Nibble’s Micro-Blog Series 2018

In April 2018 my company, Nibble, launched a ten part micro-blog on Instagram. We planned ten episodes across ten weeks covering the latest sales and marketing topics for restaurants, bars & hotels. Here are the latest episodes uploaded direct from our Instagram… Enjoy!

[Brand Strategy] We are starting off our series of micro-blogs with Brand, as we believe it’s the foundation of any hospitality business and plays a vital role when deciding how to best drive a company forwards.

Brand is often overlooked by operators who are involved in the day-to-day running of the business, chasing sales, or simply don’t have time on their side. However brand is a key factor in consumer decision-making and can both consciously and unconsciously affect our thought process.

Everything that a business does effects how the brand is perceived, a quick way to think about this would be ‘how does the brand look and how does it make you feel?’ This can relate to anything from the logo, to interior design, the service style, product offering and presentation, price points, employee personalities and everything in-between. .

Whilst operators tend to be great at covering the in-store ‘brand feel’ we find many lose sight of brand value when it comes to outbound communication, sales and marketing campaigns. In a world where everyone is, not just connected via smartphone, but able to produce quality imagery and messages for themselves, it’s imperative hospitality businesses have an awesome digital presence just as much as the high quality in-store experience we’ve come to expect.

Brands with well thought out digital campaigns, professional creative and a clear message are more attractive to consumers. Social media is currently the ‘go-to’ medium for consumers looking for brand information so operators need to make sure their platforms are up-to-date and look the part.

By taking five minutes to consider your brand position, target audience and your key objectives; you could completely transform what your business is communicating to your customers.

Let us know what you thought of our micro-blog by leaving us a comment below… & send us a msg if you’d like to get in touch…

[Social Media] HUGE topic for a micro-blog; here’s our quick take on social media (SM) in the hospitality industry.

Restaurants & bars were early adopters of SM as they could create & personalise their feeds per venue & populate timelines with food, drinks & events — which of course people love & would therefore follow to stay up-to-date with the latest restaurants & bars in town.

What’s changed? Well, there’re way more venues these days & far too much similarity in terms of what they’re all saying on SM… so people get bored, start un-following & don’t follow new brands unless they really peak their interest! Also, without getting technical the way platforms organically promote posts isn’t as effective as it used to be — which means, nowadays you have to put in the work to get results!

One problem we encounter is most operators don’t see the value of SM as they aren’t seeing results. This is usually because they believe ‘putting in the work’ is simply being on the platform, when in fact they’ve fallen behind over the years, their posts are uninspiring & they’re not using SM as a serious sales tool.

Nowadays operators need to execute consistently well & keep their online presence up to date. How a company looks & sounds plays a key part of SM interaction as every post communicates the overall brand to consumers. By designing a brand voice & creating content specific to each platform, operators can continuously showcase their brand to provide familiarity & encourage engagement.

SM isn’t just for talking it’s a great listening tool, with powerful reports & analytics to help develop future marketing campaigns. Ads make it easy for operators to amplify brand marketing, drill down into demographics & target best-fit consumers.

As we said SM is a HUGE topic & not something we could cover in 2200 characters, so if you’d like to know how we can make SM work for your business, please drop us a message or leave a comment below…

[Creative] As the level of competition within the restaurant and bar sector increases, one question we get asked a lot is “how do we cut through the noise?” Creative is always a major part of our answer.

Everyday we see hundreds of display advertisements, whether they’re online banners, promoted social media posts, newsletters, billboards, flyers or on restaurant table tops, the only major difference is that some will catch your attention and some will not… having your brand message presented through quality engaging creative is how you cut through the noise and grab consumer attention.

At the end of the day restaurants and bars all sell similar products, so operators need to put a lot of thought into the creative process to work out how they can present their products to consumers in a way that is effective and different than the competition. Every brand is unique so translating a brand’s story and core objectives into the creative process will create an identity to consistently build the brand’s personality and familiarity with consumers.

Designing creative with its end placement in mind is crucial to the success of any campaign, too many operators are self-sabotaging their own marketing efforts by posting visuals intended for print to social media or content written for Facebook to LinkedIn, this approach disengages consumers as the ad placement is not relevant to their mind-set whilst using specific platforms.

Whether you’re looking at marketing through written word, graphics, illustration, images, audio or video… to effectively drive consumers toward your business make sure your creative is: simplistic, on brand, professionally presented, relevant to it’s placement and the consumer who will be giving it a second or two to engage them.

Please let us know your thoughts on creative by commenting below… If you’d like Nibble. to help build your restaurant, bar or hotel brand send us a direct message.

[Online Presence] How a hospitality business looks online is key to attracting new customers. Let’s take a look at the key aspects operators need to be perfecting to keep up online.

Websites aren’t expensive anymore and you can pretty much build them yourself. Hospitality brands need a basic yet stylish homepage to map all their other online platforms to. The site should reflect the brand; there’s no harm in looking a little rough and rugged to bring that authenticity through, providing the site is informative and functional. Ensuring all online platforms are kept up to date will be the most important point we’ll make today; everything from the menu and product imagery to latest news and events, it’s such a turn off having to search for information that should be readily available.

We touched on social media in episode two so won’t go in to detail: just keep everything updated with engaging content, use ads to amplify the key message and pay lots of attention to reports and analytics.

Online platforms such as guest reservations, delivery dining and review sites are great tools for increasing brand awareness, improving sales and getting consumer feedback. They’re often forgotten so it’s important to make sure they’re updated, optimised, and reviews are actioned and discussed with the team. Make use of these platform’s reporting capabilities as they provide crucial information specific to the business and it’s audience.

Finally, managing third party advertising content, influencers, and publications will ensure brand messaging is consistent across digital channels and help project further, register with consumers quicker and result in greater conversion.

There’s plenty more depth to creating a killer online presence; if you’d like to know more head to our website (link in bio) or drop us a message – and as usual, let us know your thoughts on today’s topic by leaving a comment below.

Like all markets the food and beverage sector is experiencing a bit of a shake up. Technology is changing the way consumers interact with hospitality businesses and how they buy their food from restaurants. Technology implementation succeeds when it improves the consumer journey, or makes it more convenient — & Delivery Dining (DD) certainly does that!

Consumer appetite for DD is HUGE; over the last ten years demand has risen 73% making it a £4.2b industry, and with 673m deliveries in the last 12 months it’s something to take seriously.

Whilst popular with consumers, DD often comes under fire from restaurant operators talking about high commissions and food quality on arrival etc. Now, we’re not saying get involved with DD no matter what, it 100% has to work for your business and not damage your brand, but when there’s a shift in consumer buying this big, the opportunity’s too good to leave behind.

DD increases revenue potential by increasing cover capabilities, creating new sales opportunities and pushing brand marketing to a new stream of consumers. The platforms provide operators a whole new way to build repeat business and loyalty whilst levelling the playing field for independent restaurants to complete against the bigger chains in an entirely new market.

Whilst spend per order is typically much lower than that of a restaurant visit, we see this space as an addition to build revenue, audience and brand. As the platforms expand their reach and capabilities, we’re expecting to see a further 17% influx in DD over the next few years, taking the market to around £5b — that’s got to be worth creating a model that works for your business and adding some additional revenue.

If you’d like help building your restaurant brand, get in touch via DM or email, & let us know about your experiences with delivery dining in the comments below…

At Nibble, we spend all our time getting restaurants, bars & hotels more customers – so we thought we’d share a little bit about one audience in particular, corporate guests.

Corporate guests are important; they’re an audience every restaurant wants yet every operator seems to struggle when hacking how to attract and engage them – surprisingly pestering at networking events, taking promo-bags to offices and plastering people with deals isn’t the way to do it.

Research local companies, or ones that match your brand to target, look at their culture and how their teams entertain, both professionally and personally – do they socialise in groups or individually, are they buying meal deals, grab & go, casual or wine and dine reservations?! From this you’ll be able to figure out their needs and calculate a much more effective way to target.

Product offer and price points are key factors when attracting corporate guests; it’s always worth looking at the potential volume each corporate audience could bring to see if you can expand your operations to create new revenue streams, for example perhaps there is an opportunity to sell takeout coffee, breakfast, afternoon tea, buffets or provide a private space/dining room.

Having easy, direct, two-way communication is crucial to retain and maintain corporate guests, for two reasons: [1] they’re not going to return repeatedly if they have to book through typical channels for typical experiences, and [2] you’re going to miss out on sales opportunities if you’re not aware what’s happening in their organisation, so you’re BDM needs to be in the rolodex of every team you’re targeting.

Don’t cast your net too wide when targeting corporate guests, just make sure you’re deeply invested in their business.

If you’d like help building your corporate audience, get in touch via DM! Tell us about your experiences targeting corporate guests in the comments.

As paid advertising becomes cluttered with brand noise & more expensive as a result, introducing influencer marketing could be an effective way to improve marketing results & amplify your campaigns. Influencers are popular figures online or within a community, who have the attention of a large audience, which could be used to promote your brand & products with the aim of increasing sales.

The main advantages of using influencers, aside from gaining new/more attention for your brand, are: they already have a loyal audience interested in their thoughts & opinions, and they provide much more of a recommended sell as opposed to a direct/cold sales tactic.  Here’re a few pointers:

If you’re a restaurant/bar selling a local on-site experience or a delivery product within a set radius, you need to keep your exposure relevant to your target market, there’s no point requesting the support of influencers with a national audience who won’t be able to visit or buy your product, so keeping a local focus increases potential sales.

You need to map out the message you’d like to amplify, but it’s worth working with influencers to get their thoughts & opinions on how to best convey your message, after-all it’s their audience so empowering them to create content will be much more effective. It’s also worth getting their take on your experience/products; perhaps they could improve the design process in future.

Knowing how to manage campaigns to maximise ROI is the most important part of using any marketing tool, & influencers are no different – make sure you have a long-term strategy in place & you’ll be impressed by your results.

If you’d like help driving sales via influencer marketing please get in touch, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

There are many facets to operating a healthy business, especially in the food & beverage sector where healthy is becoming big business. This week we’re looking at the impact of the health commerce & the importance of company health.

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, yoga, zumba, cross-fit, spin-class, HIIT, weight training, 5K, 10K, marathons, meal-prep, protein shakes, nutrition, vitamins, IV drips, hydration, fitness water …the list goes on. Globally the health & wellness market is worth over one trillion dollars, health & diet choices after no longer considered a trend they’re part of our day-to-day.

With growing popularity of ‘farm to fork’ & ‘skinny’ concepts and retailers increasing their organic, veg-based & vegan friendly F&B products it’s only natural that restaurant operators should explore opportunities of health to increase consumer interaction, cover numbers & retail sales.

The increased focus on health shouldn’t solely be on consumer sales, it’s important to build a positive work culture, and to do that in 2018 you need to be thinking about the health & wellness of yourself and your team.

Hospitality is a fantastic sector although there are proven issues relating to both physical & mental health, which employers are beginning to tackle by focusing on, and taking responsibility for, their people more than ever before.

Providing access to health clubs, gyms & counselling services are benefits companies are including in contacts, with leading operators enabling team members to partake in community work they’re passionate about whilst on the clock.

Reducing stress & workload are important factors for the restaurant sector; by concentrating on the wellness of a skilled, like-minded, passionate team operators are able to empower their workforce, delegate workloads and increase levels of leisure/social activities to improve work-life balance & healthy work culture.

Everybody is talking about experience these days… and for good reason, it’s really important to provide consumers with the best experience possible and that doesn’t just mean when they’re dining in your restaurant; it’s everything from the method of attraction and your style of interaction, to how their booking/order is taken and your product/service is delivered. Everything that happens related to your brand, whether that’s on a device or on-premises makes up your brand ‘experience’; so working out how to best improve your experience is vital to enticing, engaging and retaining consumers in 2018.

A good starting point is exploring how people first find out about your brand as that’s the beginning of their journey; ideally you want that introduction to be a direct target or a positive recommendation, not a deal or promo site selling you cheap – how you market really does matter, regardless of how good your ‘in-house experience’ is people might never try it if you don’t start their journey off right.

Looking for customer pain points is the most effective way to examine your experience and locate any issues, perhaps people aren’t booking with you, weren’t impressed or aren’t returning?! One key problem occurs at booking: maybe the process is too many clicks, you’re requesting too much personal data or too much money up front. Another well-known issue is final payment or paying the bill; customer waiting times, card or cash, receipts, tipping etc. these areas can be tidied up to create a more pleasant experience.

Studying what’s going on in the market will help identify the type and level of experience your business should be offering, whilst listening, responding and paying attention to feedback from customers & team members will fine-tune the journey and determine how popular & memorable your brand becomes.



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Tim Coulston (TC) is the Managing Director of Nibble, a hospitality company focused on building food & beverage brands, specialising in Strategic Communications, Business Management & Commercial Interiors.

For further information please contact:
Sophie Chadwick, Communications Manager, Nibble.

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