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Table Talk: How Restaurateurs are Spending Marketing Dollars

Question: With so many new restaurants opening, how do you utilize marketing dollars to stay top of mind with your customer?

Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten, The National:
“We don’t have marketing dollars. We don’t advertise, and we don’t have a marketing budget. We do direct mail, email, things like that. And of course, the number of restaurants opening now is a lot less than a year ago. So the way we market is consistently good product, and hopefully people are always talking about it.”

Rick Crowe, McKendrick’s:
“Quite honestly, we keep it local. For us, we really don’t spend a lot of marketing dollars. It’s all word of mouth. With the people we have in the four walls, we’re rely so heavily on them to spread the word and keep things moving that we kind of focus in on that. What we do spend is local, we do a lot with the concierge, we do a lot with the hotels. We do a little bit with a magazine here and there, but not a whole lot. And by local I mean a dinner for the VIP or we’ll pick up the tab, things like that with our dollars. That’s kind of how we target it.”

Russ Umphenour, FOCUS Brands Inc.:
“In addition to our traditional means of media outreach, we’re diligently working on using more direct response and social media vehicles to better measure the effectiveness of our advertising and further connect with our customers.  Of course, we always develop new products to continually position ourselves as innovators in the food industry, and we’re increasing our level of in-store service to enhance the way we market our brands to our customers in person.”

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