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Secret Sauce - The Restaurant Marketing Podcast

We discover the ingredients of your Restaurant's secret sauce. SEO, Facebook, Twitter, emails, coupons, yield utilization, USPs, Menu engineering, direct mail, partnerships - there are many ingredients for creating your Secret Sauce and with the right Secret Sauce you can find more customers and turn them into repeat customers. We deconstruct the recipes, so you can increase increase turnover, increase profit and maybe decrease the amount of time you spend working in your Restaurant.
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Secret Sauce - The Restaurant Marketing Podcast
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Aug 15, 2017

Kyle Welter works at Tock, an ethical online booking and restaurant management software company.  

We look at how Google Adwords works for Restaurants.  Not many Restaurants use Google Adwords, but companies like OpenTable and Dimmi use it very aggressively to come between their 'Restaurant partners' and the restaurant customers.

We look at Arbitrage.  This is the process where you buy something in one market and sell it in another market at a higher price. 

Companies like Dimmi and OpenTable use Adwords Arbitrage to steal your customers contact details (and sometimes they don't share them with you!) and as well as creating the impression that it is their marketing that is bringing customers to you, when in fact it is often your existing, regular customers that OpenTable is charging you a higher price to take that booking.

The email address is the easiest way to communicate with your customers and Adwords Arbitrage allows Dimmi and OpenTable to get between your customers 

Online Ordering has very similar practices.  Restaurants are paying 13% commission and not getting the customers email address, so they can't remarket to the customer, they have to rely on JustEat, Menulog or GrubHub to provide them their next customer.  This is how Online Ordering aggregators build dependence on their platforms and extract such high fees for doing it.

The impact for Restaurants can be crippling.  We see Restaurants paying over $1,000 a month in commissions, and some high traffic restaurants can be a lot higher, which for some restaurants can be the difference from staying in business and bankruptcy, or being not profitable and profitable, so the choice of booking or ordering partner is a crucial part of your marketing plan and even your business plan.

We talk about dynamic pricing.  This as an area that Tock specialises in.  Charge more for your peak times, and drive demand out into the shoulder times.  Airlines drive yield utilisation with dynamic pricing and popular restaurants should be looking at charging different prices for different tables, different days and different hours to dine in their restaurant. Dynamic pricing with pre paid bookings significantly decreases no shows as well.

We also talk about the Google knowledge panel and how restaurants can better manage it.

The best advice is to open a chrome browser in incognito mode and search for your Restaurant.  Look at who is running ads and look at the information in the Google Search Panel.  You may want to try different times of the day.  This will give you a really good idea of what your customers are seeing when they Google for your Restaurant.

If you need access to free tools to help your grow your email database without paying commissions and without sharing your customers contact details, check out:

The Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.

The Free Online Restaurant Booking system.

 

 

Aug 7, 2017

We discuss some of the retargetting methods for Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels.  One of the Restaurants featured in the Cheap Eats guide 2017 for Melbourne only had a Menulog website.  It had Google Analytics tag manager and the Facebook Pixel on the website they provided to the restaurant.  Menulog makes a lot of money out of these marketing techniques.  They aren't too hard to set up and every restaurant should have it set up for them.

Chef Shaun Quade's night on Masterchef required a lot of preparation.  We built a website for Restaurant Lume that had the pixel installed, had Google Analytics installed.  It was designed to scale, with a lot of visitors at once and it was designed to show the Restaurant of in the best way.  Chef Quade has some amazing photos of the food and we needed to display them in the best possible way.

The first mistake people make is not having a website. 

The Website had 10 people on the website at once before the show.  The traffic jumped to 50, then to 300 in the space of minutes.  That is 300 people at one time!  It then climbed to 450, 700 and topped out at 1,148 people at once.  The website was serving 25 pages per second.  90% of that traffic was from mobile phones.  This was because people were sitting down watching Masterchef and had their phones with them.

We used an Amazon AWS server to be able to scale so that everyone hitting the server at once would be able to see the website.  Chef Quade had 4 friends appear on Masterchef and all 4 had their websites crash.  It doesn't need to be like that.

Check out the Show Notes to see the video of the traffic that they generated on the night.

Make sure that you have Facebook pixel installed.

Make sure you take bookings online.  Restaurant Lume uses Tock and was able to take $15,000 of bookings in the first 30 minutes of being on Masterchef.  If their website was down, many of those customers would not have come back and so those bookings would have been lost.

The last mistake is using the wrong booking or ordering system.  If you are using Menulog, Just Eat, Delivery Hero, OpenTable, Dimmi or Quandoo, you are sharing or losing your customer contact details AND you are being charged per seat or per order.  This places you at a massive disadvantage compared to those using different systems, like the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering System or the Free Online Restaurant Booking System.

Hopefully you've got some ideas about how to generate your own Masterchef effect and you will be really well prepared with an online marketing strategy for your Restaurant to make sure you capture all of the benefits that you can for your Restaurant.

 

Aug 1, 2017

We talk about the Masterchef Effect.  The Masterchef Effect occurs when your Restaurant gets a huge amount of publicity.  It could be from getting a great review on a popular website, winning an award, have a meal or event go viral or being featured on national TV, like Masterchef.  Too many restaurants aren't prepared for the Masterchef Effect and as such they miss out on the ongoing benefits of their huge Public Relations win.  In this two part podcast, we examine the preparations 20 restaurants have taken after being featured in The Age Top 20 Cheap Eats for 2017 list and what happened to Restaurant Lume when Chef Shaun Quade was featured on Masterchef.

The Age has released the Melbourne's Top 20 Cheap Eats for 2017 list in Melbourne.  Here are 20 restaurants that have done a great job of bringing together a team, the ingredients, the menu, the FOH experience and the marketing.  (No point in having the best restaurant that no one has ever heard of!)  

The Cheap Eats guide has just 3 lines of text about each Restaurant, so people are looking for more information about your Restaurant to make a buying decision.  Without a website, you aren't able to tell the story of your Restaurant that you have put so much work into in any way that does it justice.

 You goal doesn't need to be on Masterchef, but you need to have an attitude that sets you apart. Chan Hon Meng from Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle won a Michelin star and he said that everyone should cook like a Michelin judge is eating in their restaurant everyday.  If you thought like that, how much better would you run your Restaurant?

How can you capitalise on the public relations when you get the Masterchef Effect?

In the Good Food Cheap Eats guide

  • 8 / 20 restaurants did not have a website.
  • 1 restaurant had their website taken down because of too much traffic (!)
  • 1 only had a Menulog website (no phone number, no bookings, no emails :(
  • 6 had Google Analytic on their website
  • 2 had the Facebook Pixel installed (THIS IS A MASSIVE ISSUE!)
  • 1 website was Weebly.  It is cute that Weebly is still around.
  • 1 website had Wix.  Friends don't let friends use Wix.
  • Most common was Wordpress (which is good.) Only 2 had Yoast installed. 
  • Some were using OpenTable (no email addresses)
  • No one was using Dimmi - is Dimmi losing traction in Australia.
  • 1 Restaurant using Menulog.  No emails, just bills.
  • 2 websites weren't mobile optimized.
  • 8 Restaurants had not claimed their Google knowledge panel.  (Your competitors could claim it and tell Google the restaurant is permanently closed)
  • The Zomato reviews were 23% lower than Facebook reviews.  Are Zomato reviews a lot less reliable than Facebook and Google Reviews?

These are some of the critical things that you need to prepare for your next great Public Relations success.

The next episode will cover off the technical procedures to prepare for the Restaurant Lume being featured on Masterchef, including how much traffic was served up over the length of the episode (a lot!!!)

Jul 21, 2017

Hooray - Episode 50.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to the Secret Sauce podcast since we started.

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We look at how a lot of Restaurants miss some fundamental marketing steps and when they get a great public relations win they aren't in a position to capitalise on that win.  Too many restaurants don't have a website, they don't have the Facebook pixel installed, they which means it is a lot harder to build a strong brand and find new customers and turn them into repeat customers.

We discuss what intellectual property and intangible assets.  These can have an impact on the price that you pay when you buy a restaurant and definitely can impact the price of the restaurant that you sell for.

Does a restaurant have an email list?  How big is it and how 

Domain Names - These are sometimes registered by aggegators like Menulog, or they can register a similar name.

Facebook Pages - who is the owner of the Facebook page, who has access to it?

Do you have an unofficial Facebook Page? Is there a site that Facebook created for you?  You need to claim that.

Do you have an unofficial Google My Business account?  You need to claim that and ensure that the information is correct.  We have seen peoples business listed as Permanently Closed and they are still open.  Very few customers would go to a Restaurant that Google has listed as Permanently Closed and unfortunately dodgey competitors may list your restaurant as permanently closed.

Check out your restaurants google listing from an incognito mode browser so that you can see your restaurants as other people will see it.

Look for fake websites.  We see this all the time and there are thousands of restaurant brand jacking websites, set up by shonky online ordering companies.

Brand jacking can mean that you are missing out on all of the emails of your customers.

Check the details of your Google Knowledge Panel.  Many restaurant aggregators can try to hijack the Google Knowledge Panel to hijack your customers.  We look at restaurant adwords arbitrage and how it can be costing your Restaurant tens of thousands of dollars every year.

We talk about how companies like Dimmi can attempt to hijack customers look for your restaurant and drive them to a restaurant using Dimmi.  We wrote an article about what happened to Brae and how Dimmi was trying to steal their customers.

Make a booking at your own restaurant with a new gmail account and see what kind of emails you receive from your booking company.

We finish of with a story of how restaurant aggregators want to minimise the impact of your brand and your story.  The only way that they can stand out in these online ordering platforms is with price, which decreases their ability to really create some awesome food.

If you are having issues with your Google Knowledge Panel, Facebook Page, fake websites or domain name hijackers, please contact the M4R team, we deal with these issues every day and we know the best ways to help you to protect your own intellectual property.

Jul 15, 2017

We talk to Robbie Doyle from Buy Grow Sell about the pitfalls and opportunities in negotiating a Restaurant property lease.

This is particularly topical in Australia, with Sumo Salad putting two leasing companies into Administration because of the difficulties that they have had in negotiating the leases with Westfield.  Westfield, like a lot of shopping centre owners have tried to respond to decreasing retail trade by increasing the experiential opportunities for customers, and this has seen an increase in the number of restaurants in shopping centres with no increase in customers, in fact some shopping centres are seeing decreasing foot traffic.

Where can restaurant owners find properties that have affordable rents?

We discuss some of traps that can be included in a lease offer.

We look at how many restaurant owners buy their property versus leasing.  Buying gives you a friendly landlord, but it is expensive and if the restaurant goes badly, you have a struggling lease and a struggling tenant to deal with at the same time.

What are the different types of lease that are available and how can you structure that with your exit plan, especially when you factor in the fitout costs that will be sunk into the property.  

If you've got questions on Restaurant Leases, Robbie has very generously offered to help you out, so contact him at www.buygrowsell.com.au

Should you get a lawyer to review your Restaurant Lease?  Robbie discusses some of the caveats that can be put onto a lease,  and how they can affect your over the time of the lease.

What are the parts of the lease that are negotiable and how can you get the best terms for your Restaurant?  Robbie provides some great insights into what Landlords can be thinking and the factors that drive the way that they negotiate.

Robbie shares a lot of great insights into the Restaurant Leasing process that can make the process a lot less painful for you the next time that you need to negotiate a lease.

We finish off with the great story of Robbie's first Restaurant.  A talented chef, he was undercapitalised, but with a little out of the box thinking, he was able to get his first start in a Restaurant.  His story has some great ideas in it for those struggle to get the money together to begin their own Restaurant story.

 

Jul 6, 2017

We talk about Kalimera Souvlaki Art, which was recently written up in the New York Times by Sam Sifton.  How does a Souvlaki Restaurant in Melbourne Australia get written up in the New York Times?

We talk to Veronica Fil, the Business Manager at Restaurant Lume. Lume was voted the Gault and Millau Restaurant of the Year in 2016.

Lume works very hard to create unique experiences for diners.  They use actors, script writers and use psychological tests to work and are pushing the boundaries in the way that food is experienced in their restaurant. The are attracting a significantly younger audience market than a traditional fine dining venue.

Understanding their customers is a critical part of the Lume experience.  With a high percentage of customers from China, they learned that many were not drinking wine, so they created a tailored mocktail drink pairing with their meal.

Lume has adopted Virtual Reality to push the boundary on the way that their guests experience their food.  They have created VR experiences that significantly pushes the limits of multi sensory dining.  By combining the story of the ingredients, the preparation and the restaurant into a Virtual Reality experience with scents, auditory cues and tactile sensations.  

Restaurant Lume has reduced No Shows to zero in their restaurant. This is a phenomenal result because No Shows in fine dining are especially expensive in fine dining.  They adopted Tock as a booking engine that takes pre bookings.  They were losing up to $3,000 a week to zero.  This is the difference between Lume surviving through to the point where they are very popular and having run out of cash and going out of business.

Lume has a reputation of providing some of the best Corporate Event experiences in the country.  Large corporate customers looking for something to WOW their customers with and provide their customers with a unique experience have becoming   For one event they created a perfume for the event, a bespoke menu based on local ingredients of the customer, they had a photographer at the event and used those photographs to create a cook book of the recipes from the event with photos of the participants in it.  The diners get a memento of the event, a cook book that features photos of themselves delivered to them weeks after the event, reminding them of it.  The customer gets branding that will stay with the customers.

Lume is continuing to create cutting edge multisensory dining experiences, starting to work with augmented reality.

All of the experiences have the foundation of Chef Quade and the team creating amazing food.  We will talk to Chef Quade in a future podcast about his journey and his approach to restaurant creativity and innovation.

Jun 23, 2017

We look at Domino's Pizza.  They are a great example of a successful online ordering businesses.  The complete directly against Menulog / Just Eat / Delivery Hero and Grubhub.  They put a lot of work into their online ordering solution, because they need to differentiate themselves from other online ordering solutions.

We look at the prices between 2 orders, one for take out and one for delivery.  Domino's have no minimum order value.  We look at Domino's delivery fees and analyse the delivery fee.  They have marked up their food by 48% for the convenience of having it delivered.  This is a massive charge and something that a lot of people don't really want to deliver the pizza.  They are driving people to pick up the pizza.  Why is this?

Domino's is set up for high volume pizza creation.  The bottleneck is now the synchronisation of pizza cooking with delivery, which is expensive, so they drive people to pick up.  

The Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system  now feeds into our Free Restaurant CRM system.

We talk about the importance of using your email database to turn new customers into repeat customers.  This is the simplest way to increase repeat customer orders.  

We look at how the numbers stack up to increase your revenue by $144,000 a year with a simple monthly program shaping customers to buy from you at least monthly.

Many customers with online ordering will spend $5,00 or $10,000 with their favourite restaurant, but most restaurants aren't able to identify who their regular customers are.  

We talk about the kind of offerings and emails that you can send to drive demand and we also look yield utilisation.  How can you move demand from Saturday through to Wednesday when the kitchen is quieter.

We also talk about some of the Facebook campaigns that you can run.  We have some customers who are running very effective Facebook campaigns to drive online order revenue.  Even better, those using FROLO can directly see the number of orders that have come in from a Facebook campaign, which means that you can scale your marketing because you know that it is working.

We look at the number of customers who still like to make a call to place their order.  Restaurant aggregators like grubhub and Just Eat don't publish phone numbers because they don't get to charge commission for orders placed over the phone.  We are still seeing a lot of orders being done over the phone, so including the phone number can make a big difference in the success of the campaign.

We look at the increase in orders that you can see by offering your own loyalty campaign for online orders.  This is a highly effective way of increasing your customers orders.

Some of your take out customers could be worth more than $4,000 a year, so it is really important that you work as hard as possible to not only find those new customers, but to turn them into repeat customers.

If you are looking for ways to increase order frequency and value, take payments online and get paid in 3 days and to build your email database, not someone else's, check out the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.

Jun 18, 2017

Online ordering is a really important part of the revenue mix for some restaurants.

This is the first part of a 2 part podcast on the economics of online ordering and how small restaurants are dramatically increasing profitability with a few simple tweaks.

Menulog, Just Eat, Grub Hub and Delivery Hero are charging 13% commission and not giving the restaurants the email addresses, so it is very difficult to build a sustainable take out business with those platforms.

We look at why restaurants do take out.  Often the bottle neck for a restaurant is the number of tables in a restaurant and the number of times you turn those tables.  Take out moves spare capacity in your kitchen past the bottleneck of the tables that you have, allowing for significantly higher revenue if you have a big mismatch between kitchen capability and in house consumption. 

We discuss the profitability of take out orders.  There is very little front of house costs associated and Restaurants used to offer a 10% discount for take out orders to reflect the decreased costs associated with take out, but increased commissions from Online Ordering companies have seen these offers all but disappear.  (They are starting to come back as restaurants move to commission free platforms.)

What problem do you solve with in your restaurant?  Take out offers convenience, the ability to have a few drinks without worrying about an Uber home. For us, take out allows us to Netflix and Chill, rather than the issues associated with going out.  It offers flexibility and convenience, and it dramatically opens up your target market when you offer take out.

One of the big things that Uber has done is that they have increased the calibre of restaurants that are now offering take out, with customers now increasing the amount of take out that they are eating, which goes hand in hand with the increasing number of customers who are time poor.

What are the problems with Take Out?  For delivery, the synchronisation of getting meals out of the kitchen becomes a lot more complicated because rather than relying on front of house to get the meal to the table, now a delivery driver needs to be organised and synchronised with the food coming out of the kitchen to get it to the customer in a reasonable time.

Using UberEATS removes some of the logistics issues, but it also means that you are losing 35% of revenue as well as not getting the customers email address.

We look at some of the statistics around Online Orders.  We discuss the average order value and anecdotally, Thai has a lower average order value than Indian.

The spread of the number of orders that a restaurant takes is incredible.  Some restaurants take 1 order a week.  Some are doing $2,000 - $3,000 a week! This means that some restaurants have an extra $150,000 a year in revenue.  If they are using a delivery service that charges, they may be paying $20,000 a year in commission and NOT getting any of their customers email addresses.

We have some restaurants saving over $1,000 a month in commissions using the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.

What is the product that you offer through take out?  Often the menu is exactly the same as the dine-in menu without any thought to the issues with delivery.  How is it packaged? What can you do to make a better experience for your customers when they unpack their food.  What branding do you do for your restaurant?

Do you have online ordering online specials?

We look at how Qantas uses online only specials to drive passengers to pre-order their meals.  It makes it easier for them to cater for everyone.  They offer online only special meals, which are using pretty epic - this drives people to pre order, meaning they have a much better idea of the number of meals that they will need for each flight.  Remember, they can't just go out to the supermarket and pick up a couple of extra steaks when they are at 30,000 feet.

How are you driving phone orders?  Companies like Menulog, Just Eat and Delivery Hero will not publish your phone number because they don't want any phone orders because they don't make any commission on it, but there are still a lot of people who want to order over the phone.

Are you running "Order direct from the Restaurant and save!" campaigns.  These can be very effective for local restaurants.

We discuss Giodana's Pizza and their Deep Dish Pie and how it is almost the perfect product for Restaurant delivery.

We talk about Sam Panopoulos and the international storm he created by throwing some pineapple on a pizza.  

In the next episode we will look at Domino's Pizza and the economics underlying the way they cost their menu. 

If you are looking to increase your online orders, if you want an email database of your customers who order from you, try using the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.  It's free, supports printing dockets, feeds into our Free Restaurant CRM system and processes payments in just 3 days.  This is one of our most popular products with restaurants saving thousands of every month in commission.  Not only do we have a platform for taking orders commission free, we have a process for building your online ordering business.

May 22, 2017

This special podcast covers the first two days from the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.  The show is absolutely massive and after 2 days we have only down 2/3s of the show.  There are show many people to talk to, some many ideas to explore and some much food to sample :).

We've gone looking for the best ideas to improve profitability in your restaurant, so we are looking at the people, the places, the processes, the product and the produce that is at the show.

People:  Their are coaches, some who have some great systems to help Restaurants and Bars to run a lot more efficiently, we talk to the guys from Grub Hub and 

Products:  We look at some massive copper beer mugs from Barbarian brands. 

Produce:  There are some great new products at the show.  Aerated kombucha tea, and we look at the difference between Chilean Sea Bass and Patagonian Tooth fish.  A lot of the produce has a really interesting story behind it and when distributors are trying to sell it to you, they tell that story, but too often that story gets forgotten in what you tell your customers about the produce.  How can you better tell the stories of the items on your menu, or should you get produce with better stories?

There is plenty more that we talk about and we will be sharing more of the things we've learned in future episodes.

We end with a great experiential dining concept, the Saved by the Max popup Restaurant, based on the 80's show, Saved by the bell.

May 22, 2017

This special podcast covers the first two days from the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.  The show is absolutely massive and after 2 days we have only down 2/3s of the show.  There are show many people to talk to, some many ideas to explore and some much food to sample :).

We've gone looking for the best ideas to improve profitability in your restaurant, so we are looking at the people, the places, the processes, the product and the produce that is at the show.

People:  Their are coaches, some who have some great systems to help Restaurants and Bars to run a lot more efficiently, we talk to the guys from Grub Hub and 

Products:  We look at some massive copper beer mugs from Barbarian brands. 

Produce:  There are some great new products at the show.  Aerated kombucha tea, and we look at the difference between Chilean Sea Bass and Patagonian Tooth fish.  A lot of the produce has a really interesting story behind it and when distributors are trying to sell it to you, they tell that story, but too often that story gets forgotten in what you tell your customers about the produce.  How can you better tell the stories of the items on your menu, or should you get produce with better stories?

There is plenty more that we talk about and we will be sharing more of the things we've learned in future episodes.

We end with a great experiential dining concept, the Saved by the Max popup Restaurant, based on the 80's show, Saved by the bell.

May 8, 2017

Described as the Iron Lady of Hong Kong Private Dining, we talk to Grace Choy.

We talk about the our Comparison Research between Dimmi, Quandoo, OpenTable, Tock, Obee and the Free Online Restaurant Booking System.  We think that email sharing 

Grace is very humble, but her passion for cooking shows through in the videos that she produces and that has enabled to build up the largest Facebook following of any Chinese Restaurant on Facebook.

Grace has an amazing social media following:

She has 41,871 followers on Linkedin and 431,703 followers on Facebook.

 

The important lessons from Grace are: 

1.  The power of Facebook Videos; and

2.  The power of using Facebook Video to show your passion.

Grace is very passionate about her cooking and that shows through in the way that she comes across on the videos.  It is so important to be yourself and do things that you are passionate about, and Grace does that very well.

Grace manages her own Facebook, and responds to everyone on the Facebook page.  

Her 20 seat Restaurant is booked out 2 weeks in advance.  She focueses on fresh food and treating people as family.  She also has pre bookings to cut down on no shows.

Grace was the first Twitter Verified Chef's in Greater China, even though she has only tweeted 68 times!  and now has 21,500 followers on Twitter.

Her Facebook following has been the basis for a large amount of free PR that Grace has received, including a short Youtube Video that tells her story.

Apr 27, 2017

Chef Ana Ros along with here husband owns Hisa Franko, a fine dining Restaurant in Slovenia.

Ana's story is truly inspiring, she never received a a classical training, but has developed her own style and techniques and her determination has seen her been recognised amongst the World's best Chefs.

Not originally planning a career as a Chef, she meet her husband whose parents owned Hisa Franko.  He was a trained Sommelier and when his parents handed the reins of the Restaurant to him, Ana stepped into the kitchen.

Her determination to succeed saw her learn the techniques of a chef, learn how to manage a team and how to run the Restaurant.  We talk about the earlier years and how she was able to build her repertoire of techniques in the kitchen, the process she went through build her skills.

We also look at the process she takes to create a new dish, and the way that she is not only integrating local produce into the menu, but working to build the supply chain to enable local commerce and to showcase the amazing ingredients that she is able to source from around Hisa Franko.

This year she was Voted the World's Best Female Chef.  

Apr 7, 2017

 

We met our friends from the Dimmi and discussed some of the issues with the aggregator model as opposed to those who want to tell the story of their own Restaurant.  

Many Restaurants are taking control of their marketing and their story and using the Free Online Restaurant Booking System and the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.

We talk about our plans to help a Restaurant that is kicking in $10,000 a month to keep their Restaurant going and how we are going to help them.

Congratulations to 11 Madison Park, the World's Best Restaurant for 2017.

We discuss why you may not want to be in the World's 50 Best, but you may want to be the best parent to your kids, and how your Restaurant needs to support that.

  1. Hard work - it is important to be doing the right work.  Too many people work too hard at the wrong type of work.
  2. Team work - building a great team and getting them working to help you is really important.
  3. Purpose - your purpose, that is what gives you passion, you need to maintain your passion for a long time, that purpose does it.  
  4. Leadership - Getting the team to work towards your purpose.
  5. Technical excellence - FOH, BOH - you need to be working towards excellence in all of the parts of your Restaurant.
  6. Always learning - Ana Ros is self taught.  She didn't plan to be a chef and has taught herself the skills to be the best Female chef.  That is an amazing story and should be inspiring to all restaurant owners.
  7. Persistence - Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana took a long time before it became popular.  You need to persist, knowing that you are on the right path.
  8. Innovation - We look at the role of innovation and the importance of failing and the easiest way that you can experiment with innovation and creativity.

Have a listen to Chef's Table on Netflix, a great series telling amazing stories of these amazing Chefs.

Apr 4, 2017

Super excited that we are going to the 2017 NRA Show in Chicago.  It is one of the best educational opportunities for Restaurant owners and chefs to learn and get inspritation on how to better run their restaurant and/or kitchen.

In this Secret Sauce we talk about attracting tourist customers.  A lot of towns get a lot of tourists, but they tend to go to a very small number of Restaurants.  Are you getting your fair share of the Tourists in your area?  If not, we will discuss lots of ideas to help you find more tourist customer and turn them into repeat customers.

Websites are even more important in Tourist areas.  Make sure that it is:

  • Optimised for Google Search;
  • Optimised for mobile (most of your customers will be on mobiles);
  • Links with Google Maps - your Google My Business account, (think about how people can get to your Restaurant); and
  • Have a signature dish on the front page.

If you need help with your Restaurant Website, talk to the M4R team, we have packages starting from $995 to help you start getting more customers.

Facebook ads can run very differently in tourist towns, making it a lot easier to use Facebook, make sure you listen to our Facebook ads in tourist towns run down.

Have you worked with the local Concierges, Hotels, Tour Operators, and airport tourism guides?

We have a discussion about the issues with Tripadvisor and Yelp and some of your options for dealing with them.  Do you actively manage them, ignore them, build your own channel for customers?

 

We talk about Trip Guidse and some ideas about how to be listed in those Top 10 things to do in YOUR TOWN.

We look at Lonely Planet and the effect that it had for Ferg Burger.  

What is your signature dish, does it fit in with your tourist message and how are you marketing it?

Skyline Restaurant

What can you sell? T-Shirts, sauces?  Part of something to take home for the tourists?

Seasonality is always an issue, so we talk about building a database and focusing on locals for the quiet times. You will have your regulars, even if it is only every two years.  

Leave a review, hit us up on Facebook, and Linkedin.

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Mar 25, 2017

Many of the problems in Restaurants that we see come down to issues with Leadership.  Restaurant Leadership is something that isn't taught, most people pick it up on the job, so we will go through some tools to help with your Restaurant Leadership.

What is the definition of Leadership and in particular Restaurant Leadership.

Restaurant Autoposy.  One of the Restaurants using our Free Online Restaurant Booking System has closed.  We go through the issues that they had.  The biggest issue was that even though they weren't busy and wanted to be better, and it was quiet on Saturday nights, they did no marketing.  Even worse, the website was very poor, no great photos, no SEO (getting found in Google).  There web traffic dropped from 750 a month down to  600 over the last 18 months.  These is less than half of what their competitors were getting.  It probably equated to $10,000 a month in revenue that they were missing out on. I wonder what was going on in the minds of the people in the team there, doing nothing to find more customers.  The only marketing they did was Groupon at the end.

We talk about what Leadership is and look at Dwight D Eisenhower's definition of Leadership, which is "Getting people to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it"

How does Restaurant Leadership work in a Restaurant?  There is the typical angry chef, but I think it is a lot more common to have no Leadership in the Restaurant.

We look at the mindset that people need to be able to be an effective Leader in your Restaurant.

Make sure that your Personal Plan aligns with your Business Plan which aligns with your Marketing Plan.  Too many people forget why they opened their Restaurant and they lose their passion for their Restaurant.  It is so much harder to motivate people if you aren't motivated and passionate about what you are doing.

We look at BHAGs (big Hairy Audacious Goals), and we talk about Missions, Values and Goals and how these are tools to help you be a better leader, but also the big component of the business that you are responsible.

We talk about Adam Sobel's Vision from Cinnamon Snail and Nick Sarillo's Nick's Pizza and Pub.  Check out Nick's book, "A Slice of the Pie."  

Nick’s Pizza & Pub Values

  • We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
  • We are dedicated to the learning, teaching, and ongoing development of each other.
  • We have fun while we work!
  • We provide a clean and safe environment for our guests and team members.
  • We honor individual passions, and creativity at work and at home.
  • We communicate openly, clearly and honestly.
  • We honor the relationships that connect our team, our guests and community.
  • We take pride in our commitment to provide quality service and a quality product.
  • We celebrate and reward accomplishments and “A+” players.
  • We support balance between home and work.
  • Health: We are a profitable and fiscally responsible company. We support the physical and emotional well-being of our guests and team members.
  • Our team works through support and cooperation.

We look at the E-Myth and how it can help you delegate.

How can you be a better communicator in your business.

We also look at Danny Meyers "Setting the Table" as well, another great book on the topic of leadership.

  • Have a personal plan
  • Be passionate
  • Define your values
  • Hire for values and train for skills
  • Procedures
  • Delegate
  • Communicate, Communicate and Communicate
  • Find a mentor.

The journey of leadership is never ending, but remember - The better you get, the better you get.  

Mar 7, 2017

The talk to Ivan Brewer from Restaurantology.  

We talk about a Restaurant using a Qandoo website and the issues that poor SEO and not having a marketing strategy is really hurting 1 Restaurant and Sydney and another that is taking over $100,000 a year in online orders and how they are saving $13,000 a year by not paying commission on their online orders.  We talk about how much you should be paying for online Facebook campaign budgets for your Restaurant.

It is a sad fact that 50% of restaurants fail within 4 years and only make 2% in profit.

The biggest Restaurant profitability mistakes that people make when running a restaurant?

  1.  People fall in love with their food and their restaurant without understanding the profit and loss, or even having a plan of how to be profitable.
  2. Not understanding key fixed costs.  11.6% of net costs are rent.
  3. Venues are often too big.  Large venues have 60% of revenue in 2 days of the week.

 

High Rent as a % of revenue may not correlate to high foot traffic.  If it was high, there should be more sales.

How does Labour costs relate to rent and cost of goods sold.  How many staff do I really need?

We discuss restaurant productivity and ways to increase it.

Discretionary effort.  The more we engage our staff the higher the productivity of the staff.   Listen to your staff and their ideas.

Creating a vision and a story that your team can sell, eg

The KPIs for a restaurant business viability test - % fixed costs / % variable costs.

Fixed costs like  - Accounting, Rent,    Variable can be things like linen and gas.

COGS should be pretty consistent with a weekly stocktake and weekly P+L.

What is the labour %?

Understand the key distribution of costs and be able to adjust in real time.  How can you influence the time spent in the kitchen with pricing.  How do you avoid bottlenecks in the kitchen during peak hours.

You should have a costed roster.  The dollar spend on a daily basis.

How can the distribution of the restaurant across the week.  Should we discount in the quiet times or charge a premium for the busy times.

How does the pricing of the bar work and what opportunities are there to increase revenue and profit from bar revenue.  Why should you discount on the bar, rather than in the kitchen?

What is restaurant sales velocity and how do you influence it?

Try rostering by 15 minute increments. 

We discuss a lot of advanced way to think about the profit and loss and how you can influence how much of the revenue flows to the bottom line.

If you haven't signed up yet, check out the 5 Minute a day Restaurant Marketing MBA. It's totally free.

Mar 7, 2017

The talk to Ivan Brewer from Restaurantology.  

We talk about a Restaurant using a Qandoo website and the issues that poor SEO and not having a marketing strategy is really hurting 1 Restaurant and Sydney and another that is taking over $100,000 a year in online orders and how they are saving $13,000 a year by not paying commission on their online orders.  We talk about how much you should be paying for online Facebook campaign budgets for your Restaurant.

It is a sad fact that 50% of restaurants fail within 4 years and only make 2% in profit.

The biggest Restaurant profitability mistakes that people make when running a restaurant?

  1.  People fall in love with their food and their restaurant without understanding the profit and loss, or even having a plan of how to be profitable.
  2. Not understanding key fixed costs.  11.6% of net costs are rent.
  3. Venues are often too big.  Large venues have 60% of revenue in 2 days of the week.

 

High Rent as a % of revenue may not correlate to high foot traffic.  If it was high, there should be more sales.

How does Labour costs relate to rent and cost of goods sold.  How many staff do I really need?

We discuss restaurant productivity and ways to increase it.

Discretionary effort.  The more we engage our staff the higher the productivity of the staff.   Listen to your staff and their ideas.

Creating a vision and a story that your team can sell, eg

The KPIs for a restaurant business viability test - % fixed costs / % variable costs.

Fixed costs like  - Accounting, Rent,    Variable can be things like linen and gas.

COGS should be pretty consistent with a weekly stocktake and weekly P+L.

What is the labour %?

Understand the key distribution of costs and be able to adjust in real time.  How can you influence the time spent in the kitchen with pricing.  How do you avoid bottlenecks in the kitchen during peak hours.

You should have a costed roster.  The dollar spend on a daily basis.

How can the distribution of the restaurant across the week.  Should we discount in the quiet times or charge a premium for the busy times.

How does the pricing of the bar work and what opportunities are there to increase revenue and profit from bar revenue.  Why should you discount on the bar, rather than in the kitchen?

What is restaurant sales velocity and how do you influence it?

Try rostering by 15 minute increments. 

We discuss a lot of advanced way to think about the profit and loss and how you can influence how much of the revenue flows to the bottom line.

If you haven't signed up yet, check out the 5 Minute a day Restaurant Marketing MBA. It's totally free.

Mar 1, 2017

Make sure you check out the Restaurant Innovation podcast.  This is our most popular podcast this so far this year and it goes into the processes that can help you be more productive in your Restaurant.

In this podcast, we talk to Robbie Doyle from Buy Grow Sell a Business.

Robbie has been a chef for 25 years and a Real Estate agent specialising in hospitality for 10 years.

He tells some sad stories of Restaurant purchases gone bad and people who have lost their homes in when their Restaurant business has gone broke.

What are the right and wrong motivations for buying a restaurant?

What are the big 5 mistakes that people make when buying a Restaurant?

Where are the best buying opportunities to buy a Restaurant?

What discuss Robbie's thoughts on fitout costs?

What role do systems play in Restaurant success?  Should you buy a systematised restaurant or not?

How do the successful people flip Restaurants?  What is the process they go through?

What are the general rules of thumb for metrics on sale price?

What bargains are out there and should you be looking for the bargain, or are the bargains bargains for good reason?

Feb 7, 2017

We now have customers in Singapore and the Czech Republic!  Hooray.

The times, they are a changing.  Customers are changing, tastes are changing, dining experiences are changing, competition is changing and the players in the industry are changing.

I was surprised to see the number of people who are still advertising in the Yellow Pages.  The budgets that people are spending is amazing, when you think of the returns that you would get if you were spending that money online.  We discuss the 7 best uses for the Yellow Pages in 2017.

The online startup space has innovation built in, but the imperative to innovative is a lot more insidious.  The lack of pressure to innovate means that Restaurants often slowly decline in their Restaurant as customers needs change.

The rise of Delivery services, pre prepared food, Booking aggregators are all changing the restaurant business. 

What kind of person is better at innovation and how can you use that to help your team innovate.

What kind of activities can help you with innovation.  How can you change your habits and routines to increase your opportunities to innovate.

We look at how different actions, people and activities.  I've started playing the drums and going to art galleries to change the way I think and the ideas that I am having.  Without that external stimulas, it is very difficult for your to come up with different ideas.

How did Massimo Bottera develop the ability to fuse art and his culinary techniques to create the dishes that lead to Osteria Francescana.

We discuss business model innovation and menu innovation.

The Business Model.  

We discuss how taking ideas from different industries can make a big difference in your industry.  Plus or minus 10% everyone else in your industry is doing the same as you.  In other industries, there may be much better results.

The Business Model Canvas covers:

  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Value Proposition
  • Key Resources
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Streams
  • Channels
  • Customer Segments
  • Customer Relationships

Menu Innovation

You take take existing products and techniques and fuse them together or your can take an object or concept and recreate it in food.  We look at the Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit.

We look at the work of Grant Achatz and his Apple Taffy and how it brings back childhood memories which are a fundamental part of the attraction of the menu item.

How can you recreate a menu with different items, maybe cheaper items.

We discuss failure and why it is important to embrace failure as a part of the innovation process.

Wolfgang Puck has said that he has opened a lot of successful Restaurants, but he has learnt the most about the restaurants that failed.

 

Jan 30, 2017

Facebook Marketing - We look at the Facebook Marketing Report Card for Australia, and very few Restaurants are doing any Facebook marketing.  This is a huge opportunity for most restaurants.

Annual event marketing - We discuss a Restaurant that made a Meat Pie Burger for Australia Day. Sounds pretty ordinary, but it is an Aussie thing.  A great idea that got them mentioned in news.com.au. 

We look at how you to run a Facebook Live Video for your Restaurant.

Check out the Facebook Live Map, to get some ideas of the kind of streaming that people are doing.

Equipment -

Here are the makers of the phone holder that I use - Arkon.

Bright lights - we bought some cheapies of eBay.

Your phone - Android or iPhone.  It doesn't really matter, both do an excellent job.

A couple of tips - Rehearse, plan, and start with something exciting because the video will appear silent.  People need to engage with the video to be able to hear the video.

Pick somewhere quiet, make sure you have a good phone signal.

Be authentic - this is a great way to build your personal brand.

Types of content you can use in your Facebook Live Videos:

  • Food going over the pass
  • Food prep - tell the story of how you create your dishes
  • Sourcing the food - video from your garden, the market
  • Use it to do market research - what items do people want to see on your menu?
  • Go through a recipe

Aangan at Footscray prepare their own spices, that is a perfect type of video for Facebook Live.

We then discuss some ideas on how to best run an ad to your Facebook Live Video.

Tag us in on your Facebook Live videos. 

Connect with us on Linkedin to keep up to date with the latest Restaurant Marketing ideas.  

Jan 23, 2017

In this episode we discuss our Restaurant Facebook Marketing Report.  Less than 1% of Restaurants that we surveyed ran ads in the time.  A shocking statistic when you think that it is one of the easiest ways to increase revenue for your Restaurant!

We know that Restaurants aren't super interested in Facebook marketing.  The previous advanced Facebook marketing episodes haven't been downloaded as much as some of the others (Reasons Restaurants Fail was downloaded a lot more - maybe something to that :( ) But it is really important if you want to be successful to understand Facebook.  Even if you don't do it, your competitors will be and you need to know what is possible.

This episodes looks at using your email database to create a customer audience in Facebook to target your Restaurant customers.

We also look at budgetting.  How much should you spend per day on a Facebook campaign.  We look at the cost per 1000 impressions and also the cost per link click or engagement and give you some rough guidelines.  

We also go into what the cost of your campaign tells you about your audience reaction.

If you want more information on Facebook marketing - check out the legends at Perpetual Traffic.  Keith, Molly and Ralph delve deep, really deep into Facebook marketing.  This isn't for the faint hearted, but it is a great podcast if you want to crush Facebook marketing for your Restaurant.

 

Jan 16, 2017

 

We talk about Delivery Hero exiting Australia, and look at the implications for Restaurants who are doing 

We talked about the amazing technical expertise and innovation at Lume Restaurant.  Rated by Gault and Millau as the number 1 Restaurant in Australia, and amazing experience with some great technology, including the Tock booking system which has allowed them to cut no shows to virtually zero.

This episode covers process for creating an annual marketing plan.

1.  Review you monthly, weekly, daily and hourly revenue.  What are the quiet times and when are the busy times.  This helps you understand what work needs to be done to increase the profitability over the year.

2.  What holidays are there in your country?

3.  We go over the List of International Observances.  Got a quite period with no public holidays?  Look at this list and there are bound be to a few days around them that you can run a campaign around.  We look at some of the days that you can run marketing campaigns around.

4.  Look at your seasonal menu that you want to run.

5.  Start looking at partnerships that you can run to avoid the troughs in revenue.

6.  Look at targeting customers for each hour that your Restaurant is open.  Look at variable pricing throughout the day and week to maximise yield.

Have a  think about how you are growing your email marketing database and the events that you can use to market to that list.

We look at how your planning can help with your goal setting.

 

Jan 3, 2017

Technology and competition is dramatically changing the way that Restaurants operate.  We look at how these 2 mega trends are creating the 7 big trends for 2017 for Restaurant owners and chefs.

We have identified 7 major trends that will change the Restaurant industry in 2017.

1.  Restaurant Home Delivery - there has been consolidation with the online ordering companies like Just Eat and Delivery Hero, and new entrants like UrberEats providing delivery for Restaurants who would have never thought of doing delivery 12 months ago.  On top of this - we have Drones and Self Driving Cars - this technology is going to provide a lot of opportunities for Restaurant Owners.

2.  Marketing - It is becoming really hard now to not have a strong marketing strategy for your Restaurant, along with great execution.  You don't want to have the best restaurant that no one has ever heard of - because it is increasingly likely that you will go out of business if you do.

3.  Bigger Data for Small Restaurants - using Facebook and Comparative Analytics are a powerful way to use big data for small Restaurants.

4.  Automation - the rise of the Restaurant Robots.  Rising wages and increasing costs are meaning that more Restaurant owners will turn to automation to cut costs.

5.  Consolidation - For a small restaurant, going to 1 Restaurant to 2 is the hardest move, but it starts you on the path to get those economies of scale.

6.  Specialization - It is becoming increasingly difficult to run a generic cuisine based restaurant.  Many Indian or Chinese restaurants are struggling unless they are starting to specialize and give customers a reason to be loyal to them.  We look at some of the areas that Restaurants are going to be moving into.

7. Divergence - Restaurants that have their strategy in the middle of the profit mix will struggle - they will either be pushed to build a Restaurant built around low price, or specializing to  create value in niches.  Being a good restaurant with nothing specific will force you to start competing on price and that will make it harder for you to retain your quality.

If you want to read about the changes, check out our in depth report on the Restaurant Trends for 2017.

For your Restaurant to prosper in 2017, you need to be educated.  Check out our best Restaurant podcasts of 2016.  There are 19 must listen to podcasts from the thought leaders of the Restaurant Industry.

Look at the free tools to market your Restaurant and start to differentiate your Restaurant from your competitors.

 

Nov 18, 2016

We look at Living Social being bought by Groupon.  This is a good thing because there is now 1 less daily deals company.  For a lot of Restaurants, daily deals are a very dangerous process, and often a symptom 

We talk about an $8.38 marketing campaign that filled a cafe in Western Australia with customers buying their highest margin item.  We go through the process so you can run the exact same campaign!

We talk about the formula for making a Restaurant Profitable.  This is a very simple formula and used in lots of different types of business, but we will go through what it looks like for your Restaurant.

Leads x Conversion Rate = Customers

Customers x Average number of Transaction x Average Sale Amount = Revenue.

Revenue x Profit Margin = Profit

We discuss all of the ways that you can effect each of these numbers.

This is a great discussion about how some of our customers are making a really big difference in the profitability of their Restaurant.

Oct 29, 2016

We talk about using Prisma, a new and exciting app available on Android and Chrome to help you create very sharable content for solution media.

Building a free CRM System

What is a CRM system,  what is CRM - a process for building information about your customers and leads, and your relationships with the customer

The goals of your CRM system should be:.

  1. Improve marketing effectiveness -  decrease the cost to acquire a customer and increase long term customer value.  eg fish and chip shop.
  2. Increased personalized service or one to one service: Identify people for face to face interactions.
  3. Responsive to customer’s needs: Customers’ situations and needs can be understood by the firms focusing on customer needs and requirements.[
  4. Customer segmentation:   
  5. Improve customization of marketing: 
  6. Multichannel integration: Integrating across multiple marketing channels.
  7. Time saving: Point and shoot marketing.
  8. Improve customer knowledge: Feedback about the food, experience and value.

Your new CRM System needs to be very cost effective, very time effective and very simple to use.  We look at the parts that make up a CRM system and then, how we build a free Restaurant CRM system

Gather information about your customers.  Purchases, bookings, , frequency, recency,birthdays, preferences

Free Restaurant Online Ordering System, and the Free Online Restaurant Booking System.

Big data for your Restaurant.  Every Monday we benchmark every one of our customers against other Restaurants.  so you know if you are doing great and you have some ideas about how to improve if not.

Creating a unified view of customer information across bookings and orders.

Should be electronic.  Called yesterday, had to call back.  She didn't ask for my name.  Only 3 tables in the Restaurant.  75% is take away.  Online ordering service that is charging 12%.  75% of revenue taxed at 12% and not getting 

If you are taking bookings or orders and not collecting emails, you are wasting a huge opportunity.

Mailchimp free for 2,00 contacts .  Many of our customers are using that.

Facebook ads, upload mobile numbers or email addresses.

 

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