Restaurants Marketing
John has been involved in marketing      
countless restaurants, brassieres and cafes.                
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Print advertisement for the Park Brasserie Christmas themed Feast! Themeing is not only important for the actual restaurant, but also on special occasions for the menu.

John has been involved in marketing countless restaurants, brassieres and cafes over the years – and you guessed it – his philosophy of the need for “wow factors” is as relevant to this industry as any other!

John says “how many times have we all dined in a restaurant or café and felt the ambience was not quite right? Sometimes the owner gets it wrong right from the start, using the wrong colour schemes or furniture. I’ve been in seafood restaurants where the proprietor has made the cardinal sin by surrounding diners with rich warm colours. Conversely, I’ve been in steak restaurants which have cool colour surroundings, such as blues and greens, which hardly make me comfortable when I’m eating my beef dinner!”

John maintains that a huge part of the success of any restaurant is its general theme and ambience. John says “of course,

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Press ad for "Aussie" themed menu.
the cuisine is of utmost importance, but today, people are looking for more. They want their dinner to be an experience, rather than just a means to satisfying their appetite. Indeed, the explosion around the world of themed restaurants is testament to the fact that people are looking for a somewhat theatrical experience when they are dining.”

The emergence of themed Dinner Shows such as Faulty Towers is also proof of this market trend. (A parody of the John Cleese Faulty Towers TV Show takes over the restaurant and creates a dinner show for the evening. Other examples are the likes of Dirty Dick’s and Oktoberfest dinner/entertainment shows.)

So John’s advice is to:

   1.  After creating your cuisine choices, make sure you create the right colour scheme and
       ambience in your restaurant.

   2.  Get the name right and where possible, make it synonymous with your cuisine.
        (eg: South Pacific Seafood Restaurant.)

   3.  Create a “dining experience” for your customers, so that it becomes more than just a dinner
        for them.

   4.  Design a strategic marketing plan which:

       a. Entices first-time customers to “trial” your dining facility.

       b. Build loyalty and repetitive visitation through numerous ways.

       c. Increase the average “unit-spend” by using various “up-sell” techniques.

       d. Target “groups” or “parties”. (As this represents “volume” and high yield for you!)


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$5 Roasts are always a favourite.

There are far too many examples of John’s involvement with eating establishments to list the “execution” and “results” of each marketing campaign.

However, the print advertising samples here will give you an idea of some of his tactics.

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Style of print advertisements for this restaurant are more “contemporary and modern,” in order to best create the right perception.

In the case of a Club Brassiere such as Parramatta Leagues, the marketing tactic of specially priced “roasts” was employed in order to attract a demographic which had a history of spending big elsewhere in the premises.

In the same Club’s new Dining facility, Cafe 88, the marketing needed to reflect a more contemporary, sleek feel, due to its target audience profile.

In the instance of the Café St Tropez at the Gold Coast’s Sanctuary Cove, the signage of the restaurant needed serious updating and re-theming.(Note the “before” and “after” photographs here.)

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BEFORE: Original signage for the restaurant was somewhat infantile and failed to create an inviting mood. AFTER: John’s new signage vastly improved the restaurants image and appeal.

And given that Sanctuary Cove is a prestigious “gated community”, John created weekly Direct Mail campaigns to the residents, offering them special privileges.(The campaigns continue to enjoy staggering success!)

Café St Tropez is an up-market restaurant / café in the Sanctuary Cove Village precinct, enjoying a waterside location with a relaxing ambience.

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Café St Tropez dining area. Café St Tropez riverside view.

With Sanctuary Cove having its own 5 Star Hyatt Resort and enjoying patronage from many tourist buses and cruises, the marketing plans for the restaurant also include special incentives for the Tourist Companies of course!

No matter what type of restaurant one has or what type of cuisine it features, John maintains “It’s vital that the business has a multi-tiered marketing strategy, designed to capture “testers” and then build upon this with techniques to stimulate ongoing loyalty.

And of course, dare I say, its ambience, menu and overall communications need to evoke a “wow” reaction!”

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