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07/23/2008

Ok, so, not necessarily "B&B" marketing... but more like "restaurant" marketing. 

I need to get more customers in here and I can't afford to "pay" for advertising (altho I currently have an ad on the radio, but when its done, I won't have any more $$ for advertising- I know the person at the station and they gave me a deal). 

But I have an idea and was wondering what you all think? 

I'm thinking of doing a "referral" contest. > Where people refer the Tea Room to others, and then the referred person eats here and gives me the name of the person who referred them. At the end of the month the person who gave the most referrals wins a dinner for two from us. 

Also, I was thinking I would take "referral cards" to businesses and drop them off, so they can hand them out. The cards will have a place to put the persons / business / name of the referrer. 

The referrer doesn't 'have to' eat here, (hopefully they have or will cuz that will help 'validate' the referral, but just to get people 'talking about us' I think will help. 

any other ideas or suggestions?? 

 

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Country Girl's picture
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A very cool restaurant near us has a card that they give to customers. Each time you eat there the card is signed. After going there 6 times the 7th meal is free. The card has to be used within 1 year. The place is a bit pricey so it's a good incentive to keep going back. The food and atmosphere are great and they completely change their menu every month so it's a new experience going back every single time.

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06/24/2008

Sunshine, go for it and use FB as mentioned.  A few of my friends that own/manage restaurants say January is the worst month for them.  The holiday statement surprise puts them into freeze mode.   I am seeing a lot of local restaurants doing specials especially this month on FB. 

Discounts and specials bring in more business than a contest where there is 1 winner.  IMHO  A contest will get the word out that you are open for business, but a discount or a special says I am open and I want your business!

As an example, the place we went yesterday has a Wed. special:  .25 oysters on the 1/2 shell (sold by the doz) and $1 martinis.  Does that bring in a crowd on a otherwise slow week day - YOU BET.  Do people only eat/drink the specials?  NO  At least by the tables I looked at including our own.  We spent $50 - only $8 of that were specials. 
Another place is adv. a free app with entree purchase...  
Come up with something that has value, won't give away the farm and leaves room for them to need more! 
Good luck! 

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07/23/2008

copperhead wrote:

 

Discounts and specials bring in more business than a contest where there is 1 winner.  IMHO  A contest will get the word out that you are open for business, but a discount or a special says I am open and I want your business!

Discounts only work "IF" people know you exist and they are coming. I'm striking out for both. People 'don't' even know we are here... crying So, I have to do something that tells them we are 'here'! 

On a bright note... our realtor sent me a message today and made dinner reservations for Valentines day for 7 couples. So thats great!

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Sunshine wrote:

People 'don't' even know we are here... crying So, I have to do something that tells them we are 'here'! 

See the Embrace Uniqueness topic. A "no pants" tea party. The town will take notice of that!

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07/23/2008

I just talked to the radio station and they are going to help me by talking up the contest on the radio. They also are having me come in next week to talk on the air about the tea room! YAY!!! 

HOPEFULLY all this will be super successful. 

OH, and one of the ladies (customer) that I spoke to today about the contest, came back and made a lunch reservation for 10 for next monday... I suspect they will all bring a card with her name on it! 

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10/07/2008

Sunshine wrote:

I just talked to the radio station and they are going to help me by talking up the contest on the radio. They also are having me come in next week to talk on the air about the tea room! YAY!!! 

HOPEFULLY all this will be super successful. 

OH, and one of the ladies (customer) that I spoke to today about the contest, came back and made a lunch reservation for 10 for next monday... I suspect they will all bring a card with her name on it! 

Don't forget to contacy another business and co-op. As mentioned a cooking show in your past, this is something worthwhile, if they will allow you to do it without paying for it from the HSV. 

I spoke to our town manager about an opportunity and he wants to get someone together with me as a corporate sit down. I understnad what he meant, but we are NOT, and I repeat NOT a corporate sponsor of anything. How about you scratch my back and I will scratch yours...

It has to NOT always be about money.

Our "regional" CVB sent us an opportunity to be in the 2014 travel brochure which will be at every visitor center. a 1/4 page ad, is only $3777 (not 1/4 of a newspaper, a brochure!)

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Dontcha just LOVE all the opportunities we are offered?

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gillumhouse wrote:

Dontcha just LOVE all the opportunities we are offered?

The thing was K and you know my m.o. by now, I was offering to begin sharing the info online and spreading the news about an event, not to have it turned around as a "Hey they can PAY US CORPORATE money" I have a friggin' 6 rooms, 5 open at the moment, there is no amount of ONE NIGHT ONLY to ever pay for a corporate event.

As we say, we don't even make a pay check...so they should just BACK OFF...we are paying to have our hickory tree that was hit by lightning taken down, the insurance does not pay for that, only damage if the three fell, but then again, we knew it had been hit by lightning, so would prob say we are negligent...I hate paying for this sort of stuff! 

gillumhouse's picture
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I know. You know I promote everything promotable here also. BTW - the release about tanked was in my local today - I sent then the link - photo and all. One innkeeper now has the last name Muncie, but otherwise it is all there as written.

Rather than doing a help each other, too often the other party sees nothing but "It is a BUSINESS, sponsor dollars!". It certainly does put a cap on the thoughts of helping.  Falls in with the many, many letters offering to HELP us by putting us in the view of their event attendees by simply giving them a week-end getaway at our little bed & breakfast - they will be helping us SO MUCH!! And I have a whole 3 rooms!

I do sponsor the annual Turkey Trot raising funds for 4-H scholarships with $250 cash AND a room for the timekeeper (they paid me the first year but I toss it in the hat now) and sponsor a kids basketball team with the Jerry West Youth Basketball - costs me $100 per year. That is ALL I am willing to sponsor.

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"One in the hand is worth more than two in the bush"

A drawing will not bring in guests, people barely enter ACTIVE contests unless the prize is so grand they feel compelled. We are giving away a WEEK LONG CAIN STAY up to a LODGE. which has 6 bedrooms for our state parks.  Just submit a photo, and we had a huge turn out this year, of 56,997 FANS on our FB page we had about 60 entries, this was WAY BIGGER than last year. 60 entries y'all for a major prize!

A lodge in summertime rents for $1831+tax per week =$2014.00 PRIZE and nothing to declare on taxes, you just go and enjoy it!

All that to say, make it TANGIBLE.

IMO - every person who DOES dine or stay with you should be given a discount card/coupon(s) to give out, as well as redeem on their next visit.  If they are there at LUNCH TIME, then GO ALL OUT to give them plenty for their work environment.

What you give them is up to you, obv you can't give away the farm, but you have to spend money to make money, as the saying goes. A free item will go along way. As mentioned, if a restaurant offered a free dessert for our guests, I would more likely send them THERE.

I can't tell you what to do, but just this feedback. No business has overnight success. Unfortunately the time to do all this is when you are busy, get it when it is good. ie Christmas time may have been the time to get these ducks in a row... 

If you have a FB page with local followers - by ALL MEANS generate interest there. A BIG COUPON as your HEADER IMAGE would be okay you know, go for it!

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07/23/2008

Yes, you are right, but I am hoping it works. Yes, I plan to put it on fb too. The coupon/card will have $$ off for lunch and dinner so the person 'dining' here will get a discount. I like the idea that the 'diner' also gets entered into a contest. A tin of my house tea would probably go over really well because people LOVE my own special blend. 

I ran this by a few ladies who were here today for lunch, and they loved the idea and each asked for a handful of the cards (I had to hurry and finish them and print them off because they weren't quite done yet. LOL). So maybe they will hand them out to people. 

I tried the 'free dessert' and NOT ONE person took advantage of that. I did the $ off coupon before, and I've had about 4 of those return. 

 

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04/21/2013

Appetizers and drinks always work better than dessert. Too many people who simply won't eat dessert. I used to have up to 15% of my sales be apps but usually only 2-3% desserts.

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sachi3679 wrote:
Appetizers and drinks always work better than dessert. Too many people who simply won't eat dessert. I used to have up to 15% of my sales be apps but usually only 2-3% desserts.

This is a diff sorta place. Desserts are something off the charts here, and it is a tea room, not an appetizer type restaurant. That is why I suggested it. I wont eat dessert anywhere, I never do. But it is an incentive to get them in...and her desserts, well...wow is an understatement. yes

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This is a diff sorta place. Desserts are something off the charts here, and it is a tea room, not an appetizer type restaurant. That is why I suggested it. I wont eat dessert anywhere, I never do. But it is an incentive to get them in...and her desserts, well...wow is an understatement. yes

[/quote]

Aww..... Thanks JB. thats really sweet of you to say! <3 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

That pie we took to Branson did not sit around for long. The hard part was letting it GET to Branson!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Unless they were opened to check them out - you have some tins of tea that cost you nothing. Put a label over the name of the company (it no longer does the tea parties anyway - address labels you can print is what I mean) that says A Gift of __________ Tea Room. THEN at the same time or after the referral contest you could do a drawing that patrons of the tea room get their name in the drawing for a free tin of tea. Costs you nothing and they MUST have been to the tea room as a customer to get into the drawing. Or 2 tins - whatever is inexpensive or free.

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04/21/2013

I once worked at a restaurant where we were all given business cards and the back of the card had a coupon for a free basket of chips (it was a Mexican place and the business card side was so she could tell who was giving them out).  At another restaurant we had cards for a free appetizer and they were given out for small complaints but also we were given stacks and encouraged to give them out to everyone.  In both cases, the free item was something very cheap (the app was $5 something on the menu but literally cost about $0.40 to make) but people get super excited about free.  Free cup of tea? 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Can you do this via FB? Have a 'like us and share' contest with a random drawing for tea for two?

I realize you want more people in the door NOW so I would do both contests.

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Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Sounds like a good idea to try out.  You might want to make sure there are a minimum number of referrals, and if a tie know how that will be broken.  I'd hate for you to buy dinner for the one guy who referred one person, not that I really think that's what would happen.

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