The Daily Rail: What Restaurants Can Lean from Election Cycle Texting Campaigns

MARKETING: Bowl Your Guests Over for the End of College Football Season

With the calendar about to roll over, the number of days you have to boost your sales with hungry, thirsty football fans keeps growing smaller. Fortunately, the NCAA ends their season with a spectacular grand finale. With 40 bowl games left on the slate, there are plenty of opportunities to close out this year on a high note and jump start your 2019. Here are a few pointers to tailor your service.


Conspiracy Theory Bar

Maybe not the best taste of ideas in the light of pizzagate, but an Atlanta bar has dedicated itself to the conspiracy theory theme. One of the owners of the cocktail bar, called Conspiracy, says he’s been “fascinated with conspiracies since he was a child.” The drink list will change month to month and have varying themes from Harry Potter to Elvis to the X-Files.

Gun Deaths on the Rise

According to CDC data, nearly 40,000 people died in shootings across the United States in 2017, the highest number in 20 years. The data takes into account deaths classified as unintentional, suicide, homicide, undetermined and legal intervention/operations of war. That trend was driven by a steady rise in suicides involving firearms. The U.S. now has 12 deaths per 100,000 people due to guns compared to 0.2 per 100,000 people in Japan, 0.3 in the UK, and 0.9 in Germany.

Infographic: The Steady Rise Of U.S. Gun Deaths  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

World Darts Championship

We’re always talking about how sports bars should be willing to show events outside of the major US leagues and look for fun and unique alternative content to pique guests’ interest. A good one to keep an eye on is the World Darts Championship which will air live on BBC America. It airs on New Year’s Day, creating for a different vibe from Bowl games and the Winter Classic. Definitely worth tossing on some of your TVs.


Why it matters to you: Texting was a winner for engagement this election cycle and you can learn from their success.

Of the four hours on average spent by Americans on their smartphones, 22% of this time is spent on texting. That is more than social media or email and 66% of consumers prefer real-time engagement from companies over any other method. This lesson was learned during the most recent election cycle as hundreds of millions of text messages were sent to do things like get out the vote and motivate issues-based voters. There is a definite lesson to be learned from the actions of political campaigns and their central use of text messaging.

According to Robert Lindsay, founder of SMS marketing campaign start-up Hustle, texting enables personal conversations at scale. In the case of the elections, his company leveraged the event based urgency of November 6th to help support the messaging of over 1300 different campaigns. The used the impending expiration of the event to motivate their audiences to get moving. There is a powerful role model for operators as they embark on their own campaigns.

Texting remains an incredibly direct and personal method to communicate with your guests. By pointing to an event or expiring special offer, operators can encourage their guests to action on offers that will excite them and fell very personal. Lindsay suggests you always personalize your messages (“Andrew at The Daily Rail invites you”, not “The Daily Rail invites you”ß) to give your guests a person to represent the connection. Also, be responsive and reply to messages and create a conversation. With texting being so ubiquitous, it’s time you embrace it’s place in your marketing or watch as others to and win your guests away.

[Source: Forbes]


Why it matters to you: Even commenting on politics via social can be dangerous.

We often discuss the value of a social post going viral. We have highlighted Arby’s and Wendy’s terrific trolling efforts Well, it appears Chili’s wanted to follow along this past week. They responded to a tweet from Andrew Bates of American Bridge offering the head of the North Carolina GOP a $25 Chili’s gift card as a challenge. Chili’s stumbled into the fray tweeting, “You heard the man. Don't repeat calls for rewarding election fraud and you can have the time of your life at your local Chili's.”

When the social media person from Chili’s realized what they had waded into, hilarity ensued. First, Chili’s tried to claim they weren’t being political and then truly realized their mistake when they tweeted, “What started as a light-hearted tweet is about to be hours of researching North Carolina politics.” Predictably, there were some funny responses to Chili’s misstep. Our favorite was “We want our ballots back ballots back ballots back our ballots back.”

All kidding aside, Chili’s got lucky they didn’t have to spend days walking back their mistake on making light of a serious question of election fraud. In fact, the error was turned into a win by the same social account that found the jackpot, by laughing at their own oops. No doubt this will ultimately be a good thing that happened but for a few minutes no one knew where it might go. That is why you need to be sure the folks that are managing your social accounts are thoughtful and calculated. Otherwise you might learn your own humor is only funny to you and that’s not the type of viral any of us want to go.

[Source: Huffington Post]