Marketing Musts

Attract businesses near the restaurant that take people out for lunch or dinner.
Attract businesses near the restaurant that take people out for lunch or dinner.

Best practices help operators get the message out, hike sales.

Miriam Silverberg believes the three restaurants for which she’s the publicist are successful because she’s lucky.

But restaurants don’t market themselves, and marketing is too complicated to be lucky.

Silverberg works with three New York City restaurants— Il Punto, on the edge of both the theater district and the garment district; Pazzia on the residential Upper East Side near homes and schools, and Albella, in the financial district—all of which are managing to survive these difficult times in a competitive market.

And they’re doing that because of the hard work Silverberg’s putting into marketing them. She’s taking note of the location of each restaurant and playing directly to its demographics.

“I’m looking around for businesses that are near the restaurant, feeling that they need to take people out for lunch or dinner and need to have parties some place. So I go through the phone book and make a lot of calls.”

For Il Punto, she contacts the nearby off-Broadway theaters and asks them how the restaurant can work with them.

“For example, for opening night we’ll deliver hors d’oeuvres for 100 people—for the theatergoers—and we’ll get a free advertisement in their program. They’ll sometimes put a poster up in the lobby and a sign on the table saying ‘Compliments of Il Punto.’ We give them the hors d’oeuvres in return for the advertising.”

She’s also worked with the garment center companies because they often have clients they take out for lunch or dinner. During a cold call, if the person she’s called is receptive, she invites him or her to lunch as her guest. “I bring them to the restaurant and they like what they see, they like the food, and then they come back and they pay, naturally.”



I think there are some really great ideas in this article on how to get creative and be successful with marketing even if the funds are not there.  Driving customers to their Facebook site or Twitter feed via enticing offers is a great idea!  Other great ways to engage customers is with event promotions, brand messaging and web surveys. The receipt marketing Silvergreens uses is a POS-based software called SmartReceipt. It can also print QR codes seamlessly on the receipts allowing customers to act on promos, offers, view videos, etc... instantaneously.  It's really cool that there's immediate engagement with the customer as soon as they get their receipt. This seems like an amazing opportunity for any business that needs a creative boost to their marketing efforts.  They're already buying the receipt paper, so there's a lot of inherent value from the start.

This article seems great for local restaurants to try new marketing tactics! For me, the most impressive method to get new customers was "Creating Associations" while inviting people who are influential enough to bring more customers in the future. But as you mentioned, making cold calls takes too much time and needs patience to convince people to come to the restaurant. I found a useful web-site called which connects your restaurant with the surrounding community groups over a fundraising dinner. You can invite potential customers while building a great brand image of the restaurant that gives back. It is the easiest way to get connected with local groups and create associations! I hope this helps.


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