Far too many companies spend millions of dollars marketing an inferior product and average service. But if you promote a dud, guess what? More people will know it’s a dud. Great marketing (“We’re committed to excellence!”) can kill a bad business (“Sorry, not my section”).

Great marketing campaigns are important, of course, but they can backfire if your restaurant staff isn’t trained to provide exemplary service. And, even if your staff is trained to provide great service, if they aren’t trained to sell effectively, your marketing ROI isn’t living up to its potential.

Many great marketing ideas — clever ones, too — have bitten the dust because the restaurant service supporting them was merely average or okay. The best sequence? Fix the product, make it outstanding, then market it. You can call on numerous strategies, from social media marketing to a sign spinner on the corner and everything in between. These external restaurant marketing methods, however, aren’t nearly as important as what you do internally when guests arrive

Whatever time and money you decide to spend on your restaurant marketing efforts, it’s wise to invest an equal, if not greater amount, on ramping up your restaurant training — the quality of service your staff provides must live up to the hype of the great marketing messages that led people through your doors in the first place.

Don’t make the common mistake of viewing a promotion as an end in itself. To be effective, however, you have to think beyond merely attracting guests. You also have to encourage them to make purchases, enjoy the experience your employees provide and, most important, come back another day — all of which requires well-trained employees who can speak to the promotion and execute at the point of sale.

Employee Training First, Great Marketing Second

Well-trained restaurant employees will give your great marketing ideas a higher ROI. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more.