What is Restaurant Marketing?

Today I will answer one big and tricky question: what is restaurant marketing?

It is crucial to understand this to avoid falling into the trap of misperceiving marketing, which can result in ineffective efforts.

 For example, I often hear people saying, “I’m a marketer, I will make you a website,” or “I’m a marketer, I will promote your restaurant on social media,” and so on. And there is so much such information that many restaurant owners often have a limited understanding of marketing and believe that it only involves creating a website, promoting a restaurant on social media, or working with reviews. However, this is just a small part of the whole picture. When you have a narrow perspective of marketing, you may make decisions that don’t lead to success. It is important to see the bigger picture and recognize the potential opportunities that marketing can offer. This article aims to provide a broader understanding of restaurant marketing and help you make informed decisions for your restaurant’s success.

So, what is restaurant marketing?

My vision is the following.

Restaurant marketing is an essential activity focused on creating, promoting, and selling goods and services. It revolves around answering three fundamental questions: WHO? WHY? HOW?

Let’s look at each of these questions in more detail.

WHO will come to your restaurant?

Identifying your target audience is crucial. You need to have a clear understanding of who will visit your establishment. Trying to cater to everyone often leads to failure. Without knowing your target audience from the start, you will not be able to answer the second question.

WHY would these people choose your restaurant?

The answer to this question includes restaurant food, atmosphere, and community building.

Creating dishes for a restaurant goes beyond personal preferences; it requires thorough research to understand what potential guests may truly enjoy.

You should explore consumption situations that your customers may implement in the restaurant.

The same goes for the restaurant’s atmosphere; you must clearly answer the question: what kind of atmosphere do these people want to be in? How do they want to feel in the restaurant? What is important to them? What community do they want to be a part of? And it is the audience that forms the community, which is why the first question is so important.

HOW will customers know that the restaurant exists?

And here we move on to promotion. How will your target audience know there is such a great restaurant with food and atmosphere that perfectly suits them? This includes special offers, events, your website, social media, and many more options. The answer to the question “how” is often mistaken for marketing in general, but this is only a part of the answer to this question.

I explored each of these questions in my book “More Than a Restaurant: Turn Customers into Fans.”

Every action you take in your restaurant, whether creating a new menu, organizing events, or picking out the color of your chairs, answers one of these three questions: who, why, and how. In other words, marketing shapes your restaurant. Because, at the end of the day, marketing is all about how people perceive your restaurant.