Why You Must Hire a Marketing Manager
Hiring a marketing manager is typically way down the operator’s to-do list. This is especially true for a new restaurant, where the task of preparing for an open is always overwhelming and full of unforeseen challenges (and costs). However, the fact is that many operators can save themselves a heavy dose of headaches by having a Marketing Manager on staff.
Marketing Managers solve the essential question, “What is happening outside of my building?” It is the job of the operator and management staff to see everything—to see the building from 30,000 feet in the air and the salt and pepper shakers on every table. However, the fact is that it’s impossible to really see everything at once.
As a restaurant operator or manager, it can be difficult to ever get out of the building. It can be planned, discussed, scheduled and prepared for. But running a small business means operating a building, leading a staff and purchasing and preparing food. In this business, it means fixing the lady’s room toilet at 8:30 a.m., training a new hire, or tallying invoices. If it’s between those nuts-and-bolts tasks and getting out of the building to generate clientele, the nuts-and-bolts are always going to win.
What a Marketing Manager Can Do for You
A Marketing Manager is your path to new clientele. It is an extension of your business in the community; your chance to communicate with the world outside your four walls and advertising dollar. It is also your chance to hear what the outside world has to say. A Marketing Manager fills countless roles, including:
Social Media Manager: This includes email, Facebook, Twitter and text blasts that let your guests and anyone who cares know what’s happening in your restaurant. Specials, discounts, promos, events. All these tools grease the marketing wheel, and are worth exploring.
Community Relations Director: Your Marketing Manager knows where to go to find new clientele and how to do it. He can bring along coupons, discounts, cookies, shrimp cocktail, or anything that gets attention. He can visit hotels, resorts, banks, apartment complexes, malls, or anywhere potential guests visit.
Goodwill Ambassador: He can create ways to impact the community while getting the message out. He can find cheap advertising paths like auctions, charities, or community/school events. He can also create personal correspondence and follow-ups with guests booking large events and generate corporate business.
How to Hire A Marketing Manager
Sure, it’s easier said than done. Operators have labor goals and a Marketing Manager doesn’t usually fit under that number. Getting out of the building is a luxury that not every new operator can have.
While that is true, there a few ways to cut the cost. The first is by folding it into another position. A part-time Marketing Manager is a great start, especially when the job combines with another managing position—equaling thirty hours outside the building and thirty hours inside.
Another is by pulling a couple of presentable, well-spoken servers and offering hourly rates in exchange for a little pounding the pavement. This requires more effort and direction from the operator or manager, but it can still yield results.
Some restaurants out-source the position to a marketing company. This is a great tool to integrate your company’s message with a group who is embedded in the community. Marketing companies know where to go to find new customers and are cheaper than filling a full-time position
Finally, most full-time Marketing Managers work on incentive-based contracts, with lower salaries and bonuses attached to monthly or quarterly revenue totals. This is a sure-fire way to cultivate a motivated employee and helps most operators keep costs down. This is also a great idea for operators who own multiple restaurants.