Case Study: Leveraging Restaurant Week

resturant_weekGRAPHIC-01Are you participating in Restaurant Week this year? Many guests look forward to Restaurant Week as a chance to try out new restaurants and dishes, while participants look forward to a shot of new sales during traditionally low-key months. But with increasing competition, “winning” Restaurant Week requires a pitch perfect marketing plan. Use this case study from our SM3 marketing team as a guide.

Who: A trendy American style concept, which prides itself on its “Southern California meets Lower Manhattan” menu and ambiance.

Why: The client decided to participate in DineLA, a two-week long Restaurant Week concept. The client asked its SM3 rep to help raise awareness of the event, the special prix fixe menu, and the need for reservations.

The SM3 Response: The SM3 rep constructed an integrated marketing strategy for the client, leveraging both their eClub and Facebook to drive guests into the restaurant. Among the tactics used:

  • Multiple emails. This is crucial. Get guests making reservations early, then drive the forgetful ones in closer to the day of the event. The SM3 team designed a “Save the Date” style email prior to the beginning of DineLA, and an additional email announcing an extension.
  • Multiple Facebook posts. The SM3 rep made several posts throughout the length of the event, linking to the lunch menu, the dinner menu, and the restaurant’s listing on OpenTable. The variety of posts meant more engaging content, and drew additional eyes who might have missed the email. Combined, the two activities helped to acquire additional guests and reinforced the message for those that both Like the restaurant’s page and belong to the eClub.

Results: SM3 was able to track more than 200 clicks on the various email and social media links. Beyond the high engagement, sales were also high – the client earned $7,000 more in the month of the promotion than they did the previous year. The restaurant was packed every night with new guests and loyal fans. The campaign was so successful, the client extended the promotion an additional week. They’ve also added a monthly prix fixe Restaurant Week-style menu to their itinerary to keep those guests coming all year round.

Lessons Learned: Start early and message often, with diverse content, on multiple platforms. Get your guests engaged and reinforce their interest. If this sounds like a lot of work, think about getting some assistance from an expert.

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