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Create a VIP Restaurant Marketing Program

Restaurant Marketing - July 06, 2016 Written By: Kevin Tam

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Many bar operators do not collect their customers contact information for their restaurant marketing program, nor do they have a follow-up strategy to communicate continuously with their clients outside of the restaurant or bar. The policy of keeping a list of your present customers email address and preferences is a cost effective way to increase sales and get new customers into your bar. Here are three reasons why you need to keep an internal list of all your regular guests and start marketing directly to them:

1.) VIP Treatment
Keeping track of your customers, email addresses, birthdays and their preferences can be gold for your business. "Johnny V" Vassallo from Mo's restaurants in Houston TX, Indianapolis, IN and Milwa
ukee, WI famously built his business using this strategy. Johnny keeps track of his VIP customers in depth and uses the data like no other. His entire staff is trained and tested to know every detail about their VIP customers; birthdays, spouses name, drink & meal preferences and more. If Johnny V sees one of his VIP customers eating at another restaurant, he will even cover their tab just to remind them who cares most and provides the best service.

If this level of VIP treatment happened to you, how many people would you tell about it?

2.) Referrals

Your satisfied current guests are the best source for new people coming in the door. While most people know this instinctively, most do not have an active strategy for stimulating referrals. It is treated as a random occurrence instead of a normal part of a process. The fundamental way to generate referrals is by providing extraordinary levels of service and consistently exceeding guest expectations. Every transaction must feel personal and memorable if you want them to lead to repeat customers and referrals. If you take extra steps to make everyone’s experience at your restaurant is top-notch, you will get more referrals.

3.) Cost

It is much, much cheaper to get a regular to return to your bar than it is to generate a brand new person who has never been to your venue before. Many times, operators underestimate just how little it takes to get a person to return for a repeat visit. Sometimes all it takes is a post card, birthday card, or newsletter, which is only about $2 worth of postage and printing. Over the course of the year, it costs $24 per person from this one method. Compare that to the average cost of customer acquisition, which according to a 2012 CMO Council Survey, indicated that new customers from mailers average cost are $51 per response. Restaurant Impossible celebrity chef, Robert Irvine recently stated in an interview that “it is a well-known fact of business that customer retention is much more cost-effective than customer acquisition." For the most cost-effective method for keeping people in your bar, look to satisfy the guest expectations already inside your business and start all of your marketing with them.

Johnny V from Mo's also uses Bevinco Bar inventory service to keep tabs on inventory and profitability. To learn more about Bevinco and Sculpture Hospitality, sign up for updates from our blog.


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