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Month: December 2012

How to Market Your Restaurant Online – 5 Tips You can Use Today

When it comes to restaurant marketing it surprises me how many establishments just don’t seem to understand the power of online reviews and what their customers are saying about them.

This past fall I found myself meeting with a local restaurant owner that had some serious issues with the bad reviews that one of his many restaurants was experiencing.

In this particular case the restaurant we met at was one that I had frequented since it first opened, and overall the food was pretty good. Certain items on the menu had become favorites and pricing was pretty reasonable. But when it came to service, this is where I felt the ball was being dropped. Sometimes the service was pretty decent and other times it just seemed mediocre.

The one big thing that stuck out in my mind was that I didn’t know who the manager was? In all of my visits to this restaurant I had never been able to pinpoint or determine who was actually overseeing the restaurant?

So I decided to contact the owner to see if he was interested in meeting to discuss my findings and he agreed to get together. Now this took a few times and ultimately a combination of a phone call & text message got the owner to sit down one Saturday afternoon.

It was a pretty short meeting and as we were wrapping up he said something to the affect of, “Usually when I get done with a marketing meeting I’m not excited, but this time I am really excited.”

The ‘exciting part’ was that this owner now understood that he had a problem and it could be fixed. The question remained as to whether he would take action in-house or hire us to do the clean up? More on this in a future article.

So let’s get back to How to Market your Restaurant Online.

I mean how does one go about promoting online and getting the word out about the great food, service and whatever else it is you bring to the table?

Here are my Five Tips you can put into use today:

1. Create and Setup Profiles on the top citation sites, search engines and social media outlets. Once the profile is created, make sure to continually optimize it so reviewers are kept up to speed about your establishment.

2. Monitor each and every one of these Citation Websites, search engines and social media outlets for reviews about your restaurant.

3. Promote Citation Sites that have credibility and your customers are posting to about your business. In other words, if your customers are mostly using Urbanspoon or Tripadvisor, make sure your profile is optimized(with video and pictures – where permitted), you are responding to reviews, and consider testing some advertising on mobile devices.

4. Utilize Social Media outlets to attract, create buzz, and connect with both prospects and existing customers. This is more than the occasional post or tweet. It takes daily effort, so consider having a few different people work on this. Plus you can 

5. Get a Mobile App for your restaurant and promote it to your customers both on and offline. This will pay dividends if your app is developed correctly and you use the promotional features.

In closing, how do you market your restaurant online and really make it work?

Use the five suggestions above and then tap into as many online sources as you can afford to invest your time and money into. This way you can test each source and find out which ones drive the most traffic and bring the right kind of prospects to your table.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier

PS – Should you get stuck or need a little help with marketing your restaurant online, The Small Biz Mechanic has the latest recipes to help you get there.

Small Business Success Stories – Secrets of the Tiny Store – Part I

Is your business becoming extinct and you don’t even realize it? Or is all your hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and money about to go up in smoke or down the drain and you feel helpless to do anything about it?

Let me share a short story about a small family business that struggled, fell, tripped and succeeded….

 9.11.2001 6am

It was on this day that I was supposed to fly to Wisconsin to meet with our biggest vendor, hoping they would approve of the new buyer who was soon to purchase our small family business.

The call came from my sister-in-law around 6am Pacific Time. It came as quite a shock so my wife and I quickly dressed and drove to my Mother’s home to view the unfolding tragedy in New York, the place of my birth and early years.

We quickly realized that I would not be flying that day and that our business sale may be put on the back burner. But we continued to watch and then waited to see if more disaster was to come.

In the weeks after Nine Eleven, we worked to salvage the sale and the buyer did purchase our company, although without the #1 vendor on board.

This vendor, who we had promoted and marketed for 12 years, was at that time the biggest in the industry. We had aligned ourselves with them so we could grow our small enterprise and this decision turned out to be one that we would not regret. Although it did cause some serious aggravation with our buyer.

Ultimately the executives at our #1 vendor held our fate in their hands and decided that the buyer of our business would not be permitted to sell and promote their products.

How ironic it was that we as small business people had to get their blessing and the people approving this deal were not even involved in a small business. They were corporate folk, doing their jobs, looking for increased sales and covering their bottom line.

To my knowledge, not one of the original executives are still working for this vendor and the business we sold….

Well, that’s another story that I will continue with in Part II. So stay tuned, avoid online extinction today and look for my next article where I’ll share what happened after the sale…

Dave Krygier

PS – Want to learn more about the Tiny Store and how this small family business dominated niches? Get the inside scoop and check out Secrets of the Tiny Store and you’ll find out.

Mobile Marketing – Are You Ancient History?

Is your business Mobilized yet or are you still fiddling around, being indecisive and holding onto old, outdated marketing? Well, I will tell you that now is not the time to be putting off these important decisions about mobile, because mobile marketing is on a role and there are billions of humans helping that roll pick up steam.

Mark my words that this mobile revolution and evolution will catch up with you sooner or later, whether you like it or not. I mean 77% of the world population has a mobile device and according to recent research, it’s expected that over 1 Billion people will have Smart phones by 2016!

Not to date myself but I’ve been around since the
beginning of the mobile rise in the 1980’s. Yep, yours truly had the grand pappy of cell phones, an original brick phone, circa 1988.

Ancient Mobile Marketing Device
Ancient Mobile Marketing Device

Now it goes back a year before this when I had my first EF Johnson ‘car phone’ and boy was it a robust setup!

The picture to the right is of a Motorola 8900 Ultra Classic II that I used for several years in the 1990’s and believe it or not I went back to this after having a Microtac flip phone.

Boy those were the days and technology was changing at a fast pace but not as fast as today. But this is where it all started for the land of mobile.

And you could even say it started with pagers and yes I had a few of those, even one that  allowed anyone to leave me recorded message that played back over a little speaker on the pager. Hi-tech, eh? Well, it was for 1987 and we used this technology until the mid 1990’s.

So all this ancient tech history leads me to today and where we are currently at with mobile and your business. Yes, your business and mobile marketing.

In my article about mobile marketing on November 15th I mentioned that mobile traffic had surpassed the 10% mark and with billions and billions of people already mobilized, this should tell you something.

Now whether you arrived at this article though our mobile site, a tablet or desktop, it makes no difference, but know this my loyal reader…

If you are still lugging around old technology(and marketing baggage) like the Motorola bricks(they might only work in a very, very remote area) , you best take a hard look at the world of mobile and engaging your target audience. Because mobile is here to stay. It’s growing by leaps and bounds and it’s over taking the desk top world very fast.

From mobile & responsive websites, to mobile apps, SMS texting, QR codes, Games and the marketing that drives it all so your mobile experience is as good or better than the desktop.

So stay tuned here at Click and Mortar Blog because we’ll be keeping tabs on the world of mobile and maybe we’ll even bring back some more history about the ancients.

Get mobilized!

Dave Krygier

PS – Have you seen this mobile marketing solutions video from our friends over at Small Biz Mechanix.





Direct Sales & The Return of the Milkman

Whether you’re lactose intolerant or love a mug of milk, this is a story you have to hear.

Recently I attended a local chamber of commerce function and one of the first people I ran into was the local milkman. Boy was this a surprise and more so that he was just getting started and had hundreds of customers who received their dairy products on a daily and weekly basis.

The most interesting part of this is that he was utilizing a method that most small business owners would look down on. But with this method he did in two months what most businesses do in a year or two. And with this said, I tip my hat off to him.

So maybe you’re not old enough or never met the milkman when you were growing up? Well I did and we even had a milkman back in the late 1990’s in the Central Washington Community of Wenatchee. This service was one my wife and I really liked but we ended up moving and didn’t find a milkman in our next community.

Fast forward to today and the milkman shows up on your doorstep offering you a variety of items and service to boot. And this kind of service fits hand in glove for the busy mom and dad who almost always forget to pickup milk on their way home from work or soccer practice.

Now with all this talk of the milkman how do you think this pertains to your small business or organization?

Here’s my Take…

Think outside the box and you might find the simplest method for marketing your business and increasing sales to be one that is time tested and still works, even though the techno folk will say you’re an old fart for doing it!

Direct Sales is still Alive and can be a very lucrative channel for certain businesses. Maybe your business is one of the ones that could still be utilizing direct sales.

Maybe your business or organization could increase or even double sales with direct response marketing and direct sales combined?

You know – you test some mailers with phone follow up or a little pay per click, video and a real person to answer the phone when the searcher clicks or calls.

So do not write off direct sales until you’ve sat down and put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard…

Because your next big client, customer or patient could be right around the corner when your mailer shows up or ad appears on his mobile device.

Think outside the box this next year and consider direct sales and direct response marketing if your business or organization needs additional revenue to keep the doors open.

To your success,

Dave Krygier

PS – As of this post The SmallBizMechanic is still working in this arena and might be able to help you uncover a few new clients or patients.

PPS – If you come across this post and he’s swamped or no longer working taking on new clients, let us know and we’ll see who we can refer you to.










Sports Marketing – The One that Got Away…

Recently my daughter tried out for the regional ODP(PDP) soccer team in our state. It was a last minute decision to make the five hour tirp to the field with her having to stay overnight with another family.

Needless to say upon arrival at the fields I was surprised to find that the check in was not very professional and somewhat disjointed.

The coach of this new team gave us parents about two minutes of his time to basically “ask questions now” because this is the only time you have.

This is the same coach that her current team coach highly recommended and maybe he is great on the field and with the kids, but his approach to us was less than charitable and somewhat brash.

It has been my experience dealing with the youth soccer world that certain coaches have this attitude and this coach was no different. Now maybe he is a really nice fellow underneath the standoffish exterior. But for an estimated $2000 to $2300 over 7 to 8 months it seemed like he could have given us a little more time, or at least an FAQ handout?

After all we parents do pay the bills, invest our time, drive the miles and so I feel a little common courtesy would have gone a long way. At least with me that is. 

In five plus years of dealing with youth soccer I have never seen a more unorganized tryout. It was like the people running it had no personal relations skills whatsoever and the organization behind them only scored a 2 (out of 10 – with 10 being highest) in my marketing and PR book.

You see, as a marketer that is actively developing and growing businesses, I am attuned not only attuned to ads, slogans, headlines, colors, sayings and results, but more so the entire package. And in this case the entire package was weak and left much to be desired.

So what this organization did was ‘not build up my confidence’ and for this next year they lost a great player.

Yep, I’ll toot the horn for her. She really is a great soccer player and everywhere we go, parents approach her and us about her abilities and skills. She works very hard and soccer is her only sport at this stage in her life.

For us first timers(at this regional level) this was an experience that I hope not to come across again in the future. 

And now this leads us back to your business…

Most youth sports organizations need PR and marketing people who specialize in sports marketing. These people should be up front telling the story, sharing the facts, and paving the way for the programs and leagues that are to come. It’s that simple.

This is also the case for most small businesses and this is where soft selling comes into the picture..

DO NOT ASSUME that your prospects know all about your offer, your business, and how great you are.

1. You need to tell the story.

2. You need to provide the facts and testimonials(if you have them).

3. You need to be proactive and follow up with your prospects.

4. You need to provide customer service and this starts before the sale!

And if you are running any kind of youth sports organization that relies on parental funding to keep the paychecks, fields and operations running…

Then I suggest you Over Communicate and Build Repore.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier