Saturday Spotlight on Restaurant Marketing: Two Guys Grille and Bella Monica


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My antenna is always up when I go out to eat. Why? Because the service can make a huge difference. Attention to detail is key. I recently had two experiences that illustrate this point:

Bella Monica 

Bella Monica

I had dinner at Bella Monica in Raleigh with my Triangle AMA colleagues Claire Hovis and Evan Carroll on Thursday night. We were kicking-off discussions for a huge two-day marketing conference in February 2014 (stay tuned). Upon sitting down at our table I noticed this piece of lasagna announcing the special of the day. A very inventive touch. It worked, both Evan and I ordered the Sausage Tortellini and it was excellent. Another lagniappe: Tremendous complimentary bread at Bella Monica.


Two Guys Grille in Morrisville, NC

Two Guys Grille Morrisville

Last Sunday, the Phelps family went to dinner at Two Guys Grille. Two Guys has locations in Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach and Morrisville. We went to the latter. Upon sitting down the server gave us a cool dice game and some basic instructions. Our two boys Thomas (7) and James (6) loved it. It was a fresh idea compared to the regular placemat and crayons. It made waiting for our food pleasurable. Another lagniappe: They had the game cornhole out in front of the restaurant.

Overall takeaway: Both of these “little extras” cemented a critical first impression. To steal a concept from Chip and Dan Heath’s most recent book Decisive, the attention to detail creates a tripwire (click here for a book review). Decisive illustrates this point through the band Van Halen. Van Halen’s rider in the 80?s included M&M’S, but specifically that there couldn’t be any brown M&M’S.  Whether or not the venue got this detail correct sent a message. If this detail was overlooked, perhaps every bit of the rigging for the stage and lighting would need to be checked. The same principle applies here. Small things create that first impression and become a harbinger of things to come.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Want some more examples from restaurants? Here’s a slideshare showcasing a bunch of Goldfish (little signature extras):

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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