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Have you ever been drawn to a restaurant because of the advertising? The images on TV sizzle with dishes so tempting that you can almost taste them. You weren't even hungry, but after watching the commercial you're ready to hop in your car and go find the nearest location.

How about receiving a great offer in the mail? The bright colors and slick design on the outside of the brochure are laid out in a way to ensure you open it. Once you do, the eye-catching menu items and two-for-one specials draw you in, putting this restaurant at the top of your to-do list for the week.

Maybe you've joined your favorite restaurant's email list. Frequent discounts and offers for free appetizers make their way to your inbox. Catchy subject lines — designed to steer you away from the delete button — draw you in.

What about the great deals you get from Groupon or LivingSocial? The headline and deal are compelling. And the description makes you want to click 'buy now' right away. You couldn't possibly pass up this deal.

Marketing at its best is designed to help get customers in the door. We're all subject to the tactics. As a consumer, many times we give in. This makes the time, effort and dollars spent on preparing the various touch points worthwhile for the restaurant owner.

Let's say you've invested in marketing efforts. Once the guest comes in the door, you can serve them and move onto the next customer. Right? Well, not if you hope to be successful.

Imagine some customers come in to your place to take advantage of the special offer you emailed via a marketing campaign for wings and beer. After they finish their meal, you overhear the conversation at the table as a guest says, "Oh man! The service sucked, but did you see their new logo?! It was amazing!"

We all know that if you haven't prepared a menu that delivers, backed up with stellar wait staff — you won't see the customers again. Marketing gets customers to come in the door, what keeps them coming back is what you do once they are there.

Sure, fresh logos and great marketing campaigns are part of everyone's toolbox. But it is the entire package that ties together every aspect of your business. It is key to find a way to balance everything that helps you deliver consistently time and time again. With the daily grind, it is easy to unintentionally forget the basics.

Success can be found by building on the momentum that got the customers to walk in the door. Take the necessary steps to ensure your décor is always up-to-date and trendy. Hire employees that are a good fit for your team. Invest time developing and training staff to ensure they are invested in your business. Spend time training your wait staff about the menu items and set high expectations so they provide outstanding service. And work with back of the house to create and deliver high-quality fare. Remember, marketing is only part of the equation for a successful business.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Thomas Kelley
    Perfect insights...reads like our talking points for clients.

    It comes down to delivering on your brand promise. If the marketing doesn't match the total guest experience, you're doomed.

    Get the advice of industry experts. No one chef or new operator (or even some seasoned ones) can do it alone. Get it right from the start!

    Tom Kelley
    AccessPoint Group
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