Restaurant marketing jobs are some of the most important roles in the hospitality industry. A solid marketing strategy will help you attract new guests and keep them coming back, but marketing duties often fall to the bottom of a busy restaurant owner or manager’s to-do list.
Hiring the right people for restaurant marketing jobs can mean you’re getting more out of your marketing efforts. Here’s what you need to know about restaurant marketing roles and how they grow revenue and raise your business’s profile.
What does a restaurant marketing job entail?
Restaurant marketing roles are essential to get butts in seats and grow your business in the current market. In 2020, the pandemic reduced demand in the food service sector by more than 30%. Demand in 2023 is still below 2019 levels, according to a report from Fortune Business Insights, so you’ll want to do everything you can to grow your restaurant’s fan base.
Investing in restaurant marketing jobs now could pay off even more down the line. The same report predicts that foodservice demand in North America will double by 2029. Bringing on a staffer or contractor to take charge of marketing can help you take advantage of that surge.
Restaurant marketing jobs include a variety of responsibilities.
A marketing pro might be asked to:
- Cook up promotional strategy
- Create social media content
- Work with the press
- Design online ads
Depending on the role, marketing staff may also be involved in:
- Creating special events
- Collaborating with influencers
- Handling reputation management
Why (and when) restaurants should hire for this role
Marketing—especially digital marketing—is a must for restaurants. Your brand is everything, so it makes sense to have a dedicated team member managing it. The right marketing team can make the world more aware of your restaurant and bring new guests through the door everyday through their work. And marketing is equally important whether you’re opening a restaurant or simply trying to build on the success of a long running restaurant.
One sign that it’s time to hire marketing staff is that you, your general manager, or current team members handling marketing feel overwhelmed. If you’re opening a new restaurant, you’ll want to make sure this restaurant role is part of your launch plan, even if it’s part-time or freelance.
Benefits of filling marketing roles for restaurants
With a dedicated marketing person or team, owners and managers can focus on other parts of the business. But that’s not the only way that investing in restaurant marketing roles can pay off. Having a marketing person is one of the best ways to grow your customer base, keep guests engaged, and raise your business’s public profile.
Plus, a dedicated marketer won’t just develop and carry out the marketing strategy for your restaurant. They can also break down the data and performance metrics to improve that strategy and ensure you’re getting the best ROI for your marketing efforts.
Types of restaurant marketing jobs
Restaurant marketing jobs range from entry-level roles to director-level positions. They can be done by full-time employees, part-time staff, or freelancers.
Marketing is a booming field. Plenty of ambitious professionals are googling “restaurant marketing jobs near me” these days. At the same time, the US hospitality industry ended 2022 with a tight labor market, according to the National Restaurant Association. When you offer opportunities for people in search of marketing careers, it’s a great way to get new people on your team during a labor shortage.
Here are some of the restaurant marketing roles you might consider adding to your team:
Social media manager
A social media manager is responsible for a restaurant’s social media strategy. That includes:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Making a content calendar
- Creating content
- Engaging with followers
- Analyzing data to see what’s working and what’s not
This role can be part time, full time, or freelance.
It’s smart to invest in experienced candidates for social media marketing jobs if you have the budget. If you’re running lean, a social media-savvy team member could handle the responsibility part time.
Director of marketing or restaurant marketing manager
A director of marketing or restaurant marketing manager job description includes high-level responsibilities, from setting goals to approving content to analyzing ROI. An employee in this role may work directly with the owner and general manager and is responsible for developing a restaurant’s marketing strategy across promotional channels.
A marketing director is responsible for supervising any other marketing staff and managing media relationships. This restaurant marketing role is more common at a larger restaurant or restaurant group than at a smaller, independent restaurant.
A restaurant marketing manager job description often requires a bachelor’s degree in marketing or communications or several years of experience in restaurant marketing. Because of the high level of responsibility, a restaurant marketing manager salary is one of the highest for restaurant marketing roles.
A great communications manager will:
- Keep your restaurant’s social media channels humming
- Monitor and respond to customer reviews
- Pitch your restaurant to newspapers and magazines
- Tackle copywriting (from coaster taglines to email newsletters)
Depending on the size of your business and your goals, a restaurant communications manager can be a full-time, part-time, or freelance role.
An intern may be able to fill a restaurant marketing role, whether for hourly pay or college credit. Local colleges and universities may have students interested in food marketing jobs who must complete an internship to graduate.
Keep in mind that the US Department of Labor regulates unpaid internships at for-profit businesses like restaurants. An intern should be supervised by a higher-level employee, whether that’s the general manager, director of marketing, or communications manager.
Other restaurant marketing jobs
Restaurant marketing jobs aren’t only found in restaurants. A freelancer with hospitality and communications experience can provide services like social media management or marketing strategy to clients.
Another option is outsourcing marketing to a restaurant marketing agency or public relations firm. If you have the budget, this can be a great way to level up your marketing while freeing your team to focus on other responsibilities.
How to hire and set goals for the role
If you’re ready to hire for a restaurant marketing role, consider your marketing goals and think about how you’ll measure success. You’ll also want to look at your budget to figure out a salary range that will help you stand out to candidates.
Keep these questions in mind as you create the job description:
- Do you need a full-time marketing employee?
- Would a part-time staffer or freelancer be a better fit?
- What kind of skills and qualifications will best support your marketing goals?
When you’ve got a solid restaurant marketing job description, it’s time to spread the word. Post it on Indeed, Culinary Agents, and local job boards. Let folks know you’re hiring on your website and social media and in your email newsletter.
As you screen candidates, prioritize job seekers with relevant experience. Those with a degree in marketing, journalism, or communications or previous advertising or marketing jobs are more likely to have the skills you’re looking for. Don’t overlook people with more restaurant industry than marketing experience. These candidates have the distinct advantage of understanding the restaurant industry from the inside.
As you prepare to interview qualified candidates, keep the job description on hand for reference. Once you’ve hired the top applicant, refer back to your expectations for the role to measure success.
Hiring for restaurant marketing jobs can feel like a risk, but ensuring that your marketing strategy is in good hands is an important step in growing your business.
With a little planning, investing in marketing staff can pay off in a big way—and set your restaurant up for success now and in the future.