Harry Potter & The Business of Restaurant Marketing


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Mango Kurry is a kitchen & restaurant consultant in Mumbai India. The restaurant consultancy helps small mid sized restaurant companies, independent owned restaurants, multi unit operations achieve their operational goals. The restaurant management consultancy provides strategic planning, operational analysis of revenues, generating marketing and sales strategy, reducing and controlling expenses with effective cost control systems, conducting and assessing feasibility studies, design and opening of restaurants.

One of the keys to success is the ability to recognize patterns or join the dots. And success from one industry and form can be replicated, if you recognize the patterns. Marketing of Harry Potter has lesson for Restaurant Marketing.

1. Ownership of Harry Potter & Your Restaurant

Who owns Harry Potter? Whats Makes the franchise great? Its the customer advocacy. Harry Potter is awesome because the customer says so. Marketing can do just so much. The lesson for restaurant marketing is that your restaurant is what the guest says it is. You don’t position your restaurant , your customers do. You need to know your customers and meet their needs and then go beyond. How do you WOW your customers? Where is your Harry Potter magic is your restaurant that you capture your restaurant guests imagination. Fulfilling requirements is hard and delighting your customers is even harder.

2. Not just a good product

Restaurants serve good food and service. That must be measured at all touch points of hospitality. In fact it is table stakes for any restaurant business. But even this often ignored. You need to continually meet customer expectation and measure any changes in customer expectation. This simple fundamental will lead to word of mouth appreciation. In fact, a survey done many years ago for Indian Hospitality industry suggested that an international traveler choose India as tourist destination because of word of mouth. WOM was whopping 25% amongst all other reasons.

Harry Potter the movie is a great product. The movie story line leaves their audience enthralled. The product alone generates WOM and the marketers then channelize it. No great marketing can salvage a poor product.

3. Memories! Memories! Memories!

We are not in the food business. We are in the memories business. The experience at your restaurant must generate great memories. And all the ingredients are there. In our hectic schedule restaurants offer a change of pace. Restaurants are a place where families reconnect, friendships are formed. Have you not noticed how much of the social conversation is about the restaurant.

The emotional connect is vital. Why are people eager for the current release of Harry Potter. Harry Potter, the emotional connect has been made. Harry Potter, a promise of a great experience. Harry Potter,a place a family is going out of the way to see the movie. Now remove the word Harry Potter and put your restaurant name there. It can happen. It must!!

4. Its the WOM stupid!!

WOM means word of mouth. WOM exists and the makers of Harry Potter have channelised it. In your world you can too. How have you used the internet. Facebook, newsletter, feedback, short code sms, customer reviews website like www.burrp.com The point is your customers are having conversations about you. You can be a part of it, direct it or be left out. Do you answer to positive feedback on food review site. POSITIVE!!! its reinforces good behaviour. I was seeking new ideas about our wine list. Well, I could ask an expert but hey I asked guest of facebook and they generously responded. Now it is their wine list. I tell them about the new events the restaurants is going to hold. I ask them to share their experiences. I have known guests describe that they met their fiance in a particular restaurant. That is powerful stuff. Irreplaceable memory! Something that restaurant did right to make it worthwhile for the guests come there. Do you know of such experiences.

5 If you are not consistent, you’re dead!!

Harry Potter, we have seen him grow and evolve but the exeprience has always been magical. I mean now they dont even have broom sticks!! Have grown from a kid to man taking his place under the sun.

Is your restaurant consistent?

What is your restaurant brand promise? Can articulate in ten words?

The promise like good wine can evolve, mature inexceution but promise cannot stay stagnant.

Its important that a restaurant recognises its brand promise and then strenghten the processes around it. People buy familiarity. People buy trust. If you have to choose between innovation and consistency, I say choose consistency. Innovation is important but it wont get you far, if your restaurant foundations are weak.

Living up to the brand promise also means what kind of tie ups you do. A restaurant stocking inferior quality wine because the vendor has given a great deal. Taking up a party on a Saturday night.These actions can undermine the brand promise. Now when to cut off. Learning to say no to any business opportunity could be great thing to learn. Harry Potter makers did not tie up with McDonald toy programs.

6 Make them want more

The previous Harry Potter movie left an unfinished taste and makes people want to come see the next one. This one again will leave you wanting for more as the story does not end.

How do you make the guests to come back for more? How do you communicate to them so that they know what next happening in your restaurant. There are seven days in a week and there must be seven reasons to visit your restaurants.


Recognize patterns of excellence in other industry. The Harry Potter movie reinforces the power of living up to the brand promise gives dividends of emotional connect resulting in word of mouth and brand advocacy.

You too can do this!

Mango Kurry Kitchen & Restaurant consultant in Mumbai India can help you in your marketing program. The restaurant management consultancy will generate marketing and sales strategy by strategic planning and operational analysis of revenue and more. 

About the author 

Sartaj S Bedi

With 20-year restaurant industry expertise, offering insights and expertise in strategy, operations, and quality. He employs a holistic approach to guide clients towards strategic success.

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