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How to Beat the Penny Pinchers and Health Nuts-Market Your Restaurant with the Basics
By Amanda DiSilvestro

Unlike my sister, I am not the type of person who can survive on pasta alone. Sure, she spends $2 on a box of pasta and it lasts her a few meals, but when you have a family, $2 pasta just isn't going to cut it.

Fortunately for you this is the case in most households and my sister is a freak of nature (even if she is not fond of that term). Now if eating good food and eating a lot of it is important to the average American household (after all, obesity is still not a concern to most), these households are left with two options: One, go to the store and buy ingredients to cook at home. Two, go out to eat. Unfortunately for a restaurant PR department, comparing the two is difficult if you want the restaurant to come out on top. Consider the two toughest things when it comes to trying to compete with the cooking at home option:

1. Price - It is almost impossible to compete with price. Price is of course situation based, and there are certainly ways to eat out cheaper than cooking at home (although the quality may be up for grabs). However, if your restaurant is not a small deli or a tiny bakery, chances are you are a bit pricier than grocery store options. This makes price difficult to compete with in the marketing world.

2. Health - I think that trying to compete with the health argument is near impossible. Once again, this obviously depends on what is being made at home and what is being made in the restaurant. However, cooking at home almost always has the ability to win in this argument unless maybe you are an organic restaurant. Therefore, this is usually a topic untouched by PR departments looking to promote food that is less than healthy.

For many, finance and health is important in life; some may even argue the most important. This can often discourage restaurant owners and managers, especially those who are just starting out in the industry (or a restaurant that is just starting out at all). However, people will respond to a few of the perks, even if these perks do not outweigh the perks of health and saving money. In other words, 5 advantages to eating out just may even out those 2 reasons to stay in and cook. Consider a few of these advantages below:

5 Good Reasons Why Eating Out is Better than Cooking

1. No grocery shopping - Grocery stores purposely change their stores around and make things hard to find so that people have to search around. This has always annoyed me, and I find that I always fall into their trap and buy more than I intended because I see something that looks good. This process then takes more time, so this is a great point to bring up to working individuals.

2. Relaxing - Since part of the restaurant experience is service, there is no need to spend time slaving over a hot stove. You can sit back and take it easy, and who doesn't like that?

3. Restaurants always taste better - In many cases, you will have a professional chef working to cook you up some great food. Even if you choose to go to a more casual restaurant, you will likely have a cook who is experienced. This almost always makes the food taste better.

4. Eating out is convenient - Whether you work, you're a student, or you're a stay at home parent, life is busy. Eating out allows you to get what you want exactly when you want it. Cooking takes a lot of time, and unfortunately people today do not have a lot of time. Although the "convenience" argument has come under a lot of fire in the last few years, it does not change the fact that people need convenience. If you were to use this idea in an argument, you would likely win.

5. Experience - The experience is also something to note. After all, going out to eat should help stop your kids from fighting or give you a nice night out with your friends. Eating good food is fun, and not having to clean up afterword is even more fun.

These tips may seem obvious, but I think in today's world of raw foods and calorie counters it is important to remember that as a restaurant owner, you do have ammo when it comes to marketing your restaurant. Although you may never grab the $2 pasta everyday eaters, most people will realize that, in many cases, eating out is the best option.



Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to copiers. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including factoring services to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Business.com.



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