Tag Archives: technology

Bar Boosters: Marketing Strategies for SMBs

All business owners are always looking to boost sales, but with a lack of time under their belt, and ever-evolving marketing tactics, knowing how to do so can become a blur.

Here are some pointers to help you pinpoint a few basic steps towards getting on the right track…

Assess the data through your POS

Whether you’re a retailer or a restaurateur, a good point of sale (POS) marketing strategy can increase sales and drive the bottom line.

Providing in-depth analytics and business insights, POS marketing requires not only the ability to promote a product to customers, but also to make a compelling value proposition to retailers.

But, to get the maximum out of your POS, you can also utilise built-in analytics systems to assess what’s working and what isn’t.

Most POS systems offer analytics with a real-time dashboard so you can consume highly intuitive data around sales, inventory, staff and more. One of the great POS analytics platforms is Lightspeed, whose system covers everything from inventory management to promotional data.

Signage is your signal

In collaboration with POS analytics, it’s important to have great signage in and around your premise. A report from POPAI Australia & New Zealand has a number of key findings after a clinical trial was conducted in the UK and Ireland.

Some of the major details argued that female shoppers who were in-store for 60 or more minutes, bought more from POS displays than male shoppers. Men, on the other, hand were more susceptible to in-store promotions.

Floor graphics and walkaround displays worked best for food and snack purchases, whilst premium displays were the most effective for when people made a trip to food and beverage retailers in a non-premeditated manner.

Taking advantage of the Aussie sports scene

In Australia, there is arguably no bigger sport than AFL.

According to Roy Morgan, 8.4 million Australians tuned in to the 2017 Grand Final, whilst another 1.8 million watched some of the highlights. A 2015 study from Australian universities reveals that 87 percent of alcohol advertising during the day is done during sports broadcasts.

By utilising sports marketing ideas for your bar or restaurant, you can gain the attention of sports-goers who are looking for a hotspot that caters to their interests. Consider including campaigns to support local teams through sponsored evenings, social media promotions, and blog posts on your website. Additionally, running your own tipping competitions, sports-dedicated nights and viewings can help leverage new customers at your door.

If that doesn’t fly, there’s always the favourite marketing ploy of naming drinks after athletes, and hosting replays of classic games during slow periods doesn’t hurt either.

It’s important to know that the only way to publicise your event however, is through the implementation of a bonafide social media strategy.

Develop a social media strategy

A recent study from Maru/Matchbox shows that 69 percent of millennials photograph their food and post it to social media before eating.

In light of this, developing a social media strategy to take advantage of this trend is one of the greatest values to your business.

A five-point strategy is one of the best methods to employ, according to Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. Below is one model to consider:

  • Instagram: Some of the elementary advice is to not post pictures that look like ads, and do not rely on paid Instagram posts. It is important to set up a posting schedule by analysing market data and analytics, whilst employing basic media techniques such as “the rule of thirds” and “regramming”. One of the biggest winners is having a human touch; sharing photos and videos of your followers and their friends is a big win.
  • Facebook: One of the best ways to nail your marketing on this platform is to set up an event and encourage people to share by running a promotion (you do need a reasonable following to achieve this). Other methods of increasing views are to undertake the “three for three” trick. Spend three minutes commenting or liking posts of three other major pages around your area and watch the extra likes come in.
  • Twitter and Snapchat: Twitter is an easy way to grow but requires consistency and a lot of hashtags. On the other side of the coin, Snapchat is a great way to boost visual interaction through using a Geofilter. This tool gives you the ability to set a local tagline or graphic on your business posts that others can access and utilise.

Blogging and SEO: According to HubSpot, blogging is one of the best and most underutilised tools for small businesses. The research notes: “B2B companies that blogged 11 or more times per month had almost three times more traffic than those blogging zero to one times per month.” Blogging is a two-edged sword, as search engines use algorithms based on keywords to serve up relevant content to their users. Input the right words into your blog and you’ll have a higher chance of climbing search results and rankings.

With these tips in mind, consistency is the key for any content creation or content marketing strategy. Like all businesses, creating a successful brand requires time, effort and regular marketing efforts that are reviewed, assessed and updated.

By Timothy Buttery 

Digital Marketing Tips for your Business

Digital Marketing plays a key role in growing businesses of all shapes and sizes, all around the world. In this highly competitive landscape, it has never been more important to keep up to date with the latest changes and advancements in digital marketing.

In this Infographic, we show the importance of digital marketing to businesses today and the digital marketing techniques that marketers find most effective.

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How Digital Platforms Influence Dining

Today’s busy customer expects restaurant-quality meals ordered in a few clicks on their phone and delivered to their door. Tall order, anyone?

Business owner Kate Toon says having food delivered to her door (or hotel) is a huge bonus. “I travel a lot and UberEats gives me a chance to try something new. As a vegetarian, there are so many options on the website.”

Recent research by finder.com.au found Australians spend $2.6 billion annually on having food delivered through companies like Menulog, UberEats, Deliveroo and Foodora. Aussies clearly love the convenience and choice offered by these companies. It’s also commonplace to look up a restaurant and read reviews before choosing to eat there.

So, how do these digital platforms affect restaurant owners?


Read Google and TripAdvisor reviews


Many people look up restaurants on TripAdvisor or read Google reviews before making a reservation. Instagram is also a big influencer for millennials. Research shows one in three millennials avoid eating at restaurants that are not active on Instagram.

According to ReviewTrackers, 63 percent of people check Google reviews before visiting a business while 94 percent of customers avoid a company if they’ve read negative reviews.

Make sure you keep an eye on your listings and regularly search for any unhappy customers who may be sharing negative experiences, relating to your business, online. Quickly addressing these reviews can turn an unhappy customer into a raving fan. By proactively acknowledging their complaint online and replying reflects positively on your business.

Tip: If social media overwhelms you, take it slow. Either hire one of your tech-savvy employees to #hashtag your social content, or learn how to do it yourself. Every 28 seconds, someone tags an Australian hotel, restaurant, or bar on Instagram. Don’t miss valuable social media traffic that can turn into actual customers.


Delivering food to customer’s door


Food delivery platforms like UberEats, Menulog and others have transformed the whole dining experience for customers in Australia. Even hatted restaurants like Sake allow customers to order through UberEats.

According to Morgan Stanley, more people will order takeaway food online by 2025 and the industry will be worth $4.2 billion. Busy customers are demanding more convenience and high food quality, as working hours become longer.

In Australia, UberEats, Menulog and other delivery companies have a list of restaurants on their websites. Customers order their meals through an app or the website.  The restaurant receives the order, makes the food and packs it ready for delivery. UberEats’ drivers take the food to the customer’s home or office while Menulog has restaurants make the deliveries themselves.


Get new customers


For Nerissa, owner of Lankan Tucker in Brunswick West, UberEats has brought more customers to their business since they signed up less than a year ago. “Despite the large commission (35 percent) charged by UberEats, we’ve managed to reach a lot more people who may not have found us otherwise,” she says.

“We’ve had a few issues with food going missing from bags or food going cold, which are beyond our control. Overall, the biggest benefit of being on UberEats has been more customers,” says Nerissa.

Running a restaurant is tough. Keeping up to date with what your customers want, and continuously looking for ways to increase sales and profits will keep you in business.

Digital platforms might be a way to reach more customers. But you also need to prepare for drivers turning up late, dropping off multiple orders affecting food temperature, high commissions affecting profit margins and kitchen staff stretched during busy times.

Like any other method, this approach needs careful analysis, monitoring and rapid problem solving to keep on top of results.

By Rashida Tayabali

How Far Will the Fast-Casual Concept Influence Hospitality?

Fast but authentic is a trend that’s taken hold in the hospitality industry. Fast-casual dining that combines quality and convenience has changed the experiences being offered in restaurants, cafes, hotels and retail stores. But is the trend sustainable, and how will it evolve?

The incredible growth of fast-casual

Modern diners want food that’s prepared to order, using quality ingredients, yet is still quick and easy. This desire has driven incredible growth in the dining trend known as fast-casual.

Fast-casual chain restaurants are leading growth in the global foodservice industry. Market Insight company Technomic’s annual Top 250 Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report in 2016 showed cumulative sales for the top 250 fast-casual chains were up 11.6 per cent.

Chain restaurants are not the only place the trend is having an impact. Many hotels recognise that traditional full-service restaurants don’t meet expectations of modern travellers, and are increasing revenues by switching to a more relaxed dining experience on property.

Fast-casual requires an investment in quality products and special attention to facets such as fitout and sustainability, but it also generates a higher spend per customer (than fast food) and more chances to provide unique dining experiences that offer enhanced value.

Lifestyle and technology changes drive dining choices

Disruptors like Airbnb and Uber have changed consumer perceptions of what constitutes a service, while apps, consumer rating sites and aggregators have shifted the balance of power to customers in terms of influence and choice.

Technology has fostered a belief that quality and value can be obtained quickly and with minimal cost, effort or inconvenience. Fast-casual is about having your cake and eating it too: fast food without the grease; regular fine dining without the expense; luxury and consumerism without the environmental/social downsides.

The fast-casual trend also represents a desire for a more engaged and authentic experience on the part of diners. Traditional dining concepts like draping napkins on people’s laps may be seen as old-fashioned, but in other ways, diners crave a return to tradition.

Rustic or wholesome meals, simple ingredient lists, and comfortable settings that encourage conversation feel more honest to a consumer that is wary of marketing promises—and can build a sense of trust that is more powerful than other indicators of value (such as price).

Fast_Food_Concept

 

Casual does not mean apathetic

Fast-casual diners want delicious, on-demand food options but their purchasing decisions are driven by deeply held concerns.

According to Nielsen’s Global Ingredient and Out-of-Home Dining Trends Report, based on responses from more than 30,000 consumers across 63 countries, an increased focus on health and wellness is strongly affecting eating choices.

Food preferences and sensitivities have changed food choices, but technology has also created more informed consumers who are more interested in using food to control their health.

The report states: “Two-thirds of global respondents (68 per cent) strongly or somewhat agree they’re willing to pay more for foods and drinks that don’t contain undesirable ingredients.”

People want food that is healthful, natural, organic and sustainably sourced; but even more so, they want to avoid artificial flavours and colours, hormones and chemicals.

Modern diners are also more conscious of factors including supply chain management, workers rights and food waste. The Global Food and Drink Trends 2017 report by market research company Mintel reveals that many people now turn down special offers to avoid wasting food.

Is the influence of fast-casual going to last?

Can the fast-casual concept continue to effectively deliver both convenience and quality at scale? Will consumers continue to pay more for pared back service?

Contemporary diners are tech-savvy, time-poor, looking for value and concerned about how their purchasing decision defines them and their place in the world.

Fast-casual dining has evolved as a direct result of these concerns, which show no signs of disappearing.

There are enormous, emerging opportunities to customise fast-casual dining experiences. Nielsen’s research shows almost a third of people have restrictive diets, yet fewer than half (45 per cent) say their needs are being fully met by current food and beverage offerings.

How can hospitality best leverage fast casual?

Leveraging the fast-casual concept firstly means meeting people’s needs quickly, with minimal friction—by focusing on efficient processes, technologies and well-trained staff.

But this must be paired with an emphasis on quality and authenticity that responds to customer concerns about health and sustainability, which will also open up greater opportunities to build loyalty over time.

People will continue to rely on hospitality businesses to support their busy lifestyles and enable them to make healthy choices even as they indulge—and they will pay for that privilege if the offering represents true value.

About the Author

Jody McDonald is a creative communicator who works with businesses to plan and develop compelling content and websites, and writes about the digital economy, marketing trends and the future of work.

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