Today I want to tell you how a few weeks ago I won a client at a private restaurant visit and received an unexpected fee.
Why am I talking about a surprising windfall?
Well, because it involved money, which my new client didn't actually plan to invest in my work. But I admit that this term also seemed particularly suitable to me because it makes a rather catchy title for this article.
But of course I didn't want to pique your curiosity with this post title just to waste your valuable time. Believe me, you too can capitalize on what I am about to tell you.
A good meal started
A special occasion is not always necessary for a cozy dinner for two in a good restaurant. And so, just like that, I recently invited my husband to eat at an Italian restaurant whose kitchen had been recommended to us by a friend.
The ambience made a very good impression and we felt right at home there. Beforehand we enjoyed a carpaccio, for the main course my husband ordered homemade spaghetti and I ate a stone oven pizza. We drank a bottle of red wine and treated ourselves to a tiramisu for dessert.
The food was fantastic but the restaurant was moderately busy for a Friday night and I was puzzled by that.
After I had asked the waiter for the bill, the chef himself came out of the kitchen a little later, sat down at our table and offered us a grappa to finish.
We got talking and I asked him if he had more guests at other times, because after all the food was excellent and the service excellent.
He thanked us warmly for the compliment and finally told us that he wasn't satisfied and wished for more customers, but didn't know how to do that. "I've even thought about making a website, although I don't know much about the internet and I don't know anyone who could help me," he complained and continued: "Vabbe', the restaurant simply needs to be better known and I wish people would find out more about us, somehow find us, fall in love with our restaurant and our food, and eventually become our regulars. Oh, if only I knew how to do that!"
"Hmm", I thought, the man can be helped!
"The problem should be manageable. Wouldn't I be just the right woman to solve this task?" It crossed my mind. I don't own a marketing agency, but I had the confidence to help this man.
"I think I can help you sort this out. I have an idea," I said. "Give me two or three days and I'll come back and give you my suggestions," I added, and we finally arranged to meet up for a second dinner on the Saturday of the following week.
So I had enough time to prepare accordingly. I felt I knew exactly what this man needed to increase the appeal of his restaurant.
First of all, you need a well-made website. And then there would have to be proper traffic and the interest of the visitors would have to be aroused so much that their mouths would water just by surfing the web.
The website is and remains the identity card of every catering business these days and I am not exaggerating when I say that a well-designed website is a real marketing weapon.
Not only can you use it to attract many guests to the restaurant, but you can also keep in touch with them. The guests like to inform themselves in advance online about the daily offer, the prices, new dishes and drinks, and upcoming events.
With a really well-made website that is functional and user-friendly, but also interesting and appealing, Giovanni would quickly become the most famous Italian restaurant in the area.
Content is key – a blog is a must
Search engine optimization through tasty and content-rich information.
Imagine thinking you have a nice and simple website with all the necessary info such as B. your menu with prices, a few offers and photos for your guests.
But if you then go to Google & Co. enter the name of your city along with the name of your restaurant, your website will not be listed at all in the search results or at best will only appear below, maybe even on page 10, 12 or 18.
Search Engine Optimization means a lot more these days than just having a few backlinks and hiding the search terms in the "keyword" meta tag. This meta tag, which was actually designed for search engines, is no longer taken into account by Google.
A blog offers many benefits. Here you can publish information about your products and ingredients, about your restaurant or related topics.
A website is usually rigid, new content is rarely added. Whatever the reason, everything important is there: menu, philosophy, services, prices, etc.
Unfortunately, precisely this circumstance has been fatal since Google's "Panda update", because pages that rarely or never receive new content are classified as orphaned by Google and are therefore no longer taken into account.
With a blog you fill your website with life!
On the one hand you give your readers valuable tips, on the other hand you refer to your service and your website at every suitable opportunity, which in turn gets new and more visitors, what which in turn has a positive effect on their "Pagerank" on Google.
Newsletter marketing – attract new customers and keep old customers
Sending newsletters is not only so popular because it is particularly inexpensive to implement, but also because a well-done newsletter is one of the most effective ways of addressing customers or prospects.
The fact is that around 44% of e-mail recipients actually make a purchase based on an advertising e-mail and around 33% of recipients open an e-mail simply because of a short and catchy subject line.
So there are numerous levers to make a newsletter successful.
Gathering information – seize every opportunity
Every piece of information about guests, no matter how small, is helpful: cell phone numbers and e-mails from guests are the basis for direct marketing.
Make very special offers to all guests who sign up for the newsletter on your website.
Creating added value for customers – with QR codes
QR codes are essentially two-dimensional barcodes, except they are made up of dots, not bars. In them, for example, the link to a website can be accommodated. You photograph the code with an application on your smartphone.
The QR code is particularly suitable for generating new subscribers for your newsletter.
So print the code on your menus, brochures, receipts and advertisements. However, be sure to write what your guests can expect in terms of added value when you scan the code.
This could be, for example, additional information, special offers, discounts or small gifts. But don't disappoint these users! If you're sending them to a URL, that's a classic landing page. And like any landing page, it needs to offer visitors something perfectly tailored to their usage situation. Users are often on the go: a page adapted for mobile devices (responsive design) is therefore a must.
However, a QR code does not always have to be just a link to your website. Also think of links to Facebook or other services.
"Responsive" web design, combined with a very short loading time, makes the website as "mobile" as the guests
The behavior of your guests is changing. Research shows that 75% of smartphone users search (and find) information about desired restaurants when leaving their home and that as many as 50% of them do the search in the car.
People are already "sticking" to their cell phones. This is an important reason why restaurant owners should also follow the latest marketing trends in order to attract new customers and not lose old ones.
Google rates responsive design as a plus for the ranking factor!
But with responsive design, pay particular attention to the loading speed on smartphones.
Because 61% of users will not return to a website that is not mobile-friendly and 57% of online store users will leave a website that is too slow to buy from another provider.
Social Media Marketing
More and more companies and the self-employed are using the diverse marketing opportunities that Facebook, Google and other services offer today by creating their own Fan Page. But why is this so important? The answer is basically so banal that it is often simply overlooked:
Your customers are also on Facebook, Google and Co.!
It remains to be mentioned that in the context of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the advantages of a well-visited Fan Page are of course also obvious.
So today we speak of so-called "Social SEO" when it comes to the positive influence of such Fan Pages on the ranking of a website.
On your Fan Page you can quickly and easily publish news from your restaurant and your food that will be read.
However, it is important that you not only use your fan page as a mouthpiece, but also that you let your guests have their say and start a conversation with them.
Draw attention to your business and listen to your guests!
One should never reckon without the landlord
So now I was ready for the meeting and well prepared. I had developed many ideas to make the restaurant well-known and popular, and I was really looking forward to the appointment with Mr. Cavallo.
Saturday came and after a good meal I explained my plan to him in detail. Mr. Cavallo listened to me attentively for almost an hour. He rarely interrupted me, but he wanted to know some things in more detail and therefore asked questions. He listened to me so thoughtfully, as if he were constantly comparing and considering, and now and then writing something on a torn piece of paper.
At the end of my presentation, he then asked me a few additional questions, referring to his notes, and I went to great lengths to explain everything to him in an exhaustive and understandable way.
Finally, he relaxed back in his chair, expertly cut a Havana, lit it up in style with a wood chip from the fireplace, took a few puffs with relish, holding the smoke in his mouth for a few seconds each time to savor the flavor and then slowly breathed it out.
After the last puff he formed his mouth into an almost circular opening, let out a short cough and blew 5 smoke rings in quick succession into the air. Then he put the cigar on the edge of his ashtray and looked deep into my eyes for what felt like a minute.
Finally he said, "You've convinced me. I'm thrilled," gave me his hand in a firm handshake and continued, "You've got the job. Make something of it. I'm counting on you!"
What can I say, not only Mr. Cavallo was enthusiastic, but me too!
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