Beat The Pants Off Your Competition

Would you buy a T-Bone Steak, cut out the tenderloin to serve to your customer and then throw the rest of the steak away?

Of course you wouldn’t! If all you need is a tenderloin then that is all that you would buy. Right?

Yet just like the above example I see restaurants throwing their advertising dollars away every single day with the money they spend on advertising. So much time and effort goes into operations, food preparation, getting staff to do their jobs. Leftover time is allocated for getting new customers in the door.

Typically, restaurant marketing decisions are made when some advertising sales rep walks in the door and seems to give the restaurant owner a good pitch on why they should use his paper or coupon book. Since most restaurant owners are already overworked they rely on the sales rep to come up with the advertisement and the restaurant owner makes sure it “looks good”. However, advertising sales representatives are selling space not results. What you bought is advertising space and what you want is results. You need a different kind of advertising.

There are two types of advertising. One is image or institutional advertising the other is direct response. Image advertising is what very large companies do. IBM, McDonald’s and General Motors. Their advertising is designed to make you aware of their business and HOPE that eventually that awareness will translate into you purchasing their products. It’s a very indirect method of getting results. With it comes lots of waste.

It is estimated that McDonald’s spent some $823 billion on advertising in 2008. They have over 13,000 restaurants in the United States alone. With those kinds of numbers, they can afford image advertising. However, most restaurant owners don’t have the bankroll or the number of outlets to last long enough to see any benefits from image advertising. For the single or several unit operator, this kind of marketing is a recipe for disaster. It is similar to going after a mosquito with a nuclear bomb.

Despite this fact, many restaurant owners continue to use image advertising. What restaurants need is direct response advertising. That is, marketing that is designed to produce measurable results every time. Marketing that pays its own way and targeted to reach only people that are similar to your best customers that you already have. That is target marketing. Focusing your marketing resources where it has the best chance of success.

If you can’t measure the amount of business you get from some form of advertising then don’t do it. You need to get hard nosed about this. This should save you thousands of dollars a year. Next, you need to reinvest the marketing dollars that were previously wasted into direct response marketing.

Find out everything about who your best customers are. Match this information with the media that closely resembles this group of people or businesses. Monitor the results. Remember you are paying for all the circulation or coverage of the media you choose. The less waste the better. The people that your advertisement reaches that are not likely to come to your restaurant is wasted money. Shouldn’t you stop throwing away your hard earned marketing dollars?

Rory Fatt is President of Restaurant Marketing Systems and the Controversial Critic of Normal Ways Owner’s Promote Their Restaurants. To get a copy of his FREE REPORT “How To Double Your Restaurants Profits in 119 days Or Less” click here.

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