Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes but they are no different to other businesses. Create regular, loyal customers who keep coming back and act as ambassadors for your business, and you’ll increase your bottom line.
Let’s imagine you’re a relatively small but quality café in a suburban location. You offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, as dine in or takeaway, and you have a wholesale business catering for corporate morning teas, lunches etc.
The wholesale business is the major money generator, the café, although modestly profitable, is really an awareness-raising opportunity. This Strategy details an easy step-by-step process to create email campaigns that work – we will show you have to find new customers, retain your existing customers and cross-sell your various products and services.
Identify who is your customer.
Let’s imagine you’re a relatively small but quality café in a suburban location. You offer breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, as dine in or takeaway, and you have a wholesale business catering for corporate morning teas, lunches etc. The wholesale business is the major money generator, the café, although modestly profitable, is really an awareness-raising opportunity.
Our Restaurant Marketing Strategy concentrates on the money making area of the business – the wholesale business. Your customers are the surrounding businesses in your area. It’s likely to be the Managing Director’s PA or the receptionist, who is tasked with organizing the function. They order and pick up themselves, or there is a charge for delivering.
What do you want to do?
To make it easy for you, ideally orders should be lodged at least 2 hours before they are due to be delivered. To make it easy for them, they would like you to deliver.
So let’s make it really easy for them to order and for you to provide your fantastic service. Create a database of regular customers (Friends of the Cafe) who are rewarded for placing early orders.
How are you going to do it?
Load the current database into Echoplus software (the current number of customers should be noted as the baseline).
Send a direct mail to businesses in the area and an email to the current database addressed to the "Functions Organizer", inviting them to join the Friends of the Café.
The offer is that as a FRIEND, provided they lodge their order 2 hours before delivery is required, delivery is absolutely FREE (qualify the area). Register your company details on line now and we’ll enter you into a draw for a FREE morning tea for the office. Customers register on line on your website.
Don’t forget to say Thank you
Every customer that registers gets a thank you email acknowledging their entry into the draw. You can also include a survey. When you are planning the data you want to capture in the survey, think about what might be useful to your business.
Questions could include:
Approximate size of the company
Name of who is responsible for organizing the catering.
Dates of any known events they like to cater for e.g. Founders day, Easter, etc.
Anything else you can think of.
Customers are encouraged to complete the survey to help you understand them better.
When to communicate with your members?
Key dates: Whenever you contact your database it must be with information they want to receive. As a FRIEND they can be send special deals ahead of traditional advertising for say Christmas functions, Melbourne Cup and anything else that has specific date.
Key events: Consider creating special nights showcasing a new menu.
Customer specific dates: You can create Set and Forget emails that are date specific to every FRIEND e.g. a reminder 1 week prior, to book a table for their anniversary, birthday or other important date. A good idea is at the end of each day, send a thank you email to everyone who ordered that day.
Becoming the "expert": E-newsletters can be sent out at intervals during the year – the content aims to establish you as the "expert" in corporate catering. Include tips on how to cater for large number, small numbers, evening events, you could refer support organizations such as furniture hire. Newsletters are also ideal to cross sell your products and services – e.g. you might go into wedding catering, or outdoor catering.
How do you measure success?
Conduct 6 monthly surveys of the Friends to measure key criteria – price, service, turnaround time, etc. Every completed survey gets a reward – voucher for 2 for 1 coffee and cake at the cafe.
Build Build Build! The mail out - Invitation to join the Friends of the Café - should be repeated at intervals targeting new businesses in the surrounding area.