Businesses are often told that they should be spending anywhere between 10 per cent to 30 per cent of their sales on advertising and marketing. For some smaller restaurant operators, this is a significant amount of money. However, without good restaurant marketing material, how do you get customers in your door?

In today’s world, consumers are now inundated with emails, newsletters, coupons, junk mail, loyalty programs, etc. They can barely keep track of all the different businesses they have signed up for. So you need to really grab their attention if you want your restaurant to be noticed.

There are a few simple rules to follow if you want to get your potential customers to read what you want to tell them. Whether you are running an email campaign or a direct mail campaign, Diane Chiasson, FCSI, President of Chiasson Consultants Inc., a restaurant and foodservice consultancy firm in Toronto offers the following advice:

Keep your marketing message short and simple

Readers want to be able to understand your offer in as short a time as possible. Keep each campaign to one specific offer. Do not use your campaign as an opportunity to tell potential customers about 10 different events and promotions going on in your restaurant. Use short, concise sentences and explain your offer clearly and quickly.

Don’t be boring

Yes, your offer might be too good to be true, but you still need to connect with your reader and make your offer memorable. Add some personality and pizazz to your writing, and show your readers that your restaurant operation is a fun, exciting and desirable place to visit.

Make it personal

If possible, use your reader’s name in the copy. Make your copy sound as if you have personally written an email or sent a letter inviting your important customer to your operation for a special event.

Make an imprint with your brand

Be sure to strategically place your logo, and enough graphics and images on your copy to ensure that your reader will remember your brand. The writing style, colours and graphic design should all be cohesive with the image your restaurant wants to portray.

Pictures say a thousand words

Be sure to accompany your words with appropriate pictures and images that portray the key message of your campaign. If you do not possess any photographic talents, use online stock photo agencies to purchase the ideal photo for your mailing. Make sure you do not use lousy photos, or it will make your restaurant operation appear to be cheap and unprofessional.

Edit, edit, edit

Make sure you read and re-read everything you have written to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. If English is not your first language, consider hiring an editor to check your work. There are several copywriters online who charge very little to edit your work, so it’s a worthwhile investment. If your reader receives copy from your operation that is full of mistakes, chances are that they will think your restaurant is sloppy and careless as well.

Author

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as one of the best restaurant consultants in Canada and the U.S. Diane is an industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or chiasson@chiassonconsultants.com or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com