Restaurant Marketing
May 11, 2013
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Is our restaurant marketing working properly?

This is a question that most restaurant and hotel owners ask themselves.

Let’s say that you have someone – maybe a marketing consultant or agency working on your website, your ‘social media’ and your ‘marketing’ and they say everything is going well, though you are not really seeing an increase in sales and bookings.

How do you know that what they are doing for you actually works?

We had an unusual enquiry today, so I thought I would share it!

The inbound enquiry in question, came from a small family owned restaurant and hotel.

The email explained that they have been struggling with their marketing for some time and yielding little in the way of results, so they wanted to know what they need to do to improve this.

This is understandably the case with many restaurants and hotels, as they are so busy servicing customers, they get little time to focus on marketing and sales.

What are they looking for?

The email asked for replies by email initially and also costings to deliver various elements of data driven, digital and social media marketing – new responsive website, booking systems, email marketing, social media and so on. You get the gist.

Our first step is always to look at the existing presences and do a basic evaluation of the current situation.

Step two is to speak to the owners and find out what they want to achieve, who is the current audience etc., so having responded to the email, we thought it best to give them a call.

This is where it got rather interesting…

It turns out that the person doing the enquiry was not really the owner. In fact, they knew nothing about the email or the enquiry.

It was actually their current outsourced marketing ‘expert’, who has control of their email accounts, as they ‘manage’ their marketing and emails for them.

It seems that they have enquired on their behalf, without their knowledge.

Here is the interesting bit.

The Restaurant Marketing company in question, have spent 6 months working on the restaurant’s presences for them and frankly the results are dreadful. They clearly have no idea what they are doing.

Bear in mind that ALL of their work is on display in the public domain, we can quickly see everything they are doing!

There is almost no engagement, the website is dreadful and there is almost nothing there that could be seen as functional marketing.

This is actually an example of how bad it can get or even worse. The restaurant in question could be doing it themselves instead and actually getting somewhere with the right guidance.

I won’t expose the competitor here, but believe it or not, the company in question market themselves across the UK as ‘leading players in the restaurant marketing sector’! Whoah…

The truth comes to light?

I phoned the owner of the restaurant and hotel directly, to find out more about how we could work together with them and and once we realised they had no idea what was going on, they were stunned. After 6 months of the marketing agency, working on their presences, they actually thought it was going well, but wondered why they had no increase in sales or bookings as a result???

They had some suspicions however, that something odd was going on.

I talked to them about what they could change and how they could do a lot of it themselves with the right guidance.

I explained the different aspects of restaurant and hotel marketing and we spent time finding out more about what they were looking to achieve. We then looked at the options, in terms of social, digital and data driven marketing.

The funny part.

As the competitor was pretending to be the client, I was able to ring the client directly and once I spoke to them, they realised that they could be doing a better job and also that we really know what we are doing, unlike the competitor who has been getting nowhere for the last 6 months.

Whether the competitor was just looking for ideas from us because they had run out, haven’t a clue what they are doing or just doing research for their own business, it seems to have resulted in a genuine opportunity for us to help the client to move their business forward. We may well have gained a new client as a result.

The not-so funny part.

The restaurant told me that the marketing agency in question had been really busy recently, as they have won a contract with a couple of larger restaurant chains.

Maybe in 6 months when they are struggling, we might be able to help them too!

If this sounds like a familiar situation and you want to chat through what your existing supplier is actually doing, we are more than happy to see what is really going on. Bear in mind that everything is in the pubic domain, so it is easy to tell how it is being run.

We offer a free audit to help you get started, and there is no commitment, just give us a call on 01772 978 199.