The Daily Rail: Are Drink Giveaways the Answer to Lagging Restaurant Traffic?

MARKETING: Why Restaurants Need Synchronized Marketing

Have you heard of synchronized marketing? Integrated marketing has been the norm for almost 20 years, but with the emergence of social media it’s high time we take a look at how we market restaurants. Get started.


The Avocado Mafia Returns

Avocados are serious business. So serious that Mexico has set out “avocado police” to protect their country’s “green gold.” Mexico produces nearly half of the world’s avocados, and armed men started raiding farms as early as 2007. Avocado Police patrol and protect the farms.

Kaepernick Wins Again

No one will hire him, but Colin Kaepernick keeps racking up the accolades. Last month he was named one of SI’s Sportsperon of the Year awards. And now he’s going to be honored with the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, an award built around the “ideals of equality and individual expression, and the importance of standing behind one’s beliefs regardless of the cost.”

How Puerto Rico Will Recover with the Help of Spam

By now you must know that Hurricane Irma ripped through Puerto Rico a few months ago, leaving a shattered mess in its wake. Just as everyone dusted off their shoulders and started to rebuild, Maria came through and pummeled the shards from Irma, leaving only pulp. Most are still without electricity and phones are disconnected. There’s hope. Spam. It’s helped the island survive in the past and it can do so now.


Why it matters to you: ESPN is hastening the advent of streaming.

There is no more prominent brand in sports than ESPN. So, when they announced their second major round of layoffs last week, it was big news. It should also be big news to anyone that operates a sports-themed restaurant. This continued downsizing by ESPN represents a major shift in how they view their business. Last month alone, they shed 100k subscribers as Millennials (and everyone else for that matter) are cutting the cord and moving to streaming to get their viewable content. In fact, ESPN has entered into several deals that will facilitate their own streaming activities and are launching their own dedicated streaming service in second quarter of 2018.

When a major rights holder like ESPN begins offering their full content lineup via stream it represents a tipping point for internet-based TV. We have been railing on for years that streaming is coming and you better get ready. It would appear that ESPN agrees. CBS and NBC already have quasi-streaming products with the one from CBS a complete standalone. It’s time for you all to consider how you are going to include streaming in your own content strategies. Look for a how-to guide from us in the early New Year so you can do just that.


Why it matters to you: Are drink giveaways the answer to your lagging traffic?

Offering drink promotions is nothing new in our industry. However, when a chain the size of Applebee’s offers a $1 Long Island Iced Teas (L.I.T.) that is newsworthy. This comes on the heels of their October promotion that delivered $1 margaritas. Apparently that was sufficiently successful that they are renewing the promotions with one of the most notorious “get there fast” drinks ever invented by our industry. The promotion will run for the month of December. At least you can save money on self-medicating this holiday season with a quick visit to Applebee’s, but is this a good or sustainable strategy?

This really is an important question. The answer is complicated. Yes, discounting that drives traffic and introduces you to new customers is by definition good marketing. However, if that traffic only arrives because of the discount and never returns or you cannibalize your own business, then not so much. The conversation around discounting has shifted somewhat during 2017, with most chain operators pointing to the damage it’s done to their business, rather than doubling down like Applebee’s. The choice you make as an operator should depend on your demographics, your current sales trajectory, and how desperate you want to appear.