More ways to capture hotel business
Last month, we offered ideas on how to reach out to local hotels. Some of you reported back with successes and a few more tips.
Set a goal & start. Whether it is to visit all hotels within 1 mile or visit three hotels per week, a goal will help move your motivation to get it done. It can be scary to start, but each visit gets a little easier and you may discover yourself enjoying the change of pace and the positive reception.
Make today the day. Assign a day each week for outreach. If it's Tuesdays, it's Tuesdays. Put it in your calendar, let your teams know, get your menus and business cards ready, and when it's 2pm, go. After just a few weeks, you'll be surprised by how many contacts you've made.
Host a hotel night. Set a date and time and invite your local hotel contacts in for a special trial meal. If you have a side or back room, use it. Predetermine and print a special limited menu (use this template). Start with a welcome and introduction of yourself and your key team members, then give a brief history of how Black Bear Diner started and where we are today. Let them know why you're proud to be a part of this brand -- they'll appreciate your story and passion -- or why your food matters. As you deliver food, be sure to show the plates and point out what is unique. Be sure to showcase desserts, too. Tantalize them with a little show-and-tell before divvying up a tasty variety. Send them away with a Bear Buck to return and remind them how much you'd appreciate them sharing their excellent experience with guests.
Build a goodie basket. Grab a few baskets from a dollar-store and line them with the paw print tissue used in burger baskets. Cut up a bear claw, dress it up with a few flag picks, and you're on your way to being a welcome sight to any front desk crew.
Deliver pie. In the afternoon. Hotel guests start checking in during the afternoon. Be top of mind in front desk staff's list of recommendations by delivering a few tasty pies for their afternoon pick-me-up. Take some menus and let them know about online ordering.
Rinse & repeat. Staff changes. People forget about you. It takes time to build trust and cultivate connection. In short, outreach is not a one and done. Once you make your way around, start again. Soon, you'll be known as the Black Bear Diner person and that's a very good sign.