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How Restaurants Can Use New Technologies for Target Marketing

Tuesday, June 03, 2014  
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Due to the competitive nature of the industry, restaurants, bars and lounges must constantly figure out how to attract new customers. In this quest, there are marketing strategies and new technology platforms that can provide venues an edge in this important effort. Increased business can be achieved by identifying untapped opportunities, setting a strategy to target a specific customer base and leveraging  new technologies to execute.

In the past several years, the restaurant industry has marketed with a variety of  daily deal or flash sale companies which have delivered customers, but with revenues close to break-even or at a loss.  It attracted more deal seekers than repeat customers and became more an advertising spend.  These tools may play a role in a broad marketing plan, but not as a core strategy.  The core business has to be profitable.

Using Offers to Target a Specific Customer Base
High quality customer acquisition can be achieved by creating targeted offers which line up with business opportunities. Every type of venue can expand their customer base by tailoring packages to business goals and marketing them consistently through the home page and social media.

Sample Case Study
Lounges which have robust crowds starting at 11PM, but low utilization of their kitchen earlier in the evening.  A compelling price-fixe dinner and drinks package available until 10pm achieves several goals:

1) Boosts the dinner crowd which can be transitioned to late night with an upsell
2) First wave of nightlife customers enter a full room and will not "check back later"
3) Capitalizes on being a "one-stop shop" for a full evening of dinner and drinks

*Specific examples include the 40/40 Club Dinner and Drinks or the Le Souk Moroccan Feast.

Just as we see a need for lounges to generate more dinner business, many restaurants should be identifying a bar or lounge strategy with Happy Hour offers or "after dinner" drink packages to keep the crowd at the bar.

Specific package offers include:
1) Happy Hour-particularly targeted to women
2) Brunch-entree with traditional drinks like a mimosa and/or bellini
3) Early Evening Specials ahead of local events--In NYC, pre-Broadway dinners with early seatings
4) After Dinner Drink-included in a dinner package but served at the bar

Developing a targeted strategy to increase a specific part of the business is easy to employ with new technologies in the marketplace. The effort should be accentuated by partnering with new entrants to the industry marketing equation. Such as:
1) NiteTables
2) BoozeMenus
3) SportChaser
4) Gourmet Marketing

Although technology can deliver efficiency and reach, success attracting new customers requires a daily focus.

This article was submitted as part of our Industry Insider program. Learn more >>

By Brock Ganeles, CEO of NiteTables Inc.

NiteTables is an online reservation system for nightlife experience packages based in New York City. Our mission is deliver value, simplicity and transparency to the process of planning and reserving your night out. The platform is available in four major regions currently: New York Metro area, Boston, Philadelphia/Atlantic City and Washington DC with expansion plans underway. NiteTables is now in its third year of helping customers to plan and book celebratory nights out be it birthday, bachelorette, bachelor, date nite or any other important occasion even if it is just to have some fun. We have featured over 1,000 unique package offers on the site with more being added every day. The system is free to consumers only requiring a 10% deposit to secure the package pricing and certainty that you and your group will treated properly. NiteTables is committed to upgrading your nightlife experience.

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