The best ad campaign is not really expensive—every restaurant can actually afford it. In fact, they can get it whether they’ve signed up for it or not.
While many restaurant operators think that clever social media strategies and large advertising campaigns are the key to building a brand, a marketing adviser of many famous restaurants (QSRs Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, fine dining Smith and Wollensky, among many others) says otherwise.
Jim Fisher of financial advisory firm Triumph Advisors maintains that despite the influx of media influence upon today’s consumers, restaurant experience remains to be the best catalyst for diners to connect emotionally with a restaurant brand. In short, it’s still the interior effort, or the total customer experience, that matters.
• Because our consumers, as human beings, are programmed to retain emotional experiences—that’s how our brain works. A diner will remember a restaurant once it connects to them emotionally—whether that experience was a bad one or a good one.
• It’s an overused cliché, but is still proven real: the most effective advertising is still WOM –word of mouth. We’ve discussed before how today’s top restaurant market, the millennials, bank on word of mouth in choosing a restaurant to dine in, and we’re going to stress that again…nothing beats WOM.
What should restaurateurs do then? Here are some worthy insights from Fisher:
• Create a consistent, visible culture. It could be an outstanding value of your products; a unique, creative menu (in your elegant menus in quality menu holders); an exuberant interior décor; exceptional service; management’s personal attention; a highly respectful and attentive treatment of your restaurant staff. Or better yet, a combination of all these. What’s important is that you need to make all these solid, clear, and completely understood.
• People look for logic but actually buys on emotion. And restaurateurs should tap that—your restaurant’s foundation should include “logic plus emotion.” The physical, competitive characteristics of your dining place (like opulent menus in superior menu holders), then add the personality that would attach your customer to his (or her) dining experience.
• Allow social media to be an extension of your business. Reach out to your present and potential customers using information and your personality, remembering “logic plus emotion.” Understand where your restaurant is positioned in cyberspace, and how your customers see you and your competitors. As we’ve continuously reminded you, listening to what your restaurant customers are saying and your ability to directly respond to what they say is what would make your social media efforts stand out.
With all these done, you’ll have an equally effective ad campaign as those restaurant chains that spend thousands of dollars, if not millions, just to drive traffic to their establishments and increase their restaurant sales and profits.