Upselling Master Class: How to Cultivate Lifetime Customers

Restaurant and business owners tend to make the same fatal mistake: they fail to recognize the potential value of each individual customer. In need of revenue, owners chase new acquisitions rather than developing their relationships with the customers they already have.

In the latest episode of Breakthrough, host Paul Barron explains how implementing a comprehensive upselling strategy can transform your business and increase your revenue. He also chats with Dana Krug, the vice president and general manager of food and beverage for Phononic—check out a deep dive of that interview here.

“You won’t be able to say ‘here’s a new product’ without having earned that right,” says Barron. “It’s all about getting inside the customer’s head and creating perceived value.” He recommends reading Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by market research expert Paco Underhill. First published in 1999, the book’s exploration of neuroscience and consumer behavior remains relevant for business owners today.

To succeed, upselling has to be built into your brand and designed to meet the needs of your existing customers. The new, higher-priced products also need to be relevant and thoughtfully implemented with insight and expertise.

Winery, restaurant, and lifestyle brand Cooper’s Hawk is one such upselling success story. Recently acquired by Ares Management for an extraordinary $700 million, Cooper’s Hawk built upselling into their business model with a wine club that now boasts over 400,000 members. As Barron notes, Cooper’s Hawk has “created a way to upsell to their guests 24/7.”

“Their wine program changed the game on how they were communicating to their guests,” adds Barron. “They’ve created a relevancy to [their customers’] daily lives.”

Visual cues, rather than a person pushing a new product, are also key. You want your customer to feel as though they are making the choice for themselves rather than having the decision forced upon them. Upselling takes time, and potentially multiple visits from a customer—repetitive business creates trust.

“If you’re not relevant at the right time and place, you lose the opportunity for the upsell,” adds Barron. “You’ll have to start rebuilding the chess game to get back to the point of being relevant to your customer.”

Check out the video above to learn more about the secret to the success of Cooper’s Hawk and the importance of guided products, placement, and messaging!

Why Data Ownership Should Be Key When It Comes to Tech in Foodservice

According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry 2019 report, “more than 8 in 10 restaurant operators agree that the use of technology in a restaurant provides a competitive advantage, and many are planning to ramp up their investments in technology in 2019.

This is great news for consumers but with so many choices in the technology sector, operators can be left feeling overwhelmed.

What’s important to remember is whichever tech advancement— whether it's their POS, online ordering, smartphone app, mobile payment, or loyalty program— operators decide to prioritize, it must make sense for their type of business and unique customer needs.

Watch the video above to learn how BurgerFi accurately figured out what tech advancements make sense for their business to get a proper ROI and how data ownership must be a priority in this day and age!

Produced and Researched by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writter & Producer


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Tyson Foods Launches New Content Network in Partnership with Foodable Network

In today's rapidly moving digital climate, restaurant brands are trying to stay ahead of the game to catch the attention of the ever so restless consumer. 

Devices are now inundated with ads from brands. While these touchpoints will likely remain part of marketing strategies, a smart marketer realizes that quality trumps quantity. 

With that in mind, content marketing is king. 

Creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to a restaurant consumer makes much more of an ever-lasting connection. It's not about pushing a brand logo or inserting ads, instead, it's about sharing compelling stories and information that connects with your customers, while also entertaining and educating them on topics of interest. 

According to a recent "Content Marketing Institute" report, 91 percent of B2B marketers reach customers by utilizing this type of strategy. 

But this should be done carefully. As "Thrive Global" says it's okay to break the rules. Rule #1 for example, "create content that is aligned with your product or service." It's okay to branch out and cover other unique topics too. Would your audience find this interesting? This doesn't mean you should be covering a recap of the latest Game of Thrones episode. But if you can spin the topic to be more relevant to your business it’s the type content that will attract clicks. 

Since customers are so tired of ads, it's time to get creative with your content marketing. 

"A report by "PageFair" and "Adobe" shows that more than 198 million people around the world use ad blockers. You need to use educational messages along with promotional ones and approach your consumers tactfully," writes "Thrive Global." "You can strategically place your propositions in your content. For example, if you don’t include a CTA (Call to Action), some consumers will never make a move."

So which brands are ahead of the curve when it comes to this marketing strategy? 

Tyson Foods is taking content marketing to the next level. In partnership with Foodable Network, the brand is launching The Modern Chef Network. 

The Modern Chef Network will offer tools operators need to compete. The platform will be dedicated to delivering ideas, innovations, research, and insights designed specifically for the foodservice operator across a multitude of business sectors.

"B2B content marketing is the most effective way to deliver a message in today's crowded digital space, it used to be a simple social media post, but today operators are seeking more video, podcast, and research and expect their partners to deliver more than just a product. A handful of companies are moving fast to create new direct to operator communication and education platforms like The Modern Chef Network from Tyson Foods. The Modern Chef is an advanced "on-demand" platform that features video, podcasts, research, product demos as well as original stories," said Paul Barron, editor-in-chief and executive producer of Foodable Network. "We are betting on a whole new breed of food suppliers and operators alike to move to more efficient ways to reach and influence those that matter to their business. I expect B2B Content marketing to consume more than 50% of marketing budgets by 2020."

Check out The Modern Chef Network.

Why Restaurant Operators Should Pay Attention to Instagram's New "Order" Sticker

As noted by Mashable, Instagram is experimenting with features that will upgrade its advertising efforts. In doing so, the company has added a new "order" sticker in addition to other sales-focused features that influencer Matt Navarra shared with users on Twitter.

Navarra recently shared a screenshot of the "order" icon which appears in the Instagram Stories along with the other interactive features such as location and GIFs. The "order" icon includes a green dollar sign suggesting it will somehow play a role in sales. In the past, Navarra has shared snapshots of unreleased features, including the "product" sticker in as seen in Instagram Stories.

While Instagram has yet to release more details on the purpose of the order sticker, a spokesperson clarified that the company is not testing this feature and it should not be considered as a method of in-app purchasing. Although Instagram regularly experiments with different features, not all of them end up launching.

However, the company has made it clear that it is a priority to monetize Instagram Stories to boost its advertising efforts. Mark Zuckerberg stated that advertising will be a primary source of revenue for Instagram and that commerce and shopping look promising. Thus expanding the social app's features will be pivotal to Instagram's success.

Instagram recently introduced an additional feature playing a part in sales. The "checkout" option allows users to make a purchase from the Instagram app, instantaneously. Previously, users were redirected to the retailer's site upon completing a purchase, where users are more likely to abandon their shopping carts.

These additions demonstrate Instagram's growth and commitment to providing new applications that will optimize sale efforts. How the new order sticker will play out for restaurant owners is uncertain, but given Instagram's considerable influence over consumer decisions, restaurant operators should take notice of these additions.

Is Your Restaurant Brand Telling a Memorable Story?

Nearly everything you encounter in life has a story to tell.

That saved concert ticket, that photo of your grandparents, and even that person sitting near you at the coffee shop – all have a unique & memorable story. Your restaurant should be no different.

The truth is, restaurant brands relying on worn-out keywords such as "locally-sourced" and "hand-crafted" to tell a ‘story’ must learn that this is simply not enough anymore (nor should it have been relied on as a strategy in the first place).

These phrases have become ‘cliché’ in this over-saturated industry...welcome to 2019!

Restaurants must now make their story meaningful, personal, emotional, simple, and authentic.

Despite the word “story,” it isn’t even confined to the written word. Colors, decor, vendors, staff members, plating, glassware, packaging—even the simplest visual segments within your brand ‘messaging’—can paint a picture worth a thousand words.

Your brand story should start however, by first identifying the following:

  • Who you are: How your restaurant came to exist today.

  • What you do: The food, beverage, entertainment, and/or experience you provide.

  • Who you do it for: The people you want to serve within your community.

  • Why you do it: Your larger goal; how it benefits your ideal guest & community.

  • How you do it: Visibility into your food, beverage, and/or experience strategy.

  • Where you are headed: How you are evolving and working to create the best for your guests & staff.

This may sound similar to the questions you need to answer when developing your four core statements; vision, mission, values, and culture.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

This is where it all starts. This is the foundation for your story.

Your curated story needs to grab your ideal guests attention and activate their emotions—and that goes for story-telling across all mediums; including your restaurants interior design, curb appeal, advertising, social media, website, supply chain, training, and service – to name a few.

As humans, when you’re invested in a good story, your brain physically responds to it.

How do you feel your guests are currently responding to your story? I am willing to bet that your guests are no different and crave engaging stories, a dynamic in which your restaurant-guest relationship should be built on trust, mutual respect, and common interests.

They want to connect & interact with you as a brand and to be acknowledged as unique individuals.

And not only will a unique & memorable story improve your relationship, but it will also undoubtedly improve your bottom line.

You can do that by focusing on the following, all of which is in your control:

Architectural Design: You have perfected your statements, brand identity, and the main underlying story you want to tell - now it's time to translate this narrative into compelling visuals.

Restaurant brands and visual presentation go hand-in-hand, it should be no secret. You can have a fantastic brand, but if presented in an unimpressive way, it gets lost in the mix while quickly creating brand confusion. The interior & exterior design of your concept is an opportunity to humanize the story of your brand, creating an experience people want to both interact with and build brand loyalty with.

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Shutterstock

Generated Content: Powerful content has a great impact when telling the story of your brand. Invest time in unique image & video content as part of your marketing plan. For example, how will your ‘hand-crafted’ pizza using ‘fresh, local toppings’ stand out from every other pizzeria on social media claiming the same narrative? This is your opportunity to create something meaningful, personal, emotional, simple, and authentic. Get creative and think outside the box. Get your entire team involved in helping tell your unique and memorable story.

Food & Beverage: Taking a multi-sensory approach, your food (plus beverage options) must play on the fact that guests not only take-in pleasure through taste, but also from the positive emotions and memories the flavors may evoke; as taste (gustatory), smell (olfactory), and visual senses are forever interlinked into our memories. When you truly understand your target market, you can extract emotions and personalize the food & beverage experience through the use of effective story-telling. If executed properly, stories can stick in the guest’s mind, much longer than a memory of a bite of food or a glass of wine.

Guest Experiences: Whether you’re a neighborhood bar, a QSR with a strong off-premise program, or if you’re a dine-in restaurant, you must believe that every interaction matters. Train your staff to tell the stories behind your food & beverage. Who created them? How did the dish or drink come to life? Don’t rely on words or a long list of ingredients within the menu. Your team should tell a different, highly engaging story for each food & drink option to ensure guests return at a faster rate to try more of your options, resulting in a beneficial bottom-line.

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Shutterstock

Culture Management: Your brand personality and culture are what makes your brand unique. This should be reflected in your restaurant's story through a strong (and human!) brand voice. You should ensure you have culture-focused ‘systems’ in place to make sure stories lived by all staff, from leadership down to entry-level positions are easily shareable. In a true and managed story-telling culture, everyone participates. Everyone has stories that they live and that are worth sharing with your target market. Don’t be scared to make this change in your strategy. It’s time to humanize your brand.

It isn’t a coincidence that brands with a story last longer than the ones without. The power of your brand reflects how well your restaurant's guests resonate with your story and tell their networks about their experience with you – leading to their networks telling their networks, and so-on.

Story-telling can also be the fundamentals of a successful brand ambassador strategy.

While story-telling has been around since the start of mankind, in today’s world, we have at our disposal more tools than ever before to tell our stories. Let’s not waste that opportunity!