Two girls eating lunchSome of my fondest memories growing up in the Midwest revolved around food. During the holidays, the six of us would pile into dad’s yellow T-bird to make the six hour drive from Des Moines, IA to visit relatives in Chicago, who lived in a triplex. Lunch would start at Aunt Joan’s, usually roast beef served with Kapusta (cooked Sauerkraut) with mashed potatoes and a lot of butter. The smell of Sauerkraut could easily be detected as soon as we entered the stairwell of the triplex. It was a comforting smell and is really delicious! Next, we would go upstairs to Busia’s (name for our Polish grandmother).

“Johnnie, I’ll make you a ham sandwich”, Busia would say.

“Busia, we just ate.”

“Nonsense. Sit down and eat!” she said lovingly but with command.

After all the eating, 15 – 20 of us would go outside to play in the Turkey Bowl. It was a snow covered pavement two-hand touch football game played with current college football athletes, a few brave girls, and ages in between 10 and 35. We were all very competitive and it usually ended with at least one person limping off with a sprained ankle or just the numbness and pain in the fingers coming from the whip of the cold Chicago wind.

Since then, I’ve always enjoyed being around food or working with food-related clients.

The key ingredients in a successful food marketing campaign normally involve an experience or a story, and the interaction of people with food.


I’m a believer in straight-up traditional brand radio or TV spots. But, if you can get customers to have fun with your food, you will have a customer for a long, long, time.


My favorite marketing idea for restaurants is to do in-studio promotions…”Feed the DJ”. It has 3 benefits:


1). It helps the client brand with the station and the DJ’s platform, usually without having to paying an endorsement fee.


2). It shows the food client in a fun light (non-advertising message)…having fun with the DJ.


3). It can incorporate Social Media (DJ tweets, Facebook, Instagram, pictures and / or coupons, etc.) with a bounce-back to the restaurant.


Best yet, it’s low cost. It’s great if you can get live mentions. But, if not, a creative DJ will pre-record :15 second promos to air while you are delivering the food. Most radio stations will charge 35% – 50% for a :15 second promo compared to a :60 with twice the impact as a :60.

When you are first establishing your online platform and beginning to engage the marketplace with a blog and using various social media tools, don’t forget that the goal is to have people experience your brand in a fun and unique way. DJ’s are creative and are experts at having fun.

Want to set up a “Feed the DJ” promotion hitting your target market?

Or, want to set up an event to get potential customers to really experience what you have to offer?