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What is Restaurant Public Relations?

The key to success for every restaurant’s marketing plan

There was a time when a good reputation alone – spread by word of mouth – was enough to create and maintain a successful restaurant. Those times; however, are long gone. More than it ever has been, positive public awareness is vital to a restaurant’s success.


In today’s sophisticated, technology savvy world, mass communication through the media has replaced “word of mouth” as the best exposure a restaurant can receive. Of course, positive word of mouth from customers is still important, but an effective public relations campaign that generates favorable exposure through newspapers, magazines, TV stations, radio stations and the Internet has a wider reach. And the public lends more credibility to articles they read and stories they hear about your restaurant than advertisements they read and see.


Simply put, the “buzz” about your restaurant begins and remains through the media. By cultivating positive relationships with the media and creating publicity via the media, restaurant operators enhance their chances for continued success.

The reasons restaurateurs think about hiring public relations agencies are as varied as the types of food they serve. Some operators hire an agency to launch a new restaurant, and others bring one aboard after an establishment has been open for a certain period.


If you find yourself wondering if now is the time to add a new voice to your restaurant, here are some questions to ponder:



What is your restaurant PR objective?

What is most important to your bottom line? Obviously, you want to increase profits, but what else is important to you? Higher visibility? A repositioning strategy? Greater brand recognition? A higher profile for your chef?


A carefully crafted restaurant public relations campaign will raise both media and consumer awareness of your restaurant. Combining in-store marketing with public relations will help sustain the public-relations effort as well as provide a constant stream of activities to increase sales and generate favorable press coverage.



Do you have the time to work with an agency?

Restaurant public relations should be an integral part of your overall business plan. In order for the restaurant public relations program to be effective, clear communication is critical. If you cannot devote the time to work with an agency, delegate a key member of your team to be the contact. A publicist is like any other employee. By providing guidance, information and feedback on a regular basis, you increase your chance for success.



Find a restaurant PR Firm that Knows the Restaurant Industry

In the restaurant industry, there is such a thing as bad publicity. When hiring a PR firm, do the research to make sure that company understands restaurants and knows how to position your establishment as a premier location in your area.