Our client, Davide, runs an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh. It’s a nice looking place (we’ve not been, but we’re contemplating a day trip at some point), and from what we’ve been told has a great atmosphere and serves traditional Italian cuisine.
Right up our street!
Davide’s biggest problem was that as his restaurant is off the main thoroughfare he doesn’t get a lot of passing footfall. People come to his restaurant because they know about it, and sadly for him, not enough people seemed to know about him.
He’d taken over the restaurant from another owner who, by all accounts, had run it in to the ground, and developed a bad reputation.
Despite doing a lot to not only renovate the space itself (including a state of the art kitchen) and revamp the menu, Davide never took the time to shout about the new place. There wasn’t even a press release.
He’d spent lots of money on a website, but wasn’t actively promoting it. Anywhere. It was an online version of the actual restaurant – looked great, but hidden away and kept secret.
Davide was the first to admit that he wasn’t doing enough, and he knew that’s where the problems lay, but he was so overwhelmed and confused by what he should do that he was essentially standing still, completely unable to make a decision on how to move forward.
What Time Saving Heroes did
First of all, Lu had a long chat with Davide over the phone. It was clear that although he didn’t have all the necessary skills needed to tackle his marketing on his own, he did have a lot of them – what he lacked was clarity, a strategy and if we’re honest, a degree of self-confidence.
An hour into their chat it was obvious that just having someone to bounce ideas around with was going to be a huge benefit to Davide. Within that short space of time he remembered why he wanted to set up the restaurant in the first place, and how passionate he’d been about it initially.
Instead of beating himself up about what he could have done differently, Lu encouraged him to start taking one step at a time, and focus on where he wanted to go. It was during this conversation that Davide said he wanted to encourage local businesses to use the restaurant at lunch times, whilst pushing his other customers to come in the evenings.
On the back of this we initially decided to focus on LinkedIn. Lu re-wrote Davide’s personal profile, and really focused on how he and his team could provide a quick and easy lunch for those on a quick break, a great venue for corporate entertaining, and even hosting for networking events. She also set up a company page that Davide could link directly to.
After an intensive training session via Skype, Davide learnt the basics he needed to start using LinkedIn effectively to make contacts in the local area. By the end of the first week he had arranged meetings with a local networking franchisee (who wanted a lunch time venue), a call centre manager (who knew his staff wanted an alternative off-site food option that wouldn’t eat in to their break), and an investment firm who wanted somewhere nice and quiet to meet with clients.
At the same time we set up Facebook and Twitter accounts for the restaurant and really started to focus on the domestic customers Davide wanted to attract. We spent £50 on Facebook advertising, targeting a very specific age range and geographical area, which had great results. We also started using hashtags on Twitter to encourage happy hour, Fizz Fridays and Mum Mondays (where Mum’s ate for free, every week).
Almost immediately online bookings increased, as did walk-ins and Davide was thrilled, as you can imagine. He never anticipated that doing a few simple things would have such a huge impact. The great news for him, was that once we got him started, and showed him what to do, he could take over the reigns for himself. Meaning that his marketing was handled in-house and wasn’t an ongoing cost for him.
However, that’s not the end of our relationship with Davide.
Once customers started coming through the door we encouraged him to set up, and maintain a database. This would allow him to see where a customer had come from (Facebook, Twitter, local trade etc), and obtain their contact details so he could direct message in the future. By asking for date of births, and other special occasions, we’re now able to, on his behalf, send out specific emails offering discounts for Birthdays and anniversaries.
The feedback from his customers is brilliant – they love feeling like the team care about them enough to remember their special events, and they always come back and leave with a smile on their faces.
What Davide had to say
“The team at Time Saving Heroes are amazing, nothing is ever too much trouble, and they make me feel like I am their only client. I can pick up the phone and just have a moan to Lu, who handles it all with good grace and manages to lift my spirits when I’m having a bad day. Thankfully, such days are less now.
“I cannot say how much value Lu and the team have added, it’s much much more than I could have anticipated. I expected a bit of marketing, and instead I got friends, colleagues and someone who loves my business as much as I do.
“When you feel like you’re on your own at times, that’s worth so so much. You ever come to Edinburgh, the meal’s on the house”
We’ll take you up on that offer on day, Davide!