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QCOSTARICA – March 10, 2023

One in eight (78%) of people in Costa Ricans take into account what they see on social networks to decide which restaurant to visit, while 53% value the recommendations of their friends or relatives.

This is revealed by a survey by the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) – University of Costa – that was applied in the Metropolitan Area and in the Central Pacific.

 

The investigation determined that the dishes preferred by most are the casado, gallo pinto, ceviche, and chifrijo. In addition, it established that, on average, consumers are willing to invest between ¢10,000 and ¢30,000 to eat out.

 

Daniela Arroyo, a UCR researcher, mentioned that the population’s interest in eating out was also evaluated.

The survey took into account the criteria of 1,000 people through a face-to-face interview and also an analysis of more than 40,000 comments on social networks.

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Terry’s Top Ten Restaurant Tips

When I managed a restaurant in Buena Vista, CO; we were #1 out of 20 the whole time I was there. Great homemade food, staff, customer service, etc. People thought I was the owner…because that was my attitude. I cared, it showed.
1) Curb Appeal.
What does the new person see when driving by? Yes it matters. Clean area? Well lite entrance, signage? What you see…is “normal”, but look at it with fresh eyes. How’s that front lobby looking? Is there clutter up front? The bathroom…if it’s nasty, that “smell and visual” stays with the client.
2) Welcoming Staff.
How many seconds does it take for a customer to be greeted? How many staff members say, “hola!” If you’re staff are not excited about customers…it shows. And the people KNOW just by appearance, mood, body language. Do they seat themselves, wait to be seated?
3) First 3 minutes.
How many seconds until menu, set up, water is brought to the table? Is there yelling in the kitchen? Is the music/TV too loud? Too dark on the inside to read the menu? Are there dogs running around?
Depending on what type of establishment you are, will depend on the atmosphere. If I want loud, I know where to go. If I want a romantic setting, I know where to go. Decide what your ambience is going to be, that’s your culture.
4) Menu.
Nice, neat, easily readable? Sections marked? Kid’s menu? Specials? Does waitstaff know the details of the specials and selected menu items? Can they communicate them in a way that makes the person “see” the plate before them?
5) Check In.
We encouraged Facebook check ins and Trip Advisor reviews. They would show us what they posted/checked in and we’d give them 50% the froyo.
6) WIFI access.
Check out sites like this to purchase. https://socialwifi.com/
Obtain people’s email address as the password. Send them a quick thank you for visiting (automatically). Collect emails for future email blasts.
7) Supporting Community.
We constantly supported the schools and non-profits.
8) Intersect Businesses.
Invite the adventure companies to a luncheon and explain your menu. Give them referral cards for their guests! Word of mouth is king as you know. Track the cards that come in and reward the company after so many are redeemed. Sure, you invest in the upfront meals…but they meet people every day that can pass on your referral cards.

We would give free bread tray coupons for hotels to pass out to guests (we tracked them and gave hotel staff a free meal). We made our own bread so that was an easy offering.
What if you cross promoted with your favorite partners?
Plus: consider inviting a Real Estate company for a special luncheon. Half price or something to meet them. They intersect lot of people!

9) Respond to social networking comments.
The good, bad and ugly…needs a response from you! When you get a compliment on Trip Advisor/Facebook, etc. copy it and post on website and Facebook page.
10) Social Networking.
Make sure to use close up, in focus beautiful pictures that makes your mouth water! Show your staff delivering a meal to happy customers. Make an average of one post a day. Share to appropriate groups. Conduct a special like 10% off a dessert on Tuesday, etc.

 

HOLIDAY!

1) Post all your special meals, closing early, parties, concerts etc.
2) Share your specials on Howler’s Facebook Tamarindo Discounts group page
3) Are you catering? Let your network know.

 

Basically:

1) Identify what makes you different, your menu, service, values…do those great!
2) Create buy-in from all staff. Hire them, groom them your way. They represent YOU!
3) Each happy client can connect you with dozens of people.
4) Howler is one leg of your marketing strategy. We’re certainly doing all we can to maximize your exposure (like being in every room at key hotels, property management
locations, retail stores, online marketing, etc.).

When I managed a restaurant in Buena Vista, CO; we were #1 out of 20 the whole time I was there. Great homemade food, staff, customer service, etc. We encouraged Facebook check ins and Trip Advisor reviews. They could show us what they did and we’d give them 50% the froyo. We constantly supported the schools, local businesses, gave free bread tray coupons for hotels to pass out to guests (we tracked them and gave hotel staff a free meal). We made our own bread so that was an easy offering.
That’s something you can consider doing here with hotels that will allow it. Plus, treat the adventure companies to a luncheon and explain your menu. Give them referral cards for their guests! Word of mouth is king as you know. Track the cards that come in and reward the company after so many are redeemed. Sure, you invest in the upfront meals…but they meet people every day that can pass on your referral cards.
Plus: consider inviting a Real Estate company for a special luncheon. Half price or something to meet them. They intersect lot of people!
Hope this helps!

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