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Why Restaurants Should Whack the Fax

Why Restaurants Should Whack the Fax

January 21, 2013

One of my clients needs more customers in their door. Their old ways aren’t working. And it’s not a secret why:

They fax daily specials to potential patrons.

The Fax is Whack

The market research for this particular client showed that not only do their customers hate receiving faxes. They’d much prefer to be contacted other ways.

I wanted to give the fax machine the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the market research is missing something. Maybe I don’t quite understand how restaurants prospect for customers. Maybe there’s a new fax machine that delivers food samples…via fax?

Maybe…just maybe…potential patrons are eagerly waiting by their fax machines for the daily specials to arrive.

Not so much.

Don’t stop won’t stop.

And get this: another business owner in the restaurant’s area mentions to me (randomly) that said restaurant wouldn’t stop faxing their daily specials. Even though they’ve called on numerous occasions to tell them to stop faxing.

But here’s the real kicker: The fax machine costs a few hundred bucks a month.

So, not only is this restaurant annoying potential customers. They’re paying to annoy potential customers.

That’s like paying someone to slap you in the face. You don’t need to take out an ad to get someone to whack you in the face. Just ask the next person you see (disclaimer: I don’t take any responsibility for what happens).

Zero. Zilch. Nada: Their return on investment from the fax machine. 

Remember that scene from Office Space?

Now, let me switch this around:

If you paid a social media agency a few hundred bucks for a solid 6 – 12 months and saw no return on investment, would you stop paying?

Why is it still ok to pay for a medium that delivers ineffective communication?

“That’s the way it’s always been done” is no longer an ok response. (Sorry, it’s not). We’ve moved beyond that.

And the restaurants that get this will get customers. Why?

Food, Glorious Food!

People love talking about food. It’s one of the most fun topics to blog about. Because people not only need food, they want it. They crave it. They have to have it.

This, in itself, is opportunity knock-knock-knocking at the doors of restaurant owners. Only many of them don’t hear above the noise of their obnoxiously loud oven.

Eat to live? Or live to eat?

Eating food is either 1) an experience or 2) a necessary act.

Have you seen New Yorkers talk about their pizza? Or have you seen me talk about New York pizza (after being deprived of good pizza while living in Washington, DC)? Don’t get me started. Seriously.

Eating pizza…real pizza is an experience.

Which is why content marketing food is a piece o’ cake.

Restaurants “content market” with menus.

Which would you rather order?

  • Pan-Seared Panko-Crusted Sea Scallops or
  • Scallops with Crumbs


Ok, I removed the “bread’ from the crumbs for effect. But you get my point.

I know which one I’d rather eat. And it doesn’t involve crumbs.

Shouting at customers and forcing them to order “scallops with crumbs” is equivalent to the fax machine.

The message crumbles upon presentation.

Talking to customers and letting them choose their dish is content marketing.

It’s classy. It’s quality. And it tastes good. What more could you want?

A cannoli? ok, a free cannoli coming your way if you comment below (just kidding).

But please comment anyway. You’ve read this far.