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 5 of 43 6 • July/August 2016 FIRST SIP SEAT-FILLING PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES GETTING CUSTOMERS INTO RESTAURANTS and keeping them coming back has always been a challenge, but it seems particularly diffi cult today. There are too many options, tastes have changed and many consumers remain price sensitive. Unique promotions, special menus and very limited time offers can help. These are just a few ideas I've come across in recent months. Chicago restaurant Bottlefork promotes a "micro happy hour" that lasts just 10 minutes. Every Monday through Friday from 5:15 to 5:25 p.m. sharp, Bottlefork offers $1 shots of a specifi c liquor brand (Thursday brands are dealer's choice). Head bartender Adam Kamin said during a panel at The National Restaurant Association's BAR event in May that Bottlefork has to bring in more staff to handle the micro happy hours. But he noted that many guests arrive early and have a burger and a few beers before 5:15, so it has boosted sales. Philadelphia-based Garces Group, which operates 18 concepts, was perceived as a special-occasion restaurant; nobody went there for lunch, said its vice president of restaurant operations Scott Steenrod on another NRA panel. So it added a prix-fi xe lunch with a starter, main course and nonalcoholic beverage. The strategy has increased lunch business without eroding the upscale brand's equity, he said. French-inspired American comfort food chain Mimi's Café ran a Mother's Day offer for a three-course menu, free pastry and gifts. But Mimi's also invited guests who had dined at the café on May 8 to celebrate Mom twice by offering a free entrée (with purchase of an entrée and two beverages) if they return on May 29, which is Mother's Day in France. What a great way to tie into a holiday, capitalize on its brand's theme and offer guests a fun reason with an incentive to return. It helps if you can promote special offers to guests via email or text. How do you build a customer contact list? Bar/restaurant consultant Nick Fosberg says to start with a lead-generation program. For instance, hold a contest or giveaway to get customers to give you their information. (See page 12 for some of his ideas.) It's not just about building a list, however; it's about capturing the contact information of the people who want to do business with you. These are your most profi table guests, according to Forberg, and you should fi nd a way to give them special treatment. Cheers! Melissa Dowling Editor Cheers July/August 2016 • Vol. 27 No. 5 Editor Melissa Dowling 203-855-8499 ext. 2223 Associate Editor Kyle Swartz 203-855-8499 ext. 2225 Managing Art Director Dodi Vessels Production Director Cherri Perschmann 763-383-4425 Contributing Editors Jeff Grandfi eld, Kelly A. Magyarics, Jack Robertiello, Thomas Henry Strenk, Dale Willerton Senior Regional Sales Managers Bruce Kostic 203-855-8499 ext. 2215 Mark Marcon 763-383-4456 Debbie Rittenberg 763-383-4455 List Rental MeritDirect, Jim Scova 914-368-1012 Reprints Robin Cooper Cheers ® is published by EPG Media & Specialty Information Editorial offices at 17 High Street, 2nd Floor Norwalk, CT 06851 Tel: 203-855-8499 • Fax: 203-855-9446 CEO Marion Minor Sr VP/Audience Development Joanne Juda-Prainito Sr VP/Finance & Operations Gerald Winkel VP/Beverage Group Amy Collins Cheers (ISSN 1051-564X—USP Number 007-239) is published eight times per year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July/August, September, October, November/December) by EPG Media & Specialty Information, 17 High Street, Norwalk, CT 06851. Periodical Rate Postage paid at Norwalk, CT and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Cheers, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823 SUBSCRIPTIONS: One-year subscription rates: USA $35.00; Canada $50.00; air mail to other countries $75.00. All subscriptions payable in U.S. dollars. Payment must accompany order. To subscribe write: Cheers, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823, or call the Cheers customer service line at 845-856-2229 (Port Jervis), Fax 847-763-9569, M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST. Subscription customer service e-mail: cheers@ Contents copyright © 2016 by EPG Media & Specialty Information, 17 High Street, Norwalk, CT 06851. Reproduction without the express written consent of the publisher is prohibited. EPG Media & Specialty Information, publishes Cheers, Beverage Dynamics, StateWays, Wine & Spirits Industry Marketing, Handbook Advance, Liquor Handbook, Wine Handbook, Beer Handbook and Fact Book.

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