In South Africa we have a popular saying which is “You snooze you lose” which simply means; if you procrastinate about doing something someone else will get it done and you will lose out on the benefit of being the first. It’s with little surprise that you will find many South Africans have an engrained entrepreneurial streak in them…we don’t like losing, so we try not to snooze.
Now why am I going on about this…I will tell you why!
A few weekends ago I was at a well know karting track with a group of friends and the place was full of men aged 16 to 30+ (Bang on the mark when it comes to smartphone ownership and usage) doing what boys do and having a whale of a time racing karts.
As I sat there what I did notice was that the chaps not racing had mobile phones in their hands. Using the phone’s camera and in general using their phones presumably texting, tweeting….. What an opportunity to engage directly with these individuals and to get them to advocate this experience with all their friend, fans and followers by giving them an appropriate channel to do exactly that…..the answers is in their hands or in their pockets 24/7. Trust me 99.9% of these chaps don’t go anywhere without their phones …and 99.9% of these chaps have a smartphone (fact).
This place is screaming out for an app – a mobile web app and a dedicated app.
The mobile web app is the reactive channel – it's there for when people are searching for you on their mobile phones and
the dedicated app is the proactive channel - reminding the phone owner that you exist, what you do, what’s happening, giving them the ability to check and compare their lap times, take photos and log their experience to keep, to send you feedback directly, to contact you directly and provide them with a tool that facilitates them to share this awesome experience through their social network all in one place at their fingertips. A channel that you can send a push notification to reminding your app user of an event or rewarding them with an exclusive offer.
So now what was the response of the MD of this company when I approached him ….."We are a long way from making a decision on apps as our existing software house and web developers are planning a mobile web version of our site anyway and we will need to see if that suffices"
Guess what …YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE!!
A couple of days ago I was reading a blog headed “Why Restaurants Fail” by a company in the States called Harrison Marketing, a company that has over 20 years’ experience in assisting Restaurants with their marketing. Having read the blog it became blatantly obvious that what they were talking about was just not relevant to Restaurants but all service based businesses.
The conclusion in simple: you should not spend most of your time focused on getting new customers/clients but spend most of it looking after your existing clients, engaging with them and getting them to advocate your business. Having existing customers advocating your business leads to new (good) business and customers whom in turn you turn into loyal, advocates and so the cycle continues.
Besides the traditional ways of achieving this and the use of social media the next step is to use todays’ technology to facilitate this loyal customer engagement and management and this comes in the form of a dedicated app.
What better way to keep your customers and clients up to date with your services and events, reward their loyalty and provide them with a tool to share and hence advocate your business to their friend, fans and followers than on their smartphones in one place with minimal effort? This is exactly what is accomplished by a dedicated smartphone app.
Yes I hear you say the cost of such an app is thousands of pounds but no its not because for as little as £50 per month you could have your own branded, customised dedicated app with your own online content management system to update the app in real time and all you need to do is ask.
Below is the blog that I read and would like to share with you (via www.harrisonmarketingmd.com @chefpaul9828)
“Let’s take out poor cash management, poor location, poor lease negotiations, etc. from the picture for a minute. We have worked with many restaurants helping with operations and marketing. I am always amazed how many restaurants think they can make it if they if they have good food and service. Marketing is just something that is an afterthought. I do not mean marketing in the traditional sense, but actually being a marketing-centric company as opposed to a sales-centric company. Not sure of the difference?
Marketing-centric companies understand that marketing involves every facet of their business. From the second a customer pulls into the parking lot. How they are greeted, staff training, pricing, sales, PR product development, packaging, and customer service.
We all know the old 80/20 rule. 80 % of sales usually comes from 20% of your customers. So why do some restaurants try so hard to get new customers. The reason is they have failed at satisfying their existing customers’ needs. It is so much easier to increase customer loyally (and cheaper) than having to promote your establishment for new clients. Problem is, this escapes so many business owners.
Think about if you could just increase volume from your existing clients from say, 15, to 50%. These clients are the one you want to target and keep happy. This is why having a well-trained staff that are happy to be there will serve you well.
Bottom line, train your staff, take care of every client as if they are your only client, keep them up to date on what’s happening at your establishment, create loyalty programs for them, and I guarantee, you won’t spend a ton of money trying to find new customers."
The Hospitality Network and Simon Lazarus PR present
A DAY OF WORKSHOPS FOR INDEPENDENT RESTAURANTS
Monday 30th January – Central London
2012 is going to be a challenging year for London. This seminar will help kick start your business at the start of this exciting and very eventful year. You will hear inspirational and practical presentations from respected restaurant personalities such as Iqbal Wahhab, founder of Roast at iconic Borough Market and Peter Harden of Harden’s Guides.
By attending you will gain:
– New Ideas
– The ability to win more clients
– The chance to meet and connect with like minded industry colleagues
We will be running three very different sessions and you have the choice of attending one, two or all three. The more you attend the more you will learn!
At the end of the day (Three workshops) you will have benefitted from:
– Returning to marketing basics
– An update on the best in current marketing for independent restaurants
– Practical hints and tips
– Inspiration from key industry gurus
– Thinking time away from your business
One session £30 + VAT
Two sessions £50 + VAT
Three sessions £65 + VAT
We believe in the best for the industry, so £1 for each booking will be donated to the Clink Charity www.theclinkcharity.com
MARKETING IN A COLD CLIMATE – THE PROGRAMME
Session 1 - MARKETING ESSENTIALS
9.30 – 10.00 Registration and networking
10.00-10.15 Welcome from Ashley de Safrin of the Hospitality Network
10.15-10.40 Old fashioned marketing – back to basics – Ashley de Safrin Partner THE HOSPITALITY NETWORK
10.40-11.05 Top class customer service - how this helps your business Sam Harrison, owner SAM’S BRASSERIE AND HARRISONS
11.05-11.30 Product, Perception, Profit – get the product right and improve your ratings – Peter Harden, HARDENS GUIDES
Session 2 - NEW GENERATION MARKETING
11.30-12.00 Registration and Networking
12.00-12.15 Welcome from Simon Lazarus
12.15—12.40 New approaches to marketing and PR Simon Lazarus, SIMON LAZARUS PR
10.40-11.05 The development of technology in restaurant marketing – Olivia Fitzgerald General Manager UK – LIVEBOOKINGS
13.05-13.30 i-marketing and the APPS revolution. How you can benefit Nelson Da Silva REALTIME SEATING
Session 3 - PERSPIRATION AND INSPIRATION
13.30-14.00 Registration and Networking
14.00-14.15 Welcome from Doug Talbott of the Hospitality Network
14.15-14.40 Low cost marketing – hints and tips Doug Talbott Partner THE HOSPITALITY NETWORK
14.40-15.05 E-mail marketing and growing your database Matthew Kirby FISHBOWL
15.05-15.30 Inspirational Marketing Iqbal Wahhab FOUNDER OF ROAST, BOROUGH MARKET
One session: £25 + VAT
Two sessions: £45 + VAT
Three sessions: £60 + VAT
Its official your restaurant business can now leap into the modern age by taking advantage of new marketing outlets and expanding their brand image. Your customers will interact with your restaurant in a whole new, personal way reinforcing customer retention and word of mouth marketing. Who better to promote your business than your customer?
We have just launched a new model of our iPhone application with all the bells and whistles. The new application now incorporates:
The cost is as affordable as ever with a one off signup fee of $299 (£185) and the monthly hosting will be $99 (£61)
So get ahead of the game and fill in your details in the form below and we will call you to discuss this further with you and answer all your question or call us @ realtimeseating on 0845 862 1062 or email email@example.com
Give your business a boost with a branded mobile application that promotes customer loyalty and word of mouth marketing