As intoxicating as “feeding the world” might sound to restaurant owners and managers, when it comes to operations, restaurant marketing, and simple expectations, that mindset can actually be a crippling trap. 2021 was a historically challenging year for the restaurant sector. Unprecedented labor shortages. Ongoing pandemic challenges. A supply chain mystery Sherlock Holmes couldn’t crack. Whether it was QSR, coffee houses, cafes, or casual dining, no business sector in America was hit harder last year than restaurants. That positions 2022 as a critical comeback year. The question is, what’s the big idea for succeeding with many of the same hurdles standing in the way? Ironically, the answer is thinking smaller.
THE KEY FOR 2022 IS FOCUS
By smaller, we don’t mean thinking that’s “less than.” We’re not talking about ideas that are less significant, less effective, or in any way a step back. By “thinking smaller” we simply mean narrowing your attention from “everyone” to three groups guaranteed to pay higher dividends: your staff, your existing customers, and the undercapitalized connections sitting in your database and on social media. Your first step to making 2022 a better year is connecting early and often with those three cohorts. Here are five ways to do that and focus on delivering better restaurant marketing results in 2022:
1. FOCUS: On putting your staff first
Without the solid foundation of a staff as committed to building your brand as you are, there’s no chance you can consistently deliver for the customers your marketing attracts. Restaurants were among those hardest hit by “The Great Resignation” in 2021 and it’s not hard to understand why. Locations were understaffed. Existing staff were overworked. And frustrated by everything from mask protocols to having to wait a little longer than normal, diners across the country were impatient, rude, and cheap when it came time to reward the servers doing the best they could. That’s a lot to come to work to every day.