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Steve Averill
March 11, 2015

Top 10 Reasons Why Restaurant Marketing Fails

failed stampNo one likes to talk about what’s wrong because then you have to admit you screwed up. It takes guts to admit a mistake, so we all avoid it. Let’s be a little courageous today and go down the path of failure and see if we can learn something. What are the top 10 mistakes restaurant marketing directors make when they set out to conquer their local market?

1. Claiming to have a strategy when it’s really a bunch of tactics.

You know how this feels if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant and it seems like everyone is reacting to the latest emergency. No one is on the same page and there’s finger-pointing everywhere. A real plan is based on sound principles that puts the brand at the center.

>>Skip directly to the Top 3 Most Effective Restaurant Marketing Techniques.

2. Not knowing what the brand stands for.

Are you the most unique tapas bar in town with incredible customer service? Is that what everyone has been told? We are betting “no”. If you don’t know where you stand you’ll fall for anything. The brand must have a position

3. Hiring the wrong people.

“Wait a minute”, you’re saying. “I’m a marketing person. I don’t hire and fire.” Well get in there and share with management the proven fact that it’s PEOPLE who communicate the brand message. If you’ve got folks who aren’t fired up by your vision you might as well not even open the doors. 

4. Not rewarding your best customers.

This is the fastest way to kill your word of mouth success. Part of the reason people love to complain is because it gets them attention. Put the spotlight on your biggest fans and get them talking about you to their friends. 

5. Not having a word-of-mouth system.

You can’t assume that just because you gave discounts to your most loyal customers, that means they will tell everyone about it. Tie it into your social media efforts and track the results.

6. Not tracking data. 

This is the age of big data. There’s no excuse not to know your numbers. Whether it’s customer-related or food and beverage driven, you should be embracing numerical analysis and using it to drive strategy.

7. Acting like everyone else. 

People seek out the new and the different. If you copy you will lose. Imitating or trying to one-up the competition by price is not clever marketing. Being first is a lot easier and less expensive than being best.

8. Pretending to be the best. 

There’s no “fake it ‘til you make it” when it comes to food.  Either you know what you’re doing or you don’t.  Earn your marketing stripes by communicating your unique offerings and being clear about your selling proposition.

9. Ignoring social media. 

You can’t survive today without the openness and transparency that everyone has come to expect.  Use social media as a customer service tool and an opportunity to share your views on trends and culture.  We are all media companies now.

10. Not eating at your own restaurant. 

You know what we mean by this.  Do you love what your business has to offer?  Are you a fan? If not, it’s time to move on.  If you love it, it will come through in all you do. Passion coupled with purpose makes for killer communication.

For more restaurant marketing mistakes check out "The 6 Most Deadly Marketing Mistakes."  What do think of this list?  What would you add? Let us know by sending us an email or adding a comment. We’d love to hear from you. And if you need any help with your restaurant marketing, be sure to give us a call at 951-479-5411.

 Are you seeking professionals to guide your restaurant marketing to success? Contact us here.

Find out who we've worked with here.

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Maximize your restaurant marketing efforts and reduce costs by downloading this        e-book, 10 Things to Cut From Your Restaurant Marketing today!

10 things to cut from your restaurant marketing

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