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Marketing Communication for Subway Restaurant
Marketing for any product or any service depends on the inherent reasons for the demand of that product or service. Thus the relative importance of different aspects is not the same for the marketing of different products or services. A restaurant is a place all of us go for a meal, bit, in our own minds, the rationale for going to different types or classes of restaurants are different. This determines the people who will go to that particular restaurant and what is the level of prices that he expects to pay. Some high class restaurants may get a crowd who just want to be seen there to improve their social status. But, subway restaurants are for the hoi polloi.
A product for the general public is viewed in marketing terms more as a sales exercise than a publicity exercise. (Buttle, 1996) Marketing is generally considered as the sexier step sister to the soot covered and dirty "Cinderella" of sales. Yet, the fairy godmothers of certain business have changed the conditions that take Cinderella to the ball for eventual marriage to the prince. In academic and business circles, the sales force and the sales management are often viewed as the part of the promotional or communications elements of the marketing mix. This view is reflected in the traditional concept of the 4-Ps of marketing. The strategic importance of sales in certain businesses has not been fully appreciated and the degrees of importance of integrating the sales activity into the wider marketing activities of the organization are not realized. This is true definitely in the industrial and organizational marketing and at a smaller level in the marketing of restaurants. To think of possible expansion in the role of the sales force, and the role of other people not in the sales force to sales requires changes in common attitudes and practices concerning sales. It also means that people in other functional areas have to be trained to think in terms of sales and practice their own skills for the development of the business.
The traveling peddlers of goods were the earliest model of salesmen and may be taken as the oldest form of selling. As the years have passed, the sales methods have become more refined, but the basic characteristics of the salesman remained the same. (Manning, & Reece, 1997). This form of sales is effective for low to medium priced goods or services. These customers cannot afford to pay for building up long-term relationships with the salesman. The sales person will have to make a large number of calls to meet his/her sales targets. This type of sales force sells the goods in a single call with only a single appointment with the buyer. With the development of the market, many such products have become commodities and most of the available products have the same properties. They also perform in a similar manner.
The buyers are also aware of this and can get the details about the product easily. The buyers end up knowing what they want, where he can get the product, and can reach many suppliers, the determining factor for their purchase becomes only - PRICE. The traditional salesman has no role in the process and he becomes a server of the customer in the selling point. The existence of the sales person itself has been viewed as a cost in many business and they have decided to cut down on one element of their cost by removing the salesman. (Dainow, & Bailey, 1988). They are now selling through the Internet as this helps them to sell at a lower price. Where there is a transaction before a sale, the salesman is an essential go between to even fix the price after negotiations. This still happens in automobile sales. But some manufacturers have made the sales man redundant in this area by putting up the car prices and the other facilities on the internet. They have also made these prices non-negotiable. A brand that comes readily to mind is Saturn by GM in the home of the free market.
For other cars also in many instances the prices are available on the net and the customer is free to find out the best bargain. This also the situation in most limited service restaurants like subway restaurants. They have been reduced to the level of commodities and cannot really afford salesmen or other conventional forms of publicity. So, who is the salesman in such a restaurant? The answer is nobody as also for everybody. Extending a rather tenuous analogy from "The Count of Monte Cristo," the staff in these restaurants have to believe that "we are all for one, and one for all" In short, the sales effort is to be handled by nobody specific and at the same time, by everybody. The agency for promoting the publicity for Subway Restaurants, Fogarty Klein Monroe was very much eager to publicize their low-fat sandwiches. This was a program, which was aimed at enabling the locals to lose their weight by means of a citywide campaign and was a technique of marketing endured. (Hassell, 2001)
Let us look at how the different people in the restaurants can help. We shall start with the man whom everybody hears about, but rarely sees - the chef. The restaurant employees are becoming liable for all types of transactions. The latest being the liability to pay income tax on tips. The manager of the restaurant and even the chef is responsible for the correct reporting about the tips received by the waiters to the tax authorities. This is a transaction most of them do not have the opportunity to see or even receive from the customers. The chefs thus feel that they are being burdened with tasks that they know little about. But they have been promoting their restaurants in novel ways to help them get ahead. In this situation, two different cities have seen promotional efforts by chefs meet with great success the oldest one being the effort in New Orleans. The restaurants should work as a team for the success of the organization. (Scholtes, 1988).
This is done for the aid of the special children in "St. Michaels Special School for Special Children." The program is called "The Chef's Charity for Children" and is a cooperative effort by all the chefs in New Orleans. They all get together in the biggest ballroom in town, in the Imperial room of the Fairmont Hotel. About a 1000 people can be accommodated every day and the tickets are sold for $35 per head. The festival goes on for two days and the proceeds are given to the school. Each chef teaches the method of cooking one particular dish and the demonstration is shown on TV to all parts of the room. The television screening is a contribution to the cause by WWL- TV the local station for CBS in New Orleans. A monitor is provided within 12 feet of every guest and the program can be seen clearly. All types of specialty food within the general New Orleans area are cooked - Cajun, Creole and French. After the cooking is over, the meals are served. The meal consists of not only the dishes cooked by the chefs, but also the main meal cooked by the staff of the hotel. The raw material for the food is provided by the hotel and the wines are provided free by the distributors of wines in New Orleans. This has built a unique spirit of camaraderie among the chefs in New Orleans and even a book of cooking has come out. (http://www.culinary.org) In terms of the benefits to the restaurants whose chefs participate, the impact is tremendous. First, the quality of their cooking gets big stage to be shown on.
The chef feels important and this aspect improves his enthusiasm and performance. The name of the restaurant is promoted along with the chef, and the donation given to the school improves the general image of the trade and the image of the participating restaurants in particular. The cost is only in terms of the non-availability of the chef for two days in the year. The chef and other employees need to be treated in the same manner as a customer would be treated. (www.ces.ncsu.edu) Can the subway restaurants in any city combine and start such a promotion. They may decide to promote their own specialties, or their quality along with their speed. It may become an opportunity for them to demonstrate their own developed dishes, and not only a festival of ethnic cooking. The matter is that this will provide some image to these restaurants, which they do not have now. Advertising occupies an important role in the marketing of any business, and this is true for Subway also. (The New York Times, 10 February 2002)
The quality of the products is very important and they should be different, and more appealing than offered by…[continue]
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