Restaurant Marketing Report - 7 Secrets To A Full Restaurant

Simple ideas and strategies to put "bums on seats" and fill your restaurant or cafe with paying customers.

We help Restaurant and Cafe Owners to magnetically attract more customers, increase the average customer spend and to put more money in your bank account.

Not getting the results you want? Reserve your Rapid Results, Business Growth, Breakthrough Session HERE

Sunday, 18 December 2011

7 Powerful Ways to Use a Great Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review

1.    Reprint it as a place mat.
2.    Use it in your newsletter.
3.    Put it on your Facebook page.
4.    Copy it and make it part of the collateral you send to prospective special event or function customers.
5.    Post it on your web site or blog.
6.    Frame it and put it in your window or on your wall. (Don’t be lazy and just cut it out and stick it in the window with cello tape so it fades and lowers the image of your restaurant).
7.    Mention it on Twitter and provide a link to it.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Networking For Lunch!

Serve samples of your dishes for visitors to try

Many independent restaurants struggle to get a real connection with the local business community. 

As a result their share of the lucrative business lunch trade suffers.

Just like any other business owner, restaurateurs need to to get out and be masters of networking in their local business community. 

This means attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, business briefings and other business events being held in your local area. You can then used the opportunity when meeting other business people to introduce yourself, your restaurant and your offering. A good way of attracting customers is to pass out business cards with an offer attached and inviting them to visit and try your restaurant.

A really powerful strategy is to regularly hold your own networking event at your restaurant. All the attendees can be hand-picked and invited. What works really well is to work in conjunction with a local banker or accountant and get them to sponsor the event and bring some of their clients.

The secret is to quietly work together and pre-match attendees. Then make a point of introducing them during the event so your visitors see you as working to help them grow their business. By pre-matching you are looking for people who are keen to do business. You then match them with a likely prospect or someone who can introduce or provide access to the other party’s ideal clients. Try this. Your customers will love it.

Provide complimentary drinks and food. This is a real low cost marketing expense which will pay you back handsomely. By bringing in business customers in this way, they will get to know your restaurant and be keen to reciprocate by bringing their customers in for business lunches and quiet dinners.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Are you making the most of the Christmas lead up?

Beside the fun of leading into Christmas with parties, decorations and all the fun stuff that goes into making Christmas special; this is a great time to attract new customers and to build your list.

Often it will be a time when groups, or larger parties of diners visit. This usually means you will have visitors visiting your restaurant for the very first time. You will find diners are often looking for somewhere new at this time of year. It is important to not only attract your regulars but make your restaurant welcoming to new visitors.

This obviously creates opportunity. For those restaurants smart enough to have a customer loyalty and rewards program in place like Restaurant Sales Builder will have many of the essential mechanisms in place to maximize on the opportunity.

There is some simple things you can be doing to make this holiday season work for your restaurant. This includes...

  1. Using Social Media to promote your restaurant. This means you need to be actively using both Facebook and Twitter to talk about the great things happening at your place. I suggest you create reasons to encourage new customers to visit. Remember there is thousands of competitors out there so why should a potential customer dine with you instead of going to a competitor. Create reasons and make sure your potential customers see your restaurant as a fun place to visit. After all that is what your customers are wanting to do. Have fun and celebrate the end of the year.
  2. Collect Customer Contact Details. Now is the time to grow your data base. Yes you are busy and your staff are run off their feet. You need to make sure this important activity is not overlooked. In need create incentives for your staff to collect this valuable information. This is gold for you.
  3. Create "Bounce Back" Programs. Once the new year hits things will slow down. With many on holiday and returning to work with credit card debts to pay off and the school fees to pay. You need to have in place a program of "bounce back" certificates with incentives for diners to return in the new year.
  4. Making your restaurant a place to meet. There are many end of year functions going on and of course many of your customers are into Christmas shopping. So maybe you could promote your restaurant as a place to come early prior to doing the Christmas shop. Or, maybe a place for the final end of year drinks with you having available a "tapas" type offering, or promoting an entree type "last business day" casual menu option that is attractive for workers to meet. Obviously you need to promote to local businesses and of course your existing mailing list. 
Don't just sit back expecting it all to happen. Now is the time to be proactive and beef up your marketing activities.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

20 Powerful Secrets To Successful SMS Marketing

Check out this very comprehensive article on SMS marketing by Margaret Mastrogiacomo in the the Hospitality Net on line newsletter. While written for Hotels very relevant for almost any industry including restaurants.

Top 20 Secrets to Hotel SMS Marketing

Some of the key points she makes include -

  • Keep your communications personal
  • Make sure you engage the customer before sending push messages
  • Always provide value
  • Make sure your messages are interactive with competitions and trivia
  • Capitalize on immediacy and the need to take action now
  • Test everything
  • Always have a call to action
  • Direct users to a mobile landing page
  • Use mobile coupons
Plus heaps more.

This is a very good article and well worth the read.

For more information on how you can use Mobile Marketing here in Australia contact Alistair Gray at Restaurant Sales Builder - Australia Call 1300 654 252 or email

More restaurants are taking up mobile marketing...

Restaurants are more and more using mobile media to by past the spam filters and get their directly messages through to their customers and achieve significant results.

The key is not to bombard customers with messages but to systematically communicate no more than weekly with ideally timed relevant information and offers.

Check out what other restaurants are doing by reading this great article by Mark Walsh in the Media Post News....

Restaurant Industry Serves Up Mobile Offers

For more information on how you can use Mobile Marketing here in Australia contact Alistair Gray at Restaurant Sales Builder - Australia Call 1300 654 252 or email

Saturday, 3 December 2011

YELP Arrives in Australia

American Restaurant Review Tool YELP has finally arrived in Australia. Set to give Eatability a run for their money and to shake up the industry. See this great article by Danielle Bowling in the Hospitality Magazine below...

YELP in Australia

Monday, 24 October 2011

How to cycle your way to more restaurant profits!

I have decided to buy a bike. I have been sitting too much and starting to feel the weight return around the waste after the winter and too much good living. You know that feeling of being a "blob"! Beside getting some fresh air and getting the blood pumping can only be good for me. So off I trundle down to the local bike shop.
Help me. Which one should I buy?

I am served by a sales lady. I tell her I haven't had a bike for 30 years and I was wondering what was available. I don't need anything fancy just something to get me round the river and bay area.

So she reels off three different bike types and their prices. She may well have been talking french. What are the differences? There are racks of bikes but she doesn't show me anything. I then ask her about helmets and other words I am a pretty interested buyer.

With prompting she then shows me a picture of one of the bikes. I can see I am not getting anywhere fast here and say "I think about it" and leave. She doesn't get my details, show me anything I can touch and feel; offer any brochures, so I go...never to return.

Interesting isn't it. How often does something like this happen in your restaurant?

At this time of year the phone will be ringing with function inquires; requests for catering and help and advice for  staff Christmas parties. Your prospective customers they may also be just calling in; or they maybe asking for information from servers when they are dining. These function inquires are your bikes. How well are you handing these requests?

Do you have a process for managing inquires?
Do you collect customer information whether they book or not?
Do you have a system to automatically follow up each inquiry?
Do you have a questioning process to drill down and understand your customer needs and make them feel important?
Do you have some collateral to give them with menus, options and suggestions for holding a successful function?
How do you add value so your prospective customer feels you are the only place to hold their event?
Do you have a system for measuring the metrics i.e. how many inquires do you get? How many book straight away? How many inquires do you miss? How many do you follow up and get the booking? Etc
Do you know how they heard about you? Have they dined at the restaurant before?
Do you know why or why they didn't book with you?
Do you segment these type of inquires in your database so you can contact them again about other events and functions?

Yes, this one simple touch point can make or break your business. 

Now would be a good time to audit what is actually happening? May be even asked someone to do a mystery shopper for you and get them to give you some feedback. Don't make the mistake of assuming all is probably is not.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Sustainability - New Labeling For Restaurants?

With the introduction of the Carbon Tax Legislation introduced to the lower house this week and the likelihood of the is passing into law by the end of the year this recent article in QSR caught my eye

Imagine maybe having to show your carbon footprint on your menu and how much CO2 is saved by buying one burger against another. The environment as we have traditionally know it is fast changing as can be seen in this article. Change represents opportunity...can you turn these changes to a marketing opportunity? 

With virtually no one thinking or talking about sustainability as it relates to individual menu items or their restaurant does this create an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd and attract a "Green Customer"? Does it make a basis for a promotion? Their is a preemptive advantage sitting waiting for someone willing to pick it up and run with it? Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

How Consumers Prefer To Receive Mobile Coupons

In today there is a great post and stats about about how consumers prefer to receive coupons by Smart Phone or Tablet. Includes such stats as 51% of mobile consumers would prefer to receive their coupons via mobile email and much more.

You can check out the full article here...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Restaurant Marketing Reports

If you are looking for some restaurant marketing resources check out these useful reports and articles

Both reports combined contain more than 100 cash flow boosting tips and strategies.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Unlocking the "Gold" in your Restaurant!

One of the most valuable activities you can do in your restaurant is to collect customer names and build a database. This is simply the "Gold" in your restaurant or for that matter in any business.

Because with out the basic customer details like their name, address, email, phone number you have no way of contact them again and you are forced to spend money on advertising and promotions to get them come back into your restaurant. Don't assume they will remember you, as within a few days you will be well out of their mind and within hours of leaving will be bombarded with offers from your competitors. Your job is to simply remind them you are there and the good time they had the last time they dined with you.

Collecting additional information like a customer birthday not only allows you to send them an offer on their birthday but enables you to segment your customer base so you can send targeted offers to different demographic groups.

Yes building a customer database is one of the most important and cost beneficial activities you can do. Luckily for those who invest in the Restaurant Sales Builder System we show you not only how to collect customer details; but how to turn those details into an endless stream of cash.

A good restaurateur will constantly be looking for new ways to build their database. 

Some easy ways you can do this include -
  • Using customer information forms in the restaurant 
  • Collecting business cards in a fish bowl
  • By running competitions
  • Collecting email addresses at time of making a reservation and then sending a confirming email/SMS with offer to join your VIP Guest program
  • Running coloring contests in conjunction with the local school, preschool 
  • Running surveys in your local paper
  • Having a web site sign up form
  • Building alliances with local businesses
Yes, once you have a customer database you then have the flexibility to quickly and at short notice send out a promotion or information to your customer. 

For example a small suburban restaurant could send out a quick email something like this -

"It is Monday night! Recovery Monday!

You have had a hard weekend! You are tired! 

We know you don't really want to cook! You have got to think about what to eat and getting food in!

Yes, it is all too hard! Or is it?

Why not drop down to Big Al's Steakhouse and we will make it really easy!

Buy any main from our mouth watering menu and mention this offer and we give you absolutely FREE the most fabulous Sticky Date Pudding you have ever tasted. A large piece of hot pudding covered in a sticky caramel sauce, with a large blob of vanilla ice cream to top it off and gently melting on the plate."

I don't know about you but I am feeling hungry just writing this.

When you have the Restaurant Sales Builder System in place you can do this sort of promotion in a couple of minutes. You don't have to worry about -
  • working with clumsy excel files
  • cutting and pasting data
  • working with outlook or some other email program.
Instead, with your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System built into the Restaurant Sales Builder System it is all set up ready to go. You just write your promotion, attach your coupon automatically and send it out within minutes; all from one place without the hassle. 

You now are in total control.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

7 Ways Restaurants Can Use The Simple Business Card To Skyrocket Sales!

Restaurant Marketing using the power of personal relationships and a simple business card is a very powerful and inexpensive tool to drive new customers into your restaurant. For some unknown reason most restaurateurs don't use it.

In my last post I showed you how using a carefully crafted business card with a strong offer, and call to action used in conjunction with the Restaurant Sales Builder System will generate an ongoing stream of cash. This simple little activity is just waiting for smart restaurant owners to pick up and turn into cash.

Here is a list of 7 ways you can use these cards to generate more business ...

  1. Start a local visit program in your local area - yes get out of your restaurant and go down the street and start visiting local businesses, offices and retailers and start introducing yourself. Make a point of leaving your card with an invitation to visit
  2. Attend local Chamber of Commerce Meetings, Networking meetings; create an opportunity to visit local service club meetings; better join a local service club like Rotary or Lions and get involved in the community
  3. Get involved with your local school, sports clubs or charity - all will offer opportunities for you to meet people and give out your newly designed business card
  4. Every time you give out your card give out two cards and ask your new friend to pass the extra card to someone else. Make sure you always invite them to visit and point out the offer on the card. They will appreciate it and be more likely to give the second card away
  5. Give 10 cards to every staff member and ask them to give them away to their friends and people they meet. They should also hand out 2 cards each time. Get them to put their name on each card so you can track what is happening. Make them all, including the chef and the dish washer all members of your marketing team. When they have given them all away give them another 10 cards to start again. You could set up an incentive program so that say when 5 business cards were presented you gave them say a couple of movie tickets or other reward.
  6. Get cards printed with staff members names - particularly your permanent senior staff. Watch how this lifts moral and how many cards now go out the door!
  7. Give a couple of cards to every happy customer and ask them to give them away to their friends.
Remember, this about getting people to visit your restaurant for the first time. You need to create an irresistible offer so that along with the personal invitation they will visit. Most people will not dine alone and will bring a friend or friends and your business will quickly grow. This simple strategy is much cheaper than any other type of advertising and your customers, staff and community will love you for it.

Finally, when your new customers visit you need to make them feel special. Encourage them to join your VIP Guest program and give you their contact details. Make sure you give them a membership card on the spot and maybe even a small departing gift to wow them and thank them so they will want to return. 

Now you have their details you can use the power of Restaurant Sales Builder Automated Marketing System to do the rest and keep your new customer coming back time and time again.

By the way, don't forget to thank everyone for their referrals. 

Monday, 20 June 2011

Best Restaurant Business Card Ever!

Restaurant Business Cards are probably one of the most under used and yet most cost effective and valuable marketing resources available to restaurant owners.

Above is a copy of a great business card from my good friends Pat and Dawn Griswold owners of Pizzi Cafe in Conneaut, Ohio.

What makes this card so great? It is NOT the colors, the logo or the design but what is actually on the card. Let's look a little closer...

First there is an invitation "Join Us Tonight" - it is asking you to visit.

Second there is a reason to visit - Redeem this card for a FREE Pasta Dinner or FREE Medium 1-Topping Pizza - an offer or bribe to encourage you to visit for the first time

Third - It is telling you they are part of our local community and how they very much like to support the community in which they live

Fourth - it has all the essentials - hours of operation, address, phone number, web site and logo

It is all here. But it even gets better...

This Business Card Generates An Ongoing Stream Of Cash!

When the card is redeemed the new customer is immediately enrolled in their VIP Guest Program and given a new membership card as part of their Customer Loyalty Program. The customer is then able to earn points and rewards not only on this initial purchase but on future dining purchases. They also receive gifts on their birthday and anniversaries along with other awards and advance notice of special events.

With the Restaurant Sales Builder Program looking after all the administration of their VIP Guest Program Dawn and Pat can spend all their time ensuring their customers have a great time when they visit. You only have to check out the pictures on the Pizzi Cafe web site to see that is exactly what there customers do.

There is one thing to attract new customers to your restaurant but you need to have a system to support this like the Restaurant Sales Builder System to ensure your new customer returns time and time again.

In my next post I will talk a little more about using business cards. I will also reveal one very powerful business building secret that very few restaurateurs use. It costs virtually nothing and will drive new customers to your restaurant - guaranteed! Watch this space...

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Being outrageous at lunch time gets you noticed!

I was just returning from the city and feeling hungry when I noticed these two young ladies waving their signs outside the Ruby L'otel in Rozelle. I couldn't resist the photo opportunity and the chance to enjoy a $10 lunch. I congratulate the owners for this  simple but effective initiative.

Many reading this would say 'This is out side a pub - we couldn't do that!" Rubbish - why not? Yes, and dare I say it if you think like that your restaurant is probably empty. You could even take the concept and with a little refinement try it out side a fine dining restaurant.

The most important thing in your marketing is to be noticed. As Gary Halbert one of the world's best marketers would say it is all about creating a little theatre and excitement and being noticed.

So often I have come across restaurants particularly in suburban areas struggling at lunch time. They complain but do nothing about changing their situation. Your quiet time maybe later in the day. It doesn't really matter when, other than you need to recognise this as a time of opportunity.

What can you do to bring people into your restaurant in those quiet times? How can you be different than everyone else? What would make you standout from the crowd? What changes do you need to make to the menu? The way you operate? Do you need to attract a different type of customer at that time? Etc? Etc?

Some simple ideas -

  • Introduce snacking or mini meal options
  • Have a fast and casual type menu for the during the day, maybe more salads, and light lunch options or in the winter soups and scones
  • Cater more for mums and dads, or maybe have a kid focus
  • Offer "Happy Hours" for early diners
  • Introduce music or other entertainment to encourage visitors at times they would not normally visit e.g. a piano playing over lunch or a bit of jazz may create a bit of "buzz"
  • Offer specialty deserts or maybe "High Tea"
  • Maybe you could value add by offering a free car wash while they eat
I am sure you could come up with many other ideas. Why not ask your customers what they think? Be prepared to be flexible. Move away from the square box and be prepared to experiment and you can not fail.

Finally, don't forget to tell your customers. Don't assume they will know what you are doing. That is what is great about the Restaurant Sales Builder System .You have the means and flexibility to quickly communicate with your customers; have a bit of fun and can easily share the good news with them.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Are restaurant owners really serious about growing their businesses?

I have been building a list of restaurants in the Sydney area who have been using Group Coupon offers like the ones put out by Groupon, Spreets, Best Deal, etc. These deals offer incredible value benefits for the consumer and encourage the coupon chasers to move from one restaurant to another according to the best deal being offered.

For the restaurant owner they provide an opportunity to raise their profile in the local community and are more effective than traditional advertising methods - or are they? This is a whole story in it self but need less to say my view is they encourage one off diners who reside well away from the restaurants natural business catchment to try you  out purely because of the deal. When in essence they are very unlikely return. The "Life Time Value" of such a customer is usually negative and restaurants are in effect "Spinning their wheels", putting a lot of pressure on their staff and resources for at best a "break even" result.

After all Marketing your restaurant is not a "one off event" as these type of campaigns encourage but a "process". 

When I examined (not in detail) the individual restaurants I found a number of fundamental sales and marketing flaws that was common among a large number of these restaurants. The flaws were not limited to small independent operators but also some big name restaurants.

I found -

  • A surprising large number of restaurants still did not have a web site despite the obvious benefits that brings a restaurant
  • A large number of restaurants who did not display their phone number on the home page (Top Right Preferred) but instead hid the number away either below "the fold" (below the viewing screen on the computer) or you had to search and find a "Contact Us" button and then "click through". By the way the phone number should be displayed on every page.
  • Many restaurants did not collect customers email address and name so they could receive regular communications, offers and news from their restaurant - this is your "gold"
  • So many restaurants have let the web developers get carried away with heaps of flash so if you were searching on a mobile phone you couldn't get your core restaurant information or even find out the basics about your restaurant e.g. location, opening hours, phone number, parking details, menu, etc
  • Hardly any restaurant had a Facebook page
  • No restaurant actually gave a web visitor a reason or incentive to visit the restaurant other than they had good food or offered good service. Everyone else is saying the same thing so where is the incentive for them to visit for a first time
  • A number of directory listings where out of date - regularly review these
  • No Google Places listing
This list is far from exhaustive. If you are serious about marketing your restaurant you need these basics in place first. When combined with an automated restaurant marketing system and loyalty program as offered by Restaurant Sales Builder you will quickly grow the profits and sales in your restaurant.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Biggest Mistake Most Restaurant Owners Make!

Most restaurants do not have a marketing system; do not collect the names and details of their customers but instead waste money by running one off promotions to lure new customers into their restaurant. This is a very expensive and often a very ineffective strategy.

Alternatively, they open their doors, put up a few signs and do nothing and then wonder why business is slow!

I remember a customer who once wanted to run a promotion where he wanted to put up a motor scooter as the prize to get new customers in the door with no follow up strategy. While this would have been great to promote, the costs of the promotion plus the prize cost would have taken weeks to recover.

The “Gold” is right there under your feet so why don’t you tap into it.

Yes, instead of spending your marketing budget focusing on getting new customers a significantly better strategy is to spend time encouraging your existing customers to dine with you more often.
Every $1 spent on marketing to an existing customer will return you 5 to 7 times more profit than you will get by spending the same dollar on acquiring a new customer.

There are several reasons why -
·         Firstly, you promotion is more targeted.  Someone who has dined with you before is significantly more likely to dine with you again and is more receptive to receiving communications from you.
·         Secondly, the cost of any promotion to existing customers is much cheaper and effective than chasing new customers for reasons mentioned above.
·         Thirdly, use you existing customers as a primary source of new customers. Do this by encouraging them to refer new customers to you through a system of rewards and acknowledgment. A referred customer will end up being much more valuable to you than any brought in randomly on a promotion.
Let’s put all this in perspective...
Imagine a customer who dines with you twice a month. The average spend is $35 each time they visit. So the current spend is let’s say $70 a month. If you get them to dine one more time and they spend $35 that is an increase of 50% on your turnover and you haven’t had the enormous cost of chasing new customers.
I know of no other way to so quickly give you such a quick increase in turnover. 
Check out the Restaurant Sales Builder Program it gives you the tools to do all this and heaps more at

Monday, 16 May 2011

Restaurant Sales Builder Launches in Australia

Imagine as a Restaurant Owner having a system that pulls in customers while you are down on the beach having a sleep! 
Sound incredible! Well that is exactly what Restaurant Sales Builder is!
It is like having your restaurant marketing on "Steroids"! The best thing it is automated!

It is well proven in the American market and now finally I have been able to secure the Australian rights and bring this time time saving, done for you, cash generating marketing solution to Australian Restaurant Owners.

For so long have I seen restaurant owners struggling to fill their restaurants! At long last this gives owners a core marketing system which will encourage your customers to -
  • Visit more often
  • Spend more on each visit
  • Purchase new products and services
  • Provide you with a steady flow of referrals
  • Provide you with valuable feedback
All this means more customers, more sales and more profits!

What is more important -
  • Great Food
  • Great Service or a
  • Great Marketing System?
The truth is all 3 are just as important and in fact I would contend having a great marketing system is more important either of the the other two. Just look at MacDonald's their strength is not in their food, their service but in the great system they use.

This is exactly what the Restaurant Sales Builder does - it automates all the things you know needs to happen but because you are just so busy you just never get around to doing.

To out how the Restaurant Sales Builder can help you Restaurant grow its sales and profits go to Http://