Restaurant Marketing: Beyond the Plate

Marketing is a subject so vast that we often find our clients have misunderstandings of what it is, and what it can do for their business. Marketing, at its core, is a discipline comprised of dozens of activities that can be leveraged to achieve specific, measurable business results. Whether it is increasing brand awareness, gaining media attention, or getting more people in the door, marketing is an invaluable tool for restaurant owners.

In this series, we set out to uncover the challenges faced by the restaurant owner or operator who wishes to better understand how marketing can help their restaurant succeed. When it comes to marketing, we have found that the majority of restaurants fall into one of two categories.

The first category includes those restaurants that rely on Word of Mouth to promote their business. We have all encountered the restauranteur who believed the quality of their food was so exceptional, they did not need to do any further marketing. In other words, the food marketed itself. If you recognize yourself in this category, do not worry. The quality of your food IS one of the most important aspects of your restaurant's marketing. We call this "marketing the plate."

The second category includes those restaurants that engage in marketing activities without any strategic direction. These restauranteurs likely have hired a social media marketer (or agency) to promote their brand on social media channels. They may have engaged in advertising and have also likely offered sales promotions. In other words, they are engaged in marketing activities, but may not have a comprehensive strategy guiding these efforts. This often gives restauranteurs a false sense of security as they feel they can "check off" the marketing box and focus their attention elsewhere.

We’ve seen and personally experienced well-known and respected restaurant establishments fail when faced with an unexpected change – whether from failing public food inspections to personnel issues with staff, legal issues, new competition, changing consumer tastes, and more. But, we’ve also guided businesses back to reclaim control of their brand and position in the market.

We’re going to explore the history of marketing for restaurants and the hospitality industry, reveal some of the fundamental challenges and issues faced by restauranteurs and provide a number of solutions to overcome those difficulties. In short, we will provide you with the information you need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that helps you market "Beyond the Plate."

About Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.