Restaurant Marketing: Why Tell Your Own Story?

Everyone has a story. We all do.My 88-year-old Mom calls me a story-teller; sometimes she says I am just a (well....that’s another story...). Some of my best friends tell me I’m a (can’t put that one in print...either) when it comes to all my 'hospitality industry war stories'.Stories are something I discovered a long time ago.One of the best kept secrets of marketing is “story-telling”.When people hear the ‘stories’: about you, your restaurant – how you came to get into this business; some of the trials and tribulations you faced over the years, and such – they see you as another human being, with the same kinds of problems and opportunities (both taken and missed) as everyone else.They don’t trust you because of your credentials and degrees.They trust you because your credentials tell them they “should” trust you.In reality, they trust you because they feel you understand them.They don’t necessarily trust you; they trust your story.If you can tell your own story well, it has the gigantic power to push you through this faltering and fading economy; through the uncertainty associated with the crazy environment in which we have to do business these days. Your ‘story’ will help you get through the political and social unrest, change and finicky fads that plague our restaurant and hospitality industry.Your story is yours. If you don’t choose to tell it well, who will?Recently, a close friend shared with me the private writings of both her Aunt and her Mother. Later in life, these two sisters had taken the time to put their life’s story down in writing – in the form of a “book”.After their respective deaths, these two stories were ‘found’ and read by their very close relatives.Talk about revealing and shedding a big light on things! I could only imagine how different their two lives might have been if they had just ‘stood up’ and told their story to those who might care to listen at the time. Based on what really happened, my belief is that it might have changed everything for each of them.You and your restaurant have a story.You should tell it.Use as many means as you can to get that ‘story’ out there. Make sure your staff know and understand your story too. They will be able to tell it to their guests. This, in turn, will help create, sustain and perpetuate how you are ‘positioned’ in their mind.It will make you human; trustworthy in their minds. They will want to buy from you; as opposed to someone they don’t “know or trust.”What do you think? Go ahead, tell me yours; give me your two cents’ worth. I’d love to hear your comments!
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