Increase Guest Counts: Get out of the Fishbowl and into the Ocean

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If I had to sum up my marketing approach into a single, coherent concept, it would be the fishbowl versus the ocean scenario.

A fishbowl environment is made up of people who have heard of you before: existing customers and people who have “opted-in,” “liked,” or “followed” you. This environment is represented by things like email lists, social media accounts, customer databases, and so forth. Most continuing (and expensive) marketing efforts are geared toward getting more people into your particular fishbowl so you can continue to market directly to those people.

Conversely, the ocean is made up of all consumers. These are people who have no idea you exist. People who are looking to branch out and try new places to eat and drink in their home city. People who have not opted in or liked anything you offer. The tourist economy is almost exclusively an ocean environment. It includes the person using Google or online reviews to find a business like yours.

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Most restaurants and bars rely almost entirely on their fishbowls for marketing. They build databases and social media accounts without a care in the world for the consumer who is looking for a business like theirs outside their fishbowl. This is unfortunate, because:

The ocean—NOT the fishbowl—is where you improve guest counts.

How do I know this? It comes from the results of polling the public for over 6 years. This information comes from direct customer feedback.

Since polling the public over the course of these six years, one thing has become apparent to me more than anything else: Social media is given way too much credit for bringing people through the door of a bar or restaurant.

Read this: Bar Marketing and Promotions Ideas Essential to Your Business

We’re all aware of the power of word of mouth. It’s by far the most successful tool for driving people through the door. The problem is, we marketing people are powerless to affect this. Word of mouth is influenced by operations, not marketing.

Word of mouth is based on the past experiences of friends, family, and even strangers. It’s operations—not the marketing department—that turn a one-time customer into a regular. Sure, the marketing department can post a new and exciting menu item on Instagram to bring that person back through the door, but if their first experience wasn’t a good one, chances are they’re not coming back—no matter how good that new taco looks.

Read this: Exclusive Sneak Peek: How to Become a Blue Ocean Operator

This is not the same ol' boring social media-driven approach you've heard of or tried a thousand times. During my 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show session, “How to Bring NEW Customers in the Door & Increase Guest Counts,” I'll teach you how to correctly leverage the ocean, and to grow guest counts where the NEW customers are.

Don’t miss out on this informative, revenue-boosting session! Register for the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show now!

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