Outward Focus

As you kick off the second decade of the new millennium with your restaurant marketing strategy, we at Synergy highly recommend the best focus for a restaurant marketing plan should be outward.

What does that mean?  Simply that improving your business with so much competition and in such a tough economy your success is best defined by training your entire organization to become far more customer centered than ever before.  Many independent restaurants and restaurant chains kick off marketing initiatives from time to time to get customer feedback.  Once they have it nothing becomes of it since the notion arises that the customer feels they have been heard and the restaurant “cares” about their opinion.  Net result is zero.

As your hospitality and food business heads into a new year, it’s essential that you understand the difference between simply starting a program and actually transforming your restaurant brand or business into something greater than it is now.

How do you accomplish this?  The first action is to Take Action.

Too many restaurants and brands set out to better reach customers and improve business, but they end up using old, worn and traditional marketing programs such as newspaper coupons or very basic surveys.  While these approaches provide some feedback and information on customers, they are passive methods that usually don’t lead to real, measurable results.  What should you do?  Stop using methods that simply provide viewing data.  Instead take action to engage customers, enact changes and increase business.

These times, customers and conditions require more than a prescription of “take two surveys and call the customers in the morning.”  Like serious doctors, operators need to operate when the situation is critical; fix the issues.  If you get sick and go to the doctor, it wouldn’t be acceptable for the doctor to simply say, “Yes, you’re sick.  Let me know when you’re better.”  If your face or arm is broken and needs reconstruction or intense repair, the doctor finds the latest technologies and techniques to make you as good or hopefully, better than your old self.  The doctor should tell you exactly what you need to do to get better, including surgery.

This is the same way operators should approach the customer experience in restaurant management.  With this approach, restaurant operators do not only identify issues, they act to fix and then improve upon issues with a thought-out plan.  Use science to replace a lot of emotional decision making.  This can be essential to restaurant owners being able to enact positive change and achieve goals.

Yes, I understand there are few details here.  This is just an overview.  In my next blog, I will start you on the process, one step at a time.  See you next time.

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