Archive for March, 2013

The Power of Madness on Restaurant Marketing

NCAA BracketsLast week my travels took me to Nashville Tennessee to work with one of my clients. It was a good trip but one thing struck me clearly, the power of NCAA Basketball on the local economy.

The NRA reports that business in the restaurant industry was off dramatically during January and February. My clients have expressed similar concerns about their business as well. With this as a backdrop, it was great to be in a city restaurant bustling with activity during tournament weekend in Nashville. Lunch on a Thursday found the restaurant packed with a 10 minute wait.

Later that day  spoke with a client in another city where there was a tournament last year and asked him about the economic impact on his business. He told me that it added a significant boost to his numbers that unfortunately he has to face this year. I think he will do OK because we had put together a great program to take advantage of St. Patty’s Day and the NCAA Brackets Challenge with a tie-in to his loyalty program.

Obviously the NCAA tournament is a great business boost if it is in your city. If it isn’t build an event that takes advantage of the promotion potential that the games bring.

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Do Restaurant Owners Trust Food Distributors

An interesting week it has been!

Several of my conversations this week centered on whether restaurant owners trust their food distributor. Surprisingly, each distributor I spoke with said….. No they don’t and with good reason.

Do food distributors create this sense of mistrust? Broken promises, missed deliveries, and questionable billing issues are some of the potholes in this love hate relationship. The distributor sales rep has to wade through all of these issues to build trust and make it work with their customers. This can be a difficult task in a relationship that for the most part is built on price issues and not on bringing value to the customer.Food Distributors

From a restaurant owner’s perspective, how much time is spent micro managing a relationship that is built on getting the best price? An operator I met with this week was going to great lengths to match up his order guide with other providers just to keep his distributor honest. With multiple locations, this is an important function to manage your profit margin in this economy, but could his time be better served on other activities?

Is there a better way? Growing topline sales is just as important as managing the bottom line, but how many distributors are working with the customers best interest in mind?

Building trust has a long way to go in the food industry.

Sequestration and Restaurant Marketing

February has ended and the consumer is still feeling the effects of the increase in the payroll tax and rising gasoline prices. the Commerce Department has reported that personal income plunged 3.6 percent in January, the biggest drop since January 1993. That’s a tough nut for any restaurant to handle.

Now the government has signed into effect “Sequestration”. While the percent decrease in spending may appear to be minimal on the surface, it may not be for many business’s who will feel the ripple effect. In the area where I live, there is a military installation that is the largest employer in the county. The impending cuts that are talking about will have a significant impact on the surrounding community in many ways. From loss of jobs, to curtailed spending by consumers all the way down to the potential impact on real estate values. Yes “Sequester” is real in this part of the world.

If your restaurant is in a community that will be impacted by “Sequestration” be prepared for the future. Now is the time for action in stabilizing your business. Outlined below are a five steps to consider.rest

  1. Build your customer community. Utilize event marketing to help create activity and drive traffic.
  2. Consumers are looking for “Value Meals”. The chains are great at the “2 for$20” offers that represent value.
  3. Make use of Limited Time Offerings (LTO’S) to offer the consumers variety and improve profit margins with special buys.
  4. Step up your marketing to drive traffic and build loyalty.
  5. Analyze your POS Data to find opportunities for growth in your dayparts.

The recommendations above are important for any restaurant to follow to profitably grow their business. While some communities will not be impacted by government actions, each of us are affected by the payroll tax and rising gasoline prices.

For more information on “Driving Traffic For Your Restaurant” please download our white paper.


CORE Restaurant Marketing

Joe Welsh

Joe Welsh

Joe Welsh is a Partner with CORE Restaurant Marketing Solutions which is a national restaurant marketing agency focusing on helping restaurants improve their sales and profitability. Joe has worked with restaurants on a local and national basis. He has developed and implemented programs for US Foodservice, Gordon Foods and Performance Food Group. Joe has his Master’s Degree in Food Marketing from St. Joseph’s University and over 30 years’ experience in the Food Industry covering both the retail and foodservice sectors.

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