Saturday, February 02, 2008

Marketing......what works and doesnt work (for me at least).

Well after playing the role of the "new restauranteur"........a.k.a. "ignorant sucker" for the past year and a half, I think I've found some marketing that actually works. When you open up every Tom, Dick & Hare comes by selling you on every marketing/advertising scheme known to mankind. You've got a certain amount set aside in your budget for it, and most of them make it tough for you to make a decision. The truth is most of it, in theory, sounds like a home-run. Now I'm not going to set here and speak as if I am now the authority on what works and what doesnt.............but I will tell you what worked for me, which was not much. I've done coupons on the back of Kroger receipts, Newspaper advertising, Sudden Values, coupon magazines.............all of which have been about as worthless as tits on a boar hog. radio campaign on 104.5 the zone (local sports/Titans radio show) added to the bottom line......and I just did a direct mail campaign for several local zip codes that looks to be working very well. We are consistently getting probably on average of 10+ per day coming in the Joint and I would say that 75% of them are new customers. I am going to start an email list here in the next month or so.....which is what Sudden Values is/was but I dont think they really ever sent anything out. I am pretty happy with the direct mail campaign.....we'll see how it goes over the next few weeks before I'm completely sold.

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What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!