When you consider marketing, the mind easily wanders to new sales, drumming up business in creative places, and reaching outside to different audiences. While this is an essential component to growing your restaurant or business, remaining singularly focused on ouside marketing misses a serious opportunity. This week we talked to our president, David Kincheloe, on the importance of the four walls marketing concept.
"It's really simple," said Kincheloe. "Four walls marketing is marketing to the guests that you already have within the four walls of your restaurant." Ultimately, he said, provided you offer an excellent experience, it's easier to get a guest to return than to go obtain a new customer. Keeping business is just as important as new business--but it's easier to accomplish.
"In today's environment, building personal and virtual relationships is key to developing long-term, faithful clients."
So how to do this?
"Your options vary," said Kincheloe, so you find out what works best with your clientele. "A solid menu is important, along with table tents, social media, phone apps, and direct guest contact with management." And when a staff member makes contact, remember that formal invitations are very powerful. Say something like, 'We'd love to see you back here next Friday for our happy our special.' Be polite, excited, direct, and specific.
This sort of intentional, direct communication is crucial, and it needs to be executed well. "For example, coupons do not necessarily create value, but a personally delivered formal invitation? This can be the first step in a long-term relationship," said Kincheloe. This very scenario can be born out of negativity--then not only remedied but also nurtured to create a lasting customer. "Look for this opportunity within virtual walls too, where customers may more liberally share their experiences."
Kincheloe added, "Social media can be a blessing and a curse. Keep it up-to-date and respond to all guest comments, good and bad," for effective virtual four walls marketing.
The primary key: "Continuously promote value and service," Kincheloe said, advising keeping an annual marketing calendar, or, if you can't personally keep up with it, specifically hiring someone for the job. "Four walls marketing is just that effective and important."
For help marketing to your current customers, contact
our restaurant consultants today!