Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

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

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Category: Free Marketing Tools & Techniques

Using Surveys to Market a Restaurant, Cafe, Conference Centre or Coffee Shop.


Surveying dishes over drinksMore About Surveys in the Hospitality Sector

It is quite easy to imagine we know why people choose to be our customers. I’ve heard business owners say it is our homemade cakes or great coffee, or that they have the most extensive wine list in town.

But the reality is that when you ask one simple question …. why did you choose to eat or drink here today … you will get answers that surprise you.

Let me give you an example that is related to the question about why choose a venue.

 Some years ago, a client asked me to help them promote their conference facilities. The facilities were very good, and the business was an international environmental charity. When I asked them why people choose them they told me it was because their conference facilities overlooked a large bird reserve of international renown.

 But I wasn’t convinced.


Marketing a Conference Centre

Most of their conference customers were from large companies that had no obvious connections with the environment or birds. So I wondered if the real reason was their geographic location, the fact they were on the edge of a motorway, the proximity of hotels, the catering, the size of the car park or that they could cater for 2-650 people.

I carried out an online advertising campaign. We ran eight ads that were exactly the same except for one line that featured the benefits I had concluded might be the main reason the facilities were chosen.

The ads were run as Google Adwords which meant that Google would show each advert randomly to people searching for conference venues or conference facilities, but the magic part was that each advert would be seen by approximately the same number of people and we could measure the numbers that responded to them and clicked on the advert to discover more.

Over the next couple of days over 1000 people responded (this was an amazingly quick response) and we were able to form a league table of responses. Number one was the ability for the venue to cater for 2-650 people whilst the last in the list was the fact the venue overlooked the bird reserve.

The thing is the charity were focused on conservation and thought everyone thought like them. But events were frequently booked by conference organisers, HR departments or the CEOs PA. These people just wanted a place that could handle the event they had been tasked with organising and they were often based hundreds of miles away, so had no local knowledge or preference. Their interests were totally different to the charities.


Of course, some people chose the venue simply because they liked the charity itself.


Beware of thinking you know your customers well. They can surprise you. And the answer you got last year may no longer apply.

So ask questions and consider the response carefully. It could change the direction you take your business.



How to Market a Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Café, Tea Rooms, Pub, Wine Bar and Other Food and Drink Outlets .. The Book  

Restaurant and Coffee shop marketing

With over 36,000 words and many images, my book on marketing is now available. It’s been written so there’s something for virtually every situation. 

You can get it on Amazon at







And there are more free restaurant marketing tips at   


We have more Hotel and Guest house Marketing Advice here 

How to Maximise Website Response Rates

Forget Focusing On Gathering Email Addresses, Get Website Visitors to Phone You and Enquire or Buy


For years the advice was to get website visitors to subscribe their email details to an autoresponder or email system so you could keep in touch. 

But that neglects the fact that some customers want to "buy" now. They don't want emails and follow ups. So give them the chance to call immediately.

Set up a phone number on your site so that mobile users can click and call. Make sure the number is prominent and displayed so that people can quickly put it into a landline as well.

If you can set it up so that the number is clearly displayed when the visitor scrolls i.e. is "static" that even better. 

You can use two calls to action …. Buy Now and Phone for Details ..  or similar wording as this grabs the micro-moment the visitor is in. 

Once the visitor calls you can then obtain their contact details as part of the call … but don't jump into that too early, you need to answer their questions first.