Spice Restaurant

Spice Ballymena

Spice is an established Indian restaurant, who wanted to increase local awareness of their business. As some would say they wanted more bums on seats, and more deliveries going out the door. An analysis of the competition helped with identifying the strengths of Spice, and the areas that could use some improvement.

All of the food in Spice is authentic Indian cuisine, made fresh from high quality ingredients – this is a massive selling point for the restaurant and one that was used consistently throughout the business development. The specific areas for improvement included: menu design, promotions and offers, social media and on-line presence.

Spice is the only Indian restaurant in Ballymena that offers a delivery service, our first step in promoting this was redesigning, de-cluttering, and modernising the promotional literature, as well as including a new delivery-only promotion. The new menus were distributed via a door-to-door residential leaflet drop to 14,000 homes in Ballymena and the surrounding areas.

Spice Ballymena

Social media was considered for the restaurant, and Facebook offered an inexpensive and effective method of engaging with customers on a local level, and further afield. A professional photographer was hired to take photos of the restaurant interior, kitchen, and food. These were used on the Facebook profile – at this point I would like to stress the importance of high quality images on a social platform! This also developed into a new business relationship, where the photographer can now be hired at a discounted rate when a customer books the function room, usually for business events, birthday parties, or engagement celebrations. Spice is currently the only restaurant in Ballymena to offer this service.

To cost-effectively boost Spice’s on-line presence we took full advantage of free on-line directories such as Yell.com, 4NI, TripAdvisor and the NI Good Food Guide, which also allows the business to access customer feedback and reviews. These reviews are shared through the Facebook page, providing followers with unbiased opinions.

Feedback and research conducted identified that Ballymena is not as accustomed to Indian food as other areas in NI, and that unlike with a Chinese or European restaurant, there could be confusion over what some of the dishes contain and how they taste due to their unfamiliar names. It was also apparent there was a misconception that an Indian restaurant produces only “rice and curry” dishes. We used the Facebook page to tackle this issue head-on and promote very popular dishes that are not curry or rice based. We also began to post the “Dish of the Week” – which includes a high quality image and a detailed description of the ingredients and flavours.

There are future possibilities for further business developments and promotion opportunities with Spice: it was recommended that the restaurant advertise within the Wee Voucher Book, a local discount voucher book for food, drink, and entertainment deals in Ballymena and the surrounding areas.

Since working with Spice their weekly delivery figure has doubled, the restaurant has seen an increase in bookings and customers, and they were awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

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