Small Business Success For Local Vancouver Restaurants

Small Business Saturday activities and events ┬áin Vancouver are a must for retail and eatery establishments. This is an excellent way to counteract the popularity of larger organizations and the craze that surrounds them during events like lack Friday. With your eatery or bar taking advantage of these ‘shop local’ events, it will be sure to thrive.

1. Attract and retain new customers

People flood the streets on Small Business Saturdays, and all that shopping will generate thirst and hunger. You want to make sure your business is there to satiate their needs. American Express, who started the Small Business Saturday campaign, polled shoppers and found that 59% plan to eat locally while shopping.

To grab their attention, use a witty slogan in your window or even on social media. Be sure to advertise any special offers such as getting discounts for using their American Express card. You also want to make sure they know about any special or unique items on your menu.

There are many ways to attach your social media pages to the events, such as using the Shop Small logo on your page. Other great tips from the National Restaurant Association include limited time specials that can be cashed in at a later date or offering discounts for using a certain hashtag in their posts.

Although American Express offers free promotional materials for Vancouver businesses, you want to keep an eye on your costs and be sure to include supplies, staffing and discounts. It is not going to beneficial if you put more out that you can generate so be sure to stick to your budget. Knowing the numbers can also help you to plan for the next event to generate more successful promotions.

Once the customer arrives to take part in your promotion, then you can promote your loyalty program. You grabbed their attention, and now you want to retain them. #1 advice is to make sure that these customers want to return and that your name stays in the front of their mind.

2. Use Promotional Tools

There is never a shortage of tools to use for promotions of Small Business Saturdays. Most are free, and there is a large variety to choose from including welcome mats, marketing materials, signage and email templates. It only takes a few minutes to look them over and select what you want, and the returns will be great.

American Express extends a $10 incentive to their cardholders so you can offer an additional deal to promote yourself. You can simply take $5 off of your gift certificates and then advertise a $15 discount to the customers. The sweeter the deal, the more attention you will get. It will not only entice the customers to come to you but puts a good taste in their mouth to remember you by later.

Be sure to analyse the feedback and collect data both during and after the event, It is helpful to know what promotions worked and what type of customers you brought in with them. Once you have this and all the customer comments and staff reports, you will see the bigger picture of your success.

3. Team up with your neighbours

Remember that you are surrounded by other small business and entrepreneurs, and this is a great advantage. Companies that work together grow together. Learn about those in your community to discover who you might be able to team up with.

Neighborhood Circles is a new tool this year from American Express. You can browse the site and learn who in the area are participating in Small Business Saturday. You are also given the opportunity to start your Circle and invite your neighbours to work alongside you. This tool is expected to be a good starting point for helping local businesses to develop string support networks.

To help foster good working relationships, another good idea is to give a little something back. Invite local business owners and staff to come to your eatery or bar to unwind after the busy Saturday crazy is over. You can extend a special ‘industry night’ with a new menu or drink specials. The gesture will be appreciated and will be remembered for future events. Make sure that you advertise any special for the community on the Neighborhood Circle, so the team knows in advance.

4. Get staff involved

Knowledge about Small Business Saturday for Vancouver businesses is already well established, and advertising is already at powerful levels. You should still extend this by promoting it daily within and around your place. Especially around holiday seasons, be sure to get your name out there, so the extra holiday cash is spent on your food and drink.
You want to make sure that your staff is prepared and excited. Their enthusiasm will go a long way with customers. Allow them to be involved in the promotions and planning because this creates a well-bonded team. You can even get them involved with competitions where they get to name a special meal or drink for the event. You want them to feel comfortable to share their ideas about music, decorations and sign and social media promotions.

Your staff will be out there interacting with the customers, directly selling the promotions and offers. Local Vancouver Restaurant Kingfishers Bar & Grill gives advice to “have them be proactive about selling gift cards or certificates especially during the lead up to holiday seasons. Not only do you make a new sale, but you bring people back. Keep track of the patrons that return, especially if it becomes a regular occurrence. The best business and advertising come from repeat customers and their word of mouth.”

5. Extend into December

Experian predicts an 11% increase in Vancouver holiday spending this year, so continue to use your promotional tactics well into the holiday season. Offer gift cards and other holiday ideas with posters around your location as well as having your staff mention it to each customer. More gift cards mean more new customer will come to eat with you, and you can keep great sales momentum through the busy holiday.

The additional sales and new customers are a valuable payoff for all your promotional efforts. Be sure to track the new customers as well as the ones that return. You can use management software and point-of-sale systems to keep record of this and analyse later what was successful.

Knowing what works means you can employ the same strategies next year allowing profits to reach higher levels every holiday season.