Cheers July/August 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 11 of 43 12 • July/August 2016 There are two critical elements in successful bar or restaurant promotions, according to consultant Nick Fosberg, president of Bar Success. First is a market for the business, second is a profi table marketing plan with a powerful message. In a session at the National Restaurant Association's BAR event, Fosberg said that the most important promotion is a lead-capture program. This strategy is used to collect contact information (namely email addresses) from your customers to build a list. You want to be able to communicate with these folks and extend them special offers, Fosberg said. The customers that essentially say, "Here's my information—I want to do business with you" are "the most profi table on the planet," he explained. How do you get them to give you their information? Use a lead magnet, such as a contest or giveaway, he said. These are a few of the promotion ideas Fosberg shared in his seminar. 1) Free meal for a year. Everyone wins with this offer, Fosberg said. For one, it helps you build a list from the people who enter to win. It also makes your restaurant stand out from the pack and typically generates a lot of free press, he added. You can place restrictions on the offer, provided that you reveal them up front. For instance, you can specify that winners must purchase a meal and two drinks to get the free meal, which builds business throughout the year. And you can specify that entrants must be present at the drawing to win, which helps pack the house that night. 2) Flat-screen TV giveaways. These types of lead- generation contests tend to work best in conjunction with sporting events such as the Super Bowl, Fosberg said. You can get your liquor and beer vendors to pay for the TV, he noted. Vacation giveaways also work well during slow times, he added. "They're an easy way to get 40 to 50 people in the door." 3) "Broke" promo. This is a limited-time offer based on an event or incident, such as your freezer broke so you're doing a special menu at discounted price to cook up the food. You can promote these offers via email, direct messaging and Facebook posts, Fosberg said. They key is crafting the message using engaging "reason why" copy. Sharing the story that explains why you're doing something builds a relationship with the customer, he explained. 4) Party package giveaway. These are highly profi table and can bring in hundreds of new customers while helping you build your contact list, Fosberg said. The same goes for promotions designed for birthdays. 5) New-mover promotions. Send a personal letter rather than a postcard and say something like "Welcome to the neighborhood! Come in for a free meal…" This builds instant trust and creates a relationship that will likely generate repeat business, Fosberg said. 5 IDEAS FOR PROFITABLE PROMOTIONS The National Restaurant Association held its BAR event at its annual conference in Chicago May 21-24. Here's a roundup of Melissa Dowling's coverage. Clockwise from left: Cool cocktail beakers at the Libbey booth; a custom Moscow Mule mug made for fondue chain The Melting Pot; two fi ns up from the Shark Stimulation energy drink mascot; Rumfetti Cake Pops with a bonus shot of Club Caribe mango rum; a tasty pairing from Chicago's Mercadito—Camaron Tacos (shrimp, roasted garlic, avocado and chipotle mojo) and Nugget's Nectar (Herradura tequila blanco, pecans, cinnamon, piloncillo, pineapple and lime); and gorgeous bottles at the Tequila Los Azulejos booth. SEEN AND SAMPLED AT THE NRA'S BAR EVENT

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