But not all promotions are B-to-B in nature. “Consumer and promotional items catalogs are good for this market,” says John LoGuidice, senior list manager at Edith Roman Associates, a list management and brokerage firm that manages the Restaurant Business magazine file. Take into consideration that the majority of restaurant owners are small business owners, he explains, and so might get ideas for, say, a floral arrangement for their tables, from a consumer catalog. Some out-of-category continuations on Restaurant Business’ file do suggest that restaurant owners have a variety of interests that can be explored; both Bicycle Health magazine and Smith & Hawken catalog have mailed at least a second time to this audience.
On the business front, two areas that seem ripe for offers are Web marketing and loyalty program development/management. Research from the National Restaurant Association shows that 31 percent of consumers have used the Internet to view a restaurant’s menu, up from 12 percent in 2000. To remain competitive, restaurant owners will find it important to host a Web site and spend money on services that help them present an attractive and perhaps interactive site to lure diners and loyal customers. And with 48 percent of tableservice operators that offer gift cards expecting this portion of their business to grow in 2006, this trend provides a good opportunity for companies that help companies manage their gift-card services to increase their penetration into this market.
A Five-course Media Plan
Restaurateurs have a full plate on a daily basis, especially those that run individual locations. “Restaurant managers are notoriously pressed for time,” Riehle says, “and although they understand the importance of marketing to grow their sales, in many instances these individuals focus on the more demanding challenges of the moment”—such as what to do about a nationwide ban on bagged spinach when spinach salad is one of the most popular items on their menu.