Visit any city in the world and it will not be long before you find a great Irish Pub.
Always well-designed, always buzzing, always cheerful, always welcoming and always serving great beer and beverages along with great and innovative home-cooked food. There’s a similarity between many of these pubs that you will instinctively recognize, with features like decorative shopfitting, warm lighting and ornate back bars.
O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill has carefully targeted the South African market. Having built two successful Irish pub brands nationally, Basil O’Hagan is very familiar with the most suitable areas for O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill.
• Proven concepts worldwide
• Proactive franchise sales strategy.
• Strong operational field service support.
• Superior marketing strategy.
KEY MARKETING ACTIVITIES FOR O’HAGAN’S IRISH PUB & GRILL
1. SOCIAL MEDIA
This will form the major marketing drive for our brand and will be developed as the brand grows.
2. MULTI-MEDIA ADVERTISING
Multi-media above the line advertising campaigns will be developed as the brand grows, mainly television and radio.
O’Hagan’s will run various National, Regional and Local Store Marketing Promotions.
4. PUBLIC RELATIONS
Public Relations will play an important role and franchisees will be encouraged to use this marketing tool for their O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill.
5. LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Programs to be introduced to encourage further brand loyalty to O'Hagan's Irish Pub & Grill.
6. REGIONAL AND NATIONAL CONFERENCES
Regular conferences will be held to motivate and reward franchisees, and to continue ongoing training.
The O’Hagan’s website will be updated regularly.
8. EXHIBIT AT EXPOS
O’Hagan’s will exhibit at a number of franchise expos to gain exposure and appoint new franchisees.
9. CORPORATE VIDEO / VIRTUAL TOUR
This will be developed in time, to promote the brand at expos and to potential franchisees.
10. CORPORATE IDENTITY ITEMS
Clothing, coasters, place mats, swizzle sticks, waitress pouches, name badges, and much more will be introduced to promote the brand wherever possible.
11. SUPPLIERS’ CONTRIBUTIONS
Suppliers will be approached for collaborative promotions.
12. DAILY & WEEKLY SPECIAL PROMOTIONS
Franchisees will be encouraged to run their own specials regularly, provided their promotions are in line with the brand image and culture.
13. MARKETING COMMITTEE
Franchisees will be represented on the marketing committee and they will be fully involved in the development of the marketing plan.
Your main sources of revenue will be through the sale of food and beverages within the confines of your O’Hagan’s Pub & Grill. These are at the core of your successful pub and should always be given priority on how you manage and how you apply resources. There are other sources of revenue that you can look at as ongoing activities.
The following is a list of some that you might want to look at:
Selling branded pieces of merchandise such as sweater, caps, t-shirts or mugs can work quite well as long as you have space to store and present them. A downside could be that you have to carry inventory which ties up cash.
These are a very lucrative opportunities, and because they are pre-planned, tend to be very cost-effective. It does take some time and good marketing to get it going, but if you have space or can adapt a space for this use, it can help drive a powerful improvement to both your top and bottom line.
Subject to the local public health laws regarding transport and storage of food, you can offer to cater for external weddings, birthday parties, fairs etc. It’s a low-cost exercise, often very rewarding and can provide variety for your employees.
TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY
These days you are competing with fast-food, fast casual and even food trucks for business at certain times of the day. Is there a way for you to provide a sandwich service to offices in your area? Is there a way for you to use a braai in your outside area? Any incremental sale offsets the fixed cost in your business such as rent, management or kitchen costs.
BRANDING & MARKETING
Branding and marketing your O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill is more about common sense than anything else. It’s also lots of fun, challenging that creativity of yours and creating a great feeling of achievement when seeing your project make you money.
Marketing is not rocket science nor is it the exclusive preserve of professional marketers. Marketing is recognizing the arena in which you conduct your business and knowing how to reach the people who will like this arena. Marketing your O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill is not about spending a king’s ransom.
Bill Barich. American author, on being asked: "how come you can find an “Irish pub” in any city in the world?", replied: "They’re tremendous money-makers. There’s this whole concept of the Irish pub, anywhere you go in the world, you find one."
The following information is intended to give you some strong guidelines on what you are marketing and why certain types of marketing will work well for you.
1. SOME GOLDEN RULES FOR MARKETING YOUR O’HAGAN’S IRISH PUB AND GRILL
RULE # 1: BECOME INVOLVED IN MARKETING TO YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
Your core business will always be local so apply many of your marketing activities to your local community organisations (charitable, sporting, social, hobbyist etc). Building solid relationships with these groups will be the bedrock of your successful O'Hagan's Irish Pub & Grill.
RULE # 2: AVOID PROMOTIONS THAT OFFER DISCOUNTS IN YOUR PUB
Always try to give ‘added-value’. For example, do not offer ‘2 for 1’ main courses. Instead, offer a free dessert with the purchase of two main courses. The consumer views discount as cheap while added-value is viewed as premium.
RULE # 3: DO NOT CARRY OUT ANY MARKETING ACTIVITY UNLESS:
You know how much it will cost
You can validate whether it worked
For example, if you promote an added-value meal deal on social media, make sure you measure the response.
RULE # 4: AVOID ‘ONE NIGHTERS’ UNLESS ASSOCIATED WITH SPECIAL OCCASIONS
‘One-night’ promotions are costly and risky as they need to be heavily advertised in advance and will only reward customers who turn up on the night. Promotions in support of St. Patrick’s Day, etc. should always be carried out to encourage visits in the week leading up to the day.
RULE # 5: ALWAYS TRY TO SHARE THE COST OF PROMOTION AND ADVERTISING
If designing a promotion, try to connect with other local businesses who might be interested in offering prizing or services in return. For example, you might have a summer ‘win a family braai’ promotion where a supermarket might supply a discount for braai food.
2. MARKET DEFINITION
It is vital to the success of your Irish Pub to have a constant flow of customers to generate the cash flow needed to cover expenses and yield a profit.
Your O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill exists because of the customer’s choice to patronize your establishment. These days, ever-increasing competition allows the customer much more choice on what to do with their free time. Therefore, a marketing and advertising plan is essential to ensure the long-term success of your operation. Marketing your O’Hagan’s Pub falls into two categories:
External marketing includes all forms of marketing and advertising that are designed to reach your customers and potential customers in their offices, homes and/or vehicles.
Internal marketing includes on-site promotions, point-of-purchase displays, menus, table talkers, other merchandising items displayed inside the pub.
Effective marketing is difficult without an understanding of your current and potential customer base. The more you understand your customer, the better equipped you will be to fulfill your customer’s needs and keep them coming back. Therefore, the most important step in preparing a marketing plan is to have a complete understanding of who your customer is. What is learned during this step is critical because it is key to all that will follow in your marketing plan. Customers differ from one establishment to another. In addition, the lunch patron for your establishment may differ from the weekend and/or evening patron.
One of the challenges you will have as the manager or owner of an O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill, is establishing your pub’s image as specific and different to other existing pubs in the area. Many South African’s have not experienced a quality pub and they may have a perception that your pub is smoky, dingy, dirty and dominated by hard-drinking middle-aged males. The O’Hagan’s concept is unique because it is designed to create a premium experience for your customers through its authentic decor, specialty food, premium beverages, and superb staff.
A study of your local market is needed to help you determine what your potential customer base is, where this customer base comes from in your area and when this customer base is likely to visit your pub. To help identify your market and potential customer base and to commence your strategic approach, you might consider the following questions:
What type of person will be attracted to/feel comfortable in my Irish Pub?
Will my customers be the entire community, or only specific groups within it?
Does my customer base comprise of foot traffic, vehicular traffic or both?
Can my customers be linked to the patronage of nearby attractions such as theatre, cinema, sports complex, other bars)?
Can my customers be linked to local venues such as Universities etc.?
What other pubs exist in the area and what kind of clientele do they have?
How important is the pricing of retail food & beverage in the area?
Looking at Google maps of your area, can you identify those factors that might impact positively or negatively on your business?
Is the area heavily industrialized which might impact positively on Monday to Friday business but negatively impact on weekend business?
Is this a university-dominated area where your business might be very good during term but very poor during holidays?
It will take time to build a full picture of your market. Talk to other local retailers and ask them about their business. Joining local small-business organizations is always a good way to stay in tune with what is happening, or going to happen, in your area.
3. CREATING A MARKETING PLAN
Each quarter of the year will have obvious opportunities for promotion so you can decide some initiatives well in advance. Well-planned, well thought out promotions nearly always work well and if you can get your team thinking like this, it will greatly benefit you.
For example, your initial overview of a marketing plan might look like the following simple calendar:
• January to March St. Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day
• April to June Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Winter Promotion
• July to September Heritage Day, Spring Day
• October to December Christmas Promotion, New Year’s Eve
It might be simple but this provides a basis for discussion with your management team and a way to generate some good ideas.
This allows your team to begin the process of organizing the promotional program, adding specific dates, finding co-sponsors and beginning the process of finding out how much it will cost and what it’s likely to generate in revenues.
Finally, you might want your team to generate a one-page program summary describing the activity, it’s objective, it’s cost, it’s co-sponsors, it’s leaders and its anticipated revenues:
1. PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PUBLICITY
Public relations and publicity play a crucial role in building the image of O'Hagan's and increasing consumer awareness of the establishment.
More importantly, non-paid advertising (publicity) carries an implied “third party endorsement”. If your pub is featured in a local, regional or national publication (online and printed), consumers tend to think it must be news and it must be important. It is not you saying how great you are (in a paid advertisement), it is an objective, respected third party.
Public relations activities expand the reach of your marketing and advertising efforts and image at the fraction of the cost for paid marketing.
As a result of the Guinness Irish Pub Concept initiative, approximately 6,500 pubs have been opened in 120 countries throughout the world and continue to grow at a healthy rate in all markets.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
Designing and executing your social media strategy is not just about having a presence on the internet with a website and some social media sites, it's about how you integrate your internet presence to provide a seamless and attractive message for your customers.
How you interact with guests and potential guests will constantly be under viral scrutiny, so the messaging has always got to be interesting, fun and relevant. Just as these messaging qualities can attract more customers to your O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill, getting them wrong can keep people away.
It’s not all within your control either, review sites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor and Zomato, can create an unpleasant and negative view of your pub unless you have a strategy to deal with them. Without a doubt, you will receive bad reviews from time to time and, while not getting hung up on them, you will need to develop a strategy for dealing with them.
So, when first thinking about your social media strategy, a plan and route map are required. Many operators simply upload a website with links to their Facebook page, and that’s fine if your business doesn’t require anything more. However, as social media becomes more embedded in the consumer’s everyday behaviour, your ability to keep your pub top of mind with these consumers may make the difference between a good business and a great business. Remember that the pub experience is often a spontaneous one, people deciding to go somewhere for a drink on the spur of the moment. You want your O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill to spring to mind when that happens.
So, whatever your social media strategy is, you need to plan it well and integrate it into the day to day activities in your pub, as well-prepared and well-executed as the food from your kitchen or the drinks from your bar.
PLANNING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
When planning for your social media presence, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
What are my objectives?
Who am I trying to reach?
What sites do I want to be on?
What do each of these sites provide for me to help me reach my customers?
What information will potential customers want from me?
What am I offering?
What’s unique about my place or what I offer?How am I going to engage my existing customers and my potential customers?
How am I going to keep relevant to mobile customers?
Who is going to manage my internet presence?
How will I inform my customers without annoying them?
How am I going to deal with negative social media?
How much am I going to spend on it?
How am I going to stand out from the crowd?
Through all of your planning, you should remember that you are not simply trying to deliver information to your audience, you are really trying to engage them in a dialogue. The more your social media becomes a conversation with your customer, the more loyal that customer will be to you and the more likely they will be to recommend you to friends and acquaintances, bringing you more new business.
So in order to create a good dialogue or conversation, all your social media communication must work on a theme of building good, solid relationships. Finally, build reward into your dialogue with followers…. consumers who are interested in you like to know that you are interested in them. Good use of social media for your pub is not a one-way street.
“Basil O’Hagan has a separate marketing company which focuses on Neighbourhood Marketing, Customer Service and the Customer Experience. This expertise will be utilised for the O’Hagan’s Group in its entirety.
Whatever you see on the BOH Marketing website, will be implemented for O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill. ”
Click on the link below to view the BOH Marketing website.
Basil O’Hagan’s has written three books, listed below in order of release:
• World Class Customer Service for South Africa
• 415 Action-Packed Neighbourhood Marketing Tips
• Superstar Customer Service
eLearning Programs will be available for all staff, as mentioned on the BOH website. Personalised toolkits for Neighbourhood Marketing Tips and Superstar Customer Service.
Workshops will be conducted by BOH Marketing. Basil O’Hagan, being a trainer himself, realises the importance of training.
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES WE SHOULD HAVE A PRESENCE ON
There is little question that potential customers will look us up on sites such as Facebook, Zomato, and Tripadvisor. If you are not already familiar with these, they are sites where consumers can look at reviews from people who have already visited your pub. Based on a star rating and commentary, they can strongly influence the decision to use O’Hagan’s Irish Pub and Grill or not. While we cannot expect to please every customer, these reviews will over time rate our pub fairly accurately, depending on the ratio of good to bad reviews.
However, we can also use these sites as an opportunity to respond online to reviews in a positive manner. While we may disagree with some of the reviews and some of them may be unfair, how we respond to them will be looked on with interest by other consumers and we can often draw great respect for the way we handle a bad review. Though we would prefer if a customer complained before they left O’Hagan’s so that we could do something about it, the fact is that the majority do not and will simply write the review and not return. Before these review sites, that customer was probably lost forever. Now, this is your opportunity to engage that customer in a conversation about their experience and to set about the challenge of getting them back into O’Hagan’s.
If you are not already reviewed on these sites, register with them and prepare our strategy for communicating with reviewers, thanking them for the good ones and communicating with the bad ones. Managed properly and with sincerity, these sites can be a great source of new business for us.
Social media is continually evolving, but at time of writing, the following are, at a minimum, the sites that you should be looking at getting involved with:
With over 2.7 billion users monthly, Facebook is very influential in your business. Creating a separate Facebook page solely for your pub is extremely important. 51% of people who responded to a social media survey said they are more likely to buy something for “many” or “a few” bs that they have become fans of on Facebook? Having a fan page that customers can “like” on Facebook can lead to recognition and loyalty.
Facebook remains the most popular social media platform for restaurants allowing patrons to check in, leave reviews, tag friends and add images. If this is managed professionally it will be your most effective means of marketing.
Facebook allows you to communicate about events at O’Hagan’s such as menu changes, quiz nights and also to communicate details of any promotions you are running. Give your Facebook fans incentives to “like” your page by offering Facebook-fan only offers and discounts.
The geolocation side of this is beginning to find a foothold online and for pubs it’s a great opportunity to get seen again, promote yourself, offer discounts and so on. But you can also monitor it to see what people are saying about you.
Instagram is currently one of the most popular social media platforms and being used across all age groups. It works both for retaining existing customers and getting new customers. It helps you stay top of mind with people who already like your brand and it helps you introduce your restaurant to locals who eat at restaurants in your area.
There are countless benefits to the platform. Some of them include…
Make more money. People use Instagram to make restaurant buying decisions.
Stay top of mind. Being active will help you remind fans to come to your restaurant.
Get introduced to new customers in your area who love restaurants.
In fact, 24% of people report checking a restaurant’s Instagram before deciding to go there.
YouTube is a great way of telling potential customers about your place. You can give them a tour of the kitchen during a busy Friday night, you can have your chef show how he makes your fantastic Shepherd’s Pie and you can demonstrate how your bartenders pour the perfect pint of Guinness.
YouTube is also a good way of engaging with your community, putting up clips of promotional events, St. Patrick’s Day etc. and of course linking them to your Facebook page and website.
It takes a bit of hard work and determination, but if you can write a regular blog that’s interesting, it will bring you attention and followers whom you can turn into customers.