• marc

Marketing the Opening of a New Restaurant

I am doing something very interesting to me right now. I am working with a business owner that is opening a new restaurant. There have been and are many aspects to this process, which I will get into in a second.

I am intrigued by restaurants (and I love food), especially the small business owner, not the franchise owner. A franchise gives you...well, you PAY for many to all of the marketing things you need for your restaurant, including an established brand. Also, for better or worse, the reputation of that brand and the food. Part of my intrigue is the food side. After years of watching the Food Network and Cooking Channel, I think I'd be a restaurant owner in a parallel universe, or maybe in retirement...not that I'd be even close to retired if I did that!

The MOST intriguing part of my existing project I am involved with is this: I am not charging anything for my services. AND, I don't know the owner beyond my initial meeting with him on the phone. Since I am not helping a friend or family member, WHY would I do invest all this time in helping this stranger?

The answer doesn't go too deep. I'll get into how I connected with him and then into why. I posted somewhere, I think in a Facebook group for small businesses, that I was willing to help someone with marketing, social media or graphic design at no cost to them. I had a few people reach out to me. Two of them turned into more of a consulting conversation about how to approach social media and other types of marketing. One was Jeff, a local restaurant owner, who was looking at opening a new restaurant.

One thing I noticed was that his existing restaurant's website was down. He had a link to it from Facebook, but it wasn't working. My reaction was to tell him that he needed SOMETHING up and running, even if it's not the ultimate website wanted. I offered to help, at no charge, get his site back up, just one page so he at least HAD a live website. He paid for the hosting costs needed to get the site back up and I did the rest.

I inquired more about the new restaurant and again, offered to help him for free.

So, why?

First of all, as we chatted, he was super nice. And, from my perspective, I had been reading, listening to and watching a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk and I was inspired to just HELP someone. To give with no expectations of anything in return. I had some knowledge and skills and I wanted to see what fulfillment would come from doing my work that would help someone with no money involved. And I tell ya what, as of right now, it has been so very fulfilling and cool!

Here's a rundown of what I've done so far for the new restaurant:

  • Helped name it - Man, I love that process, even though my first choice wasn't chosen.

  • Created a logo - This tied into the naming process. I would create logos for a list of names and see how that struck us visually.

  • Website - got the domain name, created a couple-page website to start and will be adding the menu and ordering abilities when ready.

  • Social Media - launched a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok - for now it's initial "here we come" content. Once we are almost open, we'll have a lot more food and people content!

  • Signage - okay, this IS the logo, but I personally cannot wait for the signs to go up!

  • Menu design, table tents, grand opening flags/signs, etc.

  • Press release - wrote a release we will use for local media about two weeks prior to opening.

This has been a pretty big commitment in time, but it has been very rewarding and I am so looking forward to the opening AND the food.

Oh, you want to know the restaurant??

Kitchen 1488 in Conroe, Texas.