Talking the talk: Restaurant Marketing and Pronunciation

Posted in L'Ortolan on 28/10/2010

Claire Dunford in our marketing department has a few thoughts on how pronunciation affects restaurant marketing.

BBC Breakfast noted this morning just how passionate people are about the "correct” way of speaking.

The British Library are conducting an investigation into how pronunciation is changing by asking volunteers to record a chapter from a Mr Man book.

Whilst my husband could only mutter something about a slow news day, that news item got me thinking: although some people may roll their eyes at suggestions of "proper English,” pronunciation can have a very dramatic impact on how a company, brand and industry is received.

Do you say "rest-ront,” "rest-er-ront,” or perhaps with a bit of a French twist "rest-au-ron”?  Technically all are acceptable.

From a marketing point of view we’ve previously come up against an inversion of this problem – after running a radio advertising campaign we realised that listeners unfamiliar with our restaurant may not know how to spell L’Ortolan. Subsequently there were a flurry of Google searches for Lor-toe-lan, lortlan, ortslan.

Clearly pronunciation can have a dramatic impact on a dining experience – not only can it affect your preconceptions of an establishment, but also it can affect how easy it is for you to get your feet through the door.  I’m not saying that everyone should use BBC English/Received Pronunciation (RP) – far from it (variety is the spice of life after all) – but particularly when constructing marketing campaigns, its important to get it right.