3 Steps To Reduce The Greatest Risk Restaurant Owners Take

3 Steps To Reduce The Greatest Risk Restaurant Owners Take

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The greatest risk Restaurant Owners take is opening their restaurant without a written, executable, marketing plan.

I’ve learned most restaurant owners spend more time planning out a vacation than they ever do to plan out how they’ll get more customers in the door.

I call it “hope marketing.”

You hope your advertising in that magazine or on the local radio pulls in customers, you hope that your “social media person” really knows what they are doing (most don’t unfortunately), you hope that word of mouth spreads because of good reviews….you hope.

What’s the cost of hope marketing?

It can cost you the restaurant. It can cost you the investment you made. It can cost you community reputation. It can cost you relationships. It’s not worth it. Think through your marketing or get some help.

Step 1 – “What Do You Do?”

No, I will not tell you to decide what products and what cuisine you should go with. Every restaurant has that figured out. At least I hope they do.

What I will talk about is your message.

Or how do you answer the question: “What Do You Do?”

Do you start with your name? Your Business? Your Title? Are you one of those guys – “Hello, my name is Bernard and I run a social media marketing agency, we blah blah blah…” Can do… But you lost interest somewhere around the third or fourth word didn’t you?

Or, maybe start with your One-liner. You are thinking, what is a one-liner?

It’s an invented word by one of the leading marketing strategists called Donald Miller. He wrote the best selling book “StoryBrand” which I highly recommend you read if you want to do it yourself. So yea, he knows what he is talking about.


So let’s switch it up and instead of saying “Hello, my name is Bernard and I run a social…” let’s answer with my one-liner. “Hello, I’m Bernard. We work with small to medium sized restaurants to develop a clear, effective social media presence and save them from the lack of results and the annoyance of doing it themselves.”

Now, craft one yourself, it’s not that hard.

One-liner formula

There’s a 30minute youtube video dedicated to teaching you build it, but if you don’t have 30 minutes, do not worry. I’ve got you.

  1. The Character
  2. The Problem
  3. The Plan
  4. The Success

If you a restaurant owner, who has a pizza restaurant, your one-liner could be formulated like that.

  1. Hungry office workers
  2. Short lunch breaks
  3. Quick and tasty pizza
  4. Never late after their lunch break

“We provide hungry office workers with quick, delicious pizza for lunch and ensure they are never late again”

In short,the idea is to identify your target audience and communicate to their problem with the success your restaurant provides in return of their business.

Now make sure you memorise your one-liner and so does your team. This will immediately tell your customers who you are, what you do and why you do it.

Step 2 – Your Website

I’m sure you already know the importance of your website – it’s your business card online. Display your menu, opening hours, story and the feel for the restaurant. While you already know the importance of the website, do you know how to make it work?

Ask yourself these 8 questions
  1. Avoid too many bells and whistles – get to the point, what do you do?
  2. Simple design always wins
  3. Responsive design – is it mobile friendly?
  4. Does it load fast? 2 seconds or more and you are risking of losing visitors who will never come back
  5. Are you tracking who is coming to your website?
  6. Are you collecting email addresses?
  7. Do you offer something of value instead of information exchange?
  8. Are you engaging your email list?

Step 3 – Social Media

I won’t go into why you should be using social media as I am sure you already know the benefits. It’s cheap, effective and helps you build a brand with the least amount of work required. Done wrong however and not only it won’t bring results, but it can also damage your brand.

Have you registered to all social media platforms? Make sure you “claim” your username before its lost. Register on all platforms:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. Facebook
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Google maps
  7. Trip advisor
  8. Pinterest

Next, make sure you complete your profiles on ALL platforms. This is annoying, I know.

Banners and logos everywhere will take time. But its absolutely necessary. This will ensure you have a congruent brand acrross.

Choose 1-2 platforms and own it

Instagram is the hottest platform right now. With 660 million visitors it takes the crown of the social media.

Get our Top 7 Hacks Famous Brands Use On Instagram To Grow Fast!

When you have decided which one you will go with – own it

  1. Post daily or every other day
  2. Reply to comments and engage with users
  3. Reach out to people and engage
  4. Rinse and repeat

Are you tracking and monitoring your online reviews? Are you replying to each and every one of them?

These 3 simple steps will set you up for success in the future

Here you are, just to recap:

  1. Your Message
  2. Your website (business card online)
  3. Social Media to build brand awareness, grow sales and stay current

There’s a lot more you could be doing, but instead of worrying about every option – it is much more effective to focus on the few simple ones which have the most impact.

If you still feel overwhelmed – you are not alone. 70% of the new restaurants get it wrong. Get in touch and we will provide you with a customised marketing plan and show you the results you could be getting by taking the right steps.

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