Lance's Blog

LISTEN TO ME!

We tend to do a lot of talking. Reflecting on this must-read book by Danny Meyer, a guru in the hospitality game, is we need to build relationships with our guests, and the best way to do that is by listening. Whether it's during service or through digital communication.

"There is no stronger way to build relationships than taking a genuine interest in other human beings and allowing them to share their stories." Danny Meyer

When was the last time you just sent out a message to your guest saying -  "Hi, just checking in and was wondering how you are doing?"

Try it; the results will surprise you!

But don't take our word for it; read the book.

SETTING THE TABLE BY DANNY MEYER

Friday, March 5, 2021

Why do you need an email collection system?

  1. Personalization
  2. Instant & direct line of communication with your community
  3. Reporting
  4. Ownership of the contacts
  5. Automation

Develop your email strategy to provide useful, engaging information by personalizing your emails, and these contacts will become guests, and guests will become superfans.

Building a network of superfans will consistently increase your revenue.

Got 60 seconds? Check out the video

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Change the way you think about your marketing!

Creating advertising that only results in a guest visit is a linear approach to marketing your restaurant.  

Spend a $1 get a $1 way of thinking.

Somewhere with the digital age introduction, restaurants lost focus on the best form of marketing that has always worked in the past.

Word of mouth, one friend tells one friend, then those two people tell two people, and then those four people tell four people, then those eight people tell eight.........and it keeps doubling.

So how do you utilize digital to help nurture the word of mouth process?

By building a list of actual guests that have dined at your restaurant, you nurture them into a network of superfans. Then by personal engagement and rewarding them for introducing new guests, you will be giving them the opportunity and tools to spread the word.

As you grow your network of superfans, you will consistently increase your revenue.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Can you please explain this to me?

You ask for a name when someone signs up to your email list, but you never send an email that is addressed personally?

It's super easy to just add "Hi {first.name}" to the top of your email to make your contact feel that the email is for them, not just generic.

Yes most people understand the idea of mail merge and know you didn't personally write and send the email, but not making this basic effort makes you look like you don't care.

It's like you introduce yourself to someone new and don't take the time to remember your name. Every time they communicate with you, they say hey you or don't even acknowledge you; they just start talking.

Treat your email communication like a conversation; if you have someone's name in your list, use it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What's in it for me?

Does the guest win when they interact with your restaurant?

Every guest interaction is a transaction that the guest needs to win. Whether it is the purchase of goods or the time spent looking at your marketing, the guest needs to feel they got more out of the relationship than they gave.

When you send an email to your list, you need to match the value of the time you are asking the guest to take with the benefit they are receiving.

Is your email taking longer than 30 seconds to read without giving any value to the guest?

You may have an excellent open rate, but if your emails are too long, most guests won't even give it a chance; they won't see the value in giving you that much of their time.

Got 60 seconds? Check out the video

Monday, March 1, 2021

What about the tire kickers?

It would be great if everyone who visited your website were there to make a reservation or get directions for a visit.
But that's not the reality.
Most people are on your website because they are checking you out.
They are deciding if they should come to your restaurant.
They are deciding if you are worthy of their business.

And even if they decide yes, they may not be ready to commit to making a reservation.

So how do you capture the attention of those people?
Push them to follow you on social media so they can be part of a crowd? Or do you exchange an incentive for an email address and a name so now you can have a personal connection?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Send Emails

Email stands for electronic mail. Not newsletters, not junk or spam but mail.

If you treat your contact list the same as you would your personal contacts by creating conversations, people will get excited to open a message from you.

Make your emails personalized, engaging, and short. If you have lots to say, link to a landing page with more information and let the customer decide if they want to learn more.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Automation

This is the best part of an email marketing strategy.

Doing email right can create a spider web of connections.

Creating a layout of emails that go out automatically can give you a step ahead in building a relationship.

Unlike your social media accounts, where you must create and post content all the time, you can build sequences of emails that go out based on contact interactions with your email strategy.

As things change in your business, you can update the individual emails' content without recreating a new structure.

When you have a new email contact sign up, you can send them an instant welcome message series to inform what makes your company unique.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ownership

No one owns their social media accounts, social media not only controls who sees our posts and when they see them, they also have a right to inactivate or delete your account at any time for any reason.

Email, by contrast, is an asset you own. Although it is hugely frowned upon selling or renting your list, it still adds significant value to your business. You can take your list with you and use it on your choice of platforms to send out messages. Would you rather have a business with 10K social media followers or 10K engaged email contacts?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Reporting

Email gives you the power to learn more about your online community.

Campaign reporting features can tell you who is opening your emails, what links they are clicking on, and more.

Being able to send a new message based on the customer's interaction with a previous message (opens and click) helps you refine your strategy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Instant & direct line of communication with your community

When you hit send on your email campaign, usually within minutes, that message is delivered to that contact's inbox. You are grabbing their attention in that moment.

Most social media platforms limit how many people see your post, and it is not delivered as soon as it is posted.

Email lives in that contact's inbox until they make a conscious effort to open it, ignore it, or delete it. Regardless, your message was seen, even if it was only the from name and the subject line.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Personalization

Why you need to build an email list and use it.

Personalization

While social media is like using a megaphone in a crowded field, email can be personalized using the contact information to merge with each connection, making it unique to that customer. Not only can you start your email with a personal greeting using their name, but by asking questions and learning about the contacts on your list, you can make sure to send them the right message at the right time.

Monday, February 22, 2021

You need to have an engine.

In the book Business Made Simple, Donald uses the reference of an airplane to describe a business's components.
Most restaurants focus on the operations, the food and the service, the actual product they are selling. But just because you have an amazing product doesn't mean you are a thriving restaurant.

The engine of your restaurant is marketing and sales—this is what accelerates your business into profitability.

To have a successful restaurant, you need to invest in your engines.

But don't take our word for it; read the book. Donald Miller, Business Made Simple

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Your budget isn't big enough.

With 91% of people tying your restaurant based on a friend or family recommendation, you need to build a network of superfans.

The big chains do radio and billboards, and even TV advertising cause their marketing budget is more than your revenue. They can afford to have branding in every corner. So how do you compete?

Superfans, build an engaging network that can promote your restaurant to the people you can't afford to advertise to. Reward these superfans for being engaged and referring their friends and family.

Take care of your superfans, and they will take care of you!

Got 60 seconds? Check out the video.

Saturday, February 20, 2021