7 Companies that Are Changing the Face of Restaurant Marketing

Rom Krupp, CEO of Marketing Vitals, speaking to restaurant owners on the role of data in marketing.

Marketing is an uncertain science, a mix of luck and intuition, data and experimentation. And, when it comes to restaurant marketing, innovation can come from creative agency minds, restaurateurs with pluck, or franchise corporations that want to give their values, concrete expression. The following seven are a mix of the above. Whether big or small, they each offer a glimpse, or insight, into the best way to promote restaurants, win customer loyalty, and develop a compelling brand.

Think globally, act locally.

Nando’s Peri Peri, a South African-based fast casual chicken chain, entered the Chicago market, with a spirit of generosity and goodwill. Forgoing aggressive promotions and the usual giveaways, the new location set up a temporary pay-what-you-want invitation and donated all monies made to a local nonprofit, endearing itself, in the process, to local residents, both through its kindness and its kickin’ “peri peri” spice. What it lost in profits at the start, it more than made up for with its well-earned reputation as a “good neighbor.”

Turn data into dollars.

Dallas-based Marketing Vitals has a unique value proposition for the restaurants it works with. Through its painstakingly precise analytics software, it offers business consultants, restaurant owners, and national and international restaurant franchise c-suites the chance to turn guess work into certainty, and data into dollars. By offering answers for everything from which servers are high performing to what’s driving traffic and when, they empower restaurants to scale intelligently. For an industry with an infamously low-profit margin (on average, 60 percent of full-service and quick-service operations fail within the first three years), such accuracy can make the difference between living the dream and filing bankruptcy.