Tip: Consistently Communicate with Customers

Marketing a restaurant is a game of consistency, you can’t post/email thirty two things in the next 15 minutes and then take two months off. You know that. Yet it is still likely the case that you find yourself with gaps in your communications, lapses in the connection with your customers that helps drive business through your door. What you need is a plan, a system that helps you simplify, and I have one for you. 

A_Fat_Kid_Burger

See What I do on Instagram and Twitter by following @spirocks on both. 

Restaurant Marketing Simplification System:

First you need a base that you control, a place where you can guarantee the rules won’t change and affect all the work you have put in. That is your website/blog, and I spelled out the reasons here: ( Don’t Just Rent Your Friends ) If your restaurant website does not have a blog section, you should make that project number 1.

  1. Create a Blog on your website: Your blog is going to be the place where you create the content that is spread throughout your social networks and email lists.
  2. Create a Mailchimp Account. Great news; they are free up to 2000 contacts so you can try this out with no risk. Mailchimp allows you to send RSS campaigns, which means that once you publish a blog post you have Mailchimp automatically create an email from it and email it out when you want, like say 10am on Friday. That’s it, email campaign done. 
  3. Decide the frequency with which you wish to contact your email list. Once you have that plan, all you need to do is create a post before the date and time (give it an hour early) you set in Mailchimp and you are done. Most people find creating a blog post a less cumbersome process than creating an email and best of all you kill two birds with one stone. 
  4. Social Network integration via Mailchimp allows you to connect your restaurant social accounts and post to them at the same time.

So there you have it a simple way to create great content once, on a platform you control, and get it distributed free to everywhere it needs to be.

How frequently to post to your social networks:

In addition to the above, I suggest having a plan for social media only posts, as you should post to them more frequently than you email. So say you have a new special every Tuesday, share a picture of that with a simple one line description.

One great place to do this is through instagram, where you can take a photo of a special appetizer for example and share it to not only instagram, but also facebook, twitter, flickr, and tumblr all at the same time. Maybe I will write another post on that if you are interested.

Got any tips on how you streamline your restaurant’s online marketing? I would love to hear.

_Summer_isn_t_over_yet.__Boston_and_beyond_soak_it_in.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

How to Use Instagram Video for Business

An old journalism saying goes: “Show me, don’t tell me.”

When you are introducing a product or service it is better to show the qualities that make it the best than simply saying it is the best. By showing you enable the viewer to decide for himself that it is the best, not question you declaring it the best.

Recently at one of my restaurants, Sauce, we decided to make a homemade Shandy we thought would make other shandy beers feel shame. So we added a homemade hibiscus – jalapeño – lemon/limeade to a full can of genesee cream ale in a 24oz cup.

To launch it we made the above instagram video.

Show, don’t Tell.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

Name one thing

image

What is the one thing that you do to go out and get customers to try your product, or purchase it again.

The catch is it can’t be a magazine ad or a traditional media buy. No mass mailed coupon or such.

Is it a unique card you personally hand out? Some social campaign thingy? Do you reach out personally on Facebook?

What works for you? Tell me @spirocks on twitter.

I am Spirocks on Twitter.

Limits and Entrepreneurs

For people who start new businesses and build brands from scratch, limits are the lifeblood of creativity. It is frequently said that ‘It would be nice if money were no object.’ Well it is, so is the employee talent pool, getting the best locations, the customers in your market, and about a thousand other things. The entrepreneur recognizes all these things, finds a niche and builds an offering that delivers value people are willing to pay for.

All these things are limits, they are the parameters of the current possibilities for the business. Embrace them, squeeze them like your own child, they are yours and they are the reason you will succeed. It is important to feel that way about them, for they should be the fostering ground of your creativity, the hurdles that create what is unique about what you offer.

Limits

To train your brain that way is to embrace the limits, and to dominate them. It may be easy to get lost in the day-to-day functions of your business, and lose sight of what parameters you are working within, but that is where discipline should kick in and get you back on the path you know you need to be on.

The ancillary benefits of that discipline are many. It is easier to train your employees when you have a defined framework to work within, and what you do will be clear to your customers. It wont be a messy collection of exceptions, it will be clear, concise, and easy to understand.

In Employee Training: Due to our size we carry three brands of the major liquor varieties, for instance for Vodka: Grey Goose, Tito’s, and Reyka, These three represent three price points and all offer exceedingly high quality. Grey Goose is the leading ultra premium vodka in sales, Tito’s is an excellent American made and gluten-free vodka, and Reyka is a small batch premium vodka from Iceland. With these three we will be able to deliver vodka drinks in three price points, $11/$9/$7 — make notes of any customer complaints about this selection and be sure to include the brand requested, as managers will tally them and adjust the three brands if needed. Be sure to offer the customer a taste of the brands we carry if they are not familiar.

I believe that too often a new business creator focuses on the limits as reasons why they can’t make a situation work, instead of embracing them as the guideposts to help navigate them to success. The first step is identifying your limits, then planning to deliver value within the parameters. That discipline will give the business the matter of fact nature that it needs.

In the above example, if someone wanted a dirty vodka martini and they were unhappy with any of the three vodkas offered, they would be in a tiny tiny minority, say 3% of the population of vodka drinkers. Yet every bar has a plethora of vodka bottles, many which do not sell much at all, taking square footage, time to inventory, store, and clean. If you multiply that over and over in various undisciplined categories, what is the true cost of not staying within limits? I would wager that it is far greater than any profit you will make from serving the ultra-picky 3%.

Thoughts and comments?



I am Spirocks on Twitter.

Don’t just rent your friends from Facebook

image

Too many business owners have an online strategy which relies on garnering as many likes as possible for their Facebook page. This is wrought with peril and here is why:

At any time, and they do it often, Facebook alters how you connect with these people to further their goals. Which all revolve around making money off of these connections. They want you to rent your friends, plain and simple.

So as time changes, the investment you have made in those connections is adjusted, filtered, and rearranged to become more profitable for Facebook. Recently they altered how many of your business posts people who liked your page see if you don’t pay to promote them.  Its time to focus on making connections with these friends and followers as permanent as possible.

The answer for most of you: Build your email list. Start today, make it worth their while. How much should you invest in time and money? Answer one question: What is a permanent connection to your customers worth to you?

I am Spirocks on Twitter.