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Tough Economic Times Tests Restaurateurs

With the housing market at an all time low and the bears controlling Wall Street, times are tough and some economists say, may get even tougher. These harsh economic times are extremely hard on consumers, people have less and less discretionary income, in other words less money to spend on things they may not necessarily need. Gas and grocery money is eating into their bottom line and people are eating out less. So, when they do eat out, they are seeking a very satisfying experience on a budget.

Changing with the Times

So, what are restaurateurs doing to meet these challenging times and new demands? Some veteran restaurateurs are betting on technology in a big way. It's no longer enough just to run a traditional snail mail coupons, emails or in house Happy Hour promotions -- We're just not reaching our customers anymore this way. We have a more technical savvy clientele these days. "Going out to where the customers are...on their mobile phones, seems like a logical answer" an Orange County Chef & Restaurateur that goes by the name of Zookini tells us.

For example, in Newport Beach, CA -- home to some of the nation's wealthiest individuals -- One restaurant is betting on the mobile card.

"After 20-years of doing the same thing, the old concept of filling seats just isn't working any longer" says Carl. Even though for the past 20 years his restaurant, has been a Newport favorite with a beautiful waterfront location and stunning views, it was no longer enough to keep the crowd appearing at its doors.

So, Luis his younger brother decided to look into getting their own mobile app that would also allow them to instantly text message patrons promotions at anytime "on the fly". He started with the lunch crowd and at 11:30 Monday - Friday he sent out a Mobile Coupon to his clients mobile phones announcing " It's bring your co-worker to lunch week" Choose any two lunch entrees for $20. For this he had a special lunch menu. Luis reported a handful of customers came in each day.

A good start, Luis tried the same thing the next week but it was "bring your Secretary week" He got a crowd of about 20 this time. Continuing with this technique "bring (fill in the blank) week" customers started steadily increasing. Two months later the restaurant was to capacity with people on a waiting list every day. Where previous promotions didn't work because customers never saw the email or coupon mailing, SMS text messaging was received at the right time of day (just before lunch) and on the clients mobile phone that they have with them 24/7.

With the lunch success, Luis wanted to now try the dinner crowd. He wasn't too sure the same idea would work but modified it slightly with free desert using the same concept "bring your Mom to dinner week, bring your Dad for beer week, even, ware your ugly sweater week. It all worked, however he hit gold when he advertised (as a joke) "Bring your K9 to dinner and your four legged friends doggy entree is FREE "

Not expecting a huge crowd, that evening guests with their furry friends start trickling in. Patio tables filled. Soon there was a waiting list, a longer line. Luis had to send an employee out to get more kibble & dog treat deserts. It was then he realized, he may need to expand his patio! All due to his mobile app? He served over 60 K9's and their peoples that night. The most fun he has had serving in a long time.

The lesson? So, with an increase in competition and a rise in customers who are seeking even greater value from their restaurant experiences, change means more than altering the menu. Change has to be a little more dramatic in this volatile time for the food industry. We invite you to take a look at Platinum Edge Media for your Restaurant's Mobile App and download the FREE SMS TEXT MESSAGING GUIDE FOR RESTAURANTS. This may be your and your dogs best friend!

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