Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Our Survey on Hotel and Resort Cuisine Promotions

While putting our own Australian Cuisine Promotions out into the marketplace, we quickly realised that there are a whole lot of problems challenging hotel and resort chefs who work to provide variety, entertainment and stimulation for their in-house guests by using promotions of ethnic cuisines. Guest chefs are commonly invited for authenticity and sponsorship from suppliers, airlines and the relevant country's Embassy or business Chamber is sought with various degrees of success. Yet many promotions are still seen as significant cost centres and run for PR rather than as for what they should be - serious revenue generators.

This obviously doesn't have to be the case since hotels can attract visitors from outside their premises, they can offer other businesses venue space and theme mini trade fairs or add value to conferences and external events. Co-marketing opportunities exist with travel agents, trade agencies and even unrelated businesses who may benefit from holding an event to entertain large numbers of their clients in business and relationship building and networking functions. It is largely a matter of thinking outside the square to attract attendees to the promotions and look at what opportunity they offer potential guests. Then there is also the consideration of staff training. How convenient can it be to invite a guest chef who specialises in a particular cuisine and have him instruct your kitchen brigade on the intricacies of his specialty cuisine? Why shouldn't the HR Department contribute to the promotional budget from marketing?

This brings me to my next point. If a particular activity is done for one outcome, why not optimise the task and introduce additional outcomes? For instance, every time you make a phone call, think about the initial purpose you wish to achieve. Then consider what other results could be obtained to add value to that same call. For example, you may be calling a potential sponsor for a cuisine promotion. Whatever their reply on that matter, the same call could also introduce your facilities; provide information as to the contact's business and how you could collaborate; gain a referral to another contact (preferably a qualified referral with your contact calling his lead to preempt your approach); gain a subscription to your regular ezine or pamphlet update on your activities; and probably one or two more outcomes you can think to add yourself. The same thing applies to a promotion. If you are going to run one, how can it be optimised so that the same activity delivers exponential results?

Think about the simple process of sending out a notice to your own database telling them about your promotion. Is it possible to use someone else's database (a supplier, local businesses, trade agencies etc) to spread the word even further? While you're setting up this opportunity, could you not also ask if they have a subscription newsletter, could you link subscriptions and provide their new subscribers the option of joining your list as well?

Once you start optimising, it becomes an obsession but I can promise that it will grow your business dramatically over time.

As a means to gather more data, we have put together a survey at www.dining-downunder.com/survey.asp and are already getting some very interesting results. Because this is an industry benefit, we are happy to share the responses for all chefs to consider and use as they wish. If you would care to contribute, then please head for the page and fill in the answers as completely as you can and we'll add your comments to our global survey. You'll note that our survey not only has the outcome of the survey results but it helps respondents in their businesses; introduces our own services; gets used as a viral marketing tool with anyone recognising the value in the results recommending the survey to their friends and colleagues as a means of also adding networking value and lastly; updates out database so that we can continue to deliver useful information for our clients who are interested in the unique advantages from using Australian native ingredients.

Please visit www.dining-downunder.com/survey.asp and invest the 4 minutes it should take to complete the questionary. Thanks.

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