How Anniela Flores Tackled a Restaurant Marketing Challenge & Skyrocketed Local Outreach
Would a 37% increase in restaurant guests improve your business? The first step is pinpointing the root of the problem. Once you jump that hurdle, then it’s time for action. When Anniela Flores, known as Annie, saw an opportunity to improve outreach to local customers, she undertook the challenge. Her hard work returned a massive win for her employer, a luxury hotel brand.
Annie is no stranger to the fast-paced world of hospitality. As a 12-year industry veteran, Annie’s extensive experience working with James Beard award-winning chefs, national sports teams, and luxury hotels provide unique insights into the event, sales, and marketing sectors. Her work in local and national marketing campaigns consists of reputable media partners like Condé Nast, USA Today, and Chicago Tribune.
Through the years, Annie also led projects, such as an award-winning food and wine festival, while partnering with all levels of clients, including small firms and businesses. With a passion for hospitality and a specialty in food and beverage and socialmedia communications, she strives to share her knowledge and help others succeed.
In 2015, Annie’s commitment to solving problems remarkably changed outcomes for a top-performing luxury hotel brand. As a restaurant supervisor for the company’s second-highest grossing restaurant in America, she noticed that local diners weren’t filling the seats. Sensing a missed opportunity, she decided to figure out the cause and learn how to improve marketing communications. For starters, only one marketing manager developed initiatives to promote the hotel and the five restaurants on its property. Seeing room to grow, Annie put together a business case for a dedicated restaurant marketer.
According to Annie, she needed to write a compelling business argument for an entirely new position. To do so successfully, Annie had to ask the right questions then sort through data to deliver answers. Top concerns included:
- How would a new position change their marketing workflows?
- What type of budget did a new position require?
- Who was the ideal candidate?
However, Annie also had to prove that the new position would provide a solid return on investment. To support her business case, she needed a clear plan of action.
Initial research fell flat. But that didn’t stop her. In between running high-volume restaurant shifts, Annie developed a list of her company’s hotels and properties that employed people in similar positions. She also performed competitive research by compiling a directory of competitors’ social media pages. During her in-depth benchmarking process, Annie focused on two areas:
- The competition
- Other hotels within her company
Her two-part approach provided a wealth of insights. She uncovered answers to crucial questions, or as Annie puts it, the “who, why, and how.” Annie’s competitive and in-house research helped hotel leaders make an informed decision.
Benchmarking the competition
From experience, Annie knew restaurant guests wanted to connect with the company via social media. But the current marketing strategy wasn’t hitting the mark. To determine a benchmark, Annie collected data. She analyzed it to determine engagement levels, posting frequency, total follower count across all platforms, and a break-down of likes, shares, and comments. These insights formed the “why” for her business case. To convey the data to key stakeholders, Annie devised a visual chart showing stark contrasts between her company and competitors. Her insights highlighted a need for a dedicated marketing professional to act on behalf of the five restaurants.
Benchmarking other hotels
To achieve part two of her business case, the “who” and “how,” Annie invested time into outreach efforts. Each day, she sent an email to other hotels in her company. Her straightforward approach and communication skills encouraged respondents to share a wealth of information. Many wrote back specific replies and dispensed details about job titles, descriptions, responsibilities, pay suggestions, and comparisons, such as salary versus hourly versus commission, goals, and even budgeting data.
Part of Annie’s work involved eliminating irrelevant information. Then she combed through the responses to develop actionable insights and answer essential questions. With the data in her hands, she completed both parts of her business case.
After months of extensive meetings and an estimated ten drafts of the business case, Annie’s plan received approval. The position was created and filled, all thanks to Annie’s hard work and insights. Since this time, her hotel restaurants’ social media has grown exponentially, leading to a 37% increase in local guests along with rising levels of multi-channel engagement.
Annie saw an opportunity to improve her restaurant’s outreach. She didn’t back down from the challenge. Instead, she dove into the research and data. Her efforts took her from the restaurant supervisor position to the events and marketing lead specialist of five restaurants.
Do you need a solution to your marketing challenge?
From improving social media marketing to boosting sales, Anniela Flores assesses the problem and delivers answers. Her restaurant and hospitality solutions give business owners an advantage in today’s competitive market. Get the support you need to grow your company by scheduling a call with Annie.
“Anniela recognized an opportunity in our process, and proactively took it upon herself to find a solution. She managed day to day contact with media, influencers, and culinary specialists in order to drive traffic to our food & beverage outlets within the resort. Anniela is driven, creative, and an excellent problem solver. When presented with several tasks, she was not afraid to examine and develop a strategic plan in order to position the hotel’s success, measurable in both financial and guest satisfaction.” Tim Blunk – Director of Meetings and Special Events