Posts in category Reader questions


Customer experienceReader questionsRestaurant brandingTrends

What to do when consumer tastes change

This week I’m answering a question from a reader who asks: Our restaurant is a traditional Italian restaurant. We’ve been in business for 60 years and we use old family recipes prepared and served just as …

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsSocial media

How to attract more restaurant customers using social media

We’ve received a few questions lately about restaurant social media. The common themes are: “How can I get better at social media?” “Should I do it myself or hire someone?” “How can I get more …

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BrandingMarketing plansReader questionsTrends

WHERE to grow your restaurant brand

Whoever coined the phrase “location, location, location” certainly had a good idea. Especially when it comes to restaurants. Location can make or break a restaurant brand. If you are curious on the quote’s reputed author, …

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BrandingMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsSocial mediaTools, Apps, Technology

How mapping your network can help you succeed

I recently caught up with a friend of mine who’s built a string of successful restaurants. He and his partner really understand how to create a solid concept, experience and brand and it shows in their track record.

Last year, they decided to try a new market to open a restaurant. This location was attractive because it has a lively restaurant scene, a strong tourist contingent and a large local population of foodies. It was also 700 miles from home.

He scouted some locations and found a lovely, historic building that would fit into his gastropub concept and spent time and money creating a beautiful interior. He found the best sources for food and hired an experienced and friendly staff.

The restaurant opened and received rave reviews from local food critics and got pages of 5 star reviews on Yelp.

I was shocked when he told me that he decided to close this location. This was a first for him.

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BrandingPR and promotionReader questionsSocial mediaTools, Apps, Technology

Safeguard your brand and content online

Are you a restaurant owner or manager who has a blog? If you do blog, then you know how time consuming it is to write, post and manage your work. There’s a growing crime that is aggravating and frustrating business owners and marketers around the globe and unfortunately this blog fell victim to this slimy act.

It’s called content scraping.

Your content is basically copied and used on someone else’s site for their search results and credibility benefit.

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BrandingCustomer experienceEmployee engagementExpert interviewsMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTools, Apps, TechnologyTrends

3 tips for handling a bad online restaurant review

You asked, we answered. This week’s blog post is an answer to a question submitted by one of our Restaurant Branding Roadmap readers.

“I know it is important to be on social media, but I am afraid to put ourselves out there. We had a bad experience with a nasty reviewer online and we didn’t know how to respond. I know that bad reviews and disgruntled customers can hurt a brand. How do you suggest dealing with bad reviews on a Facebook page or on a Twitter feed or on a site like Yelp? Also, how do you decide where to be on social media. There are so many options and we only have so much time? – Denise”

Great question, Denise. You are right, just like your restaurant might see an uptick in business from a consistent stream of great reviews, bad online reviews can hurt your brand and your business. In today’s marketplace, an online reputation is something that every business must monitor.

First, we’ll address your question about how to deal with bad restaurant reviews. If you’re monitoring your restaurant’s online reputation, or you have an alert system set up and you come across a bad review, here are some steps you can take.

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsTrends

How brands stay consistent across locations

You asked, we answered. This week’s blog post is an answer to a question submitted by one of our Restaurant Branding Roadmap readers.

“I opened my restaurant five years ago and since then we’ve added two locations. I’m frustrated because the branding is not consistent across locations. The employees make menu changes, the service is not consistent and the overall environment is different from the original restaurant. I created the brand at the first location and I was there every day to make sure that the brand grew and was maintained. I try to do what I can at the newer locations, but I can’t be in three places at once. What can I do to keep the branding the same across the locations? Thanks. Kathy”

Great question, Kathy. First off, congratulations on your restaurant’s expansion. You are not alone with this restaurant marketing and branding challenge. This is an issue that many growing businesses struggle with. Many times, the founder of a business is the cornerstone of the branding and the one who nurtures it as it grows. They put in long hours everyday. They make sure that everything from the menu items, to services, to the customer experiences and all brand touch points are consistently on brand.

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BrandingCustomer experienceEmployee engagementMarketing plansPR and promotionReader questionsRestaurant brand reviewsSocial mediaTools, Apps, TechnologyTrends

Pizza, pickles and a plan.

Interested in the latest trends, concepts and consumer insight around America’s favorite food, Pizza? I’ll be part of the expert team presenting at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas on March 24-27th.  For more …

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BrandingCustomer experienceMarketing plansReader questionsTrends

How to make your employees care – 7 helpful tips

You asked, we answered…

We received a letter from a reader who asked:

I have owned and managed my restaurant for over ten years. We are located in a suburb that is a college town. Most of the staff members are “kids” and I find it challenging to constantly train of the “kids” – the staff – to be present at all times. They are distracted, messing around with their cell phones or counting down the minutes until their shift ends. I that know for most of them, this is just a way to earn extra cash, but how do I teach them to care about the customers and be present? – Jennifer

Great question, Jennifer. It is important to care about employee-customer engagement since the largest component of any restaurant’s brand is the experience. And, the staff creates the biggest piece of the experience. This is an issue for many restaurant and business owners in general.

The pessimistic answer would be that you can’t teach people to care. But, we’re not pessimists here so we will give you 7 tips to help you work with your staff on being more present and engaged.

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