Please Help With Short B2B Restaurant Letter

15 replies
I have read many threads here and am overwhelmed with all the great advice. I took some suggestions to other posters on here and put them in my letter. The goal of my letter is to create curiosity and will follow up with a phone call.
Here is my rough copy:

Is This The Most Cost Effective Way To Have Your Restaurant Full at Lunch?

Dear (Name),

"I'm sure you understand the importance of customers-not unlike most restaurant owners." If you'd like to participate in a tested and proven yet very simple program to get more customers, please read this carefully.


The most cost effective advertising (city) has to offer is now available. Use this to gain new customers and increase your annual sales by at least 10%, and best of all you get 1 free month to see for yourself.

We get you more new customers and ways to make them regulars and more visits from your existing customers,


In other parts of the country this has proven to increase the average restaurants income by well over 20%, while decreasing advertising costs by over 55%. Statistics have shown that 91.5 % of advertising placed by small business owners cost more than the income generated from the sales. These numbers end today.

"Look, I know you're bombarded with advertising offers. You're busy. You don't have time to waste. But what if this actually works? Imagine if you had a surge of new business from one cheap little marketing campaign. Besides, what do you have to lose by calling? So pick up the phone right now and call (name & phone #) to start your 1 month free trial with no obligation to continue.

P.S. Move your marketing to another level. There is nothing like this in the market. If you like to have your restaurant full of customers at lunch, try our 1 month free trial with no obligation to continue by calling (name & phone #)


P.P.S. We are giving away restaurant gift cards in our contest to local shoppers. We will be buying gift cards to give away from 40% of the restaurants who take advantage of our free 1 month trial.
#b2b #letter #restaurant #short
  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    It's kinda bland, not exciting... doesn't make me want to pick up the phone and call if I'm a restaurant owner.

    You need to make this something that makes him/her so excited and full of hope, he/she can't wait to contact you. Make it something they see during their day that is the one exciting thing.

    Instead of worrying about payroll, staffing issues, inventory, etc... and all the other things restaurant owners worry about... give them something that excites them and compels them to call.

    This doesn't do it. It mostly makes me think "huh" or "so what".

    One way you can make this work is by injecting it full of proof.

    If you have testimonials and results, you need to put them front and
    center.

    For example.... Joe's Restaurant at XYZ street have increased their
    sales by 20% since using our service. And Jill's restaurant have increased
    their lunchtime revenues by over $50,000 this year.

    If you don't have proof yet, try to get some... because that will help
    do the selling for you.

    I'm not trying to sound negative, i just don't want to see you mail out
    a ton of letters, invest a lot of your time and money, and not get much
    of a response.

    Make something that snaps and pops, something exciting... something that
    a restaurant owner will see and start to picture their restaurant full at lunch.

    right now, it's just bland and boring...
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  • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
    This is a new service and I don't have local proof. That is the problem I am having. That is why I am giving them a free trial of 1 month.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Understand what you're up against.

    Guys just like you are mailing the same letters. Making the same calls. Sending the same emails.

    I've talked to business owners that get as many as 10 pitches a day like this. That's the reality.

    How are you going to cut through the noise?

    Gotta get creative.

    Recently, I was hired to review a postcard for an offline marketer in a targeted market to see how it could be improved.

    It was a do over.

    I was then hired to rewrite it. I went instead in the opposite direction.

    Result? 10% and change response.

    Gotta get creative.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
      Thanks for getting me to think of a few things to be creative. I do have some copies of my recently published paperback book on restaurant marketing and I can do a video interview of the owner and list it on my restaurant guide. Just need to figure how to work it in.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      My "opinion" is your "Sales Letter" and "Coupon" program is too long and too hard to explain.

      Restauranteurs are BUSY....BUSY!

      1) Your "subject" line must "GRAB them by the Greed Glands"!
      "What's In It For Me?" WHY should I open THIS email out of the hundreds I get every day?

      2) Your "Body" copy is too long also and...

      3) "Call to action" is "weak"!

      Here's my suggestion;
      Use a "Foot In The Door" program. Go up to Microsoft and download "Photo Story 3" ...a FREE Video program and the reason I like PS3 is because you can Give the Photos....Movement"! You can make the "camera" Scan and Zoom in and Out so it "seems like" a real video.

      Takes me about 10 min to make a video with PS3.
      1) Grab some photos off their website....preferably, Outside, Inside, some Food Plates and Employees. Try to get 8 or 10
      2) Bring into PS3....add some Captions and Music (that goes with the Cuisine)
      3) Upload to your website
      4) Send email to Owner with the following Subject Line;
      "I Made A Video Of Your Restaurant!"
      The Body explains the Benefits of having a "Video" of his place. (He's spent Lots of Time and Money on the Interior but...diners don't see it until they're INSIDE!) Sure, photos can show the interior, food plates, etc BUT, a Video "brings Viewers IN" and...makes YOU appear more professional.

      Offer to sell this video for a minimum of $297. (Anything less cheapens your image)

      Now...you don't have to do Videos to "get yer foot in the door". You can set up a "1-page Restaurant Directory" that lists Restaurants by Type of Food;
      BBQ-Chinese-Italian, - Mexican...etc

      2 columns down....Give each restaurant 2 lines; Name , Address, Phone, Specialty.

      Print out a copy of the page (or bring your laptop) and visit each restaurant, telling them you are setting up a local "Restaurant Directory" for the Town and his Listing is FREE. You are showing him this to 1) Introduce yourself and your Drectory and 2) To see if everything is correct on the Listing.

      That's it. Go to next restaurant. You wouldn't have to go to every one...just 20 or 25. Then, when Directory is finished....Go Back and show their Listing and THIS TIME....tell them they could have a BOLD Listing or even an Ad at top or side.

      THEN....you can present your "Coupon" program or other stuff.

      A Directory Name could be; "Denver Dining Directory" or "Town Dining Drectory"

      ANyway....just some thoughts from my experience "On The Field of Battle!"

      Don Alm
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        jrobconsult, bite the bullet and hire Rick
        to write his proven postcard.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author directmaildude
          Go to the restaurant.

          Take a picture at lunch time (or whenever it's mostly empty.)

          Send the picture to the owner/manager/whatever.

          On the outside of the envelope, hand-write "embarrassing photo of XYZ restaurant enclosed"

          Then write your letter using the old tried-and-true Halbert opening:

          *****

          Dear so-and-so:

          As you can see, I've sent you a photo. This photo was taken at your restaurant on Tuesday, 1-15-13 at 12:13PM. Lunch time. Your restaurant SHOULD be packed. But as you can see, it's empty.

          Luckily, I can change that for you...

          (jump into you pitch.)

          ****

          Boom. You're welcome.
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          • Profile picture of the author max5ty
            Originally Posted by directmaildude View Post

            Go to the restaurant.

            Take a picture at lunch time (or whenever it's mostly empty.)

            Send the picture to the owner/manager/whatever.

            On the outside of the envelope, hand-write "embarrassing photo of XYZ restaurant enclosed"

            Then write your letter using the old tried-and-true Halbert opening:

            *****

            Dear so-and-so:

            As you can see, I've sent you a photo. This photo was taken at your restaurant on Tuesday, 1-15-13 at 12:13PM. Lunch time. Your restaurant SHOULD be packed. But as you can see, it's empty.

            Luckily, I can change that for you...

            (jump into you pitch.)

            ****

            Boom. You're welcome.
            Yep...been diggin your posts dude.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
            Originally Posted by directmaildude View Post

            Go to the restaurant.

            Take a picture at lunch time (or whenever it's mostly empty.)

            Send the picture to the owner/manager/whatever.

            On the outside of the envelope, hand-write "embarrassing photo of XYZ restaurant enclosed"

            Then write your letter using the old tried-and-true Halbert opening:

            *****

            Dear so-and-so:

            As you can see, I've sent you a photo. This photo was taken at your restaurant on Tuesday, 1-15-13 at 12:13PM. Lunch time. Your restaurant SHOULD be packed. But as you can see, it's empty.

            Luckily, I can change that for you...

            (jump into you pitch.)

            ****

            Boom. You're welcome.
            Brilliant... except he's blasting multiple cities.

            Of course...

            He could hire people to take pics. I'm not sure exactly what his services are. I suspect SMS, but it could be worth taking your idea to the next level.

            By the way...

            I agree with Ewen. Hire Rick and be done with it.

            Mark
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            • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
              Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

              Brilliant... except he's blasting multiple cities.

              Of course...

              He could hire people to take pics. I'm not sure exactly what his services are. I suspect SMS, but it could be worth taking your idea to the next level.

              By the way...

              I agree with Ewen. Hire Rick and be done with it.

              Mark
              If you are talking about me, I am not blasting multiple cities. The city I am in is large enough. Maybe, later on but that is way down the road.

              My services are a combination of email, SMS and push notifications for about 8-12 restaurants per area for a daily lunch deal.

              I like to thank everyone for their input. Someone gave me a brilliant idea that I can test on a small scale to see the results.
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          • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
            Banned
            Originally Posted by directmaildude View Post

            Go to the restaurant.

            Take a picture at lunch time (or whenever it's mostly empty.)

            Send the picture to the owner/manager/whatever.

            On the outside of the envelope, hand-write "embarrassing photo of XYZ restaurant enclosed"

            Then write your letter using the old tried-and-true Halbert opening:

            *****

            Dear so-and-so:

            As you can see, I've sent you a photo. This photo was taken at your restaurant on Tuesday, 1-15-13 at 12:13PM. Lunch time. Your restaurant SHOULD be packed. But as you can see, it's empty.

            Luckily, I can change that for you...

            (jump into you pitch.)

            ****

            Boom. You're welcome.
            This is completely the wrong approach. Owners are painfully aware their restaurant is empty and they are going broke. All you're doing here is rubbing salt in the wound. You would be seen as yet another smartass who thinks he knows better.

            Would be far better to photoshop a full restaurant. But even then...you're on dangerous grounds.

            Every man and his dog is offering advice to the restaurant owner. You need to cut through all that with something concrete. Show him Before and After shots of what you did for another failing restaurant. Show him case studies. Prove you know what you're doing. Show him the Bottomline.

            I've been in this business. Food & beverage is a very tough. These guys count every penny. They need to. Margins are very tight.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Go for the jugular. Get every one of your prospects. Forget email. Forget snail mail. Fedex the owner and/or the Chef something standout. Something tangible they have to sign for. Something in a box. Seen those talking fish mounted on a plaque? Or maybe you have a fresh fish with the message in it's mouth. Or a crazy-looking fruit - maybe a carambola (star fruit)...with a message attached "Here's how to make your restaurant the star" - whatever the hell it is. Or it could be honeycomb...or a sample of Extra Virgin Olive Oil...anything they can unwrap and hold in their hand - with a call to action attached or even a "I'll drop by tomorrow at 10 A.M. sharp - you don't want to miss this...this will DOUBLE your lunch covers".

    I've owned a bar and grill. Used to get advertising boring assholes all the time. You need to do something STANDOUT to get a response.

    Maybe an ice sculpture...or an ice mold (you can get some crazy ones) with the copy reading "By the time this ice has melted...the opportunity to have me increase your bottomline by XX% will have passed you by. Don't let that happen. If you dig this...wait 'til you see what else I've got for you. Text XXXXXX right now with just two words - "I'm hungry" and then check your mailbox (inbox?) tomorrow morning (or whatever the call to action is).

    I could give you a hundred direct mail ideas. Think outside the lunchbox. Go to this site for inspiration - http://waiterrant.net/
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  • The one months free advertising is a great offer.

    And you should highlight this.

    If you are super confident that you will bump up the lunchers.

    Print up some "apology cards" for the restaurant owners and say - "You'll need these to give to the customers who couldn't get in"

    The cards say something like "1000 apologies you didn't get a table. If we could we would have loved to have found you a space. Because the sea bass is scrumptiously delicious, and the creme brûlée is to die for (that's what the delighted diners kept telling us). And there's 24 other mouthwatering dishes on the menu.

    So phone us on **** ****

    To book your table and enjoy a fabulous lunch - give this card to the waitress and she'll knock 10% of your bill or give you and your guests a free glass of (extremely good) wine"


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt@viewswin
    Heaps of good thoughts here, the bottom line is that what you have written is boring. I owned 3 restaurants, and I can guarantee I would have not even read past the first line. In fact I had to force myself to read it to write this post. I think its great to be aggressive, but don't be insulting! people think of there restaurants like their babies, you don't want to tel them that they are ugly or that they suck. Don't take a photo of it at all as this is intrusive. Talk about the local area if you want to make it personal. I don't write copy for a living, but I know you have to stand out. One thing I always thought would be good for a marketer in this industry is to provide a guarantee. Guarantee that for every dollar spent with your services the owner will receive 3 dollars (or whatever) back. If not they get their money back. This should be easy in this business, because just 20 customers is $600 easy. If your service can't generate 20 customers (assuming it costs $300), then you shouldn't waste paper mailing it out. Of course there must be a way of tracking sales from your offer.

    Good luck
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  • After you hire Rick to get people in the door, these guys might be able to help with the menu--they have a whole system to redesign menus for the most profit:

    Restaurant Profits
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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