Secret Sauce - The Restaurant Marketing Podcast

We discover the ingredients of your Restaurant's secret sauce. SEO, Facebook, Twitter, emails, coupons, yield utilization, USPs, Menu engineering, direct mail, partnerships - there are many ingredients for creating your Secret Sauce and with the right Secret Sauce you can find more customers and turn them into repeat customers. We deconstruct the recipes, so you can increase increase turnover, increase profit and maybe decrease the amount of time you spend working in your Restaurant.
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Secret Sauce - The Restaurant Marketing Podcast






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Jul 27, 2016

We talk about Pokemon Go and why it is a signpost to one of the fundamental changes that is occurring for small businesses and Restaurants in particular.  Some Restaurants are crushing this change and others are ignoring it at their peril.  

Chicken Vindaloo Dim sims.  Just saying.....

We look at some great tips to help you increase personal productivity and the way that you work so that you 

Look at the activities that you are spending time on, delegate, create procedures, hiring, multitasking the right way, automating systems, look after yourself with sleep and exercise, and last but not least - marketing :).

Check out Confluence for a way to store your policies and procedures.

Check out Eric Cacciatore's Restaurant Unstoppable podcast.

Xero - cloud based accounting system that can cut the time you spend on accounting.

Too many Restaurant owners work too many hours for too little reward -  starting to work on your business is the start of making the change to the type of Hospitality business that you want to run, so you should find some ideas to be able to get that 1 hour.  You will find that 1 hour on the business will return to you many hours of time saved down the track and you can use that extra time to continue to work on the business and then you are on the track to build the great profitable hospitality business.  :)


Have a busy day!

Jul 15, 2016

Profitable Hospitality is the goal of all Restaurant owners, but it can be very hard to achieve.  We look at 7 areas that Restaurant, Cafe and Take Out owners can impact profitability and we look at ways that you can improve profitability in each of the areas.

1.  Your business plan and the sample P+L.  What are the KPIs that you need to be looking at to achieve profitability.

2. Your Marketing Plan.

3.  Hiring and training.  How much money are you wasting on bad hiring practices and how many great employees leave your Restaurant because it isn't a great place to work.  We will cover one great tip we have used to find the great employees, which is very cheap to use!  We talk about how Nick Sarillo builds a great Restaurant culture.

4.  Wage costs.  How do you look at your wage costs? 

5.  Rent.  We cover an interesting way to look at your rent and 1 way that may help you save a little rent per month.

6.  Managing your food and bev costs.  What is the number 1 way to decrease your food costs without decreasing the quality of your food?  Why not use some of the food costing tools from Sysco?

7.  Menu Engineering.  What is the process for Menu Engineering and how should you do that?  What is the number one most profitable phrase in Restaurant Marketing and are you using it?

8.  What is the 8th item of our list of the Top 7 things to do to increase your Restaurant Profitability?  You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out :)


We look at Big Huey's Diner, their awesome menu and some of the great things that they are doing to increase profitability in their restaurant.  

Jul 8, 2016

We look at USPs  - Unique Selling Propositions.

Does your Restaurant need a Unique Selling Proposition, because not every restaurant really needs one.

What should a Unique Selling Proposition do for your Restaurant?

What is the process to create a Unique Selling Proposition?

Qualtiy price, product

We go through some sample USPs and how they work.


Mentioned in this podcast:

Norman Hotel - Brisbane's Worst Vegetarian Restaurant.

Coravin Wine System

Brooklyn Brewery


New Managing Director for Menulog - Commissions to increase?

Paramount Coffee Project

Jun 18, 2016

The 2016 NRA Show in Chiacgo was attended by over 45,000 people.  


We spent 3 packed days looking for the best products, ideas and inspiration to help you grow your business.  There was so much to see - but here are some of the edited highlights.

We visit 2 great Chicago restaurants -  Nick's Pizza and Pub and Au Cheval with Eric Cacciatore from Restaurant Unstoppable.

We finally get to experience the amazing In n Out Burger - the iconic Burger business.

What was the surprising thing about Bubba Gump?

We discuss some of the reason YOU should go to the NRA show and how it will help you grow your business.

There are a lot of suppliers who have a great story - that story can and should become part of your story.  It helps create the experience and where there is experience there's margin!

We discuss Kimbal Musk from The Kitchen and the way he creates a great story about his suppliers, Denny Post and the importance of a Signature meal- even if it isn't that popular, as well as a great discussion between Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue and Robert Irvine from Restaurant Impossible.

Are you doing coffee in your Restaurant?  Is it great coffee?  What impact would making your restaurant someone's regular coffee spot make to revenue?  We talked to the team from Vittoria coffee.  (It was easily the best coffee at the show!)

The Urban Cultivators look great and if you are creating a fresh and green brand, these are perfect for really highlighting what it is that you are doing for your customers (and how much of a difference would cheap, fresh herbs make?)

Why was it we visited the Aussie Pie Kitchen in LA?

We also look at Torta Bianca - a great ingredient for your cocktail list.

We finish of with esoteric wine varietals and how they can help you with your wine list and profits and lastly a warning about spending the wrong way with your social media marketing.

These are ujust some of the examples of what we picked up from the show.  If you have an idea for a restaurant in mind, or already have a concept, there are hundreds of ideas and products there that you can find to help to tell a better story, find productivity gains or increase margin with better and more interesting menu items.

I have focused too much on productivity, because I am not very good in the kitchen, but I think there was just as many interesting products for HOW you do in the kitchen as there was for WHAT you do in the kitchen.

Hope to see you at #NRA 2017 and hope you have a busy night tonight!

Jun 1, 2016

For many Restaurants, the website is the central part

We talk about how to compare the traffic for your website against other Restaurant's websites, so you know how well your online marketing is performing.

Find out how to make sure that the website is optimised for mobile.

How often you are updating the website?  You should be able to make changes on your website yourself, so you can do it frequently without being charged by your web developer every time you make a change.

A quick and easy way to grow your email marketing database and how that works with your website traffic.

How integrating with Facebook can help drive traffic and customers to your website.

Using to create great content.

What can Instagram do for your website traffic?

Making sure you capitalise on all of the great Public Relations mentions that you get.


Have a listen to the podcast and find more ways for how to increase traffic to your Restaurant Website. For most Restaurants, your website is the hub of your online marketing and the start to building a really powerful marketing database. Some Restaurants have databases that generate hundreds of thousands of dollars every month. This can be the start of it for you! Have a listen now, because if your website is working for you, someone else's website will be working for them and they will be getter all of the traffic, all of the leads and all of the customers!

**This WAS meant to go out before the NRA Show in Chicago. Oops sorry. We didn't get a chance to upload it. However, we are going to do a Show special ep covering what we saw, learnt and did along with an ep on a very exciting Restaurant visit that we did and the session with Jon Taffer and Robert Irvine from Bar Rescue and Restaurant Impossible. Stay tuned. We will get these ones out as soon as possible (I am still on the road in Taipei, looking at what tech is going to change Restaurants.) Back on deck next week.

Apr 25, 2016

We cover the implications of the Menulog data breach on your Restaurant.

We look at a great way for you to work on creating a Restaurant Marketing Strategy Plan.

If you are opening a Restaurant, you only get one shot at opening night.  If it isn't a success, then you are stuck behind the 8 ball trying to build momentum for your Restaurant.  It can be hard to get past people's impression of your Restaurant being the one that is always quiet because the locals don't go there.  Cash flow is a big thing too for new Restaurants, the sooner you start getting customers, the sooner you will have start getting some cashflow and return on your massive investment in time and money.

We look at the importance of your Marketing Budget, and how to get great logos cheaply.

We spend some time getting you to understand what it is that makes your Restaurant unique.  This is important as it can make or break your Restaurant.


We talk about how important it is to hire well before you open.

Getting the menu right is really important.  We look at some of the factors taht can make a huge difference in your Restaurants success.  The menu is really critical, so make sure you spend enough time before you opening on getting it right.

Facebook and Instagram can make a huge difference too both pre opening and on opening night, so follow our ideas on how to make the most out of these killer social media tools.

Think too about the importance of your domain name.  Getting this one right can make a huge difference in your Restaurants profitability.



Apr 17, 2016

Bruce Irving, the Founder of Smart Pizza Marketing is one of the foremost experts on Pizza marketing, working with many Pizza Restaurants to help them find more customers and turn them into repeat customers.

In this podcast we discuss how Restaurants are using Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and a range of other tools to build their businesses.

We also look at what is required to build your restaurant from 1 location to multiple locations and the mindset that Bruce sees in his successful Pizza Restaurant customers.

Bruce is a big believer in Snapchat, so have a listen and see how he is using it and how he sees Restaurants using it as well to build a loyal following on this rapidly developing social medium.  Some people are picking 2017 to be the year that Snapchat goes mainstream, which means that if you are looking for something to clearly set your Marketing apart from the crowd, now is the time you want to be building up your Snapchat skills and followers.

We talk email marketing and how important it is for Restaurants.  Bruce and I share a lot of common thoughts on the power of email marketing, being on medium that Restaurants can truly control.

We look at how Pizza Restaurants can and should compete against third party online ordering companies like Grub Hub and Menulog.

Lastly we talk about Masterminds - getting groups of Restaurant owners together to discuss the issues that everyone has in common to make it easier to run your Restaurant.

Apr 11, 2016

In this podcast we look at what the Key Performance Indicators are for your Restaurant Marketing.  What gets measured gets managed, so we want to make sure that your are measuring the right KPIs in for your marketing.

Remember - you don't want to have the best Restaurant that no one has ever heard of!

We will look at some metrics from a business and profitability point of view because they are the start of your marketing plan.

We look at how your target market impacts on the types of marketing that you need to do and also we talk about what a Restaurant customers long term customer value is, how you calculate it and how you work to increase it.

We'll take a look at metrics for Facebook marketing, email marketing and making sure that your website is working as hard as it can to find more customers and turn them into repeat customers.


Mar 30, 2016

In this episode we discuss some of the ways that successful Restaurants are increasing the number of customers that walk into your Restaurant.

If you have a restaurant with a lot of passing traffic, you won't want to miss this podcast.  What is the best way to construct a happy hour offer, what role does your menu play in increasing walk ins and what are some of the mistakes that Restaurants are making with their walk ins.

How can you minimise the risk that potential customers face when thinking about coming into your Restaurant?  What is the role of smells in attracting customers and how can you use that to increase customers?

Nothing attracts a queue like a queue, so what can you do to attract a queue.

We also discuss some great ways for getting feedback on why people aren't coming into your Restaurant.

We also look at location as a part of your business plan and how that can impact your marketing plan for walk ins.

Mar 16, 2016

We look at ways that Fish and Chip shop owners can find new customers and turn them into repeat customers.  

We look at the 2 times that a fish and chip shop customer is looking for a new fish and chip shop and ways that you can target them at those times.  How can you use Facebook to find more customers?  What is the easiest way to build an email database and how can you introduce efficiencies in your shop?


Many fish and chip shops are very busy on Saturday night, with long wait times for customers.  We look at ways to manage this and ensure you don't lose any customers.

We also discuss how 1 restaurant owner discovered a database with 1,500 emails that he didn't know that he had.

Finally we talk business plans and personal plans.  Do you have them?  Are you on track to achieve your goals.  Lots of ideas not just for Fish and Chip shop owners.


Feb 18, 2016

In Restaurant Autopsy we discuss the negative impact a hacked website can have and just how quickly it can start to drive customers away.

We talk about how to set up a Restaurant Facebook Page.  We give you a complete step by step guide on how to get one set up right the first time.

We have also created a Youtube video, which also goes through the steps so you can see exactly what needs to be done.

Don't forget to check the show notes at for the notes on how to set up your Restaurant's Facebook Page.

Jan 11, 2016

We look at the forces that are impacting owners of single location restaurants and small chains.

The factors we discuss are the companies operating in the industry, the evolution of the internet and changing consumer tastes.

The trends that we are seeing as increasing in importance for 2016 are:

Story driven Restaurants

Niche targeting - some restaurants do a great job of targettinangiche  

Divergence between low cost / profit restaurants and high profit restaurants

No bookings

Smarter marketing

Menu engineering

The rise of the celebrity chef

Have a listen and see if you are being affected by these trends and how you can better respond to these trends and have a (more) profitable year in 2016 than in 2015.


Dec 15, 2015

Listen as we talk Restaurant Success with Eric Cacciatore from Restaurant Unstoppable.  Eric is uniquely placed, having interviewed 200 of the United States most successful chefs and restaurant operators.  We talk about the critical factors that every Restaurant owner should be thinking about if they want to create success in their Restaurant and in their life.


We talk system, marketing, culture and leadership i this wide ranging podcast which will definitely have something for every Restaurant owner out there to find at least 1 great idea distilled from the experience of hundreds of restaurant owners.

Oct 1, 2015

We talk to Tan Terry from Seagulls Greek Taverna, one of our Beta Testers for the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.  He ran an online marketing campaign and spent $50 in one day.  The result - $1,800 in orders.  The night was booming and the kitchen nearly ran out of food.  Find out how he did it and also what he can do to improve those numbers.

Marketing your take out orders is going to become more important for every Restaurant as they face increasing competition from Grub Hub, Eat24, Just Eat, Menulog, Zomato, Food Panda and Delivery Hero.  All of these online ordering companies compete against Restaurant owners, including those they represent to get the order so that they can charge the Restaurant that big commission and more importantly, get that email address which is critical for database marketing.  Tan has done a great job at Seagulls.  Not only has he generated an extra $1,800, he has done it Commission free and he is building his own customer database at the same time.  Find out how in this episode.

Sep 20, 2015

The Fine Food Expo is Australia largest trade show for Restaurants and we visited yesterday to have a look for great ideas to help you with your Restaurant.  There are a lot of ways to save money, save time (especially important if it is your time you are saving) and ways to spice up your menu.  Your menu is one of your most important tools in sales and marketing.  We also look at one of the great tools you can use in costing your menu.  We've looked at this in the past, if you haven't costed your menu yet, this is the easiest way to do it.

Sep 17, 2015

We talk to Nick Sarillo, authour of A Slice of the Pie, and talk about Purpose and Culture.

We discuss what is Culture, how to come up with your purpose and values, how it can help you with hiring and retention.  We also discuss Open Book accounting - what is it, how does it work and how can it benefit your Restaurant.  

Nick runs one of the largest independant Pizza Restaurants in the United States and has focused on the Culture at Nick's Pizza and Pub for many years.  He has studied widely in the area and has immense practical experience in building a business with a great culture.  

Sep 9, 2015

We visited Alinea to deconstruct the experience and work out what you can do in your Restaurant to make it a better experience.  

Innovation is the overarching theme for us at Alinea.  The team at Alinea really are coming up with a lot of great ideas, many of which can inspire you in your restaurant.

Presentation - how can you jazz up your presentation.

Training - the front of house staff were exemplary.

Put all of this that you can do to create an amazing experience because that is where the margin is.

We also discuss the movie Tangerine and what it means for your Restaurant and our Instagram experiment.


Aug 24, 2015

We look at Restaurant Fitouts - is it worth spending all that money?  We also look at some of the menu ideas that really work to draw customers in.  We look at great customer service, great menu items and how Restaurants are using Bartercard to build their business.

In Restaurant Autopsy we look at 2 mistakes that killed one of our favourite local Restaurants.  Great food, great value and a great experience wasn't enough to save this Restaurant.

Aug 11, 2015

Restaurant Email Marketing is one of the secret ways that many really successful Restaurants use to drive people to the quiet times of the week and the quiet times of the day.  We cover the tools you need to gather emails automatically, to email out to those emails and to measure the effectiveness of your email campaign.  Best practise email campaigns can add over $100,000 of Revenue to your Restaurant, so why aren't you sending emails out today?

Aug 7, 2015

We look at Restaurant Marketing from the customers persepctive as we go in search of great restaurants with great marketing to help you better understand how customers are looking for places to eat.  This episode covers our last trip to San Francisco, where we some some great marketing and eat at some great Restaurants.  More importantly, we look at some restaurants that we didn't visit.  You rarely find out why a customer didn't come in, but in this episode we discover some of the things that can make a customer go else where.

Jul 31, 2015

Database marketing means an end to the quiet nights of the week in your Restaurant.  Whether it is email marketing, SMS, or even direct mail, a Database creates a huge advantage for your Restaurant.  It will even increase the value of your Restaurant when you want to sell it.  We will cover what a database is, how to create and grow one and some of the ways you can use it to increase profitability in your Restaurant.  Discover how successful Restaurateurs use their database every week to grow their business, more importantly we've got a great way to do Database marketing whenyou don't have a database.

Jul 27, 2015

Many Restaurants have awesome looking websites.  Many Restaurants pay thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on great looking websites, but many Restaurants don't have websites that are lead magnets, drawing in new customers day in and day out.

Your website should do the sales and marketing.  Your content is the SEO marketing and the desing is the sales.  In this episode, we look at getting the balance right.  We look at some case studies and show how a little tweaking can make a big difference in the traffic that a Restaurant website receives, the bookings you take and ultimately your Restaurant revenue and profit.

Jul 20, 2015

Facebook is the Number 1 Social Media Marketing platform for many Restaurants.  We look at some of the mistakes that people make with their Facebook page and some great examples of Facebook tactics to build your Community.  We also go through the different types of content that work well on Facebook.  More importanmtly we talk about ways to generate that Facebook content as quickly and easily as possible.

Jul 13, 2015

SEO is a critical part of any online marketing recipe.  It is also an area that many Restaurants lose thousands of customers a year becuase they haven't got it right.  Discover the Secret of Restaurant SEO and learn how you can improve the targeting of your customers quickly and easily with much better SEO for your Restaurant website.

Jul 9, 2015

We look at 8 ways that you can increase the numbers of customers to your Restaurant during the quiet times of the week.  Joint venture marketing, theme nights, corporate customers and happy hours are all some of the ideas that we will be looking at and more to help you find new customers and turn them into repeat customers.

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