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 

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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. 

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How to Get 5 Star Ratings in Google Search Results

Five Stars Results on Google SearchGetting Five Star Ratings on Google 


Getting great ratings on Google is something that sounds like a good thing. In theory if you are found on Google search, and have a good rating next to your name, it should give you an advantage over the other results on the page .. especially if you are the only one with a star rating. 

And if, due to this, you get more clicks then naturally you are advantaged and are likely to get moved further up the results page. 

This is likely to happen not only on Google search pages but also on Google maps and perhaps on YouTube! 

So I’m trying an experiment. My colleague Ian Brodie has perfected a method for getting more 5* ratings and for getting these displayed in Google searches. I’m now trying to replicate his methodology. If it works I’l reveal the secret of not only getting great ratings on Google, but also how to display them on the search results pages (SERPS).

Give Stefan Drew a Great Google ReviewBut first I need a few more ratings. If you’ve found value in any of my posts over the years please give me a rating by clicking this review tag and rating me now.  Within a few seconds of clicking the link you should see a review box and a blue Write a Review button 

Once I’ve collated the results I’ll write a post explaining how to achieve ratings results. It’ll be posted on this website. 


OK, So I now have some results .. .. I’ve posted them on my education site and you can read them here at How to Get Five Star Ratings in Google Search Results.



But as an Executive Summary here’s how its done ….


How to Get Star Ratings in Google Search Results


  1. Go To Google Maps and open an account (if you don’t already have one).
  2. Encourage your customers to give you some good ratings … this was easier than I expected.
  3. Insert schema code in your website footer. This is simpler than it sounds and tells Google that your site and ratings are related.
  4. Let Google work it’s magic. After 4-6 days you should see the results in Google’s SERPS (Search Engines Results Pages).




Please Review Stefan Drew 

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The Tip Of The Iceberg Is What the Customer Sees

Marketing is a Bit Like An Iceberg & The CustomeIceberg Marketingr Only Sees The Finished Article

They don’t see what is under the surface and most often they aren’t interested in the blood, sweat and tears you’ve spilled. 

It is a bit like when a chef creates a fantastic meal.  You don’t see all the ingredients they use.  Of course some are very obvious but many are in small quantities and add to the wonderful flavours and aromas created.  When I create a meal in my kitchen I use several “secret sauces”, tips that I’ve been taught over the years and have a process where all the ingredients are first assembled before cooking commences.  Chef’s call this mis en place. 

But my guests only see the bit that arrives on the plate. They don’t see any skill I might have or long hours learning how to cook or the mis en place process that takes place in my kitchen. They don’t see the sourcing of ingredients, the washing, chopping and dicing that goes on. 

It is this hidden bit that takes most time.  


Marketing’s Secret Sauce


It is the same with the products and services we have to market.  The customer doesn’t see the hours of work or skill put into producing them.  

For example if you want a widget on a website it might take days or weeks to produce the code.  It might have taken years to learn how to write the code.  But on the website all we see is what happens when we click a tab or fill in a form. 

Often far more than 90% of the time spent on a project is hidden “below the waterline”. 

Our customers want value for money, they want quality and a load of other benefits.

The thing is if they can’t see them we need to make them obvious. 

So in a restaurant the chef will market locally sourced products and put them on the menu. They will put photographs of wonderful ingredients on their website and maybe even on the walls of the restaurant. Then when they explain quality it is far easier for the customer to appreciate it. You see it is easy for a customer to forget quality  .. often they only notice when it is absent.  So our job, as marketers, is to subtlety make it obvious.       

Top chefs have for years used the “chef’s table” as a way to allow a handful of selected customers to view what is going on in the kitchen.  It is subtle in that you say nothing .. but you allow the customer to observe.  With the growth in cookery programmes customers have come to almost expect this these days. It is a successful way to demonstrate the magic that is being imparted in to dishes.  So good is it that more and more restaurants now remove the end wall of the kitchen so that the public can see through from the dining area.   


Display More of Your Marketing Iceberg

Your business will benefit from allowing customers to experience the magic you impart into your products or services. You task is to work out how to show more of the 90% hidden below the waterline.  Take a tip from the top chefs and work out what you are hiding.  Do that well and your sales will grow.  Fail to do it and your competitors will steal the lead from you. 


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