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How to Market a Restaurant that Could… Not!

It’s a really bad day when I hear about another small business that is going to close down and shut its doors to never open again; especially when it’s a fairly new restaurant in my own neck of the woods. The sad thing is that this restaurant I am referring to was one we were looking to work with, but the owner refused to get together with us to help him drive traffic and new business.

Over the past 6 to 9 months I’ve been watching the show Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network along with a few other shows with similar formats. What drew me to this show is the simple fact that these small businesses seem to be so close to going under, and then Chef Robert Irvine comes in in just a few days to save the establishment.

What’s been so intriguing about the RI show and the others that are similar to it is the simple fact that there are so many restaurants failing throughout the USA. It really blew my mind when I saw that there were four shows having to do with restaurants in trouble and then a local restaurant by our home went under along with a few others.

Should we have done something different in the ways of prospecting? Maybe so, but at this stage of the game, getting to a restaurant owner who thinks he has it all figured out is like attempting to break up pavement with a hammer.

Here are few steps you can take so you Know How to Market a Restaurant, Increase Sales and Avoid Losing Customers:

  1. Track your food costs.
  2. Create and Implement a Staff Manual. 
  3. Survey your Customers. It’s cheap and will open your eyes.
  4. Setup & Optimize Listings on Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor, Google and Yahoo. This is the short list.
  5. Market your Restaurant via Mobile. This means phones and tablets, so you’ll need an optimized site that is easily viewable and clickable.

Now even with these tips and suggestions we share with you here at Click and Mortar Blog and at Small Biz Mechanix, you still might get stuck or even very frustrated.

I mean even the Restaurant Impossible crew could come in and fix your place of food and beverage, and you still might fail or have continued trouble, if you don’t change your mindset, staff, food or marketing.

That’s right…

You, the owner or manager, need to start with your way of thinking and this takes work and time.

In one case, RI did their thing and supposedly fixed the ailing, failing restaurant but some thing didn’t gel or setup correctly and this establishment ended up with some bad reviews after the fact. This is really sad considering that the owner had a fresh start and lots of momentum created by a crew that knows how to set things straight.

So, I would recommend that you, Mr./Mrs./Miss Owner or Manager, review the tips above, look in the mirror and then get busy!

To your restaurant’s success,

Dave Krygier

PS:  BTW – if you really want to know how to market a restaurant and increase sales, connect with The Small Biz Mechanics and they’ll set you up. 🙂