Archive for the 'Restaurant Consulting' Category

Restaurant Marketing Plans for 2014.

I know, I know….

You are just preparing for the busy holiday season and planning for 2014 is the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately we all know that time goes so fast and January of 2014 will be here in no time. Do you want to come out of the gate fast, or start thinking about planning after January and February were dismal months for your business.

Now is a great time to do the advance planning and let a restaurant marketing coach help you. A good coach will do all of the advance work to evaluate your business and look for opportunities for improvement. With my clients, I look at the following five areas for improvement.

Core Coaching for Restaurants

Core Coaching for Restaurants

  1. Discover hidden profits with a menu engineering analysis and menu design recommendation.
  2. Review your restaurant’s visibility on the internet with Local Search Marketing tools?
  3. Are you engaging your customers on the latest social media applications?
  4. Have you evaluated your brand reputation online and set action steps to improve the guest experience?
  5. Do you have an effective email marketing or loyalty program?

After careful analysis and input from the restaurant owner, I am able to provide a potential revenue analysis to give my clients an

restaurant marketing

Sample Restaurant Marketing Revenue Analysis

idea of what a well thought out and executed restaurant marketing plan can deliver for your location.

Why not start now? The restaurant marketing coach will perform the marketing analysis while you run your business. We all know that time to do this kind of activity is not high on your priority list right now.

Run your business; let your coach come to you with a well thought out plan. To arrange a free 30 minute consultation, contact me and let’s set one up!

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues.  To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry, download the Free Whitepaper “Key Drivers to Restaurant Profitability”.


Is Cause Related Marketing Good For Your Restaurant?

Veterans Day has come and gone for 2013. Many restaurants have taken that day to honor our veterans for their service to our country. That is great way to show your appreciation for their service to us as a nation.

I happened to visit a local restaurant on Veterans Day that had been saying their business has been soft and they are considering cutting back on marketing expenses to reduce cost. I can understand their concern as they try and rationalize what they are spending money on and its effectiveness. On that particular day, they chose to honor our Veterans with a free meal. The restaurant was packed for lunch. Every table that had a veteran at it also had several others many of whom were not veterans. In fact the table I was at was the only one with a party of two. All other parties were, four, six or more. restaurant marketing

Obviously, this cause related marketing effort drove in traffic, raised check averages and got their restaurant great exposure on a Monday in November. The event was promoted on social media and in an email marketing message to their current subscribers.

Cause related marketing does drive business and can be profitable for restaurants .A recent study showed that 89% of consumers will switch brands to one associated with a cause, given a comparable price. For a restaurant to really make it work for them, they must use this opportunity to promote their community involvement and build a customer database for effective communications all year long. Today’s technology enables all of this to happen and provide a great ROI for the restaurant.

As you begin to think of your marketing plans for 2104, Cause related marketing is something to be considered. When all is considered, this marketing technique can build traffic, drive check averages higher and have customers coming back all year long. To learn more about how this marketing technique can help your business, feel free to download this whitepaper on Loyalty Programs and Cause Related Marketing.

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing is about helping restaurants improve their revenues and profitability. The CORE Coaching Program helps guide restaurants on a path to significant revenue improvement.


Is Your Restaurant Part of Your Local Community

Think about it…. How many times a week does somebody knock on your door and ask for donations from your restaurant? One…Three….Ten times a week?

Restaurant owners I have spoken to about this topic seemed annoyed with all of these people asking for donations. Yes, it can be a hassle, yes it can cost you money, but do you ever consider the upside potential this brings to your business? It’s what you do with this opportunity that can have a significant impact for your business.Restaurant Marketing

Unfortunately, most organizations or individuals just want a cash donation with nothing in return for you or your business. Most of the proactive restaurant owners have created their own restaurant marketing plan around this opportunity. A plan that involves their restaurant with the community on a one day, or yearlong event that ties them into the fabric of the community and brings many benefits to the restaurant.

Let’s look at some facts:     

  • 76% of American consumers surveyed have taken part in at least one cause-related marketing campaign.
  • 77% of women and 64% of men expected to consider a company’s reputation for supporting causes when purchasing.
  • 89% of Americans are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price.

These are some compelling reason to consider Cause Related Marketing as part of your overall marketing plan.

But is it profitable for my restaurant? If you consider the top three goals for any restaurant owner for getting more customers, getting them to spend more, and having them come back again, Cause Related Marketing hits all three of these targets. On top of this, it lessens the need for deep discounting which erodes your profit margins.

Cause Related Marketing

Cause Related Marketing

To make Cause Related Marketing even more effective, there is existing Loyalty Programs that takes your restaurant marketing campaign to new levels as it ties your program in with a loyalty platform that tracks the sales from the various groups, creates a customer database for future marketing efforts and provide clear transparency to your community groups on how much they are earning by making purchases at your restaurant. An all of this is tax deductible as a donation and not a price discount.

As you think about your marketing plans for the coming year, consider Cause Related Marketing. It will grow your business and develop a stronger tie to your local community for years to come.

If you would like more information, please contact Joe Welsh at  1-888-890-9492 x 1001 or

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues.  To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry, download the Free Whitepaper “Seven Strategies to Increase Restaurant Traffic and Profitability”.

Are Your Restaurant Profits Walking Out The Door?

I find it truly amazing how large the portion sizes are at most restaurants! For some restaurant owners this may be a strategy to help your restaurant get know. Large portions…. cheap prices. But to those restaurants have they ever considered the impact on the profitability of the restaurant?

This past week, my wife and I went to dinner at a local restaurant. We had both been out at separate meetings and rather than go home and cook dinner, we decided to meet at a restaurant that was convenient for both of us. The meal was good, service was excellent but the portions were just too large. We walked away with a To Go bag that had enough food for lunch and dinner the next day.

What is the impact of portion sizes on restaurants profitability?

For the restaurant owner, large portion sizes have a direct impact on food cost as a percentage of sales. If your food costs are running high, consider how large your servings are. Are most of your customers asking for a To Go box? This is a clear sign that your portions are too large.

For the consumer, are large portions healthy for you? In our country, obesity is a major factor in health issues and rising medical cost. It can lead to several types of diseases which are not good.  In fact two thirds of all Americans are technically obese . Portions

Large portions as a marketing tool may be your strategy but I would ask restaurant owners to consider other alternatives such as excellent customer service, consistent food quality and impactfull marketing activities. Increasing profits can be significantly improved with restaurant marketing programs that get more customers in the door and raise check averages. Getting to come back more often can be achieved without large food portions.

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues. To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry, download the Free White Paper “Key Drivers to Restaurant Profitability”. We can also be reached at 1-888-890-9492 x 101.

How can a Loyalty Program help your restaurant?

Statistics say that over 50% of diners participate in a least one loyalty program? Is your restaurant playing in the game?

Restaurant marketing is evolving very fast with the aid of technology gains. Yet some restaurants are still using old fashioned punch cards for their customers. While punch cards can achieve some of the same end goals, they do not give you access to the wealth of information to help you market to these customers.

Let’s look at the benefits of a loyalty program. Statistics show that consumers enrolled in a loyalty program bring the following results for a restaurant.

  1.  Increase customer visit frequency.
  2. Spend more. In many cases, check averages are 25% higher or more than non-loyalty club marketing
  3. 82% of loyalty program members referred at least one person to their program.
  4. 60% of consumers will patronize a restaurant if it has a viable community involvement program.

These four elements are the “Holy Grail” for restaurants. Get more customers coming in the door, have them spend more and come back more often.

To make the programs even more effective, many loyalty programs come built in with a marketing suite that includes, email marketing, social media integration, community involvement program and a text message program to help communicate with your customers. These tools help to build continual communication to increase the effectiveness of your program.

Obviously the question of expense enters into the decision making process. In most cases the return on investment is significant. We utilize a formula with our client which in one case shows an additional $135,000 in annual revenue based on a loyalty program cost of $2,500. We work with our clients to show them this analysis up front based on their actual numbers.

If you would like to learn more about how a loyalty program can help your business, please contact us for Free Analysis or download our whitepaper .

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues. To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry, download the Free White Paper “Key Drivers to Restaurant Profitability”. We can also be reached at 1-888-890-9492 x 101.

Does Your Restaurant Marketing Have A Rainy Day Fund?

Last night I went out for dinner to a local restaurant and had my meal on their outdoor deck. It was a great night, about 70 degrees, no wind and just a great night to sit out and enjoy a meal. During the course of the night, the owner “Dutch” stopped by our table to see how everything was going. My wife had mentioned to him that dining on the deck was such a wonderful experience and that it was probably a great thing for his business. Dutch’s reply was one that hit a chord with me.

He had mentioned that the deck was both good and bad for his business! Yes, it’s great that it opens up his restaurant and gives his guest an opportunity to have their meal or drinks and enjoy the weather. He also commented that the deck can also be a curse. He said that this year has been quite rainy and has hurt sales compared to last year when it was warm and sunny almost every day. The deck, which was new last year,   generated a lot of incremental business for him. Mother Nature and her changing weather patterns definitely has an impact on his business. This reminded me of another one of my clients in the mid-west who has a rooftop bar. Heavy rains have hurt his sales to the tune of 10% this spring.

While we can’t stop Mother Nature, we can impact restaurant marketing plans to minimize the impact. A well thought out and implemented Loyalty Program can help thwart Mother Nature and the weather patterns. A loyalty program that ties in with Cause Related Marketing Loyalty Fundraiserprograms can be just the tool to help build sales on those rainy days. Imagine a special promotion to help the local Little League on a day when you know the weather will be bad. Utilizing email or text messaging to promote the program and bring out the families who support the teams. By the way, bringing in the families with kids is a great way to boost your check averages!

If you would like to know more about Loyalty Programs and how they can help your business, feel free to download our White Paper.


CORE Restaurant Marketing Outlines Five Strategies For Mid-Year Restaurant Business Reviews.

With the end of the month of June approaching, it’s time for restaurants to evaluate six months of business performance and implement strategies to reach year-end goals for 2013.

January through June has been a challenging time in the restaurant industry. The first quarter was impacted by payroll tax increases and rising gasoline prices that impacted consumer spending. April through June showed a modest recovery, but rising commodity cost continues to nip away at the profitability of restaurants in 2013.

As we move into the second half of the year it is time for restaurant operators to evaluate performance against goals that were established at the beginning of the year. Outlined below are five key strategies for improved performance and effective restaurant marketing:

1. Manage your business data from your Point of Sale (POS) System – There is a wealth of information as it relates to menu item performance, server productivity and labor management. In your review, you may even uncover situations involving theft or fraud.

2. Perform a menu engineering analysis – Clearly identify what your most popular menu items are and evaluate the potential to improve their profitability. Commodity cost have increased so be sure to take into consideration each menu items contribution to profitability.

3. Review your inventory management process – Are standards set to manage your inventory? For many restaurants, waste is one of the leading impacts on profitability.

4. Review your customer acquisition programs – What are you doing to drive new customers into your restaurant? Are you taking advantage of new marketing strategies such as social media to reach new customers? Are you participating in community programs that give you exposure to potential consumers? Do you maximize additional revenue strategies such as catering or takeout business? These are all additional opportunities to increase revenue and build your customer base.

5. Server training effectiveness – The coming back to school and holiday seasons represent key opportunities to impact the revenue of your restaurant. Are your servers prepared to create a positive guest experience for your customers? Are they creating opportunities to increase your average check? Implement a training program in late August or early September to keep your servers performing at peak productivity.

With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues. To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry, download the Free White Paper “Key Drivers to Restaurant Profitability”.

CORE Restaurant Marketing

Joe Welsh

Joe Welsh

Joe Welsh is a Partner with CORE Restaurant Marketing Solutions which is a national restaurant marketing agency focusing on helping restaurants improve their sales and profitability. Joe has worked with restaurants on a local and national basis. He has developed and implemented programs for US Foodservice, Gordon Foods and Performance Food Group. Joe has his Master’s Degree in Food Marketing from St. Joseph’s University and over 30 years’ experience in the Food Industry covering both the retail and foodservice sectors.

View Full Profile →

CORE on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: