Here’s another quick low-to-no cost ideas for building your restaurant and/or
9) Start a Pet Club
Pet owners are a loyal and close-knit group. They are great in number and
mighty in spending power. If you have a patio or outdoor seating, consider
designating a slower day/night/or time as Pet Club Day/Night/Time. Be sure to
post it and warn all non-pet club guests ahead of time.
Allow dog owners to bring their dogs, and offer special accommodations for
their pets. While it can have its raucous moments, many outdoor restaurants have
had great success with this concept. A great place to start would be to enlist
the aid and perhaps sponsorship of the local pet store proprietors. They can
also get the word out. You can also poll your team members and identify and
involve the most ardent animal lovers to assist in promoting and implementing
As always, be sure to get names, contact information, email addresses of both
pet and owner. Check local health department ordinances and be aware what on
your menu animals can or shouldn’t eat. [Source: saw this in a busy outdoor cafe
in Atlanta that had built a great Thursday evening Pet Club.]
Pet Club callout:
We remember one of the most frequent customers of a Morrone’s Italian Ice
franchise location in Philadelphia was a dog. The dog’s owner once fed him
Morrone’s Italian Ice and Fido was hooked. If they drove by, the dog would howl
until they turned around and went back. And he wouldn’t accept the hard
store-bought kind. It had to be Morrone’s. Once when the owners were traveling
to Europe, they brought a week’s supply to the Kennel with strict instructions
to make it last all week. The dog brought them back 3-4 times per week. The
Morrone’s franchise owner kept a picture of the Fido in her office, right next
to her financial statement.
What’s most important in raising your sales isn’t so much what you do,
but that you start doing it.
“There is no try. There is only do.” Yoda
Sean Kelly is a 20 year veteran of the franchise industry, and founder of the
award-winning marketing firm IdeaFarm. In 2006, he founded the FranBest franchise network, best franchise opportunities, the top new franchises, franchise marketing, franchise public relations and small business marketing. Contact
him at seankelly[at]ideafarm.net.