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matt plapp

Guest Acquisition and Restaurant Offers that Work with Matt Plapp (Part 1)

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
Guest Acquisition and Restaurant Offers that Work with Matt Plapp (Part 1)

Matt Plapp is one of the foremost restaurant marketing experts in the world, CEO of America’s Best Restaurants, Repeat Returns, and author of many books including his latest: The RGA [Revenue Generating Activity] Guide for Restaurant Owners. In part 1 of at least 2 parts, I chat with Matt Plapp on the blueprint restaurant owners can follow to build their marketing machine and the power of restaurant offers that work.

Blueprint to the Ultimate Restaurant Marketing Machine – A Conversation with Kyle Guilfoyle and Matt Plapp

Introduction to Matt Plapp

Matt Plapp is a man of many talents, both a mentor and an inspiration to many. With his recent book, the RGA Guide for Restaurant Owners, Matt dives deep into his experiences as the CEO of Restaurant Marketing That Works and America’s Best Restaurants. He also hosts multiple podcasts, including Restaurant Marketing Secrets, where he shares his industry knowledge and insights.

His recent foray into software has seen him acquiring Repeat Returns as its CEO. The opportunity to leverage his experience and implement effective marketing strategies for restaurant owners excites Matt. This conversation reveals his recipe for the ultimate restaurant marketing machine.

Blueprint to the Ultimate Restaurant Marketing Machine

Matt shares his expert take on two primary themes. The first is based on the creation of an effective restaurant marketing blueprint. This blueprint aims to help restaurant owners systematically implement their desired marketing strategies.

The second part dwells on a list of seemingly random yet insightful questions that touch on restaurant marketing from all angles. Matt encourages rapid-fire queries that can help uncover new opportunities for restaurant owners.

Three Essential Areas to Stop Losing Money in Restaurants

Firstly, Matt identifies in-store marketing as a crucial area for restaurants to focus on. The opportunities to make money are often overlooked, leading to loss of potential profits. Matt shares a compelling example of how an intriguing contest using a QR code proved effective for a restaurant owner during apple festival season.

Secondly, outsourcing marketing strategies can be a boon for restaurant owners. Leveraging experts can ensure that the restaurant’s marketing isn’t just operationally sound but also returns a promising ROI. Trying to do everything in-house often means missing out on specialist knowledge and ending up wasting money.

Lastly, proactively engaging customers within the restaurant, through well-trained employees, can substantially raise profits. By rewarding customers with something that may initially incur a loss, businesses can ensure customer loyalty, resulting in long-term gain.

Spend Smart: Know Where Your Advertising Money Goes

Often, restaurant owners spend money advertising through various media, not realizing that there’s a better way. Matt insists that it’s worth investing in digital advertising with Facebook and Instagram, where you can specifically target ideal customers in your vicinity. Such a targeted approach ensures that you get more value for every dollar you spend.

Creating Irresistible Offers for Maximum Engagement

To get more new guests, Matt recommends paid Facebook and Instagram ads that leverage direct calls-to-action for an irresistible offer. Being specific and direct with these offers can bring substantial results, as Matt shares from his experiences. A hearty free dish or a buy-one-get-one-free offer can successfully attract customers in to experience the restaurant, and if they enjoy their visit, they’re likely to return and potentially become regulars.

In Conclusion

From mastering the art of leveraging social media to creating irresistible offers, understanding marketing spends, and creating effective in-store experiences, Matt Plapp’s blueprint to the ultimate restaurant marketing machine offers restauranteurs eye-opening insights. Implementing these steps with dedication and consistency can significantly transform any restaurant marketing strategy from being average to extraordinary.

After all, Matt asserts, “Restaurants need to get out of the world of thinking they are there for food; they are there to market and sell. Because if you have the greatest food ever, the greatest location ever, but you suck at marketing and selling, it doesn’t matter.”

Connect with Matt at

Joe Kool's Charlie Smith

Building and Scaling a Local Restaurant Institution with Joe Kool’s Charlie Smith

As the adage goes, success leaves clues. Charlie Smith grew up absorbing insights from his dad’s successful hospitality ventures and continues to build on that foundation today.

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
Building and Scaling a Local Institution with Joe Kool’s Charlie Smith

Here are a few of the nuggets from this episode with Charlie Smith:

👉🏽 Charlie’s greatest lessons learned growing up alongside his dad, turning Joe Kool’s into the institution it is today.

👉🏽 What he’s learned helping dozens of small businesses with their marketing and advertising,

👉🏽 One of the strategies Charlie’s working on now (with Guest Getter) to scale his organization bigger than ever.

Join us in this podcast episode to understand more about the nitty-gritty of restaurant marketing. And, if you’re in London, Ontario, be sure to check out Toboggan Brewing Company, Runt Club, and Fellini Koolini’s.

Dennis Yu Podcast Episode

How An O.G. Yahoo! Engineer Would Grow Your Restaurant with Dennis Yu

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
How An O.G. Yahoo! Engineer Would Grow Your Restaurant with Dennis Yu

In this episode, we unravel the secrets of digital marketing with Dennis Yu, a veteran in the field, renowned for his work with global brands like Quiznos and Rosetta Stone. Dive into our conversation and discover unconventional insights that redefine restaurant marketing.

Key Insights from Dennis Yu:

  1. Seizing the Mid-Afternoon Opportunity: Harness the power of timing! Did you know that 70% of people remain undecided about their dinner plans by mid-afternoon? Restaurants can swoop in during this critical window. Crafting compelling narratives and sharing them during this period can profoundly impact dining choices, transforming potential customers into loyal patrons.
  2. Strategic Storytelling over Content Overload: Break free from the content treadmill. Dennis advocates for the Dollar a Day strategy—a method where $1 is invested daily for 7 days behind select content pieces. By identifying the most impactful narratives, businesses can focus on quality storytelling. It’s not about flooding platforms; it’s about crafting narratives that resonate and endure, driving genuine engagement.
  3. Uncover Your Unique Business Identity: Resist the urge to mimic media conglomerates. Every business is unique, and understanding your distinct identity is paramount. Authenticity trumps quantity. Rather than inundating your audience with content, focus on telling your genuine story. By embracing your individuality, you create a magnetic pull, drawing in customers who resonate with your narrative.

In essence, Dennis Yu advocates for intelligent and authentic storytelling. By recognizing the ideal timing, curating impactful narratives, and embracing your business’s identity, you can revolutionize your digital marketing strategy. Stay tuned for more groundbreaking insights from our conversation with Dennis Yu. Discover the simplicity, timing, and authenticity that drive effective digital marketing.

📕 Explore Dennis’ Expertise: Dive into his latest book, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising: How to Access 1 Billion People in 10 Minutes!

👀 Discover BlitzMetrics: Peek into Dennis’ revolutionary digital marketing company, BlitzMetrics.

🤝 Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn

Winning the Wallets of Student Diners

Winning the Wallets of Student Diners

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
Winning the Wallets of Student Diners

As the school year approaches, restaurant owners and marketers have a unique opportunity: marketing to college students and effectively attracting and retaining these student diners. In this blog post, we’ll explore a highly effective restaurant marketing strategy tailored for our restaurant partners. Discover how to harness the purchasing power of college students not only this September but also in the long term.

Why Target Student Diners?

The first question you might ask is, why bother attracting students in the first place? Here are some compelling reasons:

  1. Population Size and Impact: College and university students represent a significant portion of the population. In 2022, there were over 22 million students enrolled, and they spent a whopping $71 billion on back-to-school shopping, including dining expenses.
  2. Increased Dining Frequency: Students often eat out more than the average person due to their busy schedules and social nature. This presents a fantastic opportunity for restaurants.
  3. Group Dining: Students frequently dine with friends, making them a valuable target market for restaurants looking to fill tables.
  4. Mobile-Centric: A staggering 88% of Gen Z students use social media to decide where to eat. To reach them effectively, you need a strong digital presence.
  5. Long-Term Loyalty: Establishing a connection with students early on can lead to long-term brand loyalty and a lucrative lifetime value of customers.
  6. Seasonal Influence: The back-to-school period is a prime time for students to explore new dining options, making it an ideal time to capture their attention.

The Three Fundamentals of Restaurant Marketing Success

The Guest Getter Framework for restaurant marketing success is built on three pillars:

  1. Attention and Awareness: Your marketing should aim to get noticed. After all, people can’t dine at your restaurant if they don’t know it exists.
  2. Attraction: Once you have their attention, you need to entice potential customers to step through your doors. Getting those “butts in seats” is crucial.
  3. Retention: It’s not enough to get a guest one time. Building long-term brand loyalty is the ultimate goal. This involves retaining customers and fostering lasting relationships.

When these fundamentals work together harmoniously, you achieve “accelerated word of mouth,” a powerful force for restaurant success.

The Winning Strategy To Attract College And University Students: Lotteries

One key strategy is the use of student lotteries. Here’s how it works:

  • Epic Prizes: Offer enticing prizes like a new TV, a trip, a MacBook Pro, or other high-value items. Offset costs by partnering with suppliers.
  • Low-Cost Prizes: Include low-cost prizes such as complimentary appetizers, desserts, or swag items to maintain excitement.
  • Gamification: Implement a digital scratch-and-win or spin-to-win mechanism. Participants must provide their contact information to claim their prize, and they must dine at your restaurant to redeem it.
  • Database Building: This strategy helps build a database of student diners that you can engage with through email marketing, SMS, and retargeting campaigns.

Targeting Student Diners with Precision

To effectively reach students, you need to use digital ad platforms. Today, we’re working with Meta’s Ad Platform (formerly Facebook). Here’s how you can do it:

  • Geographic Targeting: Drop a pin on the map around college campuses and target a specific radius. We recommend creating separate ad sets for different campuses.
  • Specific Callouts: Craft ad copy that specifically calls out the university or college, creating a personalized connection.

Creating a Compelling Ad

marketing to college students with a compelling ad

The anatomy of a compelling ad includes:

  1. Specific Callout: Address the students directly (e.g., “Hey, UWO student” or “Hey, Fanshawe student”).
  2. Benefit-Driven Hook: Capture their interest with a benefit-driven statement (e.g., “Want a new TV for your dorm room?”).
  3. Transparency: Explain why you’re offering prizes (e.g., “We’ve put together over $10,000 in epic prizes because we want to be part of your university journey”).
  4. Strong Call to Action: Encourage them to take action (e.g., “Click to scratch and win over $10,000 in prizes with a 95% win rate”).
  5. Creative Visuals: Use visuals that interrupt patterns and stand out.
  6. Additional Benefit CTA: Reinforce the benefits in your headline and call to action (e.g., “Scratch and win over $10,000 in prizes”).

Where to Send Them for Opt-ins

To collect contact information and engage potential diners, create a landing page with a gamified experience. This page should:

  • Include a scratch-and-win or spin-to-win game.
  • Ask users to enter their information to claim their prize.
  • Set a redemption deadline to create urgency.

Tech for Gamification: Coupon Tools

Making gamification easy is key, and we recommend a tool called Coupon Tools. This software simplifies the creation of gameified campaigns, making it a breeze to implement this strategy.


By following this strategy, you can effectively attract and retain student diners, boosting your restaurant’s revenue. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the student market this September and beyond. Start implementing these tactics today and watch your restaurant thrive. Remember, it’s not just about getting one-time customers; it’s about building lasting relationships and accelerating your word-of-mouth marketing.

Digital ad targeting for restaurants

Mastering Digital Ad Targeting for Restaurants

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
Mastering Digital Ad Targeting For Restaurants

In this episode, we’re diving into digital ad targeting for your restaurant.

We’ll break down how marketing actually works—starting with making sure people know your restaurant exists. Then we’ll move into some smart strategies for reaching the right people online without the guesswork. Plus, we’ll uncover a powerful technique involving your most valuable customers that could reshape your customer base.

Here are the three key takeaways from this episode:

🤝 Addressing Obscurity: Most people either don’t know about your restaurant or they’ve forgotten. Overcoming the challenge of obscurity is essential for restaurants. So getting attention is important to build awareness in your local market.

🎯 Data-Driven Targeting: Avoid interest-based guessing in ad targeting. Instead, leverage data-driven strategies to engage interested audiences. Let the platform’s machine learning capabilities optimize ad delivery for better results.

🗝 VIP Guest Strategy: Focus on your top-spending guests. Their behaviours and preferences can help identify new customers who share similar characteristics. By building “retargeting” audiences based on behaviour—not guesswork—you improve marketing performance.

Tune in for a clear and straightforward exploration of effective digital ad targeting. It’s practical knowledge you can put to use right away. Let’s get started! 🍔📈🍕

Robin Goodfellow on the Guest Getter podcast

The Art of Packed Houses with Robin Goodfellow

The Guest Getter Podcast
The Guest Getter Podcast
The Art of Packed Houses with Robin Goodfellow

Discover the effective marketing insights of Robin Goodfellow, a powerhouse in Toronto’s restaurant and cocktail scene.

In this episode, Robin shares his counter-intuitive secret to packing the house every single time. With his background as the owner of Vela Restaurant (newly added to the Micheline Guide), founder + former owner of Bar Raval and Pretty Ugly, and creator of Little Bones Beverage Consulting, Robin’s expertise shines through as he delves into the art of marketing for thriving restaurants.

Join us as we unravel the unconventional strategies that have transformed Robin’s venues into bustling hotspots and learn how you can apply his wisdom to captivate your own audience.

A few takeaways from this episode:

  • Understanding Consumer Readiness: Robin introduces the Prochaska wheel, a behavioral change model, to tailor marketing strategies based on consumers’ willingness to embrace change. Adapting your approach according to where individuals are in this process can yield more effective results.
  • Value in Moderate Pricing: Instead of focusing on high prices, Robin suggests adopting lower pricing strategies to attract a higher volume of foot traffic. A bustling establishment not only creates a vibrant atmosphere but also signifies a thriving business.
  • Catering to Diverse Audiences: Whether in the restaurant or bar industry, Robin’s philosophy revolves around creating environments that appeal to a wide range of patrons. This inclusivity fosters a welcoming atmosphere and contributes to the overall success of the establishment.
  • Realistic Insights and Learnings: With his extensive experience, Robin shares practical insights and real-world lessons from his journey. His transparency about his mistakes and growth provides valuable learning opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts.

Before You Go!

Discover how to turn a small ad spend into new guests and revenue—that you can *actually* measure. Like this:

restaurant marketing roi