There is a new restaurant in my hometown that I just have to tell you about. Not for their food (which is fantastic, by the way) but because of their marketing. It almost leaves me speechless. (Almost, because, as my wife would tell you, I’m never completely speechless!) They’ve been open only a few months and I’m not sure they’ve ever had a slow period.
And they’ve done this with no advertising.
I know new businesses often have a honeymoon period where they get a lot of traffic simply because they’re new. But I don’t think that’s the case here. Their traffic is too steady and too strong. And their customers are loyal. You see a lot of the same people there time and time again.
What’s even more amazing is they have accomplished this in a new development that has not had much retail traffic. In fact, I suspect since their opening, the majority of people coming to this development are there because of this new restaurant.
How have the owners of this small restaurant reached this marketing nirvana? Well I won’t claim to have all the answers but I do have some thoughts about how they achieved this.
The owners of this restaurant are smart. They saw a huge demand for this type of restaurant in this location. It would have been easy to miss the demand too because the location is in an older, redeveloping area that has never had much retail traffic. By locating there they blazed a trail, of sorts. They took some risk by being first but it worked. And I don’t think it was luck either. I think it was a calculated risk by people who understand their market and their industry.
The proprietors of this restaurant own another restaurant in the area. It’s well known and well regarded. So, people already knew their brand. By attaching their name to their new restaurant they leveraged the existing value of their brand.
They did a very good job of getting people talking about the restaurant months before it opened. From “coming soon” signs in the windows to an article in the local newspaper, they had a strong buzz going that crescendoed dramatically when they opened their doors.
Another brilliant move they made was to have two trial days. They invited people from the community to enjoy complimentary “VIP” meals as a way for them to practice before they opened. What a great way to make a lot of new friends! By doing this they created a connection with a lot of people who became paying customers.
Since day one the food and service has been nothing short of superb. They clearly have worked hard to deliver a unique and high quality product and they have done it well. There’s no better marketing than a great product!
Like icing on the cake, this business benefits from all of the above AND the folks who run it are nice people. We’ve all done business with people who are very good at what they do but perhaps lacking in warmth and personality. Not so with this restaurant. The owners and employees are all genuinely nice people who seem to enjoy their work and the customers.
So, there you have it, a veritable ‘Perfect Storm’ of local marketing. And while this situation is not something every local business can replicate it can offer loads of lessons for us as we look at our own businesses and how to grow them with better local marketing. My thanks to the owners of this restaurant for providing us with today’s lesson!