3 Tips to Lower Your Promotion Costs- Partnering With Your Food & Beverage Suppliers

 “Partnering has proven itself one of the most powerful business tools for dealing with fast changing markets, technologies and customers.
As the global economy speeds up, partnering is becoming the weapon of choice for today’s successful competitors.”

Curtis E. Sahakian

Creating Strategic Partnerships isn’t just for the purpose of working with other businesses to add to your Prospect and Customer List, it is also about gaining a competitive advantage through adding value to your new and existing customers by offering exclusive access to product and service offers, but sharing the value delivery with your new partners.
Having worked in and around the hospitality industry for 15 years, 8 years working in the liquor industry combined with Diageo and Premium Wine Brands, I’d like to take this time to encourage you to look at your supplier relationships as partnership opportunities rather than just a transactional sales process.
 With the Coterie program, we have adopted this new approach for the mere fact that there are just so many untapped opportunities right under the noses in hospitality – where we can start pulling together – creating activities that deliver higher impact within hospitality businesses – customers spending more money – and both hospitality businesses and suppliers driving more sales equally.
So why don’t we operate like this?  Perhaps it is a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”?  There is a bit of laziness from suppliers working in the On-Premise, from time to time – I’ve seen it for years – but it doesn’t have to be like that.  Suppliers need to get on board and work with you as a business advisor, not a sales person.  And hospitality businesses, it is absolutely advantageous to start to acquire the business knowledge of development and negotiation, and run your program planning regularly and 3-6 months in advance.
Three KEY areas for partnering with your suppliers:


1. Promotion Calendar

In order to run an efficient business you must be planning your customer activity calendar 3-6 months in advance.  Once you map out your ‘game plan’ this allows you to streamline ‘who does what’, set reminders plus start to communicate with your customers in advance.

And the great advantage when you plan in advance, you can start to go and talk to your suppliers ‘in advance’ negotiating better pricing, advertising and promotion support, and give both teams an opportunity to integrate each others calendars for optimal results.  You start to eradicate the supplier ‘one size fits all’ offers, no room to move but you need something so you take what you can get – confound – and start to set some goals ‘together’ which makes both parties accountable to ‘get the results’.

By mapping out your calendars, it not only gives you and your team a vision of where you are wanting to go, but it puts you in a position of power.  What do suppliers ultimately need?  Stock bought and stock sold.  When you have key activities that support their KPI’s, you will be surprised how many companies will want to come on board.  But have a little shop around.  You need to ensure (just like any partnership) that you are partnering with suppliers that have ‘your’ objectives in ‘their’ picture and they are genuinely there to walk the journey with you and support you.
  1. Identify your key brands – there’s no point partnering with a supplier who has brands your customers are not interested in
  2. Identify your suppliers that work with you, not ‘sell’ to you
  3. Have meetings with your suppliers and show them your calendar – let the suppliers start to bid for your business.  You’ll learn soon enough who is there to help.
         KEY NOTE This is a partnership strategy so be sure not to go in and dictate and drive aggressive requests either

2. Events

Events are a great way to get volume sales and wider audience customer awareness and engagement.  One thing that I loathed when working in the liquor industry, venue’s putting in requests:

 “Will you sponsor our event with X amount of stock?  We’ll put your logo on the flyer”  …………………….
Heard that before?  Said that before?  What is absolutely imperative is you start to learn – understand – and negotiate from an angle of how both parties will sell the most product and make the most profit.  Yes, BOTH of you!  When you can start to break these down, your support offering (I can ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEE) will become greater.  If suppliers can see that you are going to drive them sales, not just put logo up on a flyer, they will spend and invest.
  1. Offer suppliers exclusive brand representation
    1. Logo’s
    2. Editorial write up
  2. Open up other channels for product promotion during the advertising period for the event – this is only going to drive more sales for your business too
    1. For example – Feature wine
      1. Back bar displays
      2. Social Media Adverstising – price point, product story, website and Facebook banner images
      3. Table/Menu talkers
  3. Run a feature campaign on your social media “In Partnership with X brand, we are running a promotion for the month of July for the launch of our X event”.By advertising you have a ‘partnership’ you not only leverage off another brand, it gives your business credibility and communicates that you are a serious business working to create exciting activity for your customers.
  4. Discuss with your suppliers how they too could advertise your event back into their community promoting your event and their business activity.
3. Campaigns
SP blog-cheers and beersImage cred: Coterie Australia
 When I was working for Scoopon Advertising – Online Daily Deals – I adopted this way of doing business.  Again, this is a great opportunity to negotiate with your suppliers because it drives a better test and measure approach.
Back in the day of my Key Account Management at Premium Wine Brands, setting up Wine Of The Month in On-Premise, it was all about ‘get a promotion slot and then you have to give stock up front’.  Unfortunately, at times, it was only the stock up front that was sold, this resulting in no profit for the suppliers.  Suppliers are going to become very disillusioned and stop putting their hands in their pocket if it’s not working for them.
No matter what, advertising costs money and you must keep your suppliers understanding this when they are doing their numbers with you.  But when you can package up your campaigns that show that they will receive sales on the front end – goodbye ‘shot in the dark’ offer.
Let’s take a look at a campaign example:
Meal Experience for TWO
x2 Appetizers
x2 Main Meals
x2 desserts
x1 bottle of X wine
PLUS a $5 return voucher for your next (X bottle) of wine
$69 valued at $135 
Key Notes
  • Suppliers get exclusive product advertising and product sales
  • There is a return voucher – specifically for the brand used in your campaign – so you know that you will be driving more sales for your suppliers once the campaign has finished
  • Promote the wine across other channels
  • By educating your customers on knowing ‘what they are drinking’ is key to build ongoing sales and brand loyalty – YOUR TEAM is an extra educational sales arm to a suppliers brand and business.
  • Redeeming campaign vouchers allows you to record exactly how many bottles were sold – this gives you an effective test and measure strategy for future promotions
By adopting this methodology – measurement scheme – your business is in a position to quantify, forecast, and negotiate either stock up front or advertising dollars for your campaigns.  However; it is much more cost effective for suppliers to utilise stock for advertising support and therefore leverage this to absorb costs and turn them into Return On Investments for both of you.
Strategic Partnerships is the money maker in business.  It not only reduces your outgoing costs, gives you access to a wider market with more interesting value offerings …………….. it really does make business more interesting and fun!
Trying to find other businesses can take a while to build the rapport, but as I always like to say …………….. “Go for the low hanging fruit first!”
Your suppliers are already there, so start to work together because they too have Key Performance Indicators to achieve.  Think of it this way ….. “How can I make my Sales Representative look good?”, and from there start building together.
But SHOP AROUND!!! No supplier deserves your business if they are not going to be there to help you ‘grow’ yours.
SP-2Image cred: blogasiainfo



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We’d love for you to share your thoughts and opinions…

IMPORTANT CHECKLIST for Hospitality Venues – Creating Customers For Life

In order to create value out of a marketing campaign, lifetime value out of your customers, it is imperative that you have the following in place to attract more prospects, create repeat purchases, and convert into loyal customers for life:


Database Management

  • How are you planning to work with your ‘existing customers’ – REAL PROFIT COMES FROM YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS. The list of customers that spend money in your business …. the life blood
  • Do you have a strategy in place to work with the new customers you have them coming back into your business once you have run a promotion?

Client Retention

  • Do you have a plan in place to hold on to all of your fantastic customers so that they can’t be taken from your competitors? Protect your valuables at work, your customers …
  • We all like feeling special – Do you know who your most valuable customers are, and do THEY KNOW how fabulous they are to you?


Referral Program

  • Do you have a fantastic plan in place to attract more of those customers you love – the ones that ‘rave about your business’, and spend the money?

email template

Loyalty Program

  • Finding out what your customers love is a great way of not only getting to know them but a great strategy to create long term relationships leveraging off their problems, needs and wants …. Do you have a simple plan that enables your business to strengthen an ongoing relationship with your product or service?

Brio Restaurant_Loyalty Example

There are simple strategies that need to be implemented if you want to build your database and create customers for life. You might think this all seems like a lot of work, but until you build your profits you need to learn the ‘how’ – the systems, the strategies, the formula’s to success!

If you want to build a business, careers for your team, not job’s, a profitable hospitality business that works – more importantly without you in it – take the next step to implement some simple strategies that will have your business connecting with every new customer, and achieving great results with every marketing campaign.

Reduce your outgoing costs on advertising by connecting with your loyal raving fans that market your business for you!!

Have a chat with us to learn about our Coterie Hospitality Educational Marketing Programs – Creating  Customers For Life – teaching you and your team how to do your own marketing giving you independence, long-term stability, greater skill-sets among your team, and driving PROFITS!



Image cred: PointofSale, Wisegeek, Marketingland, CoterieAustralia, mobilecommercedaily.com


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HOT TIPS: Building Your Customer List That Makes Your Marketing Easier and Grows Your Bank Account

With a continued – for lack of a better word – epidemic – in business, the lack of focus on building and/or nurturing a Customer List, I wanted to touch base with you on the importance of a Customer List for your hospitality business, and offer you some tips to get you started. Getting started is the first major step to the process, and building the right strategies to use it will begin once the foundation is laid – much the same as building a house, you need the concrete platform before the structure takes place.

Here are some philosophies that we use with our hospitality clients at Coterie:

‘PROFIT’ comes from existing customers, but if you don’t know where you have been, you will not know where you are going.

Please ask yourself these questions ……
  • “Do I want to get a new customer once and turn them into a customer forever?”
  • “Do I want to set up a marketing strategy once that brings profitable customers back my hospitality venue forever?”
  • “Do I want to build a strong platform in my business that creates a passive income – a business that makes money without me in it – on tasks – brings more customers to my venue, they spend more money, and they bring their family and friends?”

If you have answered all questions ‘YES’ then allow your business to achieve the results it deserves by organizing and systematizing the business for an easy flow operation.

If it’s not on a database, it didn’t happen!

A good database should be treated as your bank account. “Why?” you might ask ………

It is because the most important part of your business in relation to making profit is your customer lists. If your venue has customers that love you, you must have the ability to get in contact with them, talk to them and create a ‘need’ for them to come back, otherwise your business has to wait for the customers to find you. A good database will assist you to talk to customers that are already spending money in your venue, and make it one trillion, yes that’s right, ONE TRILLION times easier to increase your cash flow.

Your hospitality business must have the customers that you want! So if you are attracting the wrong customers, it is important to identify this, and send them to your competitors. No one’s hospitality business can survive on customers that are always looking for a discount, haggling down on price, or attracting minimum spend.

Two Databases_Client Image.1


Basic information tips to start building your customer list – database:

  1.  Name – first and last
  2. Mailing address
  3. Post code
  4. Mobile phone number
  5. Email address

Advanced customer information that will help you create targeted marketing/promotions specifically designed around their interests:

  1.  Family – partner, spouse, children
  2. Pets
  3. Favourite sporting team
  4. Favourite music
  5. Hobbies

Suggested tools to help you start to build your customer list and database marketing:

  • Coterie Australia Database Management spreadsheet template
    • Formulated Excel spreadsheet that allows you to record customer information and their monthly purchases
    • Database Management spreadsheet ‘how to use’ guide
    • Coterie Member price $49 plus GST – Valued at $250
      • Not a member?  Sign up for a Free Membership and access your $49 voucher  – need to get the opt in sorted for this

The two listed above are the marketing tools commonly recommended for small businesses.  Some hospitality businesses cannot plug-in to their Point Of Sale System so be sure to chat with your provider.

First things first, it is IMPERATIVE that you ask your Point Of Sale provider where your database system is, what it does, and how you can do your marketing through their system.

Google search bar– ”Free email marketing software” – if you’re wanting to look at more options, simply type into the search bar and have a look around.

Just start to build your customer list, even if you don’t know what you are going to do with it yet.

Free business tools are great to get you started, but please view it much the same as protecting your hotel cash flow.  Running free email software is like putting your money in a safe in your hotel. Paying bank fees for a safe bank account, and working with a bank manager on suitable interest rates and strategies to grow your money …………………………….. this is the same philosophy on working with business experts when it comes to your marketing, to grow your profit.

Have fun growing your list of customers, finding out more about them, which leads into loads more fun in designing your marketing …………

Business is meant to be, and should be fun. And of course, business is fun when you’re making PROFIT!!

If you’d like to design and set up long-term marketing specifically designed for your hospitality business, please get in touch with us at Coterie – There has never been a better time than now to work in the hospitality industry – love flying the hospitality flag – and be part of a hospitality business that you want!!!

  • Increase customers
  • Have your customers spending more money in your business
  • Free up your time

I look forward to chatting with you soon, learning how your customer lists are coming along 🙂



 Feature image cred: toogezer.com


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‘How To’ TIPS – Videos using Insta Repost App

With the growing value to use video for your hospitality business, yep – we get it, right – it doesn’t come that easy to just jump in and “Lights, Camera, ACTION”

As users, you may agree, we support that videos are interesting to watch, grab our attention, and assist in the CLICK to view – Yes?  

I wanted to offer you a ‘transition into video’ solution so you can get onto the ‘video marketing’ train (get those amazing video statistics in the direction of YOUR brand)

I totally understand where you may be feeling a bit stuck, not quite ready to get in front of the camera or perhaps you have a few nervous team members.  I have a solution for you so that you can keep up with video marketing trends and drive traffic to your business using the Insta Repost App.

7 reasons WHY we should use video for our business:

  1. 1 million videos are viewed on Youtube every MINUTE
  2. Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day
  3. One-third of the global internet activity is spent watching video
  4. More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day
  5. Over half of video content is viewed on mobile
  6. Social video generates 12000% more shares than text and images, combined!
  7. Customers are more likely to remember a video than picture images or written text

Can you see the benefits?  It’s kinda a good thing to consider, yes?

Lets bridge the gap for now and take a look at Insta Repost


5 Steps to using Insta Repost for Videos

Insta Repost will assist you to use videos and GIFs on your Instagram storyboard.  It is super easy to use but for the most part, you can start to train your audience to consume video with your marketing,  encourage them to engage, and most importantly have some fun in sharing (curating – sharing of other peoples content) some cool videos that compliment your brand voice and personality.

  1. How to upload Insta Repost for videos
    1. Search Insta Repost in your App store and download the App
    2. This is available on both smartphone and tablet



  1. Map out what types of videos and GIFs you may like to use on your IG storyboard – this will help you to search
  • Cocktails
  • Food feature video
  • Animation
  • Coffee videos
  • It’s not ALWAYS about selling your food and drink. If there is a clip that you think would capture the attention of your audience – engage – start a conversation – think about something humorous, or perhaps a singing vocals video.

For example:

@Vines (humerous videos) 5.8 Million followers

@hotvocals (singing and inspirational videos) 5.4 Million followers

Note: videos that have attracted a lot of views prove that it is engaging content and you may be able to leverage your ideas looking at the statistics

  1. Where to source your video ideas

Of course, being a hospitality business, whilst you totally see the benefits in knowing your neigbour – your fellow hospitality community people – you’re not exactly going to advertise their business to use video, right?

Here’s a list of page ideas:

  • Food Bloggers
  • How To videos – @AmandaFrederickson “How to cook almost anything in 60 seconds”
  • Supplier companies – spirits, wine, food produce, coffee, cool
  • Food Videos – @tasty, @Food_Videos
  • GIF’s – you can actually source some GIF’s on your Messenger and save them to your camera roll which in turn can be used to upload to Instagram – BONUS!!

Simply type in the search bar in your Messenger what you are looking for and have a play around

Here’s one of my FAV – nearly every favourite Martini of mine – Yummo!



  1. How to Repost videos
  • Choose the video that you like and in the top right hand corner tap on the 3 horizontal dots

  • Copy Link
  • Jump back into your Repost app and past the IG link that you copied from the chosen video

  • You may find that by copying the link it automatically links straight to your Repost app

  • Click “Repost”


Look at THAT!!! You can now scroll through and choose where you want to repost the video:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Messenger
  4. Email

VOILA!!! Look who’s utilising video in their business!!!

Video from @foodvideo.s




Copywrite is illegal – yes, we have to be mindful of the laws – so absolutely ensure that you and your team are always tagging the owner of the video and referencing them.

The great aspect to tagging other businesses, you have an opportunity to grow your community and you never know, someone may love what you post about your business and repay the favour to their Insta storyboard OR their social media channels

Now there’s no excuse for not starting to have a play and use video in your marketing strategy.  Soon enough you will be enticed to have creative control and create your own videos.

If you are keen to learn how you and your team can start to shoot your own video – easy step by step support – get in touch with us today, we have a perfect program with loads of support to create highly shareable, snackable content that your community will LOVE!!!

WE WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO OUR OWN VIDEO – {Click Link} bit.ly/CoterieLearnVideo


Carrie and The Team at Coterie

Get in Touch with the team at Coterie

Would you love more FREE Business and Marketing TIPS, we’d love you to join our Hospitality Marketing Community: {CLICK HERE}
We’d love for you to share your thoughts and opinions…

Benefits of Strategic Partnerships – A Partnership Model for Success

This week, we are paying particular focus to the benefits of setting up Strategic Partnerships in your business.  Tips on how to partner with your suppliers, and integrating your Partnerships and social media.

Benefits of Strategic Partnerships – A Partnership Model for Success

Tips on Partnering with your Suppliers

How to Integrate Strategic Partnerships with your Social Media

Stay tuned for the full week’s series – We hope you enjoy the read and tips ahead!


Benefits of Strategic Partnerships – A Partnership Model for Success

PARTNERSHIP ….. Isn’t that a great word! What does it mean to YOU??


………”We’re in it together”;

………”You don’t have to do it all yourself”;

………”You’re not alone”;

… ……”Let’s have some FUN and share in success!”

All human beings crave social contact. Partnerships are very important as life would otherwise be very empty, boring and lonely. Just as it does in the animal kingdom, partnerships can deliver fun, fulfillment, growth and many rewards shared, and that is why it is natural for us to search for a suitable fit for our personal models having many partnerships in life (lovers, friendships, colleagues, family), to live a lifetime of happiness and share the joys …. Business isn’t any different!!
Partnerships in business ….. what a great way to structure your business, a platform that assists in balance, support, and allows you to focus on what your business does best – and the fun part – sharing your success with others and having a bigger piece of the pie ……
WHAT is a Strategic Partnership?
A strategic partnership is an alliance between two organizations, with each possessing assets that will complement the individual businesses products and/or services with their existing customer base. Strategic alliances enable businesses to gain competitive advantage through access to a partner’s resources, including products and services, technologies, capital and people; these capabilities enabling participants to grow and expand more quickly and efficiently.
WHY Strategic Partnerships?
Would you like to have a bigger slice of a small pie, or a smaller slice of a big pie?
Suitable and meaningful Strategic Partnerships are the foundation for success. It creates greater value to an organization and all parties involved.
By sharing with others, it enables a business to gain greater brand awareness, customer engagement and market reach through sharing existing databases. Coupled with ‘sharing the load’, partnering with other businesses can provide additional products and/or services that appeals to your target market strengthening the individual business brand.
It is a cost saving strategy and one of the fastest ways to market your business and generate new customers that are profitable customers. That is what you want, right?
WHO are the Strategic Partners?
Strategic partnerships are the 80/20 Principal – 20% of effort for 80% of results. It is important to understand your market, your customers, to then understand the most suitable businesses to align with – to achieve more from doing less work, it is vital to be selective to prevent from being exhaustive.
In setting up Strategic Partnerships, you work out where 20% of the effort is – aligning the partnerships with businesses that are like-minded, offer complimentary product and/or services to your brand, and operate in a suitable consumer market – that can lead to 80% of returns.  Strategic Partners are businesses that target the same customers in your industry and / or  community.
Image cred: Linkedin, Jillkonrath, Kolarys



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Last week, being ‘my’ first week back in the business after traveling the globe to California in December – a bit of festive frivolity –  and a LOAD of tasks ahead with a new project in play, I had a moment of stillness – in the ‘now’ – as I experienced a sense of inspiration, feeling pumped, optimistic and happy emotions wash over me.

But then, there was more …………………..

It read like this:

“Happy Friday Peeps!!

Having a moment in ‘now’ and just feeling pretty damn inspired, pumped, optimistic and happy …….. May not last, may keep going, but I’m just savoring the moment ………… And some Melbourne sunshine that has recently popped through ……

Brings relevance to the reality, when it seems cloudy and overcast (as it was this morning), the sun shines through ….. May not stay sunny forever, but it’s sunny RIGHT NOW!
Enjoy the sunshine”☀

I received some great engagement, comments, even private messages regarding.  My message was about me sitting in the ‘now’ and relishing in the sunshine that had appeared at the time.  It was how I articulated it that current setting, however; and drew relevance to weather and life which resonated with people and I felt I had to pay forward that message again, with you.  Accidental resonance for me too.

“When it seems cloudy and overcast, the sun shines through”

Whether you’re having hefty work projects, financial troubles, relationship woes, or festive season passing blooms, there is ‘the other side’ of the cloud, the fog.

Last week there did not look like ANY sign of sunshine capable of displaying, but low and behold, in the afternoon (in true Miss Melbourne fashion – that being a moody little lady with her weather) the sun shone through, unexpectedly, and remained in the daylight hours.  This too has happened to me in the past, when you’re in the thick of the fog – can’t see the view ahead nor convinced you ever will (all you want to do is pull over) you just have to trust, and keep going forward.

As Stevie Nicks states “Thunder only happens when it’s raining”.  What is so vital, when there IS sunshine, even for just a few second, recognise it.  Sit in It.  Feel it.  It may not stay sunny forever, but really enjoy it when it is.

And remember ………………………. It isn’t always cloudy – overcast – foggy nor rain all the time either.

When you are having a bloody good ‘now’, have a bloody good time! Embrace, enjoy, share it

Here’s to going forward even when we think we can’t see the view ahead – Stand tall and stand strong!


Standing facing the sunshine

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  1. They don’t keep an active list of their customers –  they don’t have a database for powerful and cost-effective marketing.  You know, talking to the customers that LOVE you and spend the money!
  2. No plan in place to attract the customers they actually want in the business
  3. Compromise on price, discounting to get new customers or keep because they don’t have a plan in place
  4. Rely on Facebook to do all the marketing and advertising for them
  5. No team game plan to build passion, commitment and grow the business – high staff turnover, shift workers that watch the clock and take sick days.

“Successful businesses know that the most valuable asset to a business is a customer list, and the most powerful tool is EDUCATION.”





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TIPS To Grow Your Business Through The FESTIVE SEASON

What a great time of year.  Some refer to it as the ‘festive’ season, others – the ‘silly’ season.  But for majority of your customers, it’s PARTY TIME!

Venue’s start to get busy;

  •  End of year celebration with clients
  • Christmas parties with staff
  • Final event for the year
  • Christmas Day lunch
  • New Year’s Eve breakfast, lunch, dinner celebrations
  • Not to mention all the December / January babies having birthday’s.  Yes, the big babies that like to spend their money and celebrate – we love them! 🙂
So what does this mean?
  1. Bookings must be made
  2. Customer information must be provided in advance
  3. Specific customer information must be given in order to design and deliver ‘on point’ event requirements
  4. Set food and drink packages are designed
  5. Customers are recording their own materials to later remember the event, you know, like taking photo’s of EVERYTHING 🙂
Now that we are a bit “Yep, Yep, get that” with the points above ………………….. my question is …………

“What are you and your team doing with this ……………… low hanging fruit?”

A staggering 50%, and well above that number, do not manage their customer list.  This is one of the most valuable assets in your business.  It is exactly where your cashflow comes from.  So just the same as putting money in a bank account, save, accumulate interest ……………… your customer list is no different.
The festive season makes your business plan so much easier because information must  be gathered and shared to operate.
One of the challenges in ‘managing’ your customer list – building a good marketing plan that brings in the right customers and the healthy cashflow – is ‘gathering the insights and information’.  It can take a lot of planning, preparation and time.  Well guess what, your customers are GIVING it to you right now!
WARNING – this will ONLY work if you record, record, RECORD information.

TIPS To Grow Your Business Through The FESTIVE SEASON

‘Record’ ALL information on your customer list records – this would be your database, your Customer Relationship Management software

1. Bookings – Name, email, phone number.  Now you have a means to ‘get back in touch’.  If you have a booking system, you have a Customer List!

2. A business function 

  1. Record the business they are from / industry – the Key Contact.  Having direct access to the decision maker, or a gate keeper is the key.
  2. Who were their clients if a client event?  You may be able to reach out to a wider market
  3. Do they run many events with their clients? Your business may be able to host their future functions
  4. Do they hold many staff parties – be their party planner and playground to deliver

3. Drinks and meal packages – often we can start to acquire tastes and interests for future promotions, giving them what they want.

4. Birthday’s – this is a fabulous breeding ground for profile information about your customers

  1. Family information
  2. Purchasing behaviour – particular brands they prefer.  This is information you can compile at the end of the night from your PO System
  3. Music choice
  4. Demographic – age, gender.  These types of parties are ‘by choice’ so you can reach out to your customers with future events you may be holding

5. Membership – there is no point having all of this information if you are not going to talk to your customer list.  Offer them a reason to engage with you and sign up for many FABULOUS, FUN AND YUMMY offers ahead.

Your customers LOVE taking photo’s, communicating with their community what they are doing and guess what this means for your business – Social Proof.
Communicate on your menu’s, reminder email, table talkers
  • #hashtag X (hospitality business name)
  • Tag us on Instagram
  • Check-In on Facebook
Call To Action TIP
You may want to give your customer’s an incentive to share their fun and stories
  1. Best photo will go into the draw to win
  2. Tag us on Instagram or Check-In on Facebook and receive X voucher for your next visit
You really can have a play around with your incentive ideas but make it worth engaging – don’t go cheap an nasty
Tis the season to let your customers market and advertise your business for you, along with ‘paying YOU’ to give you all their Customer Profile Information.  Pretty good, if you ask me 🙂
PICK THE LOW HANGING FRUIT – It is now time for harvest 🙂
This is part of why hospitality is one of the BEST industries in the WORLD!!!!  It can be effortless, if you have a vision, a plan, record and remember ………
I’d love your feedback if you find these tips helpful, and more importantly, if they grow your business profitably ……..
Cheers with Espresso Martinis,
Carrie 🙂
 Image Cred:  Instagram
@annaheinrich  @dutchessmelbourne

7 Steps to Assess your Customer Experience

How Far Does the Customer Experience Really Go?

For so long we were giving the ‘sales’ strategies and techniques – how to get people in the door, spending, and well, more of that.  Turn-over of customers was great because it meant that there was traffic in the door and money in the cash register.

Whilst, of course, this is what a hospitality business should be aspiring to achieve, the ‘transactional’ – serve and exit – approach needs more to it if there are to be customers referring their friends and family – coming back – spending more money  – raving about your business.

With still a great ‘experience’ example, having visited the Venetian Casino, Las Vegas – earlier this year – this venue is absolutely breath taking with a great guide on ‘how to extend the customer experience’ beyond gambling all your money away 🙂

Take this journey with us to explore different angles, different perspectives, and push creative boundaries for your own hospitality business creating memorable moments for your customers…….

The consistency, scale and design of the Venetian Casino, Las Vegas, was absolutely breath taking!

Up close view of the stunning ceilings. The consistency and scale of the design was simply magnificent.


Lets take a look at some Selling Points:

  • Attention to detail
  • Consistency
  • Heavily anchored toward ‘customer experience’
  • Aromatically fresh and fragrant – this is becoming a real marketing pointer (in our opinion) as hospitality businesses don’t pay enough attention to the way their venue smells – it CAN leave a lasting impression!

It’s interesting how far we can push the ‘experience’ for our customers, or more so, how far they can judge your hospitality business.  Ever considered even the type of toilet paper you provide and the impact it has?  Yes, I am writing that from the ‘girly’ point of view, but it definitely ‘does’ get noticed.

Take a little process tour – 7 steps to assess your customer experience in your hospitality business 

Walk from the front door of your venue, through to the back door and try and take in as much as you can and feel the experience.

  1. Sit in your own toilet
  2. Sit at your own tables
  3. Be served at your own bar/counter
  4. Be served by your own team members
  5. Cook in your own kitchen
  6. Walk through (guided of course) blind folded just to test the sensory cortex

Your customers’ sensory experience:

  1. Sight
  2. Smell
  3. Taste
  4. Sound
  5. Touch

And ‘talk’ about how you left them feeling.

No, I haven’t forgotten ….. STEP #7 

* Choose 1-2 of your trusted and valued customers to give honest and open feedback by doing the checklist tour from their perspective

Key Note:

  • Respect your customers time – offer them something in return for their feedback (a reward or incentive).  Express and explain this to them so they too respect ‘your’ respect of them and ‘understand’ ‘why’ you are doing this
  • Request absolute honesty, and portray trust for them to give honesty.  Your business is only as good as their opinion
  • Take any negative feedback ‘on the chin’.  They are merely ‘gaps of opportunities’.
  • Inform your team of this assessment
  • Action your outcomes straight away

Respect your hospitality business like a piece of priceless artwork, and the customers will respect and love it too.

Convey this in everything you do – communicate this with your community – and offer your customers an ‘experience’.  People don’t tell their friends how much money they spent in a hospitality venue, they share with them the ‘experience’ they had ………

Let YOUR business be one of a ‘memorable’ experience for your customers ………….. all for the ‘right’ reasons.

Come with us, and have a little fun in business!



Get in Touch with the team at Coterie

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I’d like to take a moment with you to look at things a little deeper, a little broader.

Would it be fair to say, in your hospitality business no matter if you’re serving customers that eat, sleep or drink, you know you’re providing a bed to sleep in, food to eat and beverages to drink?

Do you know how many other hospitality businesses there are in your local community/state/country that do ‘EXACTLY the same’?

This is where we look at the power behind understanding what you stand for. A lot of businesses haven’t quite caught up to this in their message, approach or business growth strategy – so you’re working off a small base – but don’t be seduced by complacency as we have a growing use for tapping into human emotions – move ahead of the times whilst you can – as new businesses ‘are’ jumping on board – be it in drips and drabs – but it’s happening.

At Coterie, we are in the game of creating communities and partnerships. We partner with our partners, we partner with our clients, and we help our clients partner with their customers – we create partnerships and customers for life. How do we do this ….. we use marketing as a connective platform to bring our ultimate game and result into play.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Yes, Coterie designs Promotional Campaigns, Loyalty Programs, Database Marketing etc. – growing hospitality businesses with more customers and more $$$$$. But, they are just our methods to achieve our ultimate result ……. Creating partnerships and customers for life.

So what game are you in?

In hospitality, you really do have (and I firmly believe this needs to be recognized fast) business on a silver platter. You’re not selling services, requiring shifting the mindset of people for something they don’t know they need yet. You’re not selling a new widget product that requires door-to-door sales. Yes, your business is in one of the most saturated markets possible, and it will never change! How cool is that, the hospitality industry can withstand saturation, and grow! Why, you might ask? Because hospitality is all about experiences.

Your customers are working hard (a lot of people have jobs – 9-5 “get me out of here”)to make money that allows them to go out of a weekend, during the week, special occasions. Your business is their ‘time out’. When is the last time that someone went out for drinks, out for dinner, to think hard – reach a deadline – cram in some last minute study? Oh ok, yes I’m in the small percentile to use a hospitality venue for work, on occasions – we know us hard working entrepreneurs might (Team ‘No Days Off’) and always follows with an Espresso Martini …….. but retrospectively speaking?

Points for consideration of what you’re actually doing in your business:

Bringing families together
  • time poor with working parents that want some family time and a nice cooked meal;
  • Weekly catchups with loved ones;
  • Celebrating special occasions
  • Boys catchup watching the game;
  • Bringing groups of friends together;
  • Time out from the hustle and bustle of the working day/week


  • Is your hospitality business being used to grow another?
  • Your brand and venue may just be the chosen point for signing large contracts, and growing the millions of other businesses
  • The starting point for inspiration before someone begins their day of chaos
  • Your venue is where lovers come together
  • A night away
  • A proposal
  • Date night


If you can work out – beyond serving drink, food, providing beds – what you do beyond making money, you will GUARANTEED grow your community, create long-time memories through valuable experiences, and STAND OUT FROM A NOISY WORLD. Watch your profits GROW!

Key points:

  • Know your customers
  • Understand their problems
  • Work out what they want
  • Build your business around your customers
  • Impact their ‘lives’ to become their ‘My’ – “My” hotel, restaurant, bar, club ….. etc.

I personally love this component to business because it aligns you with YOUR passion, has you tapping into why you do what you do, and the journey really is about the full circle.

I’d love to chat with you – or your team – if you want to learn more about this aspect to business. It’s a strong focus for us, proven method, and goes beyond a paycheck or a sale.

“Do you know what you do – what you stand for?”




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