My wife and I went out for dinner on Saturday night with some friends. We went to a little restaurant near our home called ‘Up the Creek’. (Yes, it is indeed situated next to a large creek!)
The restaurant has a special deal going: 2 main courses and a bottle of wine for $30. Incredible value. The mains are usually around $18-25. The bottle of wine costs $11 in the local bottleshop.
The food was great, the restaurant was spotless and the waitress was very attentive. Couldn’t fault the place – that’s Up The Creek.
We Were The Only Ones In The Up The Creek Restaurant
We were there at 7 p.m on Saturday night. Our little group (of 4) was the only one in the restaurant.
Here’s a restaurant doing most things right and still they can’t get a customer. What’s going wrong?
Well, my guess is the marketing. Whoever is marketing the place isn’t doing a great job.
Top 10 Marketing Ideas For This Restaurant
Here’s my top 10 list of marketing the joint (this is blind – without knowing the customer profiles or choice influences):
- Database. Get the name, address, phone number and email address of everyone who walks in the door. Run a competition for them to enter so that you can get all of these details. Now market to that database religiously every 4 weeks (Direct Mail, Telemarketing and /or Emails). Previous customers of Up The Creek should be the biggest source of business!
- Drop flyers within the local area. Don’t do it once. Do it every 2 weeks for three- (3) months. Promote your offer.
- Billboard ad. Customers will be from about within a 10 km radius. Let them know you are there and what you have to offer.
- Do a survey. Survey your customers on how they heard of you. Survey people within the area on how they hear of other restaurants. Thank the people who take your survey with a letter. A letter that also contains your offer (maybe even toss in a freebie as a way of saying “Thanks”).
- Ask customers to come back. I kind of mentioned this in point 1, but it’s so critical I’ll mention it again!
People can’t buy until you make them an offer and then ask them to buy. “Thanks for coming in Brendon (the waiter knows my name because he should have had me enter that competition). We would be delighted to see you next week. Would you like to join us – we take special care of our regular guests.”
- Do a joint venture with the local holiday resorts. Drop your Up The Creek flyers off to the resort. Offer a special deal to the resort so they can provide added value to their guests.
- Local radio ads. As targeted as possible. Give them a try for a month.
- Ads in the local free community newspaper – classifieds would be just fine.
- Ask for referrals. Maybe even set up a Loyalty Card (10% off for all members), or a referral incentive scheme. “Bring a friend in and you get a free bottle of wine with dinner” type thing. Word of mouth referrals would be, I imagine, the best source of marketing for this restaurant.
- Cheat. A similar restaurant to Up The Creek about a kilometre down the road is doing a roaring trade. Find out how they market and do that! I’d even get aggressive and put my flyer on every car within 500 metres of the competition restaurant – after all, that’s the perfect target market right there.
That’s enough from me. I’m feeling hungry now!