The Restaurant List Co.

I’ve just read a short article in the Orlando Business Journal (Yes, this is the beauty of the Internet, you can read about local news globally!) about two entrepreneurs that came up with an idea to create customized lists for hotels that cite restaurants by category with brief descriptions, addresses, phone numbers and maps, all updated on a monthly basis.

The Restaurant List Co. started in Nashville, Tennessee about a year ago and wants to include more than 100,000 restaurants and 12,000 hotels.

Their business model is to offer the list to hotels for free and make money in the back end from the restaurants that pay between $10 to $300 per month to be included.

So you think this a good idea? Should you advertise in this list if you city happens to be already included in their database?

My short answer is No, I don’t think so. I will explain why I think that this is a waste of money (your money) and why this is an almost obsolete idea in these Internet times:

  • The list will be distributed in hotels. This means that it will capture ONLY people who are traveling and therefore may go to your restaurant once in a blue moon. And this is assuming that they go to your place; remember, there will be hundreds of restaurant listed there! Now, if you are familiar with my restaurant marketing strategies, you know that I recommend cultivating your best existing clients and promoting for them to come more often and bring their friends and family versus expending lots of money trying to attract new customers. This initiative focuses exclusively in this expensive strategy.
  • People who frequent hotels, (at least that your restaurant is located in a turistic area) are usually business travelers. These are technical savvy people who will use the Internet to find good places to eat. With the proliferation of free user-rated sites such as http://www.citysearch.com, http://www.yelp.com, and other more prestigious sites such as http://www.zagat.com, http://www.restaurant.com, etc. who needs a printed list to chose a restaurant?
  • Since this list is on a per-pay model, any restaurant will be included, mixing high quality expensive restaurants with fast food places and making the clients confused about their choices.
  • Finally, if you really want to attract people who stay in hotels near your place, the best way to do it is to “bribe” the concierges. Offer them a complimentary meal once in a while and they will refer lots of people to your place for much less money than the monthly fee that you’ll have to pay to be included in this list

So there, this is my opinion of the whole idea. If you think that this would work for you, then at least try to track how many people will come to your place because of the list. Make the ad in the list so that the clients coming give you a code or something on exchange for some freebie. This is the only way to track the success of this marketing investment.

Remember, never invest in marketing if you can’t track its results! If you do nothing else and follow this golden rule, you will be way ahead of your competitors and invest wisely your marketing dollars.

Happy Sailing,

Jose L Riesco
http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com

Copyright Jose L Riesco

The Restaurant List Co.

I’ve just read a short article in the Orlando Business Journal (Yes, this is the beauty of the Internet, you can read about local news globally!) about two entrepreneurs that came up with an idea to create customized lists for hotels that cite restaurants by category with brief descriptions, addresses, phone numbers and maps, all updated on a monthly basis.

The Restaurant List Co. started in Nashville, Tennessee about a year ago and wants to include more than 100,000 restaurants and 12,000 hotels.

Their business model is to offer the list to hotels for free and make money in the back end from the restaurants that pay between $10 to $300 per month to be included.

So you think this a good idea? Should you advertise in this list if you city happens to be already included in their database?

My short answer is No, I don’t think so. I will explain why I think that this is a waste of money (your money) and why this is an almost obsolete idea in these Internet times:

  • The list will be distributed in hotels. This means that it will capture ONLY people who are traveling and therefore may go to your restaurant once in a blue moon. And this is assuming that they go to your place; remember, there will be hundreds of restaurant listed there! Now, if you are familiar with my restaurant marketing strategies, you know that I recommend cultivating your best existing clients and promoting for them to come more often and bring their friends and family versus expending lots of money trying to attract new customers. This initiative focuses exclusively in this expensive strategy.
  • People who frequent hotels, (at least that your restaurant is located in a turistic area) are usually business travelers. These are technical savvy people who will use the Internet to find good places to eat. With the proliferation of free user-rated sites such as http://www.citysearch.com, http://www.yelp.com, and other more prestigious sites such as http://www.zagat.com, http://www.restaurant.com, etc. who needs a printed list to chose a restaurant?
  • Since this list is on a per-pay model, any restaurant will be included, mixing high quality expensive restaurants with fast food places and making the clients confused about their choices.
  • Finally, if you really want to attract people who stay in hotels near your place, the best way to do it is to “bribe” the concierges. Offer them a complimentary meal once in a while and they will refer lots of people to your place for much less money than the monthly fee that you’ll have to pay to be included in this list


So there, this is my opinion of the whole idea. If you think that this would work for you, then at least try to track how many people will come to your place because of the list. Make the ad in the list so that the clients coming give you a code or something on exchange for some freebie. This is the only way to track the success of this marketing investment.

Remember, never invest in marketing if you can’t track its results! If you do nothing else and follow this golden rule, you will be way ahead of your competitors and invest wisely your marketing dollars.

Happy Sailing,

Jose L Riesco
© Riesco Consulting Inc.
www.twitter.com/jlriesco
http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com

The Restaurant List Co.

I’ve just read a short article in the Orlando Business Journal (Yes, this is the beauty of the Internet, you can read about local news globally!) about two entrepreneurs that came up with an idea to create customized lists for hotels that cite restaurants by category with brief descriptions, addresses, phone numbers and maps, all updated on a monthly basis.

The Restaurant List Co. started in Nashville, Tennessee about a year ago and wants to include more than 100,000 restaurants and 12,000 hotels.

Their business model is to offer the list to hotels for free and make money in the back end from the restaurants that pay between $10 to $300 per month to be included.

So you think this a good idea? Should you advertise in this list if you city happens to be already included in their database?

My short answer is No, I don’t think so. I will explain why I think that this is a waste of money (your money) and why this is an almost obsolete idea in these Internet times:

  • The list will be distributed in hotels. This means that it will capture ONLY people who are traveling and therefore may go to your restaurant once in a blue moon. And this is assuming that they go to your place; remember, there will be hundreds of restaurant listed there! Now, if you are familiar with my restaurant marketing strategies, you know that I recommend cultivating your best existing clients and promoting for them to come more often and bring their friends and family versus expending lots of money trying to attract new customers. This initiative focuses exclusively in this expensive strategy.
  • People who frequent hotels, (at least that your restaurant is located in a turistic area) are usually business travelers. These are technical savvy people who will use the Internet to find good places to eat. With the proliferation of free user-rated sites such as http://www.citysearch.com, http://www.yelp.com, and other more prestigious sites such as http://www.zagat.com, http://www.restaurant.com, etc. who needs a printed list to chose a restaurant?
  • Since this list is on a per-pay model, any restaurant will be included, mixing high quality expensive restaurants with fast food places and making the clients confused about their choices.
  • Finally, if you really want to attract people who stay in hotels near your place, the best way to do it is to “bribe” the concierges. Offer them a complimentary meal once in a while and they will refer lots of people to your place for much less money than the monthly fee that you’ll have to pay to be included in this list

So there, this is my opinion of the whole idea. If you think that this would work for you, then at least try to track how many people will come to your place because of the list. Make the ad in the list so that the clients coming give you a code or something on exchange for some freebie. This is the only way to track the success of this marketing investment.

Remember, never invest in marketing if you can’t track its results! If you do nothing else and follow this golden rule, you will be way ahead of your competitors and invest wisely your marketing dollars.

Happy Sailing,

Jose L Riesco
http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com

Copyright Jose L Riesco

Restaurant Marketing Plan

Do restaurant owners and managers need a Restaurant Marketing Plan?

The answer is, ABSOLUTELY. Without a marketing plan you are just investing money blindly hoping for the best and trying to get lucky.

Would you build a house without first having a blueprint? Probably not a good idea since you could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get, at best, a questionable house.

However, many restaurateurs spend thousands of dollars in marketing (placing ads in weekly papers and magazines, printing and mailing coupons, accepting programs like Passport, etc.) without having, or even ever considering a marketing plan.

A restaurant marketing plan is a blueprint of your marketing strategy. It tells you where and how to spend your marketing dollars so that you can maximize your investment and get the results that you want. In other words, it is your plan for a successful restaurant.

Restaurateurs are busy people. There are so many things that they need to take care of on a daily bases (inventory, appliances, staff, schedules, finances, cleaning, maintaining, etc.) that they can always find excuses for no sitting down and do some upfront planning that it could save them thousands of dollars in marketing investments and additional thousands in increased revenues and sales.

If you don’t have a restaurant marketing plan, you will be pray of the persistent sales people who will come to your restaurant (because they will come, count on it) trying to persuade you to place ads in their yellow pages, their billboards, their newspapers (that, they will tell you reaches thousands of readers, like if this was any measure of your success advertising there!), etc.

Think for a moment how do you want to position your restaurant. Do you have something obviously special that you offer to your clients? (this is called a Unique Selling Proposition or USP). If so, you should use this USP in your advertising, if not, you should come up with one.

All restaurants are different from each other and all have something unique about them that their regulars clients like. If you don’t now what’s special about your place, ask your regular clients. Approach them after a good meal and ask them what’s that they like about your place that they come again and again. Is it your great food? or your excellent service? Is it perhaps your location or your ambience? There are many variables and your job, as owner/manager is to identify what makes your place special and different from other places.

Once you have your USP, use it in all your marketing materials.

Then think about your clients. What’s your average client? If you are a medium/upper scale restaurant, they are probably professionals or retired people with money, perhaps couples with no kids, etc. If you are a family restaurant, your clients are families with kids, etc.

This is very important when you create your marketing campaigns. For example, why should you advertise in a weekly newspaper mainly aimed to youth if most of your customers are middle age couples with higher income? You would be wasting your marketing dollars. Or the opposite: If you have a family restaurant, should you send coupons in an area where most of the population are retired senior people? I don’t think that this is a great idea.

You see where I am going? Before you spend ANY dollars in your marketing, try to think about your place:what’s unique with it?, and about your clients: what kind of clients do you have and what kind of clients do you want? this will set up the tone and channels for all your marketing.

Think always strategically. Know what your plan is and where do you want to take your business before you spend your hard earned dollars in marketing that doesn’t work for you.

Jose L Riesco
© Riesco Consulting Inc.

Restaurant Marketing Plan

Do restaurant owners and managers need a Restaurant Marketing Plan?

The answer is, ABSOLUTELY. Without a marketing plan you are just investing money blindly hoping for the best and trying to get lucky.

Would you build a house without first having a blueprint? Probably not a good idea since you could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get, at best, a questionable house.

However, many restaurateurs spend thousands of dollars in marketing (placing ads in weekly papers and magazines, printing and mailing coupons, accepting programs like Passport, etc.) without having, or even ever considering a marketing plan.

A restaurant marketing plan is a blueprint of your marketing strategy. It tells you where and how to spend your marketing dollars so that you can maximize your investment and get the results that you want. In other words, it is your plan for a successful restaurant.

Restaurateurs are busy people. There are so many things that they need to take care of on a daily bases (inventory, appliances, staff, schedules, finances, cleaning, maintaining, etc.) that they can always find excuses for no sitting down and do some upfront planning that it could save them thousands of dollars in marketing investments and additional thousands in increased revenues and sales.

If you don’t have a restaurant marketing plan, you will be pray of the persistent sales people who will come to your restaurant (because they will come, count on it) trying to persuade you to place ads in their yellow pages, their billboards, their newspapers (that, they will tell you reaches thousands of readers, like if this was any measure of your success advertising there!), etc.

Think for a moment how do you want to position your restaurant. Do you have something obviously special that you offer to your clients? (this is called a Unique Selling Proposition or USP). If so, you should use this USP in your advertising, if not, you should come up with one.

All restaurants are different from each other and all have something unique about them that their regulars clients like. If you don’t now what’s special about your place, ask your regular clients. Approach them after a good meal and ask them what’s that they like about your place that they come again and again. Is it your great food? or your excellent service? Is it perhaps your location or your ambience? There are many variables and your job, as owner/manager is to identify what makes your place special and different from other places.

Once you have your USP, use it in all your marketing materials.

Then think about your clients. What’s your average client? If you are a medium/upper scale restaurant, they are probably professionals or retired people with money, perhaps couples with no kids, etc. If you are a family restaurant, your clients are families with kids, etc.

This is very important when you create your marketing campaigns. For example, why should you advertise in a weekly newspaper mainly aimed to youth if most of your customers are middle age couples with higher income? You would be wasting your marketing dollars. Or the opposite: If you have a family restaurant, should you send coupons in an area where most of the population are retired senior people? I don’t think that this is a great idea.

You see where I am going? Before you spend ANY dollars in your marketing, try to think about your place:what’s unique with it?, and about your clients: what kind of clients do you have and what kind of clients do you want? this will set up the tone and channels for all your marketing.

Think always strategically. Know what your plan is and where do you want to take your business before you spend your hard earned dollars in marketing that doesn’t work for you.

Jose L Riesco
© Riesco Consulting Inc.
www.twitter.com/jlriesco
http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com

Restaurant Marketing Plan

Do restaurant owners and managers need a Restaurant Marketing Plan?

The answer is, ABSOLUTELY. Without a marketing plan you are just investing money blindly hoping for the best and trying to get lucky.

Would you build a house without first having a blueprint? Probably not a good idea since you could end up spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get, at best, a questionable house.

However, many restaurateurs spend thousands of dollars in marketing (placing ads in weekly papers and magazines, printing and mailing coupons, accepting programs like Passport, etc.) without having, or even ever considering a marketing plan.

A restaurant marketing plan is a blueprint of your marketing strategy. It tells you where and how to spend your marketing dollars so that you can maximize your investment and get the results that you want. In other words, it is your plan for a successful restaurant.

Restaurateurs are busy people. There are so many things that they need to take care of on a daily bases (inventory, appliances, staff, schedules, finances, cleaning, maintaining, etc.) that they can always find excuses for no sitting down and do some upfront planning that it could save them thousands of dollars in marketing investments and additional thousands in increased revenues and sales.

If you don’t have a restaurant marketing plan, you will be pray of the persistent sales people who will come to your restaurant (because they will come, count on it) trying to persuade you to place ads in their yellow pages, their billboards, their newspapers (that, they will tell you reaches thousands of readers, like if this was any measure of your success advertising there!), etc.

Think for a moment how do you want to position your restaurant. Do you have something obviously special that you offer to your clients? (this is called a Unique Selling Proposition or USP). If so, you should use this USP in your advertising, if not, you should come up with one.

All restaurants are different from each other and all have something unique about them that their regulars clients like. If you don’t now what’s special about your place, ask your regular clients. Approach them after a good meal and ask them what’s that they like about your place that they come again and again. Is it your great food? or your excellent service? Is it perhaps your location or your ambience? There are many variables and your job, as owner/manager is to identify what makes your place special and different from other places.

Once you have your USP, use it in all your marketing materials.

Then think about your clients. What’s your average client? If you are a medium/upper scale restaurant, they are probably professionals or retired people with money, perhaps couples with no kids, etc. If you are a family restaurant, your clients are families with kids, etc.

This is very important when you create your marketing campaigns. For example, why should you advertise in a weekly newspaper mainly aimed to youth if most of your customers are middle age couples with higher income? You would be wasting your marketing dollars. Or the opposite: If you have a family restaurant, should you send coupons in an area where most of the population are retired senior people? I don’t think that this is a great idea.

You see where I am going? Before you spend ANY dollars in your marketing, try to think about your place:what’s unique with it?, and about your clients: what kind of clients do you have and what kind of clients do you want? this will set up the tone and channels for all your marketing.

Think always strategically. Know what your plan is and where do you want to take your business before you spend your hard earned dollars in marketing that doesn’t work for you.

Jose L Riesco
© Riesco Consulting Inc.

Great Service

What constitutes great service when you go to a restaurant?

This is one of these things that are difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it, or better yet, when you experience it.

Some times we go to a restaurant where the service is so obviously poor that there is no question about it: long delays, rude or inattentive waiters, mistakes with the food or drinks orders that don’t get compensated, apologized, etc.

We know that it has been poor service and we can totally account and

However, other times, although everything seems OK, we have the impression that something is missing. Yes, the waiters were on time and yes, they delivered the food and drinks that we ordered in a reasonable time and yet, however, something is missing: I will call it the WOW factor.

You see? We humans are very tuned, although many times, in a subconscious level, to the feelings and moods of other people. If a waiter is unhappy, or just has a bad day, you will notice. That mood, that unhappiness will be transmitted to the people who their customers.

The reverse is also true. A happy, sincerely smiling waiter, transmits their happiness to their clients, chatting with them and making them feel good. It doesn’t matter that much if they make a mistake or forget some food item because their tables will feel connected with them and understand and forgive their mistakes.

This seems unfair, after all, every person has the right to be moody or unhappy. So how does the waiters mood or disposition relate to the restaurant owners or managers? What can you do if they have unhappy faces or unhappy lives?

Well, to start with, many of the unhappiness of your employees could probably be related to your work environment.

You should ask yourself. Are your employees happy to work for your restaurant? Happy to work for you? If you try to squeeze as much as you can from them, they will resent you and transmit this resentment to their tables, to your clients!

I mention in my online seminar that the quality of your restaurant is as good as the quality of your weakest link. If your employees are not happy working for you, your clients will suffer the consequences.

I am not saying that you need to bend backwards to please your employees. After all, they are also human and therefore always want the best for themselves, even if they are not being fair with their fellow coworkers.

What I am saying is that you should provide your employees with the best work environment that you can (of course while still running a profitable business). Trying to take advantage of your employees by having unreasonable working hours, treating them with disrespect, paying them late, etc. will make them unhappy and will make you lose a lot of money in the long term with your clients.

Happy employees make happy clients. Period.

Thanks for reading and happy sailing,

Jose L Riesco
jose@riescoconsulting.com
http://www.myrestaurantmarketing.com

Copyright Riesco Consulting Inc.