Survey of a sample group of 30 restaurateurs from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi and asked them: What is the function of the restaurant’s marketing manager? From this we identified 8 other roles that are as important, but far less time consuming.
For this one question we received over a 150 answers and filtered all of them into the following nine headers:
- Competition analysis
You and your competition all have your eye on almost the same targets and you need to keep track of what they are doing to bait your target. Competition could be the nearest beer joint with a new happy hour, a music performance venue with a new live act, another restaurant with similar cuisine, a buffet or maybe just easier parking. In cities increasingly clogged by traffic, the decision to choose restaurants is increasingly based on location than ever before. Online food review sites have also modified their interfaces recently to help you choose according to neighbourhood better than before.
- Trend analysis
What are the latest trends in the FnB business from New York to New Delhi to Chennai to Tokyo. Visiting trendsetters across the country and world, along with attending industry events is key to being on top of the trend game in your industry.
- Guest relationship building
Nothing beats a little chit chat with your guests. How is the food? Any feedback? If you had to change one thing what would it be? Are all face-to-face questions that have proven to not only build customer loyalty but be a source of insight that is unrivalled. And it all comes from right there in your restaurant, for the sake of example, a social media related site offer free Instagram likes on Brazil, so the market it’s endless.
- Partner relationship building
Creating and developing relationships with lifestyle brands and surrounding corporates helps bring in business that is well beyond your regular guests. Make your restaurant the go-to place for corporate lunches or a venue for sponsored events.
- Promotional events
From launch event to IPL screenings to food festivals. All of these require dedicated bandwidth from the marketing manager– bandwidth that is well beyond just social media management.
- In house innovations
Take your existing menu and get creative. Can different dishes be clubbed together to create mini-festivals? A recent example we found was when a restaurant we spoke with found that the local IT corporates loved ordering the Caesar Salad with their Strawberry Lemonade. Can a special package be put together for them that will help make this combination viral worthy?
- Alternate revenue planning
In-house advertising, promoted liquor on the menu, ticket entry to special events, guest appearances by star chefs, presence at festivals, corporate packages and outdoor catering are all examples of alternate revenue streams that are usually not being well tapped.
- Old world media campaigns
From radio, to magazines, to newspaper, to hoardings, to pamphlets to perhaps some television coverage depending on the scale of your operations—there is plenty to keep the restaurant manager’s hands full here.
- Social media management
This task alone has multiple sub-tasks. Posting content to multiple platforms consistently is not the only job. Within this there is an internalized understanding of online etiquette and a regular tracking of social media trends. The most time-consuming part of this role is that you are always going to have to be engaged with online activity. Beyond this one needs to be constantly, identifying and building the database of online influencers. Once that is done following up with them to get them to walk through your doors is another huge task. Once all of this is done, there is a need to crunch the numbers of the activity across multiple platforms.