Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Margins

Restaurant Marketing Agency: Public Relations Masterclass by Jeff Smith & Jill Sandin

Storytelling is central to the restaurant experience and, what guests love most whether they realize it or not, is the story we’re telling within the four walls of our restaurants. But how does that story translate outside of those 4 walls and what stories should we be telling post-pandemic. We cover all of that and much more on today’s show with Jeff Smith and Jill Sandin of JS2 in Los Angeles, one of the premier hospitality public relations firms repping everyone from Starbucks to famed restaurant Juniper and Ivy.

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  • The secrets to success in the restaurant business
  • Understanding who we are in the market place
  • Having a deeply interesting story to tell
  • Not being all things to all people
  • We must understand the connection between food, service, excitement and experience
  • Solid business practices and managing the P&L
  • Food is deeply personal
  • Food memories drive our relationship with restaurants
  • Client USP is the basis of great PR
  • They do a branding exercise to understand the core essence of the restaurant
  • Finding the tiny stories and a-ha moments that make the restaurant unique
  • PR is very competitive
  • The media is demanding and jaded
  • LA is saturated with great food stories and food personalities
  • Standing out in the crowd
  • Find the one story that gets heads nodding or touches the heart
  • Follow the love/passion and you will find the story
  • Covid19 aftermath is like 9/11
  • JS2 PR started 3 weeks before 9/11
  • We are all in it together
  • The world is in mourning
  • We must communicate in a delicate way
  • Communicating during a crisis
  • Skillful storytelling is key
  • We must be respectful and authentic
  • Stay away from icky salesman
  • Difference between information and promotion
  • 4 phase approach to PR during Covid19
  • Examples of PR during this time
  • Saikai Ramen Bar – used remaining inventory to make ramen for local police and fire stations
  • Dog Bakery – delivered dog food for free to local community
  • Pasta Sisters – found other jobs for staff to keep them on payroll so they can still receive health benefits
  • Practical advice for reopening
  • What is your objective in this moment?
  • We must be sensitive to the mood of the customer
  • Fear makes people react in ways we can’t predict
  • Trim hours and menu if needed
  • Invest in excellent service
  • Prioritizing storytelling
  • The more personal the better
  • How to get more media coverage
  • Hospitality industry is in the news cycle a lot because of being the hardest hit during the pandemic
  • Focus on stories of courage, compassion, and/or creativity
  • Predictions for consumer behavior after the pandemic
  • People are longing for connection
  • They want to come back to restaurants and bars
  • Consumers will be looking for places that make the very best food in the very best way
  • High expectations

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