complete dinners including bread, salad, desert and coffee, takeaway or home delivery within 30 minutes then feature your unique selling proposition in the headline of your advertising! Mistake 4 Failing to point out how you re different. People come to your restaurant because they think you re different from other restaurants. So it s your job to point out to potential customers how you re different. If you say Italian Food in your ads, you re saying the same thing as every other Italian restaurant. Instead, tell your prospective customers why they should choose you instead of your competitors, identify different services

3 you perform, special steak nights, takeaway, free hall rental with groups also reassure your potential customers that your food, dining, service and hospitality has a satisfaction guarantee. Mistake 5 Failing to explain how your prospect benefits. Your prospective customers want your service for only one reason What will it do for me? Don t concentrate on the features of your service, instead identify each feature and then explain how that feature benefits your prospect in terms of what they need, want and feel. Mistake 6 Failing to stay in touch with your customer base (Every Customer). Customers are your source of current business and future referrals. The moment they feel you don t care about their business, they ll go somewhere else. I urge you to stay in touch with your customers by publishing a regular newsletter that provides them with relevant information about your restaurant services, what s going on in the community and some funny stories or inspirational quotes. Mistake 7 Advertising in the Yellow Pages Especially when you don t offer catering or delivery. So often the only time this advertising works is when you cater to tourists, delivery or catering. Now I m not saying a Yellow Pages ad won t bring in new business, it will if it is part of a well researched and planned marketing programme, but the cost is so high you ll get a better return on your investment by using the money for other types of marketing and advertising. Mistake 8 Overlooking the potential of your restaurant booking diary. Make sure you don t just keep details of birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions sitting in the book by the phone! This is pure gold and can be used to build your database. Next year acknowledge and recognise the birthdays with a book of mobile phone numbers, an SMS campaign is a must to remind them to come back to your restaurant and tell them about your special offers and events! It s a no brainer and a game changer to turn that diary book into money. Also, customers will be very impressed that you remembered their birthday, or anniversary.

4 Mistake 9 Failure to have a system to generate word of mouth advertising. If you want your customers to tell their friends and relatives all about your restaurant, you need to encourage them by rewarding the customers who send them. To encourage referrals, you might offer current customer a cash award, a discount, free food or other incentives. Mistake 10 Failing to test new marketing methods. There are 2 reasons why you should never stop trying to out-do your current methods of promotion: 1) Your competitors are probably testing similar methods and you want to stay ahead of your competitors 2) Once you find a more profitable method, you make promotions even more cost effective! Mistake 11 Relying on only one method of promotion. Advertising, Yellow Pages, direct mail and radio all work to some degree, but they are more effective when they re used together. When one method supports and reinforces another, the results are greater than one method working alone. Mistake 12 Not measuring the key performance indicators (KPI s). Not tracking key areas such as biggest spending customer, customers who haven t been into your restaurant for say 50, 60, or 90 days, how many of your customers have birthdays next month. After all it s true that in the restaurant business the knowledge of results improves results. Mistake 13 Making your advertising look the same as all the other restaurants. After having received a lot of advice from so called design agencies on advertising logos, I found that they all look the same and rather boring. It s no secret that you don t get anyone s attention by being the same people are overwhelmed with marketing messages today you need to standout to get noticed. Mistake 14 Allowing customers to leave your restaurant without you collecting their details. It s worth training (and insisting), rewarding and recognising staff and managers for collecting customer details for follow-up and keep-in-touch marketing, which really has impact, gets customers to come back again and again the goldmine in your business is in the strength of the relationship with your customers.

5 Mistake 15 Letting group bookings slip through your fingers Failing to get a Yes we ve had a great time and the food was lovely, thank you response from say a birthday party of 8 people and not getting them to join your VIP loyalty scheme is simply missing a major opportunity to grow your customer database list very fast. Especially with so many group bookings for special occasions (don t forget Christmas and New Years parties along with Valentines Day) Mistake 16 Delaying your marketing programme until you need it. Marketing for your restaurant isn t something you turn on or off like a tap. Often the time you need marketing the most is when you can least afford it. Most restaurants are busy in summer and around holiday time, but totally forget the quiet times, such as the beginning of the year so you should absolutely make sure you keep your marketing activity working every day this will help to make more profits all year round. Mistake 17 Failing to follow-up with customers who have eaten in your restaurant! It s worthwhile sending out a Customer Satisfaction Survey to gain feedback from customers they won t all reply but it s FREE Consultancy and acts as a powerful management tool it also shows that you value and really care about your customers this always helps to keep them coming back, bringing their friends, colleagues and family. These are just some of the marketing mistakes that restaurant operators can make, and of course that will help enormously to leave your competitors in the shade, bring you more guaranteed profit than you could have imagined and allow you to say goodbye to nights of worry and start enjoying new levels of success. I hope you schedule time right now to implement this information to create more profits and a long term strategic advantage by overcoming these mistakes for your restaurant. Kind regards Ross Murphy Fresh Restaurant Marketing Tel

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