The CEO guide to customer experience

What do my customers want?The savviest executives are asking this question more frequently than ever, and rightly so. Leading companies understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and they understand that how an organization delivers for customers is beginning to be as important as what it delivers.

This CEO guide taps the expertise of McKinsey and other experts to explore the fundamentals of customer interaction, as well as the steps necessary to redesign the business in a more customer-centric fashion and to organize it for optimal business outcomes. For a quick look at how to improve the customer experience, see the summary infographic.

To improve customer experience, move from touchpoints to journeys
 Armed with advanced analytics, customer-experience leaders gain rapid insights to build customer loyalty, make employees happier, achieve revenue gains of 5 to 10 percent, and reduce costs by 15 to 25 percent within two or three years. But it takes patience and guts to train an organization to see the world through the customer’s eyes and to redesign functions to create value in a customer-centric way. The management task begins with considering the customer—not the organization—at the center of the exercise.

Observe: Understand the interaction through the customer’s eyes

Technology has handed customers unprecedented power to dictate the rules in purchasing goods and services. Three-quarters of them, research finds, expect “now” service within five minutes of making contact online. A similar share want a simple experience, use comparison apps when they shop, and put as much trust in online reviews as in personal recommendations. Increasingly, customers expect from all players the same kind of immediacy, personalization, and convenience that they receive from leading practitioners such as Google and Amazon.

Central to connecting better with customers is putting in place several building blocks of a comprehensive improvement in customer experience.

Identify and understand the customer’s journey.

It means paying attention to the complete, end-to-end experience customers have with a company from their perspective. Too many companies focus on individual interaction touchpoints devoted to billing, onboarding, service calls, and the like. In contrast, a customer journey spans a progression of touchpoints and has a clearly defined beginning and end.

The advantage of focusing on journeys is twofold.

Linking customer experience to business outcomes

First, even if employees execute well on individual touchpoint interactions, the overall experience can still disappoint (Exhibit 1). More important, McKinsey research finds that customer journeys are significantly more strongly correlated with business outcomes than are touchpoints. A recent McKinsey survey,1for example, indicates customer satisfaction with health insurance is 73 percent more likely when journeys work well than when only touchpoints do. Similarly, customers of hotels that get the journey right may be 61 percent more willing to recommend than customers of hotels that merely focus on touchpoints.

Best-in-class companies optimize customer journeys, not just touchpoints.

Quantify what matters to your customers.

Customers hold companies to high standards for product quality, service performance, and price. How can companies determine which of these factors are the most critical to the customer segments they serve? Which generate the highest economic value? In most companies, there are a handful of critical customer journeys. Understanding them, customer segment by customer segment, helps a business to maintain focus, have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, and begin the process of redesigning functions around customer needs. Analytical tools and big data sources from operations and finance can help organizations parse the factors driving what customers say satisfies them and also the actual customer behavior that creates economic value. Sometimes initial assumptions are overturned. In one airport case study, customer satisfaction had more to do with the behavior of security personnel than with time spent in line (Exhibit 2). For a full view of the airport’s insightful customer-satisfaction exercise, see “Developing a customer-experience vision.”

Airport security issues make up 4 of the top 10 consumer complaints about airports.

Define a clear customer-experience aspiration and common purpose.

In large, distributed organizations, a distinctive customer experience depends on a collective sense of conviction and purpose to serve the customer’s true needs. This purpose must be made clear to every employee through a simple, crisp statement of intent: a shared vision and aspiration that’s authentic and consistent with a company’s brand-value proposition. The most recognizable example of such a shared vision might be the Common Purpose2of the Walt Disney Company: “We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere.” The statement of purpose should then be translated into a set of simple principles or standards to guide behavior all the way down to the front line.

Customer journeys are the framework that allows a company to organize itself and mobilize employees to deliver value to customers consistently, in line with its purpose. The journey construct can help align employees around customer needs, despite functional boundaries. As McKinsey’s Ron Ritter elaborated in a recent video, rallying around customers can bring the organization together.

Shape: Redesign the business from the customer back

Customer-experience leaders start with a differentiating purpose and focus on improving the most important customer journey first—whether it be opening a bank account, returning a pair of shoes, installing cable television, or even updating address and account information. Then they improve the steps that make up that journey. To manage expectations, they design supporting processes with customer psychology in mind. They transform their digital profile to remove pain points in interactions, and to set in motion the culture of continuous innovation needed to make more fundamental organizational transformations.

Apply behavioral psychology to interactions.

Deftly shaping customer perceptions can generate significant additional value. One tool leading customer-experience players deploy is behavioral psychology, used as a layer of the design process. Leading researchers have identified the major factors in customer-journey experiences that drive customer perceptions and satisfaction levels.3For example, savvy companies can design the sequence of interactions with customers to end on a positive note. They can merge different stages of interactions to diminish their perceived duration and engender a feeling of progress. And they can provide simple options that give customers a feeling of control and choice. One pilot study at a consumer-services firm found that improvements in net-promoter scores accrued from “soft” behavioral-psychology initiatives as well as from “hard” improvements in operations (Exhibit 3).

Behavioral-psychology initiatives raised customer-experience scores in one consumer-services pilot.

Reinvent customer journeys using digital technologies.

Customers accustomed to the personalization and ease of dealing with digital natives such as Google and Amazon now expect the same kind of service from established players. Research shows that 25 percent of customers will defect after just one bad experience.

Customer-experience leaders can become even better by digitizing the processes behind the most important customer journeys. In these quick efforts, multidisciplinary teams jointly design, test, and iterate high-impact processes and journeys in the field, continually refining and rereleasing them after input from customers. Such methods help high-performing incumbents to release and scale major, customer-vetted process improvements in less than 20 weeks. Agile digital companies significantly outperform their competitors, according to some studies.4To achieve those results, established businesses must embrace new ways of working.

Perform: Align the organization to deliver against tangible outcomes

As the customer experience becomes a bigger focus of corporate strategy, more and more executives will face the decision to commit their organizations to a broad customer-experience transformation. The immediate challenge will be how to structure the organization and rollout, as well as figuring out where and how to get started. Applying sophisticated measurement to what your customers are saying, empowering frontline employees to deliver against your customer vision, and a customer-centric governance structure form the foundation. Securing early economic wins will deliver value and momentum for continuous innovation.

Use customer journeys to empower the front line.

Every leading customer-experience company has motivated employees who embody the customer and brand promise in their interactions with consumers, and are empowered to do the right thing. Executives at customer-centered companies engage these employees at every level of the organization, working directly with them in retail settings, taking calls, and getting out into the field. In the early years, for example, Amazon famously staged “all hands on deck” sessions during the year-end holidays, a tradition that lives on in the employee-onboarding experience.Some organizations create boards or panels of customers to provide a formal feedback mechanism.

Establish metrics that capture customer feedback.

The key to satisfying customers is not just to measure what happens but also to use the data to drive action throughout the organization. The type of metric used is less important than the way it is applied. The ideal customer-experience measurement system puts journeys at the center and connects them to other critical elements such as business outcomes and operational improvements. Leading practitioners start at the top, with a metric to measure the customer experience, and then cascade downward into key customer journeys and performance indicators, taking advantage of employee feedback to identify improvement opportunities (Exhibit 4).

The ideal customer-experience-measurement system puts journeys at the center and connects them to other critical elements.

Put cross-functional governance in place.

Even for companies that collaborate smoothly, shifting to a customer-centric model that cuts across functions is not an easy task. To move from knowledge to action, companies need proper governance and leadership. Best-in-class organizations have governance structures that include a sponsor—a chief customer officer—and an executive champion for each of their primary cross-functional customer journeys. They also have full-time teams carrying out their day-to-day work in the existing organization. To succeed, the transformation must take place within normal operations. To foster understanding and conviction, leaders at all levels must role-model the behavior they expect from these teams, constantly communicating the changes needed. Formal reinforcement mechanisms and skill-building activities at multiple levels of the organization support the transformation, as well. In a recent video, McKinsey’s Ewan Duncan describes how rewiring a company in this way is typically a two- to four-year journey.

Log early wins to demonstrate value creation.

Too many customer-experience transformations stall because leaders can’t show how these efforts create value. Executives, citing the benefits of improved customer relations, launch bold initiatives to delight customers that end up having clear costs and unclear near-term results. The better way is to build an explicit link to value creation by defining the outcomes that really matter, analyzing historical performance of satisfied and dissatisfied customers, and focusing on customer satisfaction issues with the highest payouts. This requires discipline and patience, but the result will be early wins that will build confidence within the organization and momentum to innovate further.


Delighting customers by mastering the concept and execution of an exceptionally good customer experience is a challenge. But it is an essential requirement for leading in an environment where customers wield growing power.

 

Edited by-Mir Niaz Morshed

Motivational and Inspiring Short Stories

The Best 5 Motivational and Inspiring Short Stories About Life, Stories that Will Make You Smile

When life has got you in a slump, turn to these inspirational short stories. Not only is reading them like getting an internet hug for the soul, but they just may spark an idea or a change in you for the better. Read on and get ready to smile.

1. Everyone Has a Story in Life

A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted…

“Dad, look the trees are going behind!”

Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed…

“Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”

The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man…

“Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said…“I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.”

Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.

2. Shake off Your Problems

A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice. He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries. He therefore decides to bury it alive.

Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it. More soil is poured.

It shakes it off and steps up. The more the load was poured, the higher it rose. By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures.

After much shaking off (of problems) And stepping up (learning from them), One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.

3. The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

4. Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “

Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?

5. A Dish of Ice Cream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

“50 cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.

“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.

“35 cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.

There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.

Motivational Stories for Business and Work

Succeeding in business is no easy feat. It’s too easy to let business knock you down. Instead of throwing in the towel when there is a business problem, pick yourself back up, buckle down, and get to work. These motivational stories prove that with a little hard work, any amount of business success is possible.

1. Colonel Sanders | Kentucky Fried Chicken

Once, there was an older man, who was broke, living in a tiny house and owned a beat up car. He was living off of $99 social security checks. At 65 years of age, he decide things had to change. So he thought about what he had to offer. His friends raved about his chicken recipe. He decided that this was his best shot at making a change.

He left Kentucky and traveled to different states to try to sell his recipe. He told restaurant owners that he had a mouthwatering chicken recipe. He offered the recipe to them for free, just asking for a small percentage on the items sold. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Unfortunately, not to most of the restaurants. He heard NO over 1000 times. Even after all of those rejections, he didn’t give up. He believed his chicken recipe was something special. He got rejected 1009 times before he heard his first yes.

With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the way Americans eat chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, was born.

Remember, never give up and always believe in yourself in spite of rejection.

2. The Obstacle in our Path

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he say a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

3. Value

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.

He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

4. A Very Special Bank Account

Imagine you had a bank account that deposited $86,400 each morning. The account carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every dollar each day!

We all have such a bank. Its name is Time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever time you have failed to use wisely. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no overdraft so you can’t borrow against yourself or use more time than you have. Each day, the account starts fresh. Each night, it destroys an unused time. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, it’s your loss and you can’t appeal to get it back.

There is never any borrowing time. You can’t take a loan out on your time or against someone else’s. The time you have is the time you have and that is that. Time management is yours to decide how you spend the time, just as with money you decide how you spend the money. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do them and where they fall in our priorities.

 

 

Funny Motivational Stories

These funny motivational stories will give your attitude a little nudge in the right direction. They are also guaranteed to put a smile on your face and may even make you chuckle.

1. The Dean Schooled Them

One night four college kids stayed out late, partying and having a good time. They paid no mind to the test they had scheduled for the next day and didn’t study. In the morning, they hatched a plan to get out of taking their test. They covered themselves with grease and dirt and went to the Dean’s office. Once there, they said they had been to a wedding the previous night and on the way back they got a flat tire and had to push the car back to campus.

The Dean listened to their tale of woe and thought. He offered them a retest three days later. They thanked him and accepted his offer.hat time.When the test day arrived, they went to the Dean. The Dean put them all in separate rooms for the test. They were fine with this since they had all studied hard. Then they saw the test. It had 2 questions.

1) Your Name __________ (1 Points)

2) Which tire burst? __________ (99 Points)
Options – (a) Front Left (b) Front Right (c) Back Left (d) Back Right

The lesson: always be responsible and make wise decisions.

2. The Right Place

A mother and a baby camel were lying around under a tree.

Then the baby camel asked, “Why do camels have humps?”

The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive with very little water.”

The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “Ok…why are our legs long and our feet rounded?”

The mama replied, “They are meant for walking in the desert.”

The baby paused. After a beat, the camel asked, “Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way.”

The mama responded, “Those long thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind.

The baby thought and thought. Then he said, “I see. So the hump is to store water when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eye lashes protect my eyes from the desert then why in the Zoo?”

The Lesson: Skills and abilities are only useful if you are in the right place at the right time. Otherwise they go to waste.

3. On God’s Time

A man walked to the top of a hill to talk to God.

The man asked, “God, what’s a million years to you?” and God said, “A minute.”

Then the man asked, “Well, what’s a million dollars to you?” and God said, “A penny.”

Then the man asked, “God…..can I have a penny?” and God said, “Sure…..in a minute.”

The Art of War By Sun Tzu

The Art of War
By Sun Tzu
Translated by Lionel Giles

(Including Videos of All 13 Chapters.)

Image result for Laying Plans

I. Laying Plans

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

2. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to
ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be
neglected.

3. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to
be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine
the conditions obtaining in the field.

4. These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander;
(5) Method and discipline.

5,6. The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with
their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives,
undismayed by any danger.

7. Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security;
open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence,
courage and strictness.

10. By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of
the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among
the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach
the army, and the control of military expenditure.

11. These five heads should be familiar to every general: he who knows
them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

12. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the
military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in
this wise:–

13. (1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability? (3) With whom lie
the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth? (4) On which side is
discipline most rigorously enforced? (5) Which army is stronger? (6)
On which side are officers and men more highly trained? (7) In which
army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

14. By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory
or defeat.

15. The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will
conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens
not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such
a one be dismissed!

16. While heading the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of
any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

17. According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s
plans.

18. All warfare is based on deception.

19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our
forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the
enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe
we are near.

20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush
him.

21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in
superior strength, evade him.

22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him.
Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are
united, separate them.

24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

25. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged
beforehand.

26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his
temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes
but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to
victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation
at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is
likely to win or lose.

II. Waging War

1. Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the
field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred
thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them
a thousand li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including
entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums
spent on chariots and armor, will reach the total of a thousand ounces
of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000
men.

2. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming,
then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped.
If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

3. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State
will not be equal to the strain.

4. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength
exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up
to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will
be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

5. Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has
never been seen associated with long delays.

6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged
warfare.

7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war
that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.

8. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are
his supply-wagons loaded more than twice.

9. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy.
Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

10. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained
by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army
at a distance causes the people to be impoverished.

11. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go
up; and high prices cause the people’s substance to be drained away.

12. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted
by heavy exactions.

13,14. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the
homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their
income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots,
worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears
and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will
amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.

15. Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One
cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s
own, and likewise a single picul of his provender is equivalent to
twenty from one’s own store.

16. Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger;
that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have
their rewards.

17. Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have
been taken, those should be rewarded who took the first. Our own flags
should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled
and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be
kindly treated and kept.

18. This is called, using the conquered foe to augment one’s own strength.

19. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

20. Thus it may be known that the leader of armies is the arbiter
of the people’s fate, the man on whom it depends whether the nation
shall be in peace or in peril.

III. Attack by Stratagem

1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all
is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy
it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire
than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company
entire than to destroy them.

2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without
fighting.

3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans;
the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces; the
next in order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field; and the
worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.

4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be
avoided. The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various
implements of war, will take up three whole months; and the piling
up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.

5. The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his
men to the assault like swarming ants, with the result that one-third
of his men are slain, while the town still remains untaken. Such are
the disastrous effects of a siege.

6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without
any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them;
he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire,
and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This
is the method of attacking by stratagem.

8. It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one,
to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous,
to divide our army into two.

9. If equally matched, we can offer battle; if slightly inferior in
numbers, we can avoid the enemy; if quite unequal in every way, we
can flee from him.

10. Hence, though an obstinate fight may be made by a small force,
in the end it must be captured by the larger force.

11. Now the general is the bulwark of the State; if the bulwark is
complete at all points; the State will be strong; if the bulwark is
defective, the State will be weak.

12. There are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon
his army:–

13. (1) By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant
of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army.

14. (2) By attempting to govern an army in the same way as he administers
a kingdom, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in an army.
This causes restlessness in the soldier’s minds.

15. (3) By employing the officers of his army without discrimination,
through ignorance of the military principle of adaptation to circumstances.
This shakes the confidence of the soldiers.

16. But when the army is restless and distrustful, trouble is sure
to come from the other feudal princes. This is simply bringing anarchy
into the army, and flinging victory away.

17. Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1)
He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. (2) He
will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
(3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout
all its ranks. (4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take
the enemy unprepared. (5) He will win who has military capacity and
is not interfered with by the sovereign.

18. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you
need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself
but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a
defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb
in every battle.

IV. Tactical Dispositions

1. Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond
the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating
the enemy.

2. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the
opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

3. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat,
but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy.

4. Hence the saying: One may know how to conquer without being able
to do it.

5. Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat
the enemy means taking the offensive.

6. Standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking,
a superabundance of strength.

7. The general who is skilled in defense hides in the most secret
recesses of the earth; he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from
the topmost heights of heaven. Thus on the one hand we have ability
to protect ourselves; on the other, a victory that is complete.

8. To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd
is not the acme of excellence.

9. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and
the whole Empire says, “Well done!”

10. To lift an autumn hair is no sign of great strength; to see the
sun and moon is no sign of sharp sight; to hear the noise of thunder
is no sign of a quick ear.

11. What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only
wins, but excels in winning with ease.

12. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor
credit for courage.

13. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes
is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering
an enemy that is already defeated.

14. Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which
makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating
the enemy.

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle
after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat
first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

16. The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres
to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success.

17. In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement;
secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly,
Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory.

18. Measurement owes its existence to Earth; Estimation of quantity
to Measurement; Calculation to Estimation of quantity; Balancing of
chances to Calculation; and Victory to Balancing of chances.

19. A victorious army opposed to a routed one, is as a pound’s weight
placed in the scale against a single grain.

20. The onrush of a conquering force is like the bursting of pent-up
waters into a chasm a thousand fathoms deep.

V. Energy

1. Sun Tzu said: The control of a large force is the same principle
as the control of a few men: it is merely a question of dividing up
their numbers.

2. Fighting with a large army under your command is nowise different
from fighting with a small one: it is merely a question of instituting
signs and signals.

3. To ensure that your whole host may withstand the brunt of the enemy’s
attack and remain unshaken– this is effected by maneuvers direct
and indirect.

4. That the impact of your army may be like a grindstone dashed against
an egg–this is effected by the science of weak points and strong.

5. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle,
but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

6. Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven
and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun
and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they
pass away to return once more.

7. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations
of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

8. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red,
white, and black), yet in combination they produce more hues than
can ever been seen.

9. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt,
sweet, bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can
ever be tasted.

10. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack–the
direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to
an endless series of maneuvers.

11. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It
is like moving in a circle–you never come to an end. Who can exhaust
the possibilities of their combination?

12. The onset of troops is like the rush of a torrent which will even
roll stones along in its course.

13. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon
which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.

14. Therefore the good fighter will be terrible in his onset, and
prompt in his decision.

15. Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision,
to the releasing of a trigger.

16. Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder
and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array
may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.

17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline, simulated fear
postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.

18. Hiding order beneath the cloak of disorder is simply a question
of subdivision; concealing courage under a show of timidity presupposes
a fund of latent energy; masking strength with weakness is to be effected
by tactical dispositions.

19. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains
deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. He sacrifices
something, that the enemy may snatch at it.

20. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body
of picked men he lies in wait for him.

21. The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and
does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick
out the right men and utilize combined energy.

22. When he utilizes combined energy, his fighting men become as it
were like unto rolling logs or stones. For it is the nature of a log
or stone to remain motionless on level ground, and to move when on
a slope; if four-cornered, to come to a standstill, but if round-shaped,
to go rolling down.

23. Thus the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum
of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height.
So much on the subject of energy.

VI. Weak Points and Strong

1. Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming
of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the
field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

2. Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but
does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.

3. By holding out advantages to him, he can cause the enemy to approach
of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible
for the enemy to draw near.

4. If the enemy is taking his ease, he can harass him; if well supplied
with food, he can starve him out; if quietly encamped, he can force
him to move.

5. Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly
to places where you are not expected.

6. An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches
through country where the enemy is not.

7. You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack
places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defense
if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

8. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not
know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent
does not know what to attack.

9. O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be
invisible, through you inaudible; and hence we can hold the enemy’s
fate in our hands.

10. You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for
the enemy’s weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if
your movements are more rapid than those of the enemy.

11. If we wish to fight, the enemy can be forced to an engagement
even though he be sheltered behind a high rampart and a deep ditch.
All we need do is attack some other place that he will be obliged
to relieve.

12. If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging
us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on
the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable
in his way.

13. By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible
ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s
must be divided.

14. We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up
into fractions. Hence there will be a whole pitted against separate
parts of a whole, which means that we shall be many to the enemy’s
few.

15. And if we are able thus to attack an inferior force with a superior
one, our opponents will be in dire straits.

16. The spot where we intend to fight must not be made known; for
then the enemy will have to prepare against a possible attack at several
different points; and his forces being thus distributed in many directions,
the numbers we shall have to face at any given point will be proportionately
few.

17. For should the enemy strengthen his van, he will weaken his rear;
should he strengthen his rear, he will weaken his van; should he strengthen
his left, he will weaken his right; should he strengthen his right,
he will weaken his left. If he sends reinforcements everywhere, he
will everywhere be weak.

18. Numerical weakness comes from having to prepare against possible
attacks; numerical strength, from compelling our adversary to make
these preparations against us.

19. Knowing the place and the time of the coming battle, we may concentrate
from the greatest distances in order to fight.

20. But if neither time nor place be known, then the left wing will
be impotent to succor the right, the right equally impotent to succor
the left, the van unable to relieve the rear, or the rear to support
the van. How much more so if the furthest portions of the army are
anything under a hundred LI apart, and even the nearest are separated
by several LI!

21. Though according to my estimate the soldiers of Yueh exceed our
own in number, that shall advantage them nothing in the matter of
victory. I say then that victory can be achieved.

22. Though the enemy be stronger in numbers, we may prevent him from
fighting. Scheme so as to discover his plans and the likelihood of
their success.

23. Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity.
Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.

24. Carefully compare the opposing army with your own, so that you
may know where strength is superabundant and where it is deficient.

25. In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain
is to conceal them; conceal your dispositions, and you will be safe
from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the machinations of the
wisest brains.

26. How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy’s own tactics–that
is what the multitude cannot comprehend.

27. All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can
see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

28. Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but
let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.

29. Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural
course runs away from high places and hastens downwards.

30. So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at
what is weak.

31. Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground
over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation
to the foe whom he is facing.

32. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare
there are no constant conditions.

33. He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and
thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.

34. The five elements (water, fire, wood, metal, earth) are not always
equally predominant; the four seasons make way for each other in turn.
There are short days and long; the moon has its periods of waning
and waxing.

VII. Maneuvering

1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the
sovereign.

2. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend
and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp.

3. After that, comes tactical maneuvering, than which there is nothing
more difficult. The difficulty of tactical maneuvering consists in
turning the devious into the direct, and misfortune into gain.

4. Thus, to take a long and circuitous route, after enticing the enemy
out of the way, and though starting after him, to contrive to reach
the goal before him, shows knowledge of the artifice of deviation.

5. Maneuvering with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined
multitude, most dangerous.

6. If you set a fully equipped army in march in order to snatch an
advantage, the chances are that you will be too late. On the other
hand, to detach a flying column for the purpose involves the sacrifice
of its baggage and stores.

7. Thus, if you order your men to roll up their buff-coats, and make
forced marches without halting day or night, covering double the usual
distance at a stretch, doing a hundred LI in order to wrest an advantage,
the leaders of all your three divisions will fall into the hands of
the enemy.

8. The stronger men will be in front, the jaded ones will fall behind,
and on this plan only one-tenth of your army will reach its destination.

9. If you march fifty LI in order to outmaneuver the enemy, you will
lose the leader of your first division, and only half your force will
reach the goal.

10. If you march thirty LI with the same object, two-thirds of your
army will arrive.

11. We may take it then that an army without its baggage-train is
lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is
lost.

12. We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the
designs of our neighbors.

13. We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar
with the face of the country–its mountains and forests, its pitfalls
and precipices, its marshes and swamps.

14. We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account unless
we make use of local guides.

15. In war, practice dissimulation, and you will succeed.

16. Whether to concentrate or to divide your troops, must be decided
by circumstances.

17. Let your rapidity be that of the wind, your compactness that of
the forest.

18. In raiding and plundering be like fire, is immovability like a
mountain.

19. Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you
move, fall like a thunderbolt.

20. When you plunder a countryside, let the spoil be divided amongst
your men; when you capture new territory, cut it up into allotments
for the benefit of the soldiery.

21. Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.

22. He will conquer who has learnt the artifice of deviation. Such
is the art of maneuvering.

23. The Book of Army Management says: On the field of battle, the
spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs
and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence
the institution of banners and flags.

24. Gongs and drums, banners and flags, are means whereby the ears
and eyes of the host may be focused on one particular point.

25. The host thus forming a single united body, is it impossible either
for the brave to advance alone, or for the cowardly to retreat alone.
This is the art of handling large masses of men.

26. In night-fighting, then, make much use of signal-fires and drums,
and in fighting by day, of flags and banners, as a means of influencing
the ears and eyes of your army.

27. A whole army may be robbed of its spirit; a commander-in-chief
may be robbed of his presence of mind.

28. Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it
has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning
to camp.

29. A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is
keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This
is the art of studying moods.

30. Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and
hubbub amongst the enemy:–this is the art of retaining self-possession.

31. To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait
at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed
while the enemy is famished:–this is the art of husbanding one’s
strength.

32. To refrain from intercepting an enemy whose banners are in perfect
order, to refrain from attacking an army drawn up in calm and confident
array:–this is the art of studying circumstances.

33. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy,
nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.

34. Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight; do not attack soldiers
whose temper is keen.

35. Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with
an army that is returning home.

36. When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press
a desperate foe too hard.

37. Such is the art of warfare.

VIII. Variation in Tactics

1. Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the
sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces

2. When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country where high
roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in dangerously
isolated positions. In hemmed-in situations, you must resort to stratagem.
In desperate position, you must fight.

3. There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must be
not attacked, towns which must be besieged, positions which must not
be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.

4. The general who thoroughly understands the advantages that accompany
variation of tactics knows how to handle his troops.

5. The general who does not understand these, may be well acquainted
with the configuration of the country, yet he will not be able to
turn his knowledge to practical account.

6. So, the student of war who is unversed in the art of war of varying
his plans, even though he be acquainted with the Five Advantages,
will fail to make the best use of his men.

7. Hence in the wise leader’s plans, considerations of advantage and
of disadvantage will be blended together.

8. If our expectation of advantage be tempered in this way, we may
succeed in accomplishing the essential part of our schemes.

9. If, on the other hand, in the midst of difficulties we are always
ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.

10. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them; and make
trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold out specious
allurements, and make them rush to any given point.

11. The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the
enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on
the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have
made our position unassailable.

12. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: (1)
Recklessness, which leads to destruction; (2) cowardice, which leads
to capture; (3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
(4) a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; (5) over-solicitude
for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

13. These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the
conduct of war.

14. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will
surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject
of meditation.

IX. The Army on the March

1. Sun Tzu said: We come now to the question of encamping the army,
and observing signs of the enemy. Pass quickly over mountains, and
keep in the neighborhood of valleys.

2. Camp in high places, facing the sun. Do not climb heights in order
to fight. So much for mountain warfare.

3. After crossing a river, you should get far away from it.

4. When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do
not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half
the army get across, and then deliver your attack.

5. If you are anxious to fight, you should not go to meet the invader
near a river which he has to cross.

6. Moor your craft higher up than the enemy, and facing the sun. Do
not move up-stream to meet the enemy. So much for river warfare.

7. In crossing salt-marshes, your sole concern should be to get over
them quickly, without any delay.

8. If forced to fight in a salt-marsh, you should have water and grass
near you, and get your back to a clump of trees. So much for operations
in salt-marches.

9. In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible position with
rising ground to your right and on your rear, so that the danger may
be in front, and safety lie behind. So much for campaigning in flat
country.

10. These are the four useful branches of military knowledge which
enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns.

11. All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark.

12. If you are careful of your men, and camp on hard ground, the army
will be free from disease of every kind, and this will spell victory.

13. When you come to a hill or a bank, occupy the sunny side, with
the slope on your right rear. Thus you will at once act for the benefit
of your soldiers and utilize the natural advantages of the ground.

14. When, in consequence of heavy rains up-country, a river which
you wish to ford is swollen and flecked with foam, you must wait until
it subsides.

15. Country in which there are precipitous cliffs with torrents running
between, deep natural hollows, confined places, tangled thickets,
quagmires and crevasses, should be left with all possible speed and
not approached.

16. While we keep away from such places, we should get the enemy to
approach them; while we face them, we should let the enemy have them
on his rear.

17. If in the neighborhood of your camp there should be any hilly
country, ponds surrounded by aquatic grass, hollow basins filled with
reeds, or woods with thick undergrowth, they must be carefully routed
out and searched; for these are places where men in ambush or insidious
spies are likely to be lurking.

18. When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying
on the natural strength of his position.

19. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious
for the other side to advance.

20. If his place of encampment is easy of access, he is tendering
a bait.

21. Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is
advancing. The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick
grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious.

22. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade.
Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming.

23. When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of
chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area,
it betokens the approach of infantry. When it branches out in different
directions, it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood.
A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.

24. Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy
is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to
the attack are signs that he will retreat.

25. When the light chariots come out first and take up a position
on the wings, it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle.

26. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot.

27. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank,
it means that the critical moment has come.

28. When some are seen advancing and some retreating, it is a lure.

29. When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears, they are faint
from want of food.

30. If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves,
the army is suffering from thirst.

31. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort
to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted.

32. If birds gather on any spot, it is unoccupied. Clamor by night
betokens nervousness.

33. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general’s authority is
weak. If the banners and flags are shifted about, sedition is afoot.
If the officers are angry, it means that the men are weary.

34. When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle
for food, and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the
camp-fires, showing that they will not return to their tents, you
may know that they are determined to fight to the death.

35. The sight of men whispering together in small knots or speaking
in subdued tones points to disaffection amongst the rank and file.

36. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his
resources; too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress.

37. To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s
numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.

38. When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a
sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.

39. If the enemy’s troops march up angrily and remain facing ours
for a long time without either joining battle or taking themselves
off again, the situation is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection.

40. If our troops are no more in number than the enemy, that is amply
sufficient; it only means that no direct attack can be made. What
we can do is simply to concentrate all our available strength, keep
a close watch on the enemy, and obtain reinforcements.

41. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents
is sure to be captured by them.

42. If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you,
they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will
be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached
to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless.

43. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with
humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This
is a certain road to victory.

44. If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced, the
army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad.

45. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on
his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual.

X. Terrain

1. Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit:
(1) Accessible ground; (2) entangling ground; (3) temporizing ground;
(4) narrow passes; (5) precipitous heights; (6) positions at a great
distance from the enemy.

2. Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible.

3. With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying
the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies.
Then you will be able to fight with advantage.

4. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called
entangling.

5. From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may
sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your
coming, and you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible,
disaster will ensue.

6. When the position is such that neither side will gain by making
the first move, it is called temporizing ground.

7. In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer
us an attractive bait, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but
rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when
part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.

8. With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let
them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy.

9. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass, do not go after
him if the pass is fully garrisoned, but only if it is weakly garrisoned.

10. With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with
your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and
there wait for him to come up.

11. If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him,
but retreat and try to entice him away.

12. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the
strength of the two armies is equal, it is not easy to provoke a battle,
and fighting will be to your disadvantage.

13. These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general
who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

14. Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising
from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible.
These are: (1) Flight; (2) insubordination; (3) collapse; (4) ruin;
(5) disorganization; (6) rout.

15. Other conditions being equal, if one force is hurled against another
ten times its size, the result will be the flight of the former.

16. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too
weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong
and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

17. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting
the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment,
before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position
to fight, the result is ruin.

18. When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders
are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixes duties assigned
to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard
manner, the result is utter disorganization.

19. When a general, unable to estimate the enemy’s strength, allows
an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment
against a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the
front rank, the result must be rout.

20. These are six ways of courting defeat, which must be carefully
noted by the general who has attained a responsible post.

21. The natural formation of the country is the soldier’s best ally;
but a power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces
of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and
distances, constitutes the test of a great general.

22. He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge
into practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices
them, will surely be defeated.

23. If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight,
even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory,
then you must not fight even at the ruler’s bidding.

24. The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without
fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and
do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.

25. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you
into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons,
and they will stand by you even unto death.

26. If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority
felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable,
moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened
to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose.

27. If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but
are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only
halfway towards victory.

28. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, but are unaware that
our own men are not in a condition to attack, we have gone only halfway
towards victory.

29. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, and also know that
our men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the nature
of the ground makes fighting impracticable, we have still gone only
halfway towards victory.

30. Hence the experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered;
once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss.

31. Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your
victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth,
you may make your victory complete.

XI. The Nine Situations

1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground:
(1) Dispersive ground; (2) facile ground; (3) contentious ground;
(4) open ground; (5) ground of intersecting highways; (6) serious
ground; (7) difficult ground; (8) hemmed-in ground; (9) desperate
ground.

2. When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is dispersive
ground.

3. When he has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great
distance, it is facile ground.

4. Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either
side, is contentious ground.

5. Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground.

6. Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states, so that
he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command, is
a ground of intersecting highways.

7. When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country,
leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground.

8. Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens–all country
that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.

9. Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we
can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy
would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in
ground.

10. Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting
without delay, is desperate ground.

11. On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. On facile ground,
halt not. On contentious ground, attack not.

12. On open ground, do not try to block the enemy’s way. On the ground
of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.

13. On serious ground, gather in plunder. In difficult ground, keep
steadily on the march.

14. On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. On desperate ground,
fight.

15. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive
a wedge between the enemy’s front and rear; to prevent co-operation
between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from
rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.

16. When the enemy’s men were united, they managed to keep them in
disorder.

17. When it was to their advantage, they made a forward move; when
otherwise, they stopped still.

18. If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly
array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: “Begin
by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will
be amenable to your will.”

19. Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy’s
unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded
spots.

20. The following are the principles to be observed by an invading
force: The further you penetrate into a country, the greater will
be the solidarity of your troops, and thus the defenders will not
prevail against you.

21. Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with
food.

22. Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax
them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your army
continually on the move, and devise unfathomable plans.

23. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape,
and they will prefer death to flight. If they will face death, there
is nothing they may not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth
their uttermost strength.

24. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If
there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. If they are in
hostile country, they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help
for it, they will fight hard.

25. Thus, without waiting to be marshaled, the soldiers will be constantly
on the qui vive; without waiting to be asked, they will do your will;
without restrictions, they will be faithful; without giving orders,
they can be trusted.

26. Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts.
Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared.

27. If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because
they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long,
it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.

28. On the day they are ordered out to battle, your soldiers may weep,
those sitting up bedewing their garments, and those lying down letting
the tears run down their cheeks. But let them once be brought to bay,
and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei.

29. The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the
shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the ChUng mountains. Strike
at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail,
and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you
will be attacked by head and tail both.

30. Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan, I should
answer, Yes. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies; yet
if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a
storm, they will come to each other’s assistance just as the left
hand helps the right.

31. Hence it is not enough to put one’s trust in the tethering of
horses, and the burying of chariot wheels in the ground

32. The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard
of courage which all must reach.

33. How to make the best of both strong and weak–that is a question
involving the proper use of ground.

34. Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he
were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by the hand.

35. It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy;
upright and just, and thus maintain order.

36. He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports
and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance.

37. By altering his arrangements and changing his plans, he keeps
the enemy without definite knowledge. By shifting his camp and taking
circuitous routes, he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose.

38. At the critical moment, the leader of an army acts like one who
has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him.
He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his
hand.

39. He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots; like a shepherd
driving a flock of sheep, he drives his men this way and that, and
nothing knows whither he is going.

40. To muster his host and bring it into danger:–this may be termed
the business of the general.

41. The different measures suited to the nine varieties of ground;
the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics; and the fundamental
laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be
studied.

42. When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that
penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means
dispersion.

43. When you leave your own country behind, and take your army across
neighborhood territory, you find yourself on critical ground. When
there are means of communication on all four sides, the ground is
one of intersecting highways.

44. When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground.
When you penetrate but a little way, it is facile ground.

45. When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rear, and narrow
passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. When there is no place of
refuge at all, it is desperate ground.

46. Therefore, on dispersive ground, I would inspire my men with unity
of purpose. On facile ground, I would see that there is close connection
between all parts of my army.

47. On contentious ground, I would hurry up my rear.

48. On open ground, I would keep a vigilant eye on my defenses. On
ground of intersecting highways, I would consolidate my alliances.

49. On serious ground, I would try to ensure a continuous stream of
supplies. On difficult ground, I would keep pushing on along the road.

50. On hemmed-in ground, I would block any way of retreat. On desperate
ground, I would proclaim to my soldiers the hopelessness of saving
their lives.

51. For it is the soldier’s disposition to offer an obstinate resistance
when surrounded, to fight hard when he cannot help himself, and to
obey promptly when he has fallen into danger.

52. We cannot enter into alliance with neighboring princes until we
are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an army
on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country–its
mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and
swamps. We shall be unable to turn natural advantages to account unless
we make use of local guides.

53. To be ignored of any one of the following four or five principles
does not befit a warlike prince.

54. When a warlike prince attacks a powerful state, his generalship
shows itself in preventing the concentration of the enemy’s forces.
He overawes his opponents, and their allies are prevented from joining
against him.

55. Hence he does not strive to ally himself with all and sundry,
nor does he foster the power of other states. He carries out his own
secret designs, keeping his antagonists in awe. Thus he is able to
capture their cities and overthrow their kingdoms.

56. Bestow rewards without regard to rule, issue orders without regard
to previous arrangements; and you will be able to handle a whole army
as though you had to do with but a single man.

57. Confront your soldiers with the deed itself; never let them know
your design. When the outlook is bright, bring it before their eyes;
but tell them nothing when the situation is gloomy.

58. Place your army in deadly peril, and it will survive; plunge it
into desperate straits, and it will come off in safety.

59. For it is precisely when a force has fallen into harm’s way that
is capable of striking a blow for victory.

60. Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves
to the enemy’s purpose.

61. By persistently hanging on the enemy’s flank, we shall succeed
in the long run in killing the commander-in-chief.

62. This is called ability to accomplish a thing by sheer cunning.

63. On the day that you take up your command, block the frontier passes,
destroy the official tallies, and stop the passage of all emissaries.

64. Be stern in the council-chamber, so that you may control the situation.

65. If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.

66. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear, and subtly
contrive to time his arrival on the ground.

67. Walk in the path defined by rule, and accommodate yourself to
the enemy until you can fight a decisive battle.

68. At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy
gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running
hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.

XII. The Attack by Fire

1. Sun Tzu said: There are five ways of attacking with fire. The first
is to burn soldiers in their camp; the second is to burn stores; the
third is to burn baggage trains; the fourth is to burn arsenals and
magazines; the fifth is to hurl dropping fire amongst the enemy.

2. In order to carry out an attack, we must have means available.
The material for raising fire should always be kept in readiness.

3. There is a proper season for making attacks with fire, and special
days for starting a conflagration.

4. The proper season is when the weather is very dry; the special
days are those when the moon is in the constellations of the Sieve,
the Wall, the Wing or the Cross-bar; for these four are all days of
rising wind.

5. In attacking with fire, one should be prepared to meet five possible
developments:

6. (1) When fire breaks out inside to enemy’s camp, respond at once
with an attack from without.

7. (2) If there is an outbreak of fire, but the enemy’s soldiers remain
quiet, bide your time and do not attack.

8. (3) When the force of the flames has reached its height, follow
it up with an attack, if that is practicable; if not, stay where you
are.

9. (4) If it is possible to make an assault with fire from without,
do not wait for it to break out within, but deliver your attack at
a favorable moment.

10. (5) When you start a fire, be to windward of it. Do not attack
from the leeward.

11. A wind that rises in the daytime lasts long, but a night breeze
soon falls.

12. In every army, the five developments connected with fire must
be known, the movements of the stars calculated, and a watch kept
for the proper days.

13. Hence those who use fire as an aid to the attack show intelligence;
those who use water as an aid to the attack gain an accession of strength.

14. By means of water, an enemy may be intercepted, but not robbed
of all his belongings.

15. Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed
in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise; for the
result is waste of time and general stagnation.

16. Hence the saying: The enlightened ruler lays his plans well ahead;
the good general cultivates his resources.

17. Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless
there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is
critical.

18. No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his
own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

19. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay
where you are.

20. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded
by content.

21. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again
into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

22. Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full
of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army
intact.

XIII. The Use of Spies

1. Sun Tzu said: Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching
them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain
on the resources of the State. The daily expenditure will amount to
a thousand ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abroad,
and men will drop down exhausted on the highways. As many as seven
hundred thousand families will be impeded in their labor.

2. Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the
victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain
in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the
outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is
the height of inhumanity.

3. One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign,
no master of victory.

4. Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike
and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men,
is foreknowledge.

5. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot
be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation.

6. Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from
other men.

7. Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: (1) Local
spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5)
surviving spies.

8. When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover
the secret system. This is called “divine manipulation of the threads.”
It is the sovereign’s most precious faculty.

9. Having local spies means employing the services of the inhabitants
of a district.

10. Having inward spies, making use of officials of the enemy.

11. Having converted spies, getting hold of the enemy’s spies and
using them for our own purposes.

12. Having doomed spies, doing certain things openly for purposes
of deception, and allowing our spies to know of them and report them
to the enemy.

13. Surviving spies, finally, are those who bring back news from the
enemy’s camp.

14. Hence it is that which none in the whole army are more intimate
relations to be maintained than with spies. None should be more liberally
rewarded. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved.

15. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive
sagacity.

16. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straightforwardness.

17. Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the
truth of their reports.

18. Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business.

19. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time
is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the
secret was told.

20. Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm a city, or to
assassinate an individual, it is always necessary to begin by finding
out the names of the attendants, the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers
and sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned
to ascertain these.

21. The enemy’s spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out,
tempted with bribes, led away and comfortably housed. Thus they will
become converted spies and available for our service.

22. It is through the information brought by the converted spy that
we are able to acquire and employ local and inward spies.

23. It is owing to his information, again, that we can cause the doomed
spy to carry false tidings to the enemy.

24. Lastly, it is by his information that the surviving spy can be
used on appointed occasions.

25. The end and aim of spying in all its five varieties is knowledge
of the enemy; and this knowledge can only be derived, in the first
instance, from the converted spy. Hence it is essential that the converted
spy be treated with the utmost liberality.

26. Of old, the rise of the Yin dynasty was due to I Chih who had
served under the Hsia. Likewise, the rise of the Chou dynasty was
due to Lu Ya who had served under the Yin.

27. Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who
will use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying
and thereby they achieve great results. Spies are a most important
element in water, because on them depends an army’s ability to move.

THE END

———————————————————————-

Copyright statement:
The Internet Classics Archive by Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
World Wide Web presentation is copyright (C) 1994-2000, Daniel
C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.
All rights reserved under international and pan-American copyright
conventions, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part
in any form. Direct permission requests to classics@classics.mit.edu.
Translation of “The Deeds of the Divine Augustus” by Augustus is
copyright (C) Thomas Bushnell, BSG.

Promote a Restaurant: 10 Tactics for Driving Food & Beverage Sales

Promote a Restaurant: 10 Tactics for Driving Food & Beverage SalesDriving food & beverage sales with measurable increases can be achieved with simple tactics to promote a restaurant available to big budgets and shoestring marketers alike.

There are thousands of possible was to promote a restaurant and drive revenues without any reliance on mass media advertising. Here are 10 of the best ideas to get your own creative marketing wheels turning for driving food & beverage sales:

1 PUBLICITY STUNTS

Stunt is a word with negative connotations for restaurant owners, but I wanted to use a word that conjured up images that are different than traditional press relations. Sending a standard press release to promote a restaurant that announces a new menu may result in a small write-up. To cut through the clutter and generate extensive exposure, you need a newsworthy angle. Something like a celebrity chef cook-off, really unique contest or other major event.

Think beyond typical events like golf tournaments and simple fund-raisers. Challenge your staff or marketing firm to think what you’d have to do to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Challenge them to think much bigger and come up with ideas that tie in to what your club stands for but also have potential for national exposure.

If you create events that have only local appeal, you’ll be limited with your media exposure potential and may not even make the local paper. If you think much larger, you’ won’t have to worry about getting coverage. A well-constructed publicity stunt can be worth its weight in gold in terms of positive exposure for your restaurant. And everybody wants to be associated with a winner.

 

2 PUBLIC RELATIONS

Public relations has been called advertising that you don’t have to pay for. If you have a successful public and media relations program, you’ll get increased exposure and prestige without spending a fortune. For this to work; though, you’ll need to create and publicize newsworthy stories. Hiring a new chef isn’t always enough to garner the kind of attention you deserve. Create other angles that are unique and make your restaurant stand out.

Also, review your restaurant’s marketing and advertising expenses over the last three years. Then determine what percentage of your restaurant promotion budget was spent on traditional advertising compared to public relations. It’s worthwhile to spend 15-30 percent of your budget to promote a restaurant with a solid public relations program. Find a firm that has creativity and excitement about your restaurant. If that firm doesn’t seem genuinely curious and interested in your restaurant and what it has to offer, it’ll have a hard time creating interest with the media.

Some higher-end restaurants are understandably concerned about publicity stunts and other marketing activities that seem to fly in the face of the exclusivity of their establishment. My answer to that is simple – these tactics won’t be appropriate for everyone. That being said, if you are one of the restaurant owners that cringes at the thought of creating buzz in the community at large, I urge you to think about your position.

Everyone wants to be associated with a winner. For some of your regulars, the whole reason they belong in the first place is because it’s exclusive and their being a part of that is an extension of their self-brand and identity. Creating buzz won’t distract from that, it will reinforce it in many cases. They key is how the publicity comes across. If done correctly, it supports your position in the market, exclusivity and prestige.

 

3 BOUNCE-BACKS

This is an underutilized tool that bounces guests from peak times to off-peak times and can also work to encourage frequency in your food and beverage operations. While simple in theory and execution, this tactic can produce far more in revenues per dollar invested than traditional advertising. All you do is offer incentives at the point of purchase on popular services to encourage the guest to try your restaurant another time. For instance, if you’re busy for lunch and need to drive sales for dinner, offer bounce back certificates that can only be redeemed during dinner hours. Test different offers and delivery vehicles and track response rates for each to hone in on what works best with your clientèle.

4 STOP DISCOUNTING

Discounting tells your customers and prospective customers, “We don’t deserve full price, so we’ll be happy to lower our rates to make up for the difference.” This point was driven home to me during my tenure with The Breakers of Palm Beach, a lavish resort whose guests spend a small fortune to walk the halls. Discounting the price would be to discount the 105 years spent building a brand. Instead of discounting, consider no strings offers that do not rely on percentages. Examples include value-added perks such as free valet parking, complimentary services, merchandise, etc. And, in a related topic, never offer coupons, only offer certificates. There is a big difference in perception.

5 BUSINESS SOCIALS

A no brainer, right? Well, you’d be surprised how unreceptive or apathetic some restaurant owners are to hosting business socials to promote a restaurant. However, if you select the right group to partner with, you can leverage their resources to promote your restaurant, and you can also target your core audience. Host socials where the food is center stage. Arrange photo opportunities that include your displays in the background and submit to local media. Partnering with a business or charitable organization works on many levels and can help you stretch your marketing budget while still delivering higher returns on investment than can be achieved with traditional advertising.

6 SAMPLING

Tasting is believing and if you would grade your food a B minus or above, you need to get it in potential customers’ mouths. That’s the best to promote a restaurant and build recognition and it is more effective and less expensive than advertising. Every public event that draws your core audience is an opportunity to offer samples of your product. Pick the best 2-3 items on your menu that can be easily transported and get some solid representatives of your restaurant out to meet and greet at these off-property functions.

7 HOST FOOD EVENTS

Hosting food events such as the “Taste of (insert your town)” is a great way to position your restaurant as a center of the food scene in your market. It allows you to leverage the reputation, profile and credibility of all of the other participants, and it can also help you share the expense of holding the event. Hosting an event also provides your restaurant with the opportunity to recruit additional manpower and resources for promoting the event and gives that added edge with garnering local restaurant promotion.

8 TOSS UP TUESDAYS

Promote a restaurant through your next newsletter and other internal marketing vehicles to your existing customer base. Pick Tuesdays (or your slowest food day) and flip for the food tab. Guests will have a 50 percent chance of getting their food bill paid by the restaurant. This attracts your guests’ attention much more than a” buy one get one free” promotion. Guests are also more likely to have higher check averages than normal because there is a chance they won’t have to pay. It creates a tremendous attention among your core guest base.

9 MENU BINGO

This is a great restaurant promotion for encouraging frequency and getting members to try different items on the menu. You simply create bingo cards that have different menu items in boxes. Have the cards designed with five columns and five rows. You can also promote other non-food items such as merchandise, cookbooks, and gift certificates. Guests have an allotted period of time – 60 days for example – to complete a connection just as they would with a bingo card. Once they try five items in any direction, they receive a free gift basket or other incentive that are roughly equal to one of the items purchased.

10 BIRTHDAY PROGRAM

Research shows that 50 percent of all Americans eat out on their birthday. This presents an opportunity for establishments with solid birthday restaurant promotion programs. So why don’t restaurateurs do more to take advantage of this? You’ve got me, but it does offer a chance for you to swoop in and capture your increased share of the market.

A birthday program can be executed through new automated tools like those that are available through e-mail marketing service providers. You simply plug in the birthday and e-mail address of your members, and a secure and nicely designed e-mail is sent to them at a time you determine in advance. The system knows who and when to send the e-mail to and also tracks view rates for reporting that allows you to know how well your program is working. You can also have the e-mail include a redemption code that will allow you to track what percentage of the e-mails are bringing in guests and calculate a return on investment.

Recent research has shown that retention based e-mail marketing is 300 to 400 percent higher than traditional vehicles such as direct mail and faxes. It’s a great way to communicate and manage your club’s birthday program.

 

Initiative Restaurant Promotion

The restaurant industry has been conditioned to believe that only traditional restaurant promotion efforts can be applied to grow sales because it’s what everyone else is doing. Fact is, the restaurant industry is getting more competitive and will continue to do so. In the face of increased competition, the most effective strategy is to differentiate your restaurant from the others and create excitement in a way that reinforces your positioning strategy. Again, the promotions are only gimmicky if they are created that way; it is entirely possible to execute these promotions in a way that is completely in alignment with the image of your restaurant no matter how exclusive.

Remember, differentiation and exciting tactics like the ones described above are particularly potent for your food and beverage operations.

Smart marketing is best achieved through non-traditional techniques that are executed inside your restaurant and among your existing customer base. Restaurant promotion opportunities abound if you look at your situation through the right lens. Use the ideas above to spark your own thinking of similar underutilized programs in your own operation and reap the rewards as other successful restaurants are around the country.

 

 

 

5 Steps to Correctly Interview a Chef

Barak Hirschowitz

For more than 12 years I have had the pleasure of recruiting chefs for top kitchens across the globe.  Sourcing kitchen talent for the world’s best hospitality hotels, restaurants and cruise lines keeps me close to the kitchen trade, where I started my hospitality career in the early 90’s.   By now I must have interviewed over a 1000 chefs.   They have a variety of different specialties and skills, Michelin star chefs, banquet chefs, pastry chefs, chefs that specialize in exotic cuisines like Thai, Arabic, American South, hotel chefs, restaurants chefs . . and well you get the idea.

All this interviewing has taught me a few things on how best to interview a chef to identify where their talent lies.  Chefs have a special blend of skill, personality, experience, motivation, passion, leadership and technique that rarely identifies itself clearly on a resume.

Here are five steps that will help you find the right chef for your team.

1.      Beware the titles (a king is a king is a king)

Some chefs love titles, others not so much.  There really is not much consistency in how a chef earns and keeps their job title, excluding Michelin of course.  I have seen “Executive Chef” on a resume for a recent graduate running a small diner kitchen with a team of 3 and a Michelin star chef going by “Cook”   Take chefs’ titles with a grain of salt.  More important is the quality of the place they are working at, how long they worked there, what their role is and how big their team is.

Traditionally kitchen titles go like this:

Culinary Director – Executive Chef with F&B responsibilities

Executive Chef – responsible for a large operation with multiple restaurants and/or banqueting

Executive Sous Chef – 2nd to the Executive Chef

Chef de cuisine (or Restaurant Executive Chef or Head Chef) – in charge of one restaurants kitchen.  In some very large restaurants or Michelin star restaurants there will be a CDC under the Exec Chef or Chef owner but this is not common outside of major cities.

Sous Chef – responsible for a shift

Chef de partie – in charge of a section

Demi chef de partie – works in a section

Commis Chef – entry level

Note – some companies like Ritz-Carlton use their own titles, like Cook 1 etc.  Again, beware the titles!

2.      A picture is worth a 1000 words

Today’s chefs all have phones capable of taking great photos.  If they are on trend, they should be taking shots of their dishes that are being posted to Instagram, Facebook etc, or at least they should have someone in their kitchen doing it for them.  Ask them for at least 10 photos of their favorite dishes from the last few years.  If they don’t have or give you a story about their laptop blowing up, be wary.  These photos will give you an idea of their presentation skills and creativity.  Chefs I work with usually send me links to Instagram or dropbox with hundreds, but at minimum they should come up with at least 10.  If you think a chef has sent you photos that are not theirs you can use googles image search feature to upload and check to see if it appears elsewhere on the web.  If it does, make sure that it came from a website that belongs to a place the chef has worked at.

3.      Push, Pull or Compose?

When I first graduated from Johnson & Wales in the early 90’s cooking was only just becoming professional in the US.  Chefs were still a wild bunch with very few having a degree in culinary arts,  unless you came up through the traditional European kitchen trade.  Times have changed and most good chefs today are trained and understand kitchen management.  But how they motivate their teams still varies wildly and I find they typically fall into three styles.

Pushers–  Drive a hard kitchen and often use the phrase its my way or the highway if you ask them their management style.  They will tend to come across as pushy, demanding and opinionated in the interview.    Avoid these.

Pullers –  They quietly do their work, often very talented but have difficulty getting everyone on the team to play.  Often quiet or give short answers in the interview.  I find they try to run their kitchen by example only.  Their references will often state they are great cooks but not that strong on administration or people skills.  Good for a number 2 but not so much for a number 1.

Composers – these are the ones you want! Composers will talk about how they identify and develop talent on their team.  They measure their success by those that follow them from kitchen to kitchen.  Composers will be able to give examples of people they helped in their career.

4.      Use caution with trials

So now you have interviewed the chef and want to bring them in for a food tasting.    Anyone that has spent time running a top kitchen knows that dishes and menus take months of research and study to develop.  A great chef takes into account the local ingredients, strengths of the team, the market etc before coming up with dishes on a menu.  Putting a chef in a strange kitchen, without knowledge of the team or suppliers can produce dishes that don’t always reflect the full ability of the chef.  I recommend visiting the chefs restaurant (confidentially of course)  or try their food or if for a more junior role, invite them to work a shift.  If you want to go ahead with a food trial make sure you give them enough time to prepare, help in the kitchen and ask them to send a list of ingredients ahead of time they are they are ready.

5.      Are your goals aligned?

The last thing you want to happen is your newly hired chef is disappointed after a few months and leaves.  Tell the chef the 3 most important things you expect from them during the interview.  Then ask them what are the 3 most important things for them.  It doesn’t have to be related to work, they may need time off each week on a Sunday to spend with family.  If you can both agree on the three most important things each party needs before you hire them.

These steps have helped our culinary recruiters at Hospitalio Recruitment ensure successful placements for our clients and I hope they help you.

Good luck on your hunt for a great chef!

Barak

Barak Hirschowitz is Managing Partner and co-founder of HOSPITALIO Recruitment, a global hospitality recruitment company that has recruited hoteliers and chefs the world’s leading hotels, resorts, restaurants & cruise lines.  He is also current President of the International Luxury Hotel Association.

25 Restaurant Marketing Ideas: Tips & Strategies to Win in the Food Business

Megan Marrs

The competition among restaurants is fierce, and you’ll need to give your all to be successful. We’re helping you out with 25 restaurant marketing ideas and strategies that promise to help you improve your business and get attention from growling stomachs everywhere!

1. Foodie Photos

If you’ve ever logged onto Instagram, you’ll understand that food porn is alive and well.

Arguably the very best way to promote your restaurant online is with high-quality, drool-inducing photos. Visual content is in high demand online these days, and having delicious looking photos on your website and across various social media outlets is essential for drawing hungry eyes.

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Consider hiring a pro to take some top-notch photographs, or try it DIY style with your smartphone. Be warned though – taking really great food photos can be tougher than it looks, as lighting is often a key factor. Learn more about snapping your own A+ food photos in this Gizmodo article. Some nice advice in this Udemy post as well. We have more ideas to boost your business here.

2. Loyalty Programs

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Partnering up with online food apps should definitely be a consideration as part of your restaurant marketing plan. Partnering with online apps encourages visitors to check out your restaurant through gamification and customer loyalty programs, which offer visitors a free purchase or discount for visiting a certain number of times.

Popular foodie apps that offer integrated loyalty programs include:

You could also kick it old school and hand out punch cards. They aren’t quite as cool as apps, but they still show that you value customers and appreciate their loyalty!

3. Yelp

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Yelp has tremendous power in the restaurant industry, and having a strong backing of positive Yelp reviews is like having a flock of golden geese – reviews from Yelp can do wonders for your business. I’ve written an entire blog post devoted to helping you get more Yelp reviews, so peruse that at your leisure.

The most important thing to understand about Yelp is that people can and will review you, even if you don’t set up an account. For that reason, as a restaurant owner you should absolutely be proactive and dress up your Yelp account so it works for you, rather than against you.

This means adding as many details as possible, such as:

  • Photos, and lots of ‘em
  • Store hours
  • Location
  • Menu
  • Price Range
  • Wi-Fi/Outdoor Seating/Parking/etc.

Do your best to add as many details as Yelp will allow.

The other big thing to keep in mind when it comes to Yelp is how you handle feedback. It’s great to thank Yelpers for their review, whether positive or negative.

If you get negative feedback, always answer in a polite, professional manner. I have a whole section in my Complete Guide to Yelp post about how to handle negative reviews, but the nutshell version is to always play the gracious host.

If you’re responding to the negative review publically, thank the reviewer for the feedback, apologize for the incident, and promise to improve in the future. You may also want to consider contacting the reviewer privately for more information about any negative incidents. Some business owners offer to send gift cards to Yelpers who have had less than favorable experiences, hoping to get them back in the door for a second chance. I’ve seen this work in favor of many businesses, as reviewers are often flattered at the consideration shown and are more generous in their critique knowing the restaurant owner values their opinion and is working hard to improve.

4. Set Up Your Google+ Account

Setting up your restaurant’s Google+ account is as important (heck, maybe even more important) as setting up your Yelp account. Here’s why:

When you search a business within Google, Google’s Knowledge Graph provides the business’s details in the sidebar. Google’s Knowledge Graph gathers a large chunk of its info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ is a huge bonus, as having your restaurant appear via Google’s Knowledge Graph allows for more prime search real estate (for free)!

restaurant marketing tips

Also encourage visitors to review you on Google+, as Knowledge Graph loves to aggregate Google user reviews.

5. Geo-targeted Ads

For most restaurants, local is the name of the game. Most folks are looking for good eats close to home, and you’ll get the most value out of your online marketing efforts by investing primarily in geo-targeted ads. Geo-targeting ads help you save money, ensuring that only users in certain cities or within a specific radius see your ads (eliminating non-relevant clicks, which can cost you big ad bucks).

Many online advertising services, from Google AdWords to Facebook and Twitter, offer geo-targeting ad options (at no extra cost). Be sure to take advantage of these handy targeting features to get your best ads in front of your best customers.

6. Be an Insta-Ham

Having a strong Instagram presence is another semi-obvious (but too important to ignore) restaurant marketing tip. Use Instagram to promote your business’ best visual content.

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Show off your storefront, get up close with your top dishes, and use this social media main stage as a place to play around with your brand identity. For example, an all-natural health food store might try snapping pics of people kayaking, cooking, farming, or other activities you think your fan base will enjoy.

Also be sure to have some fun with hashtags – whether jumping on the hype of existing popular Twitter hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or inventing your own, hashtags are a great way to have some fun with fans.

7. Send Out an Email Newsletter

Remember, your restaurant newsletter doesn’t have to be weekly – in fact, users will probably appreciate a less flooded inbox if you simply send them a newsletter every month or so.Use your email newsletter as a chance to celebrate your success, discuss new menu items, or share special discounts.

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8. Promote User-Generated Content

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User-generated content (lovingly dubbed UGC) is a great way to develop personal and intimate engagement with users. Host a photo contest by asking customers to share their favorite meal at your establishment, and share the entries on a dedicated content page (and/or share submissions across your various social networks). Consider awarding some random lucky contestants with a free appetizer or other prize!

Hosting and promoting user-generated content shows customers that you appreciate them, turning occasional visitors into die-hard devotees.

9. Show Off Your Staff

In an age of robotic customer service reps and soon to be self-driving cars, the human element is severely lacking. Show off your 5-star staff doing what they do best! Seeing happy, smiling employees does wonders for your reputation, as customers long to be served by joyful workers.

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Showing off your pleasant employees also provides major reputation points – happy workers say a lot about a business, and fans are sure to take notice.

10. Monitor Your Social Media Presence

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Social media marketing strategies are an undeniable force in today’s world. Pamphlets and delivery menus slipped under doorways simply won’t cut it anymore.

Often, the restaurants with a strong social media presence as part of their restaurant marketing plan are the ones that fare the best, and in the competitive food industry, ignoring social media is a death sentence.

Of course you’ll want to create a Facebook business page and a Twitter account to share special discounts, exclusive coupons, photos of your newest dishes, and promote your own news accolades. But setting up your accounts is only half the job – it’s also essential you keep up with activity happening on your social sites.

There are many great free and paid social media management tools – a few popular free options include:

  • HootSuite: A one-stop dashboard for keeping tabs on all your social media networks. Create custom streams, schedule posts, and more.
  • Buffer: Buffer makes it easy to find, schedule, and share articles across your networks. Staying active and posting valuable articles (that your fan base will enjoy) is key for social success.

Also check out this list of easy Facebook marketing ideas for any type of business.

11. Share Positive Press

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Another major restaurant marketing tip – when you’re mentioned in a news outlet or magazine, be sure to show off your good publicity on your website and via social media. Fans will spread the word, and newcomers will be encouraged to visit in person when they see trusted sources celebrating your restaurant.

12. Set Up Google Alerts

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Google Alerts notify you when your business name (or other designated keyword term) appears in a new piece of content on the web! This makes it easy to keep tabs on who is talking about you and your accolades. (If Google Alerts aren’t working for you, try Mention, another web monitoring application.)

13. Start a Blog

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Starting your own blog is a great way to build community and engage with your customers. Blogs offer the chance to experiment with your restaurant’s voice and personality. Share your successes and struggles, funny stories, recipes, and anything else you think might interest your customers.

A blog can be a huge project, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your blog as simple or complex as you’d like. You don’t have to be constantly posting (quality over quantity), but it’s good to have your restaurant blog set up for when you have an announcement or news you want to get out to the world.

14. Food Blogger Outreach

When you’re a new restaurant, you may find it difficult to generate reviews and hype about your business. One great way to get reviews and press on the web is to invite food bloggers to your restaurant to give you a try, and consider offering a free meal or appetizer to get them in the door. Politely ask if they’d be willing to review your restaurant and share their experience online.

You can’t outright ask for a positive review, as that would be dishonest, but it’s fine to simply ask them for an objective restaurant review. Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask, the better your chances are of getting some positive feedback and generating more interest online.

Some food bloggers have big followings, and getting their attention can have a huge influence on your restaurant. Even just one write up or mention from a major foodie can be a huge for restaurant promotion efforts.

15. Verify Your Restaurant’s Online Details Are Accurate

Eaters love to do research online – in fact, 89% of consumers research a restaurant online prior to dining. This is why it’s of vital importance that all your restaurant details are online and up-to-date, including address, phone number, hours, your current menu, etc. The stronger and more accurate your online details are, the better.

16. Develop Your Restaurant’s Brand Identity

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Building your restaurant’s brand identity can have a big affect on your social media performance. Your goal should be to build you restaurant’s identity around your target customers.

Does your food target patrons who prefer healthy eating? Or does your restaurant have a more beer-and-wings kind of vibe? Understand who your target patrons are, then build your brand around what they are interested in. Reflect these interests on your social media platforms and in your promotional material.

17. Time Those Tweets

Twitter can be a true treasure for restaurants, and timing your tweets can have a big influence on hungry stomachs. Try crafting and scheduling tweets at different times of the day to specifically target the breakfast, lunch, or dinner crowds (depending on your offerings).

restaurants twitter marketing

18. Have a Sleek, Functional Online Menu

Users love to do research online before ordering from or visiting your restaurant. Don’t make users scramble to find your menu – publish a high-quality, easy to read menu that is up to date and accurate. Not sure how? Some delivery sites like those mentioned below offer to publish your menu online for free. Open Menu is another great site that can help you get your menu looking sleek and stylish (it even offers some handy social integration, for both paid and free users).

restaurant marketing plan

Still, you’ll want to make sure to have your menu published on your website, since that’s often the #1 piece of information users are looking for when visiting your site (along with hours, location, and contact info).

If you don’t have a good menu online and available for customers, most of your other restaurant marketing strategies are basically useless! In this day and age customers need to have access to an online menu, otherwise they’ll simply look elsewhere.

19. Partner Up With Delivery Services

In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Many online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.

marketing for restaurants

Consider partnering with services like:

  • Seamless
  • Eat24
  • Foodler
  • Delivery.com
  • GrubHub

Some customers may even discover you for the first time through services such as these!

20. Offer Coupons and Discounts

Providing coupons and discounts for your restaurant is always a surefire way to bring customers running. Offer a free dish to your new email newsletter subscribers (we can show you how to get more of those too).

restaurant deal marketing

Alternatively, you can try advertising a discount through Groupon or Living Social – if you go that route, you’ll get a TONS of exposure, but you’ll end up paying a hefty portion of sales to the deal website, so keep that in mind.

21. Online Reservation Tools

One fine dining restaurant marketing idea is to consider signing up for Open Table. Open Table is an online reservation tool that lets customers book reservations for your establishment online! Patrons love it when you make life a bit easier for them, and Open Table already has a base of loyal customers you can tap into.

22. Use Mobile Ads

It’s predicted that this year, half of all paid clicks on Google will come from mobile! Restaurants are one the best candidates for mobile ads, as users are often looking for nearby dining options while on the move. Mobile ads tend to be cheaper than desktop ads, and mobile boasts impressive conversion rates.

restaurant mobile ads

What’s really cool is that AdWords allows for all kinds of mobile customization and targeting options that let you get the most out of your bids. For example, you can increase your bids around dinnertime, when users are often looking for fast food on their mobile phones. Boosting your bids during the dinnertime period increases your chances for showing up for a specific query. This means you could be the first ad to show up for a “pizza” search when pie-hungry users are on the search for a slice. If you’re a restaurant marketer, don’t miss out on digging into a slice of the mobile ad pie (we’re talking deep dish).

23. Fish Bowl Business Card Giveaways

Let customers drop their business cards into a bowl for a raffle. The reward can vary – a lunch for the winner and 10 friends, a 2-hour happy hour with discounted drinks, whatever you feel like!

Not only are these raffles fun, but you can also make use of those business cards by emailing customers. Let them know that while they didn’t win this time, they can sign up for your newsletter to be notified of their next chance to enter, plus the opportunity to hear about discounts and other offers they’d enjoy. Then tadaa – you’ve got yourself a bunch of super valuable new newsletter subscribers!

24. Start a Food Truck

Starting a food truck isn’t for the faint of heart – it’s a tremendous endeavor and, depending on the kind of truck you want to buy, it can be very pricey. However, starting a food truck enables you to dish out your food to folks you might never normally come in contact with.

start a food truck

You can greatly extend your reach, build more press, and acquire new fans who might love you so much that they become patrons of your brick-and-mortar location as well!

25. Source Local Ingredients

Customers love to hear that they’re eating local, and sourcing local ingredients from nearby can do a lot to boost your fan base and give you a positive reputation in the community. If it’s not out of your budget, definitely consider this option!

restaurant marketing guide

That sums up our restaurant marketing and advertising ideas. Hopefully you can put these restaurant marketing tips to good use!

Do you have any restaurant marketing ideas that we didn’t mention in this post? Share your inspiration in the comments!

How To Create A Restaurant Marketing Strategy & Plan

 

How To Create A Restaurant Marketing Strategy & Plan

Does your restaurant have a marketing strategy? Do your restaurant have a marketing plan? Do you know the difference?

In the business world, we often do not make a clear distinction between strategy and planning. They are not the same thing and confusing the two creates barriers to success. Often, this is because while we know what a plan is, we cannot articulate a strategy.

We do, however, need a solid strategy so our plans can make sense and achieve major objectives. Roger L. Martin’s writings on the subject of business strategy provide us with a solid framework to apply to restaurant marketing strategy and plans.

A strategy can be broken down into two parts, according to Roger L. Martin. First, a strategy is where-you-play, which often means a combination of the industry, the targeted customers and the product or service. It is any distinguishable marketplace. The second component is how-you-win. What advantage of your restaurant will you exploit to win business and beat the competition?

A strategy has to have a real advantage, not be your own personal preference for your restaurant. The advantage must not be temporary, but a permanent edge over the competition. Often once you identify the advantage (or develop one), you should work toward expanding and exploiting this particular advantage.

Take for example, a quick service restaurant that is 35% faster in service than the competitors. It’s marketing strategy might target the nearby lunch crowd (where-you-play) and exploit the quickest service in town (the how-you-win advantage). Notice the connection between the where-you-play and how-you-win. Also note that the marketing strategy is without plans on how to communicate the quickest service in town to customers. That is the next step.

First Strategy Then Planning

Figuring out your strategy does not involve planning. Planning all comes after you determine your strategy. It is about exploiting your individual advantage in whatever market you are targeting. While strategy is conceptual, planning involves particular steps and the usage of resources.

How does this take shape in the restaurant industry? The marketing strategy is an outgrowth of the very fundamentals of the business: the concept, the brand and the targeted customers. It is not a strategy though, without some noticeable characteristic that makes you better than a similar nearby restaurant while competing for the same customers.

Finding a Marketing Strategy

Having a larger strategy is key, but that strategy often breaks down into smaller related strategies.

Strategy can be extended into different marketing channels. Social media might be a way of reinforcing the brand and facilitating word-of-mouth amongst friends. Going one step deeper, we might use Facebook for staying in contact with regular customers in a particular demographic (where-you-play). An advantage could be tapping the potential of customer-produced content because it is more plentiful and a restaurant uses it to better effect than our nearest competitors.

Whatever your strategy is for a particular type of marketing, all the strategies need to come together in a few unified strategies. So if your main targeted customers for your overarching strategy are senior citizens, you wouldn’t have much use for Facebook strategy or plans.

All this has to be laid out before one gets into plans. Plans can quickly change as they are based on resources being used for a succinct purpose with specific goals. Strategies are not directly determined by customer behavior.

On the other hand, part of plan is knowable, but customer behavior is beyond a restaurant’s control and often plans fail to meet their goals. So the success can only be truly determined by testing a plan out. A strategy, on the other hand, may stay constant even when plans fail to produce desired results. If a strategy doesn’t work after experimenting with several approaches and plans, you might question if your “where-to-play” and “how-to-win” connect with your restaurant brand, concept or customers.

To build a complete and comprehensive strategy, here are some questions you might ask:

WHERE-TO-PLAY

Who are my targeted customers? Where do they live?

What is my restaurant’s market? To figure that out, ask: Who is competing with my restaurant for customers?

What am I offering? What customer behavior am I hoping for?

HOW-TO-WIN

What advantage does my restaurant have? Is it tangible, permanent and exploitable?

Does my advantage connect with my targeted customers and service/product offerings?

Do I have a special technique to reach customers that my competitors can’t copy?

Of course, larger strategies have to be modified for specific types of marketing types. In the digital realm, that can be social media, on line advertising, website design and email marketing. In traditional marketing, that can be print advertising, public relations, direct mailings, menu marketing and signage.

To give you an abbreviated example of how this works, the newest web design of one of our clients, a wine bar, has a slide-show of fantastic photographs on the homepage along with the text “Romantic, Elegant, Delicious.” In fact, those three adjectives hint at the three main strategies with their own set of customers (where-to-play). The strategy based on romance targets couples, often going out on dates. The elegant aspect focuses on urban women, who often come to the wine bar in groups. The delicious part draws attention to its cuisine, in particular its offering of decadent chocolates. This brings in chocolate lovers. Each of these advantages are integral parts of the business and will not disappear overnight.

Each strategy has marketing plans underneath them, with particular promotions, marketing content, campaigns and budgets. Going back to the web design, the slide-show itself features photos that correspond with the three adjectives and highlight the core marketing strategies.

Developing Marketing Plans

After you establish an overarching marketing strategy or strategies (don’t try to balance too many strategies), you will flesh them out with more limited strategies and specific plans. As mentioned above, plan success is determined by customer behavior and response and is partially beyond a restaurant’s control. It involves resources and specific steps. It always should be done with a strategy in mind.

Assessing the strategy’s importance to revenue and profit gives us a good groundwork to decide on budgets for a restaurant’s marketing. The strategy might hint at the appropriate marketing channels. Different social media platforms, for example, attract different age groups. Different geographic areas respond differently to direct mailings. Your plans should always be a realistic reflection of your strategies and therefore, you should disregard marketing formats that do not help your strategies. Plans, of course, also depend a lot of what options are available to you.

The presence of a clear, realistic strategy and of well-executed and related plans are fundamental to restaurant marketing success. After you formulate your strategy and plans, and write them out, you can begin executing them. From developing a strategy and related plans, not only will your marketing decisions become better, those decisions also will be easier to make.
About the Author

Matt is the head of content at Gourmet Marketing. He keeps the company and blog readers up to date on developments in the restaurant industry and in internet marketing.

14 Ingenious Tricks That Will Change Your View of Food and Cooking Forever

|| @mirniazmorshed || Bright Side ||

1. Cook two pizzas at once

2. Keep your ice cream soft

3. Eat leftover Nutella properly

4. Pour milk into an empty cookie packet section

5. Heat two food portions in the microwave at once

6. Make cupcake sandwiches

7. Dip cookies in milk using a fork

8. Easily open half-cracked pistachios

9. Easily peel mangoes

10. Use a strainer to get rid of dust crumbs in cereals, muesli, and other instant breakfasts

11. Dip cookies in milk and freeze

12. Put an elastic band on a Chinese food box

13. Easily cope with a hard-to-open jar

14. Bake eggs in their shells

Bright Side