Northern Wisconsin, specifically, Southern Sawyer County has some great food. I mean, we have some GREAT food. However, those who visit the state of Wisconsin for tourism, come for a variety of reasons:
So, the visitors that are coming to the county are spending money, to the tune of $93,000,000+. The question becomes, "how do we get them to come to the southern portion of the county to spend money?"
How do we get them to come to the southern portion of the county to spend money?"
For starters, you can become a member of Explore Southern Sawyer County. Explore Southern Sawyer County is a tourism marketing project designed to market, promote and highlight the businesses in Southern Sawyer County within the communities of Couderay, Radisson, Ojibwa, Winter, Loretta, Draper, Oxbo, Exeland, and Edgewater.
The three areas targeted for promotional activities include:
Restaurant Marketing for Massive Growth
So, let's get right to the point. How do we identify these folks, and get them to come into our establishments in Southern Sawyer County? I'll highlight 5 simple points that we could implement in 2024 to help us see a spike in revenue, and repeat customers.
First Things, First
First things, first. I would like to cover a couple of things. According to a report from Taffer Consulting, these are some of the metrics where most independent restaurants tend to fail, which ultimately limit their growth.
Assuming you have great food and great services, these are the metrics that stifle growth of any food service business like Fine Dining, Table Service Restaurants, Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), Food Trucks, Pizzerias,
Bars, Lounges, Breweries, Wineries with food, or Cideries.
We are assuming you have great food and great service. After all, why would you open a restaurant if you didn't have great food or great service - or both.
1. Mobile Friendly Website
If you do not have a website, you're even further behind. However, if you do have a website and it is not mobile-friendly, you're likely not getting indexed properly by Google, and if they do visit your website, the experience is not always the best when the website is not formatted to fit mobile devices.
63% of restaurants nationwide DO NOT have a mobile friendly website.
Mobile friendly websites are ranking factors for Google to, right next to website structure, and website loading speed. There are a whole series of factors that come into play for websites to rank.
2. Rewards Program
The purpose of marketing isn't to get first time visitors, it is to bring them back in as repeat customers, and hopefully turn them into regulars. The most successful restaurants have a mechanism to collect consumer data, whether it is a loyalty program, a rewards program, or purchasing club program. Starbucks, Red Robin, Chipotle, McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and other larger conglomerate brands have these wonderful programs for buyers to accrue points while making purchases, thus, inspiring repeat purchases.
92% of independent restaurants nationwide DO NOT have a rewards program
65% of revenue from independent restaurants nationwide come from repeat business - the regulars. This means that restaurants are constantly focusing on the churn of the 35% to bring in new customers, meanwhile, the repeat customer and regulars get left in the dust. Rewards and Loyalty Program boost revenue by as much as 25%. If we do the math, that means 90% of your revenue would come from repeat customers. Wouldn't you want a 90% constant flow of customers you can rely on time and time again? Or, would you rather chase down 35% of your revenue month after month on the hamster wheel?
3. Asking to Join Rewards Program
If you do have a rewards program, you or your staff are simply not asking your customes to join. Think of that for a moment. Let's say that you have a rewards program but you're not asking your customers to join. You're not putting forth the effort to grow your revenue up to 25%, inspire repeat purchases, and help those customers become regulars.
98% of restaurants nationwide DO NOT ask their customers to join their rewards program
8% of independent restaurants nationwide have a rewards program, but only 25% of those establishments are asking their customers to join the program. So, 2% of restaurants nationwide are asking their customers to join their rewards program to help inspire future purchases, strive for the 25% increase in revenue, and helping those customers become regulars.
4. Utilizing Email or Text Programs
Text messaging and email marketing programs are very popular, and can wrap right into a loyalty program. The point and purpose of a text or email program is to stay 'top of mind' with your customers. The magic of a text or email program is to provide a consistent flow of messaging that is both of value, and actionable. In short, this does not mean to email your customers every single day with something, or text them every single day. This could mean, every Monday, share your offers for the week, your daily specials, or any special events coming up for that particular week. Some may choose a frequency cadence that is even less, and send a text or email once every month to outline the activities planned for the month. Texting may be a bit more difficult for this action, but you can simple text a link to your newsletter.
83% of restaurants nationwide DO NOT use text or email programs to promote thier offers and stay 'top of mind' with thier repeat customers and regulars.
5. Social Media
I can give an entire week convention on this topic, but i'll keep it short and sweet. Only 78% of independent restaurants nationwide DO NOT see meaningful and visible growth from their social media activities. There are some key elements to this particular point. First, Social Media platforms are all "Pay to Play". Let me explain. You pay to play with their advertising platform. Let me guess, you created a business page, and start inviting people to like and follow. Now, you're at the point where you have hundreds of followings, and in some cases thousands, but your posts only get 8-10 likes, 1 comment and maybe 1 share. Does that sounds about right? There's a reason for this. You must pay to reach those that like and follow your page. You have two options. You can (1) Boost your post, which boosts to the people that like your page and the followers, or (2) you can create an advertisement targeted to a specific audience with specific behaviors, in particular age ranges, etc. Creating content that is shareable is the goal, something people love to see and love to share. Video content is by far the most popular content consumed.
The average person picks up their phone 11 times an hour and checks the following apps/sites:
The restaurant business can be very difficult, but very rewarding. An estimated 60% of restaurants fail within the first year of operation, and 80% fail within their first five years. However, that remaining 20% do go on to see long term growth and success. The goal is to identify areas of opportunity within your business that can lead to consistent revenue, and consistent growth. Many operations will raise their prices as a growth strategy, and in most cases this tends to drive customers away because of rising ticket prices, and rising order prices. Others will load up their menu with other items to satisfy a small minority of customers. For example, a mexican restaurant that adds burgers and fries to the menu, or chicken nuggets. The truly successful restaurants offer a cornerstone menu item, and double or triple down on making those items even better. A burger and beer restaurant will see repeat customers from their amazing burgers and great selection of beers. A fine dining establishment can see substantial success with sticking with their core offerings.
The growth and success of your restaurant or food service business can be improved with some of these strategies identified above. Some of the most successful independent restaurants are staying in contact with with customers and driving repeat business. Businesses can do this by collecting customer information, and using it to generate promotional offers on a weekly or monthly basis. This is a great way to save costs on advertising in costly mediums that delivery no tracking mechanism to determine what is working, and what is not working. Many of the restaurant businesses will say, "This is what we have always done, so that's how we do it today." Times are changing, and consumer behavior patterns are changing. You cannot go to a restaurant or food service business today and help but notice the large amount of people with their phones out. This is a signal that you will want to meet your customers where they spend their time - online.