This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting Sin City, AKA Las Vegas. I was in town attending a laugh lab for speakers. The conference, sponsored by the National Speakers Association (NSA), was awesome and I learned a lot about how to add more funny to both on stage and business communication situations.
After three days of busting a gut and performing, my brain hurt. I had soaked up so much new info, I needed to download and process. So instead of heading back to Tampa, I decided to hang out for one one day. What a brilliant idea!
The conference was at the Marriott near the convention center. Not a terrible place, but not my idea of a remarkable hotel either. Alright truth be told, it was dreadfully boring and way too drab for my styling standards. So my last night I moved to the Wynn. This place was extremely remarkable, super simulating and gave new meaning to five star luxury. I’ll write more about this experience soon.
But back to today’s blog. So I’m watching the local news and they are interviewing a restaurant reviewer and asking him for his top new restaurant picks. He rattles off 5 and I’m thinking I need to check these out. But with just one day left, I didn’t have time for all five, so I picked one – a place called Honey Salt to adventure to and boy am I glad I did. This operator does everything I preach to build a great restaurant brand and keep customers coming back for more. They understand that a restaurant’s brand is the sum of all they do. The brand is what a customer thinks, feels and expects when they decide to visit your place and drop some cash or skip it and go some where else.
Honey Salt is a comfort food, cozy, farm to table restaurant.
Here’s the top ten take-a-ways that can be applied to any restaurant.
1) Do things right.
Others will spread the word like the restaurant reviewer who touted this place on TV.
2) Have a great name.
Honey Salt is killer brand name. It’s simple, easy to remember, easy to spell and reflects who they are.
3) Have an “on brand” memorable and helpful website.
After I heard Honey Salt on the list of top new Las Vegas restaurants, I immediately went to their website. It is really well done, it tells a story, it’s easy to navigate, includes social media channels, reflects a clear essence about the food, owners and experience, and it provides informative content and beautiful photography that makes you want to stop what you are doing, jump in the car and go eat there.
4) Use social media as tool to stay connected with customers and prospects.
After I had heard about this place on the news show, I tweeted to them (@HoneySaltLV) to ask about their location from the strip. Within hours, I received a friendly note saying they were around 15 minutes away and that they looked forward to seeing me.
5) Every inch of environment supports the brand.
Space design is so critical when creating a branded restaurant and experience and Honey Salt scores big here, too. The lively bar, a marketplace with branded goods and the dining room filled with funky, home spun furnishings and eclectic art —all create a perfect mix of farm to table chic persona.
6) All of the touch points resonate with the story, down home goodness and uptown attitude.
Details count and Honey Salt does the detail really well. From the menus on craft paper, to branded table-clothish napkins, to stencil art on the windows, cool coasters and place mats and even the meal checks are delivered with a beautiful postcard for every guest.
7) Presentation and packaging +
All of the food was artfully presented, from bread service to entrees and beverages. And beyond the culinary offerings, the packaging of the team was also thoughtful and strategic, from the manager (sport coat and slacks) to the chef (classic whites) to the service staff (farm-cool plaid shirts and jeans)—all dressed to reflect the brand.
8) Home spun, hand-crafted and delicious food.
I arrived for their brunch. I tasted many things and observed other diners too. The food was exceptional. They offered many unique signature items, all served at the right temperature and full of interesting flavors.
9) Service with a miles of smiles.
Friendly, helpful and a welcome that made you feel like you were the only guest in the place.
So many businesses forget the power of thank you! The next day, I received a warm thank you via social media.
If your travels bring you to Vegas, a trip to Honey Salt is worth the ride. You’ll see a great young brand with a bright future.
Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 at 1:00 am and filed under Restaurant branding.