Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

I’ve often said to B2B sales audiences “If they can’t find you, they won’t buy from you!”

This is why I embrace a ubiquitous marketing approach for sellers. (Chapter 3-4 in Nonstop Sales Boom). This principle applies to all sales, and we can learn from the best practices and massive failures of all industries. Here is a local example:

Three new restaurants opened within a four block radius of my condo this week.

Azabu had a lot of hype leading to the opening, a great website, and heavy online promotion in the local newspapers. They were promoted via dedicated emails three months before opening, then one month before opening, one week before opening, one day before and the day they finally opened. Their windows were wrapped in intriguing pictures and a “coming soon” message.

The Lobster Shack opened with fanfare after lots of Facebook activity on their build out and local support. Local advertising and promotion was heavy, menus were posted on the website and Facebook, and their website was active. They already have twelve “5-star” Google reviews, and I’ll add mine this week.

Both were packed on opening night and the support has continued all week. There is a buzz in the neighborhood about these two new spots.

Around the corner, the huge and very fancy looking MIRA Five Star has been shrouded in secrecy. They don’t have a website, (note that I can’t even link to it in this post!) even after opening.

Would you seriously eat at a new restaurant without a website? To be fair they have an OpenTable page, but look at the menu selections. They are listed as Chicken Thigh, Grilled Salmon, Caesar salad etc. No descriptions, no pictures, nothing to entice people to want to reserve. There are no reviews on Google or OpenTable.

I met the VP of Marketing for Mira three weeks before opening and she wouldn’t talk about their concept or opening plans. She didn’t answer any questions about the restaurant at all and I found out later that they are hoping to have an “exclusive feel.” There has been no advertising, mailings, or promotion of any kind online or offline. We walked by last night and one table was occupied, and its a huge space. If I had to guess…at least 100 seats. To make it worse for them, they are tucked away in a brand new building that is occupied by seasonal tenants a good three blocks away from the main drag. Tourists will not be walking by.

The restaurant business is tough, and to survive in Miami Beach, especially in our small neighborhood, South of Fifth, you must rely on local support. We see more restaurants open and close in the same season than I have fingers and it’s always for the same reason. No promotion. I’m not a restaurant expert but I’m a smart enough marketer to know that you can’t thrive without engaging your community.

[bctt tweet=”If your community can’t find you, they won’t support you.” username=”EngageColleen”]

I suspect when we come back in the fall only 2/3 of these new spots will be around.