Where Restaurant Marketing Went Wrong

It’s easy to clean up your plates, place it underneath a white light box, take a picture and ultimately post it on every social media channel your restaurant has a page on. But the real challenge comes when only 2 people like it, and that’s across 5 platforms! So what went wrong? Value. We go back to my original posting on this platform. That picture does not tell me anything — other than, “oh, how pretty!” Yes I might start salivating a bit, but that’s a natural occurrence. So let’s fix this.


A pretty picture will not save your restaurant. It is a combination of many different factors. We start with the online marketing, we work our way through the entrance and how the hostess greets you as you walk in. It is the floor you walk on — the table — the atmosphere — it is the feng shui!

So we are going to go on a journey through every aspect of the restaurant. I am not even going to look at your physical restaurant and chances are I am going to hit the nail on the head on some of the problems you recognize occurring in your business.

Let’s begin with the almighty restaurant menu and pictures of your food both on the menu and in your social media page.


Let’s get rid of #cookingforbae, it is time to present your food underneath great lighting, a clean white plate with enough food for a meal to be enjoyed and enough space for the light to truly capture the beauty of what is to cook for your patrons. Both a hearty meal and white space is important. Like in music, a muted/silent note can say a lot in the groove, especially once it comes back.

You do not need a professional DSLR to capture this but a smartphone camera and a light box will suffice. Now the picture has been taken, you go ahead and you post it to your Facebook page, in hopes that it will attract people to your restaurant. That doesn’t happen. No one shows up. You may get a like or two of people saying that food looks so good. Yet, no one is inspired enough to get off their butt and pay your establishment a visit.

Again, what went wrong?


Like a good story, you need to tell us something about the cuisine. What is special about what went in to the course? Is it a Grandma’s recipe? Did the Chef work day and night as a line cook to finally learn the recipe from his Executive Chef and is finally capable of producing it on his own. This stuff matters. Too many of you are posting pictures of this food and telling me about the price and specials of tonight, when to be honest if the food is presentable and the value behind the cuisine is shared, price plays very little on inspiring your patrons to pay your restaurant a visit.

So this is where we start. Telling us about the food and how and what inspired it to come about.

But back to that elusive lack of likes on the status, lack of patrons coming in and ordering that dish, a lack of butts in the seats. The journey of presenting your food goes beyond the picture. It is the copy on the status. Maybe even a short 30 second video time-lapsed to show how it all came together. It is a 15 second sch-peel from the Chef explaining his love of organic local produce.

You will be surprised on how much people appreciate valiant efforts. Do not take this for granted.

Let me remind you that this is not the only way to get patrons to pay your restaurant a visit. I am here to tell you that the picture, the story, the copy is only the beginning. It evolves into the experience. We’ve all done it before; the picture, the price, the pay us a visit “while supplies last.” I am here to move you away from that. I am here to show you that there is a more advanced, yet simpler way to get your customers coming back again and again.

Today we visited, the status posting. Tomorrow we visit the pictures on the menu. And how that is it hurts your business more than you think.

Until Next Time…A Bien Tiempo!

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