The Daily Rail: New Consumer Attitudes Add Challenges to Bar Traffic

MARKETING: Two Inward-Facing Marketing Ideas for Your Restaurant

As a business owner, "specificity" and "personalization" are by far two of the most valuable tools you have in terms of crafting an effective marketing campaign. When a lot of people think of these terms, however, they focus all of their attention on the outward-facing opportunities they represent. Using a former guests’ name on a letter or sending targeted messages to people based on past behaviors are a great way to create an emotional connection with someone, sure. But you should focus on the inward-facing opportunities, too.


AMEX Acquires Resy

Resy, the five-year-old reservation management company, is being acquired by American Express as part of AMEX’s growing interest in the dining and travel industry. Resy offers table management and booking technology for restaurants as well as a consumer-facing reservation app. AMEX is hoping to “develop a suite of new digital capabilities that will provide unique digital services, experiences and access for American Express customers.”

Facebook Breakup?

According to a poll conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of Business Insider, the American public is in favor of antitrust action against Facebook. When asked specifically about Hughes’ suggestion to split up the company, nearly 40% of the 1,000+ adults surveyed said they’d support such a measure while less than 15% were opposed to it. As the following chart shows, regulatory action against Facebook finds support across both sides of the political spectrum

Infographic: American Public Supports Antitrust Action Against Facebook | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Disney Debuts Cocktail Popsicles

Last spring and summer we talked about the importance of having a solid frozen beverage program as part of your business. Well, now, Disney has debuted cocktail popsicles at Epcot’s Italy pavilion. The cocktail popsicles are made with locally sourced fruit and wine, and come in a variety of flavors. And if Disney is doing it, you can bet the demand will spread elsewhere.


Why it matters to you: Restaurant owners espousing their politics ALWAYS has consequences.

You may remember in June of 2018, a Virginian restaurant opted not to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her party. Fast forward to now and she is recounting a year filled with hate mail, direct threats, and doxing. In fact, according to Stephanie Wilkinson, the mail came in such volume that the post office delivered it in overflowing plastic totes. Wilkinson experienced much the same negative response that a controversial sign posted in a Danville, IL restaurant that was more conservative in its message. The question is, why did either restaurant infuse politics into their businesses?

If either of them had to do it over again, do you think the operators would have avoided promulgating their political views? While a fair question, the irony is that both restaurants have experience sales increases as direct result of the publicity, clear proof that this no such thing as bad public relations. Sure, they’d both prefer not be threatened for their political speech, but that’s the cost of the 1st Amendment. Your speech is protected from government response, but not from the reaction it generates. So, for those of you thinking, “Hey this will play to my base customer audience”, be sure to consider the consequences to your staff, family, and community. From there only you can decide if it’s worth it.

[Source: The Hill]


Why it matters to you: Bar traffic is being challenged by new consumer attitudes.

The Rail is an adherent to the philosophy that all decisions should be data driven. That’s why a scary survey done by Market Watch has us concerned and we want you to be just as unnerved as we are…right? Here are the top three metrics that have us this way. First, 55% of Americans are opting to stay in, rather head to a bar. The survey also found that 74% prefer a night in and perceive it as more relaxing than going out. Finally, 69% of people say they drink at home to avoid the cost of drinking at a bar or restaurant. Those are some telling statistics and beg the question, are you ready to respond to these metrics?

The main task is realizing that you have to offer more than a few TVs on the game or a jukebox, if you want to draw bar patrons in the current culture. Whether it’s amping up your food offerings or separating your day parts with thematic entertainment (think spy-themed for kids during the early evening and trivia for adults at night), you have to provide a reason for guests to choose you. Yes, the total traffic may be falling, but that doesn’t mean a little hard work differentiating yourself won’t pay off. Remember every operator won’t heed this obvious call to action, so those do stand to stay around and relevant just a little bit longer. IMHO.

[Source: FSR Magazine]