This podcast started with an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that described Menulog as "the business partner he never wanted".
We look at Restaurant Brandjacking and websites set up by online aggregators which look like the web
Adwords Arbitrage. We discuss how restaurants can advertise on Google Adwords and get clicks to their platforms, not your website. We talked about this with Kyle Welter who used to work at Google and understands how big companies use this practice.
We discuss how the margins that restaurants are charged by online aggregators and how some restaurants are dealing with the large fees that they are charged.
How does the restaurant circle of life work and how can you avoid being of the restaurants that fails.
Domain squatting - We have issues with big companies like Menulog registering domains 'on behalf' of restaurants. This becomes their property and they will build one of their websites, which don't have your phone number and don't havedirect contact details for your Restaurant. Each order coming from that website is charged the commission that they normally charge.
Variable commission campaigns - restaurants are now getting a better placement in the online aggregator platforms by paying higher commission. We have seen this with Grub Hun in the United States.
Vertical integration risk - Are the delivery companies like UberEats and Deliveroo looking to cook their own food? Deliveroo Editions is just one step away from Deliveroo cutting the Restaurant out of the entire picture for their business. As they look to increase profit margins, I think that it is a really big risk for restaurants. The restaurants are low cost with very low property costs. If they learn to cook, they could be very difficult to compete against.
Franchise restaurants are starting to look at delivery options and online ordering aggregators. This may squeeze out the small restaurants that were the traditional customers of the aggregators.
Is your brand at risk from other companies? Brand risk is increasing as big companies work to build their brands, not yours.
Risks to the restaurants when using delivery companies include the lose of control over the time and delivery service that is provide. We discuss some of the interesting stories about delivery riders from the big delivery companies.
The risks for UberEats and Deliveroo include whether the deliver rider is an independant contractor or an employee. There will be more scrutiny on this, especially around the minimum wages. What is UberEats long term plan - we discuss their race against time.
Are battery powered delivery scooters are viable option for Restaurants to build out their own delivery service?
Have you thought out about pick up only services for your restaurant? It is the perfect accompaniment for a restaurant with spare kitchen capacity.
Are you using a Restaurant loyalty campaign for your online orders? Our Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system (FROLO) provides a built in loyalty campaign that works really well to increase the frequency of customer purchases. FROLO supports a receipt printer, SMS notifications and even a mobile orders management system.
Drive your customers to Order Direct and Save!
It's good for customers and great for you! :)
Oohbah Butler is a journalist who writes for Vice. He used to be employed to write fake reviews on Tripadvisor, getting paid £10 for each review. He had concerns about the impact that the fake reviews were having, so he created a crappy website for the Shed at Dulwich, a restaurant that only existed on the High Street of his mind and started getting his friends to write reviews for it.
In April 2017 - he set up the Restaurant and it is appointment only. His menu was based on emotions. He went from being ranked 18,000 to the top 1,500 restaurants in a couple of months.
The phone starts to ring (he bought a burner phone for the restaurants). He often didn't answer the phone, so people were thinking that they were very successful. Nothing gets a queue like a queue! If he did answer the phone, he said they were booked out for 6 weeks and hang up,
August - number 156. The restaurant is getting job applications.
Gets the restaurant to number 30. There are people looking in the street for where it is.
Tripadvisor contacts him and they are the number 1 restaurant on Tripadvisor.
Oohbah decides to go to the next level, so he opens the restaurant for a night. Have a listen to find out how the opening night goes.
His experiment was to see if a Fake Restaurant could be popular on Tripadvisor.
There are important lessons for Restaurants about how platforms like Tripadvisor can be gamed and also how you can use demand management to your advantage.
This is also an example of the Emporer's new Clothes.
This also highlights the issues with the Tripadvisor algorithm and just how it doesn't work. I've given up on Tripadvisor because of the number of Restaurants I've been to that are rally highly rated on Tripadvisor, but the Restaurant turns out to be awful.
There is a significant difference between Google and Facebook ratings and there could be an issue with people not given their real details making the reviews.
Oohbah's story on the Shed at Dulwich went viral when he came clean with what he had done.
We also look at the the viral marketing from the White Moose Cafe and how their response created a different kind of viral response. Their approach is a lot riskier, but highly effective for them.
Our advice is to avoid Yelp entirely. It has very expensive marketing campaigns that some restaurants have found to be nearly useless.
Woo Hoo! You've just done a weeks' worth of Restaurant Marketing.
Find out what works and what doesn't with your Restaurant Marketing plan.
Email Marketing - The simplest and cheapest way to fill a Restaurant on a Midwinter's Tuesday night
Facebook is pay to play now. This is a great thing. The budgets are low, the returns are high.
Some sites change every week, some haven't changed since 2002
When did you last post to your Restaurant's Facebook page?
The Menu is the critical in most restaurants, it is part sales, part marketing, part art, part science, and part soul and part passion - yet so few people work to improve it.
It's a management truism that gets measured gets managed, that goes for Restaurant Marketing as well.