What does it really take? As a marketer it takes nothing short of feet on the ground. You must develop a deep understanding of the competitive environment of your clients. You have to incorporate the knowledge and perspective of ownership, as well as the consumer.
What is the niche or segment your restaurant is catering to, and is it the right segment? Don’t be afraid to challenge the concept if the health of the business hangs in the balance.
Social media alone isn’t going to change the outcome for a restaurant, neither is a nice website. Not even a premier spot in Google Carousel search engine results is going to guarantee success; though having all these things certainly gives you a leg-up on your competition.
What it takes is an understanding of the assets and opportunity for a business, and using all the tools at your disposal to drive more traffic to the dining room and the bar. Do you know how to sell more alcohol in the venue, do you know hot to put on an event that creates a halo effect that lives with the business for weeks or months? Do you know how to promote a business at a positive ROI, and prove that you are doing so?
Understand your restaurant, understand your audience, and then make sure the product, pricing, promotion and placement all work to create a brand and an experience that your audience will embrace. That is what it takes to be a restaurant marketing expert.
Here's are two great examples of effective hospitality marketing. In the first we have an event promotion with Guinness done for Molly Spillane's in Mamaroneck, New York. This event raised funds for the local volunteer fire department, and helped to demonstrate the core values of the Spillane Group. The event was a huge success for the venue, for the volunteer fire department, and for the community.
The second example is a great 'mission statement' video, shot for our friends at Captain Lawrence. This video asset is an excellent articulation of the brand that is Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. It is a great customer facing communication to live on their website, as well as to be shared in social media. It has also generated shared and earned media by being hosted on Westchester Magazine's website, among other placements.
Being truly invested in the success of a client's business is one of the keys to a strong and durable relationship. Also paramount in importance is actually having the knowledge and expertise to help seize upon, or even create public relations, marketing and promotional opportunities for your restaurant clients.