A Beginner's Guide to Chef Marketing

Nov 8, 2017 | Harrison College

A Beginner's Guide to Chef Marketing

If a chef makes a dish in the kitchen and no one is there to eat it, does it make a sound? Ok, perhaps not as potent a philosophical quandary as the original adage about forests and trees, but the point still stands.

If you make a dish and no one's buying, then what's the point?

While refining your craft at a culinary school is paramount, you will go nowhere fast if you don't know a thing about how to market yourself.

Chef marketing aside, according to some studies your restaurant has a 60% chance of failure with the first year. It's easy to fail big, and brushing up on your marketing skills is one tool to be sure you're part of the 40% who are successful.

Keep reading to learn how you can grow your brand and market yourself effectively.

1. Top Knotch Customer Service

In the age of Yelp and Foursquare, word of mouth reviews can make or break your business. More than ever before, you want your customers walking away from your restaurant ready to give their experience a glowing review to friends and family.

Great marketing will always begin and end with having a great product served to the customer in an attractive and comfortable package.

Beyond creating the best dishes possible, find ways to go above and beyond. Get creative. For example, is there a cheap complimentary appetizer or dessert you can offer patrons?

2. Continue to Add to Your Menu

There may be a few signature dishes you specialize in, but don't limit yourself.

In order to find a wider client base, try adding new dishes to your menu regularly. Push yourself outside of your culinary comfort zone and experiment. Stay on the cutting edge of meal prep by taking a few new classes on some fresh techniques.

People love the ridiculous, so why not try creating something which seems ridiculous. For example, a local restaurant starting serving brie and pear pizza; it started out as a novelty and quickly became the signature item, bringing in new customers.

Never stop creating, and don't be afraid to be ridiculous. It will help with your chef marketing.

3. Become Best Friends with Social Media

With almost 70% of American adults on Facebook alone, it's a no-brainer you need to be there too.

It's free to create most social media accounts such as Instagram, facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. As you create content to post on social media (plan on releasing at least three pieces of content per week), make use of apps like HootSuite to help with scheduling.

It's a headache to keep track of all of your accounts and to remember to post content on each one every day. HootSuite can do this for you. Plan out your week's worth of social media content, schedule it out on HootSuite and call it good.

Make Your Mark on Chef Marketing

The restaurant business is a lucrative one, but can also be volatile. Don't take any chances. If you're feeling overwhelmed or insecure, why not earn your degree in culinary arts? Education is never a waste of time or money and can lead to fresh creativity and new connections.

Put yourself out there and try new things. You'll never know until you try!

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