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How marketing skills helped turn a restaurant from a money-loser to a winner!
I realize I'm mostly "preaching to the converted" here, but...
I just thought I'd share a recent experience I've had.
About 9 months ago or so, I befriended a restaurant/cafe owner, who was losing money... Part of the problem was his restaurant had a unique cuisine, from a specific part of the world. In fact, it was so unique - his was the only restaurant in my city's greater metropolitan area (with around 4 million people) with that style of cuisine!
People didn't recognize the cuisine... so they didn't come. Also, he was probably in the "wrong" part of town for a quality restaurant/cafe with exotic cuisine...
Anyway, I liked him, and I liked his cafe, and I didn't want it to close (since I liked going there) - so I decided to help him for free. With his permission, I created a simple, one-page website for his restaurant. I used my copywriting skills to make sure the restaurant sounded enticing from the website. I also helped to get him listed in various restaurant-review websites.
I also wrote a press release for his restaurant, and sent it to the local papers.
The result? Back then, his restaurant was losing money, and it was questionable whether he would survive.
Now, 7 or 8 months since I started helping him, things have turned around - financially, his business is "in the black," though he still needs to grow (and it is growing)! It's a big change from when he was struggling to pay his rent every month!
He gets two kinds of customers. There are the locals, who come because they live or work close by.
However, there is now another kind of customer. People who sometimes drive halfway across the city to go to his restaurant!
After the press release we did, he got an article about his cafe/restaurant in a local area newspaper. A few months after that (probably helped by the earlier article), he got a glowing full-page review in one of the major metropolitan newspapers!
The people who drive across town to go to his restaurant seem to come from two sources - some from the major newspaper review, and others from the restaurant-review websites. (People go from those websites, click on the link to his own restaurant website which I created, then either come in or call to make a booking.)
We're not yet "capturing" restaurant customer email addresses - but we have plans to start doing that in the next month or so. The idea is we can then send out a weekly email, with useful information, which also promotes the restaurant in order to "remind" customers to return...
I must say, knowing I played a role in this really "drives home" the power of even basic marketing skills. It's amazing to me, that 99% of the people in the restaurant industry don't have the marketing skills a lot of people on this forum take for granted...
If you "jump into" a field where many others don't have great marketing skills - you really have a kind of "super power" where your marketing skills can make a huge difference (and is a big competitive advantage)!
If you don't have marketing skills yourself - then be sure to work on getting some... It's important to all business success!
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