Choosing a Restaurant Marketing Agency
Discover tips for selecting the right marketing agency for your restaurant.

Whether your restaurant brand is just starting out or already established, it can be challenging to find the bandwidth and expertise to deploy a marketing strategy that will foster growth. Outsourcing your restaurant marketing to an agency or independent marketing consultant can have a positive impact on both your brand and your bottom line.

The Value of Outsourcing Your Restaurant Marketing

A restaurant marketing agency can provide value to your business by implementing a strategy that will yield foot traffic and sales. A marketing agency can also help your  restaurant maintain interest among your market, and can even help you grow. Whether you own the strategy and are looking for someone to implement it, or if you need help ideating and developing a strategy, the right agency can help. Working with an agency is a quick way to scale your marketing reach, team and efforts, as well. Often, marketing agencies bring to the table a ton of creative and marketing know-how as well as well-developed practices and processes.

Restaurant marketing agencies specialize in building trust in your brand, and creating and distributing the content and messages that bring new consumers through the door and fosters loyalty among your best customers. By using an agency, you can leverage their connections with media professionals, along with their expertise to generate quality leads and media mentions where it matters most.

A reputable restaurant marketing agency will have a public relations (PR) representative create a media kit for your restaurant that’s easily shared with journalists. Kits often contain the history of your restaurant; background on the owners; high-resolution photos of the space and food; a quick restaurant fact sheet; menus; and marketing materials.

The agency should assign you a dedicated marketing account manager who will also work with you to build a strategy, a timeline for execution, and keep all parties focused on meeting the deadlines for those deliverables. The marketing manager will also keep track of when and where your restaurant is mentioned in the press and leverage those media mentions to garner an even greater return. Hiring a restaurant marketing agency is certainly an investment, so here are a few tips to remember when selecting the right agency for both you and your restaurant.

Finding the Right Marketing Agency for Your Restaurant

Choose someone with experience in the industry and in your markets. Just as you wouldn’t go to a baker for help with your car, you’ll have more success if you zero in on marketing firms and representatives who have worked with a lot of restaurants. If you can find one that understands the markets where you currently sell, or plan to expand, and one that specializes in your vertical (i.e., fine dining, fast casual, etc.), even better.

Check references. If you’ve narrowed down your search to a firm or person you like, ask for references—and check them. You want a restaurant marketing agency that delivers on their promises, is easy to work with, and will represent your business in a professional manner.

Understand that bigger isn’t always better. You’ll find that monthly rates for agency services will vary from firm to firm. Don’t be swayed into thinking that the the largest agency, with the highest rates, will get you the biggest bang for your buck. Instead, focus on the firm that will give you frequent and personalized service, that understands your business, your core markets, one that pays keen attention to detail, and truly listens to your restaurant’s needs.

Whether you hire a restaurant marketing agency to help launch your new concept or location, or to maintain ongoing marketing and public relations activities, make sure the agency has a plan in place to track and measure marketing success. After all, evaluating the performance of your marketing activities, proving the value of your spend, and making improvements along the way, will all be key to a strategy that grows your business.