This story is a challenging 1 to create, but one that can be a great lesson for these in the cafe business. It really is about a Houston restaurant that for 27 several years served the ideal, authentic South Louisiana foods, developed recollections for noteworthy attendees these kinds of as Anna Nicole Smith and her then billionaire husband, Olympian Carl Lewis, numerous of the Houston Rockets, Astros and Texans, countrywide politicians, film entertainers, and me.
July of previous 12 months, The Magnolia Bar & Grill shut its doorways.
Confident plenty of superb eating institutions occur and go, but this a single was particular. The Magnolia Bar & Grill was in which my marketing and advertising occupation started. I was a bit younger, 22 several years aged to be precise, and understanding the ropes of the marketing planet. I had the fortune of being a hungry marketing professional while they were in need to have of aid with advertising and marketing their restaurant. The cafe was brand new and I was satisfied to barter my marketing skills in trade for delicious food. And so the beginning of a great opportunity and romantic relationship was born.
The restaurant did not near because of a weak manufacturer, nor was it a business failure. The restaurant was a incredible economic good results and the manufacturer will stay on for several years to occur. Jody, Jimmy and their devoted crew attained their area in the minds of the market by persistently offering a enjoyable experience, mouth-watering meals and reliable support this manufacturer, I know, will not be overlooked by equally the buyers or the media. They gained limitless accolades in the national, regional and local press including: “Best Dining establishments in America” in GQ Magazine. They ended up featured in The New York Moments, United states These days and several In-flight magazines, and were regularly awarded for very best brunch, best seafood and very best outside dinning in local publications.
The Magnolia Bar & Grill shut simply because the area and surrounding neighborhood significantly transformed. These shifts did not help the brand solution, its pricing and the goal audience. Their lease was up and it was no for a longer time a excellent company selection to carry on procedure.
The cafe company is a single of the toughest industries to succeed in. Margins are slim, consumers are fickle, opposition in no way stops, and negative climate can waste hundreds of pounds in perishable foods inventory without recognize.
So how did the Magnolia Bar & Grill prosper for nearly 3 a long time, reside by way of a couple of serious recessions, a fire, a roof caving in soon after a rainstorm, a Gulf Coast cholera scare in seafood, and at least three hurricanes?
They constructed the company, and their cafe brand with these five critical techniques that you too must think about adhering to:
one) They leveraged publicity, and term of mouth referral even though limiting paid out advertising and marketing. From the early days when I had an active position in the advertising of the cafe to this past yr, sources were allocated to support channels of impact by what other individuals stated, not in paid advertising and marketing. This meant if there was $2,000 to commit, it would be resourced to fund a media occasion, a client new menu/tasting party or to continue to be active with the concierge’s affiliation. Paid out marketing was very limited. Third-social gathering endorsements ended up key.
2) They recognized that discounting can be a kiss of dying. Even in the toughest financial recessions, there are unfavorable brand name associations with certain discounting techniques. Buy one, get a single free, might provide in site visitors spike, but, it really is not the client you could automatically want. The Magnolia considered there had been far better ways to enjoy and give price to a client, other than to de-worth their solution and manufacturer.
three) They gave back and often. From the Stop of Starvation Network, to cultural arts companies and hundreds of other nonprofits, The Magnolia Bar & Grill gave food, time and assistance yr after 12 months, even in the early times when they ended up not rewarding. This French Fries Tobermory Ontario goes again to my 1st stage, in leveraging your publicity and term of mouth.
four) They embraced and practiced the basic principle that wonderful brands are created on experiences, not a single menu or item product. The Magnolia Bar & Grill experienced kick-butt gumbo and the ideal crab fingers about, but the management and team knew they were promoting some thing significantly even bigger, an encounter, a memory and a excellent time. Equal focus and investment was used to all contact points, the tunes, the employees training, the menu, the lighting, parking and Website.
5) They understood when to hold’em and when to fold’em. As difficult as it was closing this institution down, The Magnolia Bar & Grill experienced lived its training course. They have so considerably to be happy of and experienced contributed substantially to the regional financial system and group for 27 several years. As a enterprise, leadership ought to never drop sight of the stability and math of the procedure, the fees verses income, and market place modifications versus model graphic and crucial momentum.
Will the fairness of the Magnolia Bar & Grill manufacturer re-sprout somewhere in the future? It is challenging to say. Jody Larriviere and Jimmy Gossen also successfully own and work Louisiana Wonderful Foods, a wholesale seafood organization, and Jimmy G’s, a relaxed seafood restaurant by the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in North Houston. I will maintain you posted, but hope you can understand from their branding choices in purchase to make wise branding decisions for your restaurant.
Karen Put up is a internationally recognized branding expert. For over 30 many years, she has worked with organizations, trade corporations and experts to aid them generate or improve their brands. Her knowledge spans varied industries and involves operating extensively with independent restaurants, national cafe chains, cooks, caterers and foodstuff suppliers.