Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Marketing Advice From a Michelin Starred Kitchen?

Chefs Can Teach Us Many Marketing Skills .. So Here’s A  Tip to Get Your Marketing to Michelin Level

Yesterday I spent a day with a chef. His background includes Two Star Michelin Kitchens, so he knows a thing or two about cooking at the highest levels.

Rather than dive straight into the cooking we spent the first hour looking at ingredients. Where to buy, which to buy, how to assess quality and more. Then we spent most of the rest of the day preparing ingredients so that the final session, the cooking phase, was just a matter of quickly assembling the dishes.

For example one recipe called for over 50 ingredients from simple things like toasted coconut and peanuts to more complex sauces such as Rempah and Sambal Oeleke. The dishes ranged from a Prawn and Noodle Salad to Chicken Rendang and “Burnt Fish” (Hake cooked in banana leaves until they char and smoke the fish).

It sounds complex. And the truth is that it  is.

So how can a chef cope with service in a busy restaurant when orders for maybe a dozen dishes, from maybe 50 tables, come flying in thick and fast.?

Well, the answer is the clue to extremely effective  marketing.

Preparation is everything in food and marketing

Preparation is The Key to Good Food and Marketing

The key to getting high quality food rapidly out of the kitchen is preparation.

Chefs don’t toast coconut or peanuts every time they need a handful. They prepare a large batch in the morning and take a few out of the jar as they need them throughout service. In fact, with items like peanuts and coconut, they usually prepare enough for a week, month or more at a time. Both coconut and peanuts will keep for months once prepared. As will preserved sauces such Thai Green Curry paste  (these sauces are preserved by cooking in oil to drive off all the water in the ingredients, so can be preserved for ages).

So when it comes time to prepare a dish the process is really one of assembling the ingredients. That might of course still mean we have to cook as well, but the whole process is speeded up by the fact we have every ingredient prepared. And when we are ready to cook or assemble we have all the ingredients in containers on our station. Then it’s just a matter of dipping into each one and taking what is needed when it is needed.


Marketing Preparation ….

Marketing is similar to cooking in the way we can do much of the preparation in advance.

Although I encourage the minimal number of steps in each marketing process I’m well aware that there may be several steps. But the good news is that a lot of preparation can be done in advance.

For example when we want to advertise a new product it makes sense to prepare our website landing page before we run the advert (I have seen this done in the wrong order so don’t laugh and say it would never happen). And if people are likely to phone then staff need to be briefed, enquiry forms need to be in place and, if necessary a card machine in situ.


More Examples of Poor Marketing Planning

Another example would be where we send a media release and put someone’s name on it as the contact point. I’ve seen this happen where the contact person wasn’t aware a media release had been written, and on occasion where the contact person was on holiday when the media release was sent to the media.

The other place I see things go wrong is at exhibitions.  People tend to get excited about going and booking the stand and a hotel but forget to produce things like enquiry forms.  So often I’ve seen people printing them at the last minute. If they’d planned more carefully they we would have printed them weeks before, not run out of toner or set up an online process where they didn’t need to print anything.

It’s easy to laugh at these examples but, when you’ve troubleshooting and advising as long as I have, you get to see examples of both good and bad practice.


Preparation is something that Sun Tzu writes at length about. He explains how the prepared general will win every battle. It’s the same in marketing.


Want more free marketing advice and tips.  Join my Facebook Marketing group and ask any marketing questions you like.


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