The single largest mistake a restaurant can make is to NOT create a thorough food challenge advertisement. Over 1/2 of restaurants never even think to do this before announcing their challenge, and therefore they get 100 different questions that would have been answered if they had just spent a little extra effort designing an advertisement. Most restaurants get so excited to announce their challenge that they just post a simple photo of the challenge along with a few minor details in the description. In today’s world of technology, people are extremely lazy, and I mean really lazy when it comes to reading and looking up details. Most people look at the picture and don’t even consider looking at the description or rest of the post. If you just post a picture and put the description in the caption, you will get questions. You may have the time limit in the description, but I guarantee that some lazy person will still ask what the time limit is because he or she only looked at the photo and not the caption. This theory also applies to the name of your own restaurant so be sure to include it too.

When a restaurant posts a photo announcing a new challenge, depending on how many people are following them, there will be many people that either share the post or simply tag friends in the comments to let them know about it. A large majority of the people that are tagged or see the shared photo will not look at your description either. They will just see the photo, and because you did not spend a few hours creating a real advertisement, all of those people that you want to know about the challenge will not even know where to go to find the challenge. They won’t know any details at all. From a marketing perspective, your post basically accomplished the same goal that you would have if you just posted a funny photo of a cat that got shared a lot. If you doubt this theory, then test it next time you see a shared food challenge post or get tagged in a challenge photo. I get tagged every week by people and 90% of the time I have to spend 5 extra minutes figuring out where the challenge is actually located and what the details are if I didn’t already know about it beforehand.

If you want to have a successful marketing campaign and a well-known symbolic challenge that lasts, you need to create a detailed challenge advertisement. This same image file can then be used all over your social media, website, and printed advertisements. Here are the challenge details that you need to definitely include on it:

High-definition photo of the challenge – The challenge photo is going to attract all of the attention, and you want your challenge to look delicious, so include a high-definition photo of the entire challenge.

Restaurant Name – People need to know that your restaurant is the only one hosting the challenge.

Restaurant Location – People that have not heard of your restaurant need to know what city you are located in. The city and state/province/country usually is placed right below the restaurant name. If they know the city you are in, they may just remember that the next time they are in your area. If they need a place to eat, you will be on the top of their list because they don’t know of anything else!! I’m sure restaurants that were featured on Man v Food would agree since they are still feeling the effects today even years after their appearance.

Challenge Name – People have to call it something, so make sure they know the name to remember.

Very Brief Description – Describe the main challenge components in one brief sentence or less.

Time Limit – People will want to know how much time they have, even if there is no real limit.

Prizes – To sell the challenge to people, you need to let them know what they can win!!

Price – People will want to know how much they have to pay if they lose, or simply how much it is to order. Remember that not everybody will just want to take your challenge. They may have a family or love leftovers.

Availability – If your challenge is only 1 night a week or at very specific times, let people know when they are able to take the challenge. There is nothing more disappointing for an eater than getting all the way to the restaurant just to find out that the challenge isn’t available to take. Then their preparations and fasting was for nothing, and they won’t want any of your regular food either because they are hungry and very frustrated.

As with all marketing materials, keep the image simple and crisp. That may sound like a lot of information to include on the image, but it really is not when you start putting everything together. If you need to, hire a graphic designer to develop your advertisement. The benefits you will receive by having it will definitely be worth the small up-front cost to get it produced. You may decide to not include a few of the details, but just know you will be getting questions once you post the image. First impressions are huge in today’s world, and eaters definitely make an initial opinion about you when they see your food challenge advertisement. If the restaurant leaves off the price, it is usually because it is too high and they don’t want everyone to see it. If the restaurant leaves off the prize, then the prize is probably too small for them to be proud enough to display it. We know that a restaurant does not just “forget” to add a very important detail, so don’t think we are that stupid.

Your food challenge advertisement is going to be the “lead blocker” for your marketing campaign so do not take the design and image lightly, unless you don’t like money. The more effort you put into it in the beginning, the more you will get out of it later. After the image is complete and you’re ready to announce the challenge to the world, using that image, you need to start posting the advertisement every place you can so that everybody can see it (along with your restaurant name!!). To find out tips for advertising your challenge inside your restaurant, click here. To find out tips for advertising it using free internet sites and social media platforms, click here.

To go back and view other Marketing A Challenge articles, click here.