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  • Two steps to creating an emotional connection with your restaurant’s guests
    connections with your guests that drive their need to come to you In the past two years we have talked about focusing on your regulars because they are your most profitable customers We have also talked about spending your marketing and promotion dollars on what works and getting rid of everything that does not clearly make you money Getting to the next level is all about tapping into your customers emotions Big chains sometimes think of this as brand building It s not just for chains however it works for independents too If you can deliver an experience to your guest in a way that really matters you have an advantage that is very hard to beat In fact restaurants that tap into their guest s most powerful emotions can become impossible to beat So what does a powerful emotional connection look like Some examples include That high end coffee shop that is a badge and lets guests attach that high end feeling to themselves creating loyalty to how they feel That restaurant that creates sights sounds tastes and aromas that connect guests subconsciously to memories from the happiest times of their childhood creates loyalty to the way they feel That restaurant that makes mom feel pride because she is making good choices for her family and because her children eat with delight creates loyalty to the way she feels When you help someone feel in a deep visceral way you are selling something more powerful than just food beverage service and atmosphere You are selling emotional benefits that your guests don t get from your competitors If you create fierce loyalty you have a formula that cannot be beat Fiercely loyal guests Are repeat customers that often refuse to go anywhere else Are advocates They give you rave reviews

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/emotionalconnectionrestaurantguests.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Restaurant marketing outside the box
    the ears of the hockey fans it wanted to target It connected close to the community Our guests are huge hockey fans so we wanted to do something that recognized their passion for hockey and show we have courage to change our brand Leverages loyalty Hudson s Canadian Tap House a chain of Canadiana themed bars in Alberta and Saskatchewan tries to stay top of mind through a clever promotion that capitalizes on the status of another company s iconic loyalty program Each Canada Day every Hudson s location accepts Canadian Tire money at par President Mike Yasinski said he first tried it for a new location in Edmonton The next day he was on the front page of the Edmonton Journal holding a Canadian Tire dollar next to an article about the grand opening From a marketing perspective it was awesome free advertising It s a neat little hook and the media bought right into it he said Hudson s doesn t track the exact number of customers the promotion draws in but Yasinski says the chain pulled in 3 000 in Canadian Tire money one year much of it in five cent denominations The best part is the promotion doesn t really cost the chain anything in the long run Stores use the cash to buy general maintenance items for the business at Canadian Tire Marketing expert Hone says Hudson s strategy is smart I don t think there s anyone in Canada who hasn t been to Canadian Tire so the fact they can use another brand s loyalty program in order to create loyalty with their own customer base is pretty unique They don t have to educate people about how it works she said Domino effect Diane Chiasson president of Chiasson Consultants in Toronto says loyalty programs even small ones like rewarding referrals with a discount can have a big effect on word of mouth advertising If I get something for the fact that I bring you in new customers and I get a discount for my next meal maybe I m going to talk to 50 people about your place she says Events like holding a special barbecue for loyal clients can keep customers craving more and can also be easy on the pocket book if you seek sponsorship from your food or alcohol suppliers Smaller chains and independents may not have the resources the big guys do but they can still use fresh marketing techniques to attract new and repeat customers Brenda O Reilly owner of Yellowbelly Brewery and O Reilly s bar in St John s has positioned herself as an expert on East Coast and Irish music that she features at her bar Through hosting a 20 minute on air segment on competing St John s radio stations on Sunday mornings she s covered off all her bases Anyone who is listening to that genre of radio in Newfoundland they re going to hear me she says Targets music lovers O

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Restaurantmarketingoutsidethebox.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Tips for attracting diners during the fall/autumn season
    during the fall season By Barbara MacDonald August 25 2011 Leave a comment As the season changes from summer to fall our attention tends to turn to the inside of our establishments While interiors are ever important please don t forget to spruce up your exterior and make it extra attractive at this time of year Those half dead sparse looking planters need to be cleaned out and themed with fall décor You may not have to put away the patio furniture just yet as everyone likes to hang onto every last day that the temperature allows us to dine outside but it needs to be inviting and suit the season A trip to your local nursery might be all that s in order They typically have an array of fall blooms cornstalks and pumpkins as well as advice especially if you bring some photos of your location A transitional menu may also be in order as evenings become cooler but day time temperatures can still feel summer ish Promoting your seasonal offerings can be a fantastic way to lure in once be diners who haven t frequented your restaurant in a while It s also the time of year when harvest vegetables are plentiful not to mention inexpensive Be sure to market to seasonal guests who may not have been in your vicinity during the summer months Friendly reminders via visits sampling phone calls e mails and signage are all great options With many patrons having children back at school the time pressures again seem to mount A good time to promote quick dinners is right on cue It s also that time when teams and clubs regain momentum so inspiring groups to meet in your venue can also be a big win The harvest is bountiful as should

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/fallmarketing.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Social Media 101 for the foodservice industry
    Many people check their Facebook more often than e mail Utilize everything Facebook has to offer by filling out the info section and adding pictures and videos on a regular basis Try posting pictures of new menu items and embrace the interactive aspect of the website by asking for opinions For example have a mixology contest whereby your Facebook friends can compete to create a new martini for your next drink menu The winner will have the cocktail named after them and will receive a gift certificate It will cost you next to nothing and this type of creative marketing gets people talking Also who wouldn t bring their friends and family to a restaurant that has a drink named after them Hold a similar contest once a month and people will get to know you for it Once people catch on that you re actively involved with the Facebook community they ll check your page more often and be more likely to get their friends involved Be sure to include links to your restaurant s official website as well It can do wonders for site traffic Blog Blogging has been around for a while now It seems everybody and their dog has a blog but for good reason A blog is like an electronic journal It posts your entries in reverse chronological order most recent always on top They often demand a heavier time commitment than other forms of social media but the payback can be significant Try posting a blog entry once a week take a couple of hours to research snap a few pictures and write Talk about yourself interview a star employee tell funny stories and bring your customers behind the scenes Show some pictures of your kitchen staff at work a chef buying fresh produce at the market even you shopping for new wine glasses If you buy a new blender for the bar include a picture and tell everyone how excited you are to make a new type of Pina Colada Encourage comments by asking for flavour suggestions People love feeling a part of something If you bring them into your life a little you ll be surprised how many brand ambassadors you will create Twitter Twitter is fast easy fun and boy does it get around This little blue bird is everywhere and it s getting bigger and bigger every day Twitter is a free microblogging website that allows users to send and receive messages up to 140 characters in size Each message is called a tweet If you ve ever seen TMZ or checked out Perez Hilton you know that every A list celebrity is on Twitter some of whom tweet up to 20 times a day Once you sign up for an account you can tweet using the Twitter website but most people tweet with their cell phone Twitter is a great way for your restaurant to engage your customers instantly Think of it this way every tweet you send is

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/SocialMedia101forrestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Simple and effective staff scheduling at your restaurant
    to these situations On Friday and Saturday when you make most of your money When poor guest flow creates problems that last for hours When you are slowing down which is precisely the time you re most at risk of dropping the ball and creating poor guest experiences Match the flow of employees directly to the flow of guests Build your schedule around how many guests you had last year on the same day of the week and the time they came Figure out the impact of key changes like special events significant weather and trends in guest counts versus the prior year Armed with good information you should be able to get better at scheduling your people when your guests need them there Have your staff meeting before most of the guests arrive There is nothing worse than a team that is not ready for the daily rush Get people pumped up and ready for their shift Don t get caught with too many service staff standing around waiting for guests to arrive or not enough staff on the door or the floor when your guests arrive Know what makes your restaurant hum You may be busy and at the same time leaving thousands of dollars on the floor in missed opportunity Do you have enough people on to eliminate the times in your service sequence that guests do not value Watch for signs where you can do better a constant line up at the door with lots of table tops not seated poor seating configuration with more than 30 per cent open seats longer than normal chit times or a wave in the kitchen guests waiting for their bills a lineup of servers at the POS system waiting to process orders or bills irritated faces and not enough

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Staffscheduling.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Eight items to consider when drafting a social media policy
    identifies itself as a separate entity who is not representing the franchisor Displaying a link to the franchisor s main website The method by which the franchisor will have the opportunity to approve what is posted and what must be removed Prohibiting the franchisee from making any defamatory statements about the franchisor and possibly the franchisor s competitors Ensuring that the franchisee has permission to post any content which it does not own such as videos music and trademarks Operating the particular social media profile in compliance with that Website s rules and standards Perhaps most important to a franchisor will be settling on a method by which the franchisor or its franchisees will respond to negative comments posted by users This will be a business decision for the franchisor depending on whether it prefers to acknowledge each such critique allow for the free flow of discourse or remove such offending statements entirely There are many marketing advantages in a cohesive social media strategy that can benefit the franchise system as a whole however franchisors must weigh those benefits against the control of the brand which they may be forfeiting to a certain degree Social media can be an invaluable marketing tool for promoting a particular franchise brand However a franchisor s establishment of a social media profile is not as simple as an individual s registration of a Facebook or Twitter account There are multiple variables that need to be considered when implementing a social media page for a franchise and one that franchisors should always be mindful of is privacy law Personal information privacy law exists in Canada to protect individuals from the collection disclosure use and retention of their personal information Personal information is generally understood to mean information about an identifiable individual but does not include

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Socialmediapolicy.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Groupon for restaurants – discount vs. marketing?
    in the Greater Toronto Area alone and is offered across Canada and the United States with its roots in Chicago The Website allows a localized listing by city of each of its deals I immediately signed up and started following the daily offerings for the Toronto area As I was planning to travel over the winter holidays I added a couple of cities near where I would be staying to my Groupon profile So every morning offers from Toronto Tampa Miami and New York ranging from spa services tickets to shows dining experiences outdoor activities and retail shopping popped up in my inbox I could also opt for the phone app to speed up the purchase and redemption process As a subscriber it was a no brainer But what would be the benefit of becoming a Groupon merchant Our goal at Mildred s Temple Kitchen has been to introduce a new demographic to a re branded restaurant that s been around for nearly 20 years and to turn these customers into loyal guests Was Groupon the right way to go It appeared that it could be a costly game to involve my restaurant in I sourced out a variety of businesses who had already taken part in the Groupon experience There were enough positive responses to give me the push to contact the Groupon team The sales reps from Chicago did an amazing job explaining how Groupon works how it could benefit my business and how they set themselves apart from other group discount offers This was important for me as I was discovering more and more group buying concepts in the marketplace What really clinched the deal was the data we would potentially collect by participating After signing on our rep worked diligently with us establishing what our offer

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/GrouponforRestaurants.aspx (2016-02-14)
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  • Trends Affecting Food Safety
    Uruguay India Canada Mexico or Argentina Calcium propionate from the Netherlands Guar gum from India Flour enrichments from China Beta carotene from Switzerland Vitamin D3 from China Many of the countries that are providing raw ingredients are emerging economies with tough competition and in some cases questionable enforcement of quality standards i e China and melamine used in milk products to cut cost of production Water quality sanitation and hygiene are real problems that require oversight While international auditing of foreign suppliers is becoming more commonplace so is counterfeiting of certification documents Size matters For decades agriculture and processing of food has trended from many smaller regional players to fewer factory farms and processing facilities While many of these operations have very good quality control systems when there is a failure the scope of a problem can be enormous In recent years outbreaks from large growers and processors have affected people in all parts of North America Slow local organic The modern pace of life complexity of global food supplies and fears about what is in the food has driven many consumers to take comfort in simpler more local foods witness the 100 mile diet Of course there is nothing simple about trying to eat local in the dead of winter in Canada when we have become used to raspberries in December not to mention a cup of coffee in the morning Organic food offers a perception of comfort to those who have concerns about pesticides hormones and genetic modifications However it is important to note that pathogenic bacteria are also organic and can render the food quite dangerous if not treated with the respect any potentially dangerous food demands Dealing with the trends The global marketplace is going to continue to grow and large companies will continue to expand

    Original URL path: http://www.restaurantcentral.ca/Foodsafetytrends.aspx (2016-02-14)
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