As your ad agency, we don’t have to tell you what’s trending in the restaurant industry (yes, hot sauce is still having a moment, and consumers continue to seek authenticity from their food providers). We read the same trade pubs as you—NRN, QSR, FSR, etc.—along with your brand’s daily sales reports, Google analytics, social media chatter… You get the picture.

We’re also keeping tabs on the media landscape. Did you know that FOX is the first network to offer primetime live streaming? Or that Facebook’s algorithm changes continue to kill organic reach, and its VP of Europe predicted that the platform will be “all video” within five years?

All this to say: It’s an ever-changing environment, and we’re here to help you win. But if we’re going to compete, we need to understand your challenges as well as, well, you.

So let’s dig in! Here are four tips for impressing the heck out of your agency and getting the ROI to make you a hero:

1. Bring a situation, not a solution. What problem are we trying to solve? Is guest count down in a particular daypart? Is an LTO underperforming? Be specific.

2. Be choosy. In your expert opinion, where’s our biggest opportunity for improvement? Framed in another way, what’s the lowest hanging fruit? Is it a different fruit in different markets? That’s ok. Tourists? Moms? Mondays? Help us understand the nuances, and we can help find solutions. Maybe there’s a campaign that can speak to all of your fruit. Maybe there’s a tactic that can make each think they’re your “favorite fruit”—hellooooo digital media (and goodbye fruit analogy).

3. Define a win. Is this a short-term play or a long-term initiative? That’s going to impact our problem solving process? When we ask, “Tell us what success looks like,” we want specifics (so we can report on specifics, so we can optimize toward specifics). We understand that your successful track record is on the line (as is ours) so be real.

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4. And finally, speaking of real: Be real nice. Because everybody works hard for nice people.

TinaFey