You should avoid promising in your restaurant marketing materials what your operation can’t deliver consistently. It’s impossible to build repeat business if you’re in the habit of building up customers’ expectations only to pull the rug out from under those expectations once you get the customers in the door. The marketing expectations you create through your promotional materials will be the baseline of what guests demand when they walk through your door.
Identify Marketing Expectations
Here’s an exercise you can do to see how well you’re managing your marketing expectations. Make a list of all your external promotional material. Leave no stone unturned. Include key messages on your website, social media posts, email campaigns, mailers, radio ads — anything that tells prospective or returning guests what they’ll find at your restaurant. Then, train your restaurant staff on those messages. This training must be comprehensive, from menu adherence to server sales dialogue. Coach your team to set up and exceed the marketing expectations created by your promotional materials. When you do this right, you’ll increase guest loyalty and gain new customers too. Most importantly, you’ll keep your promises.
Understand External Vs. Internal Marketing
It’s critical to understand the difference between external and internal marketing. What you do externally to attract customers isn’t nearly as important as what you do internally to get them to come back. Before you waste money on external marketing schemes, you should invest an equal, if not greater, amount on solidifying your internal marketing, whose principal components are the quality of customer service your staff provides and the marketing message you communicate to customers while they’re right there with you.
Your success rides on your staff’s ability to exceed the great marketing expectations of guests entering your operation. You can start by delivering — over-delivering, in fact — on the promises made in your promotional materials.
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