Preview of the Restaurant Brand Marketer
I’m a restaurant person. I love restaurants, the fun, experience, and the general feeling of a restaurant brand. The people, the music, you name it…I’m hooked. My profession is Marketing and Advertising. I build and evolve Brands. But over the years, I have become an astute business person and an excellent listener. I think that happened because I spent half of my professional life on the Agency side of the business and the other half as a client.
Now as a “Brand Helper,” I work in the world of “Brand Space” and help people fill it with perspective that can grow their business. I go to every type of restaurant from fast food establishments, to biker bars, to casual dining spots (which are losing their way) to posh eateries.
Personal Touch to Your Restaurant Brand
Going back to the restaurant discussion, don’t do this “Mr. Restaurant, Owner, Manager, Partner, Employee thing! For example, I went to a much anticipated dinner for a special occasion, and since I’m a restaurant geek you should get the message. It was horrible. I can’t tell you how disappointing the entire experience was from start to finish. Even though my ” little restaurant warning bell” was slightly dulled from a few martini’s, it was still ringing. Instead of “Don’t do This” commands, I’m going to put in more directive terms.
Make sure your host or first person of contact with your customer has what it takes….happy smiling faces and treats the customer with the ultimate respect. I guess you forget that point if you are a really “Hot Spot” and have a big following with a lot of repeat customers! But even still, you need to keep growing and expanding your customer base. The first contact person should introduce themselves and welcome them into their home.
Are there events going on in the community? If so, that first contact should be aware of those events and inquire about the customer’s evening. “Are you going to the show tonight?” or “Are you just enjoying the evening with us tonight?” You get the idea. You have established their evening’s expectation and, of course, you should know if it is their first visit. The person should then give a code to the wait person that defines new or repeat customer. I don’t care how busy you are at the time, these are the basics that should become second nature to the staff. I don’t care if you have one customer or 150. What happened to being charming? Oh yea, no one goes to charm school anymore.
Not to worry. I’ll give you an example of bad service. Okay you know where I am going with this. No new news with this. Do you think a coach doesn’t make his team do the basic drills everyday? There is a reason that he does- so it becomes second nature and natural. It becomes “How I do business”. I engage my customers. I embrace them and let them know they are special and that I really am happy that they have come to spend their evening and their hard-earned money with me. Like when we are treated like lepers because we aren’t regulars, the wait staff is bad and rushed. The waiter just wants us to order and get a table turn. Great. Thank you very much. Then the unthinkable happens….. piece of wire in my dinner! Can you believe it? The waiter asks if I would like something else. Would I like Something Else? And then he doesnt immediately remove our plates, he leaves them on the table. Wire and all. Unfortunately, we all have a similar story.
Had to share this story so that each restaurant owner shakes everything up. Start over and get your training into gear Be in your restaurant or restaurants and look at everything like your customer is seeing it for the first time. More to come…Our ultimate goal is to give you a different perspective on the restaurant business.