“Internal marketing should precede external marketing.” At first, I didn’t fully appreciate what the hell that meant, but I quickly realized the importance of it. There is no point in spending a bunch of money putting together a big marketing plan, unless you are sure to start with your employees first. They are the ones who will ultimately implement such a plan and see that it is successful.
I mean if you have strategies to get a lot of people in to your restaurant, it will just be wasted if your staff is not on board, too.
Talk to your staff
If you have an idea that you want to put in place at your restaurant, make sure and sell it to your employees first. Want to add a new list of signature cocktails? Sit down with your staff, talk about the new line up of drinks, and let them try them. That way, they know about the nuances of each one, and are prepared to talk about them to the guest, and therefore, sell them.
Have a new late night menu you want to introduce? Make sure that both the front-of-the-house, and the back-of-the-house are on board. A new late-night menu will (hopefully) lead to more late night business. That means kitchens need to be mentally prepared to crank out more food at a time when they are thinking about cleaning up and going home. Remind them that this will lead to more hours, and bigger paychecks. Same with those servers. Not to mention the fact that you want those servers to be able to describe the new food appetizingly.
Offering a new coupon/discount/frequent diner program? Tell those employees why you are doing this, and what to expect. The first place servers are going to go with this is going to be a lot of whining about the fact that check averages, and therefore tips, are going to go down. Explain to them, that this is not true, that these are just ideas to get more people in the door, and actually, the result is going to be more money, not less.
We want to sell this stuff, after all
The whole point of these ideas is to boost your sales at times when the sales are down. Get the staff on the same page. If you don’t reach out to your employees, and explain why these new ideas are being offered, resentment will build up, and the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish will end up coming true.
They are not owners
Your employees are not owners, and are not going to be as gung ho as you when it comes to new things. I often say on this blog, that it starts with you. In this case, it starts with your employees, but only if you get them equally excited about the new things you are doing.