Restaurant Marketing Tips: Meet the Chef
By Marc Kline May 1, 2007
In our last post, we established that there’s more to an email campaign than economic incentive. You need to build a relationship that establishes unique selling points to cultivate a return customer base.
Who better to establish these points than the lead creative force of your company? In the case of a restaurant, the head creator is the chef.
In this article, I’ll describe how introducing your chef can add a personal face to your email campaign and how even if you don’t have a restaurant, this type of message can benefit your own business.
Chefs Have Personality
We all love cooking shows. Consider the success of Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child, and (my personal favorite) Alton Brown. People look at them as master chefs, but we know the likelihood of ever tasting one of their dishes is as thin as the demi glaze on the seared filet mignon we see on our TV screens.
By contrast, what happens when customers come to your restaurant? Plates arrive in front of us and they look delicious, but we have no vision of where it came from and who made it. In most restaurants, the gap between the kitchen and the front end is as thick as the drywall that separates them.
Now, imagine the best of both worlds: having your chef come out to greet every table at your restaurant, serving dishes to your customers, explaining the freshness of the ingredients and the uniqueness of the plate.
Meet the Chef
In an ideal world, wouldn’t this be great? Wouldn’t your customers swoon over the idea of knowing who made their food, taking that personal touch to the next level?
Unfortunately, your chef has plenty on their hands, like, well, cooking. They don’t have the benefit of a production crew or the time to leave the kitchen every 5 minutes to greet each customer.
Luckily, if you’re collecting customers’ email addresses at your restaurant for your email list, you have options.
Have your head cook write up a ‘Meet the Chef’ message to introduce themselves. Need a few ideas for this email? They could:
- highlight their experience
- tell a story behind the creation of a dish
- explain the nuances of a dish and provide a special coupon for it
- provide an exclusive recipe
- narrate a day of cooking at your restaurant
- introduce cooking staff and give a tour of the kitchen
- give nutritional information on your dishes
.. and the list of ideas can go on and on. You want to keep your email short and sweet, so you might even consider starting a series of messages.
By using your email campaign to give your chef a voice and a face, you maximize the use of their time while adding value to your campaign and your restaurant.
For more information on email marketing for restaurants, view our complete Email Marketing for Restaurants Guide.
Don’t have a restaurant?
It’s always a plus to put a personal face on your email campaigns regardless of what type of business you run. In any case, it’s likely that you run a business smaller than the scale of a Wal-Mart or McDonald’s.
Corporate marketers usually work on the image of their brand because this personal approach is hard to accomplish at their scale. People come to you for your expertise as a trusted source. By giving yourself a voice in your email campaigns, you establish who you are and why you’re somebody to listen to.