Wednesday, 5 June 2013

9 restaurant marketing lessons learnt at Jamie's Italian Perth

Last week I went into the city for a meeting, and as luck would have it, the end of the meeting coincided with the opening of Jamie’s Italian restaurant… I mean what’s a girl to do? I joined the queue behind three other ladies, then waited for the clock to strike 11am and the doors to open. When the doors didn’t open various theories were pondered? Perhaps the clock was wrong? Perhaps we were standing at the wrong door? Perhaps it was a marketing strategy? While this time it wasn’t anything to do with marketing, I was soon knee deep in nine experiences grounded in marketing and consumer psychology.

Jamie's Italian Perth © 2013 The Ponder Room
 Eventually we stopped one of the many employees who’d already crossed our paths several times and asked if there was a problem. No problem we were just standing at the back door.


© 2013 The Ponder Room

If just one of the employees who’d passed us earlier had told us this, we’d have been better placed in the queue we found at the front door.

I really felt for the other ladies as they’d arrived half an hour earlier than me to make sure they’d get in. So word to the wise, make sure you are at the right door.


Feelings of exclusivity
Another employee then came out to address the queue and told us that the restaurant was at 100% capacity 'but if you wait five to ten minutes you'll all get in.' This started a queue discussion about the time honoured nightclub strategy …'if there’s a queue outside it must be good’. It worked as there were soon twice as many people standing behind us.

© 2013 The Ponder Room
Offer your guests a drink
Once inside we were handed a disk that would beep when our table was ready, then directed towards the bar. Looking into the restaurant and seeing only three occupied tables the general concensus was that this strategy was less about restaurant space, and more about doubling the drinks bill.

© 2013 The Ponder Room

Taking the brand home
Finally we were seated and there infront of us was the third marketing strategy.
Years ago banks, fast food operators and movie distributors realised the value of merchandising. An inexpensive toy would be taken home, thereby ensuring the brand is never far from the consumers mind. Some of you might still have a childs money box from a bank.
© 2013 The Ponder Room

There on the table before me was such an item, a napkin emblazoned with the words ‘Jamie’s Italian’. Rumour has it that Jamie loses millions of these napkins each year, so much so he now factors 'light fingered' customers into his budgeting.

You can’t beat good service
A friendly, but not gushy waiter, showed me to a prime seat by the window, where I could watch the lunchtime McDonalds brigade pass by. I could also take in the industrial interior of the restaurant, the fresh market stall display on the back wall, the kitchen, my fellow diners and the odd Jamie Oliver Cookbook peeking out hinting at what could be achieved at home (or not in my case). Clever table placement meant the room felt intimate rather than cavernous, and I couldn’t overhear the discussion on the next table. My order was taken at 11.20 and the food arrived at 11.25. Unbelievable.

Offer a quality product
While the setting and the service were wonderful it's still all about the food, and I have to say my prawn linguini with rocket and fennel was excellent ($16 entre/$26.50 main). The freshness of the pasta reiterated the fact that it had been made on site moments beforehand. The Spencer Gulf prawns were plentiful, as was the tomato chilli sauce. The mound of pasta was so tightly packed it was a tug of war to release the first strand, seriously. If you don’t like chilli it may be a little too hot for you.

© 2013 The Ponder Room
Something for free
It wasn’t long before all that was left on my plate were a few dredges of pasta and a pool of tomato sauce. The waiter returned asking if I wanted some bread to ‘sup up the juices’. To right I did. The bread too was plentiful, three different types, all free of charge.

© 2013 The Ponder Room
No missed opportunity
Finishing the bread I took a closer look at the paper at the back of the container and noticed it had an image of a scooter on it, another nod to the Oliver brand.

Appropriate atmosphere
Having no room left for any of the desserts (damn) I ended the meal with the next best thing ... a hot chocolate. Clearly made from scratch and with no cheap chocolate syrup in sight, it was one of the best hot chocolates ever, silky smooth and not sickly sweet.

© 2013 The Ponder Room
While sipping my hot chocolate (to make it last longer) my neighbour enquired about my meal. Hers was ‘delicious, so many flavours and so cheap, I can’t get over the prices’. She’d chosen the fish 'cooked in a bag', which included mulloway, baked clams, mussels, fennel, anchovies, Sicilian cracked wheat and chilli.
At $28.50 she was right at most other restaurants it would sit around the $35 to $40 mark. A moment later I noticed her stop by a table on the way to the bathroom and chat with other strangers who’d ordered the same meal. As I turned back to my hot chocolate the woman sitting opposite me smiled while her friend rearranged the desserts so she could get a better photo.

Something unique
Talking about the bathrooms, you know I always have to take a look. After sitting in the neutral coloured restaurant, and wandering down a dimly lit hallway, the explosion of colour that came as I opened the toilet door, instantly overloaded my senses and left me smiling. It's definitely unique, so too the old fashioned 'Crapper' cisterns.


© 2013 The Ponder Room
 
Pondering the whole experience I’d say …

  1. The quality of the food, the size of the meals, the atmosphere and the prices were all a hit
  2. It was a shame I couldn't fit in a dessert.
  3. It was well worth the fifteen minute wait
  4. Tip: go on a weekday, get there at opening time and stand at the FRONT door.
  5. I’ll gladly go back just for the hot chocolate, and kind of wish I’d pocketed one of those serviettes now.
 
© 2013 The Ponder Room
 


For more information go to http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/australia/perth
140 William Street Perth

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon


© 2013 The Ponder Room


15 comments:

  1. Sounds well worth a visit. I must get myself in there...

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  2. Sure is Louise, just be prepared to queue and wear comfy pants

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  3. Great article and a few lessons there for some of our other more pricier Perth restaurants...

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  4. Thanks heaps Shannon,that's what the lady next to me was saying too. Hope you get there soon if you haven't already. On a cold night like tonight that warm pasta meal is definitely calling :)

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  5. This is really a nice post regarding the how social media has effected in increasing the online marketing and other it makes the people connected.

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  6. Thank you for spending some time go over this, I feel strongly over it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, do you mind updating your blog with extra information? It is quite great for me.

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  7. Thank you for sharing these ideas with us!!

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  8. This place is amazing and I'm so glad you ordered the lobster! That was my favourite and highlight dish during my visit. I can't wait to head back and get that for a main! Great write up. :)

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  9. Thanks heaps for your comments, so glad you enjoyed it

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  11. Sounds well worth a visit. I feel strongly over it and love learning more on this topic.
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  12. meant to say thanks to Los Angelos Hall, great to have you join in the conversation, bope all is well over your way

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  13. Thanks Jennifer hope the grill is going well, great to hear from you

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  14. Thanks for the info Christopher, hope life is good over your way

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