Do You Need to Hire a PR Person For Your Restaurant?

Charlette Beasley

Charlette is a writer and content strategist in Florida. She writes payroll content for Fit Small Business and helps her own clients create industry-specific copy for their business. In addition, she loves “beaching” with her two kids.

PR experts help restaurants market their business by securing coverage on television, social media, in magazines, and so forth. They have numerous media contacts they can leverage to get what is essentially free advertising so restaurants can increase their customer base. Although it sounds good, determining whether to hire a PR person for your restaurant isn’t always easy. You’ll need to be sure you have a good grasp of your brand, identify the goals you’d want help reaching, and be prepared to pay the expense. 

Restaurant reserved table sign with places setting and wine glasses ready for a party

Do you have a good grasp of your brand?

Before you consider working with a PR person, you need to consider how solid your brand is. If you’re confused about where your restaurant fits in the market, it will be challenging for a journalist to promote your business. In fact, it can be detrimental; if you work with a PR expert to promote your brand when you’re unsure of what it is, you’re leaving others to position your brand for you. 

If a PR company’s vision for your restaurant doesn’t align with yours, media coverage could lead to you receiving customers that are wrong for your business. This places you at higher risk for bad reviews with customers who expected one thing and were delivered another. The way in which your restaurant is marketed sets expectations among prospective customers, and if you don’t deliver on those expectations, you can receive bad press later.

What business goals will PR help you achieve?

Take some time to consider your business goals and whether or not a PR person can realistically help you attain them. For instance, if you need to improve the quality of service your customers receive, PR won’t be any help. You’ll need to start from within and consider implementing better training for your employees. 

Increasing revenue, however, is a good goal that a PR person can help you achieve. Media coverage can drastically increase the number of new customers visiting your restaurant. Being recognized for having the best salmon in town or vegan burgers can quickly generate tons of interest among prospective customers.

Can your restaurant afford to hire a PR person?

Cost is always a primary factor when hiring a PR company. Some restaurants pay more than thousands of dollars a month while others pay a couple of hundred dollars monthly. While you don’t have to commit to paying more than you can afford, you will need at least some disposable income to be able to cover PR expenses. 

Once you determine the goals you want help reaching, you can better figure out what type of PR you want; this will be a tremendous help to determine the best low-cost solution for your restaurant. 

For instance, if your business is located near a popular tourist destination, like Orlando or Las Vegas, you should consider social media marketing. There are numerous influencers who can act as a PR person to retain online coverage for your restaurant. This ensures you reach the largest number of people possible and is usually much cheaper than traditional PR companies. Many PR firms use Instagram as a tool when marketing their restaurant clients. With food being the primary product, it’s easy to circulate attractive pictures that foodies will fall in love with and share.

Determining whether or not you should hire a PR person for your restaurant largely depends on where your business stands today and the business goals you want to achieve. You’ll need to have a good grasp of your brand along with a budget to match the work you need done. PR experts do a great job of getting your business brand in front of potential customers; you just need to know who those prospective customers are.

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