#cardealerships – for Restaurant Sales


I have found that car dealerships can be great sales generators for restaurants. A lot of large dealerships have end-of-the-month and holiday sales events that offer food, drink and fun for customers who drop by to take advantage of the great deals. These events may require restaurant support such as catering, take-out or delivery services. In addition, how about offering a free appetizer certificate to everyone that test drives a new car during the sales event. It gets their customers into your restaurant as potential new, regular guests.

Along with customer events, car dealerships also have monthly staff meetings for the Sales Department and/or Service Departments. They often have these meetings catered from local restaurants.

Stop by a car dealership and ask for the General Manager or Sales Manager. It never hurts to ask to be their restaurant of choice for their upcoming sales promotion. Just think how great it would be to land a nice, big catering order or two this holiday season.

If you are passionate about building long-term, loyal relationships in your local community, check out our new Local Store Marketing blog series at bigideamarketing.net/blog. If you need assistance in Local Store Marketing, call us at 949-285-8554. Thanks!

Coupon Distribution “Rule of Thumb”


The Rule of 30

Remember this Rule:
• Distribute 30 bounceback coupons.
• 10 recipients will keep their coupons to possibly use before they expire.
• 1 coupon will be use immediately.

The important part of this equation is the 1 redemption. Even if you distribute only 60 coupons a week, that would translate to two plus new guest visits (with co-workers, friends and family tagging along). I’m sold.

Atmosphere Will Make You Stronger


I was working with a large restaurant chain to help them identify the issues in their restaurant that were causing a slow and steady downward sales trend.

I sat observing the daily routine of the server and manager interactions with guests. Their food and service seemed great so I decided to spend time in the restaurant just observing when I noticed something. The speaker above my table was blown out and all that was audible was a kazoo band so I moved to a different table. As I sat down, I also noticed that one of the lights above my table was shining directly in my eyes like a Klieg light at an airport so I got up and sat at another table. I then started sitting in every seat in the restaurant and making notes. It seemed that almost every table had an issue such as leg pinching upholstery tears, wobbly tables, one table with a direct view into the the restroom, glares off car windshields, burnt out lights and several tables that I could watch employees smoking cigarettes outside during their break.

Their food and service was good but that’s where it ended. The guest experience was compromised not by their food, beverage or service but by guest experience once they sat down. I invite you to become a guest and sit in every seat in your restaurant and see what your guest sees, hears and feels. Yes, it’s true “atmosphere will make you stronger.”

Clint Schwald, Big Idea Marketing, Inc.

Need Restaurant Sales? Ask an Employee!

The Holidays – The Super Bowl for Restaurant Sales!

The Holidays – The Super Bowl of Sales for your Restaurants

Almost every business, school and resident in your community will have a reason to purchase food, beverage and gifts during the holiday season. No matter your restaurant concept you have the opportunity to dramatically increase your sales.

Focus on the low hanging fruit. Large party reservations, take out, delivery, catering and gift card sales are all opportunities for sales increases.

It’s not too late to put together a holiday group sales game plan. Whether it’s a large scale promotional campaign or a “boots-on-the-ground” local store marketing program, getting the word out is profitable. If you don’t tell the local business and residential communities about your holiday line-up, no one will know and they will go elsewhere.

I tell my clients to get out into the local community and “make the boss a hero” at local businesses by visiting their business, telling them about your holiday programs and taking care of all the details for the boss to make their end-of-the-year holiday celebration a memorable experience. Seriously, most bosses would just as soon write you a check and have the celebration go off without a hitch.

We find that giving managers and franchisees tactics that work outside the restaurant’s front door pays dividends immediately.

Every holiday season our clients see an average of a 15%+ increase in sales over the previous months.

If you are a veteran at group sales, then get out into your community and let people know. Recruit energetic employees to drop off promotional materials at local businesses. Post your group sales opportunities on your social media sites. It’s not too early to start promoting the holidays. You should plan on visiting each business three times during the holidays. This way you will stay top-of-mind when they decide to place an order.

If you are a restaurant manager or franchise owner currently not involved in group sales, we recommend using very simple, smaller executional programs that provide opportunities to expand and promote your brand outside of the store but will also get your teams acclimated to taking and fulfilling pre-arranged orders.

By starting with smaller programs, this will help train managers and franchisees as they build into larger events. Plus, we have found that smaller customer orders will lead to customers thinking of you for larger orders because their confidence level in your execution goes up.

Offer guests various pick-up and catering options that will make their job easier. We recommend focusing on smaller group sales opportunities within a ½-mile radius of your restaurant. Promoting pick-up for small catering orders is the first step toward building confidence in your catering ability both with your restaurant team and your customers.

Being able to take your business outside the four-walls and into the community provides a unique competitive advantage.

Not only are businesses a prime target but contact public and private schools and offer to cater their teacher, staff and PTA holiday and end-of-the-year celebrations. This can help get your foot in the door for future school programs throughout the semesters.

I tell my clients that 100% of the flyers, bouncebacks and catering menus that don’t get distributed also don’t get redeemed or used. Guaranteed. Happy Holidays!

If you would like us to help create your holiday game plan, send me an email. We would love to help.

Thank you,
Clint Schwald

Big Idea Marketing, Inc.

Promoting your Restaurant to School Teachers