“The whole time I was reading Selling Eating, I almost felt like Hopper had been a voyeur, watching what I’ve encountered in my career over all these years.”

If you get out of your car every morning and go into a building where you’re involved with restaurant marketing, you might be like to know “The Seven Very Specific People Your Restaurant Needs to Reach,” or “Fifteen Forbidden Food Words to Never Use.” Maybe you’d like to skim interviews with celebrated food photographer Michael Somoroff, and renowned researcher Bob Drane? This is a book of insights, advice, interviews, how-to’s, tips, and occasionally challenging restaurant marketing notions drawn from over 20 years on the job: you’ll find something useful.


“Some of it I agreed with, some of it—I’ll be honest—I didn’t. But a book is supposed to challenge. This is a great read for those in the biz who need a refresher, or people who are just starting out.”– Kim Bartley, Vice President Marketing, of White Castle
“I regularly see restaurants struggle with the exact issues this book covers… Fun to read, and instructive.”– Paul Barron, CEO of Foodable and author of The Chipotle Effect
“[The book] shows a breadth and a certain comprehensiveness that I think is the right way to think about what the possibilities are for any given brand…. It’s the kind of book that you want to read and re-read.”– Russ Klein, former Global President/CMO for Burger King

Table of Contents


Two Restaurant Marketing Campfire Stories.

Chapter One.

Question: Should Your Restaurant Exist?

Chapter Two.

Positioning: Be Who You Are.

Chapter Three.

Brand Promise: “What’s in It for Me?”

Chapter Four.

Brand Expression: You Can’t Tell Someone to Love You.

Chapter Five.

Consumer Research: The Deceptive View Through the Two-Way Mirror.

Chapter Six.

Brand Repositioning: Three Restaurant Chains in Need of Course Correction.

Chapter Seven.

Brand Personality: A Consistent Voice Is a Sneaky Advantage.

Chapter Eight.

Targeting: Influencing the Influencers.

Chapter Nine.

Marketing the Moment: Dividing A Consumer’s Experience Into Eighteen Separate Opportunities.

Chapter Ten.

Your Customers Are Not Stupid. (as it originally appeared in the July 20, 2010 issue of Adweek)

Chapter Eleven.

Food Photography, Part One: People Are Visual First, Verbal Second.

Chapter Twelve.

Food Photography, Part Two: What Is the Concept of the Food Photo?

Chapter Thirteen.

The Cliché Trap, Part One: If Your Food’s Better, Why Describe It the Same Way Everyone Else Does?

Chapter Fourteen.

The Cliché Trap, Part Two: Fifteen Forbidden Food Cliché Words to Never Use.

Chapter Fifteen.

Allow Me to Demonstrate: The Elements of Writing About Eating.

Chapter Sixteen.

Your Menu: It Serves About Three Purposes, and Probably Doesn’t Really Do Any of Them Very Well.

Chapter Seventeen.

Kid’s Marketing: Recruiting Your Next Generation.

Chapter Eighteen.

Social Media: Taking Hospitality Past Your Property Line.

Chapter Nineteen.

Promotions: How Not to Get Hooked on Them Like a Desperate Addict Whose Veins Are Too Scarred to Get a Needle Through.

Chapter Twenty.

Simple Advice: How to Get People to Stop Listening to You.

Chapter Twenty-One.

Execution: Getting the Little Things Right.

Chapter Twenty-Two.

Online Reviews: Anyone Can Say Anything to Everyone.

Chapter Twenty-Three.

Packing Up the Brand: To Go, To Cater, To Shove Out a Hole in the Side of Your Restaurant.

Chapter Twenty-Four.

Personnel: The Better the Manager, the Better the Everything.

Chapter Twenty-Five.

The Best Times of My Life Have Been Had Around Tables.

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