Working with small clients, doing great work is what got Fallon, McElligot Rice started in Minneapolis when most big clients thought they had to work with a NYC, Chicago or LA agency. We view work with independent local restaurants as part of keeping our city unique, interesting and fun. It’s also nice when a national publication includes examples of our work as part of a how to differentiate your small business to compete with the big chains.

Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory will never sell more pizza than Domino’s, Papa Johns, Donato’s or California Pizza Kitchen, but, they will have a loyal following and leave every customer smiling.

Restaurant Business Magazine Online - How to build buzz

New Rule #3 Surprise people (and they may surprise you)

Nothing gets customers buzzing like a surprise. Sometimes it’s a new product, or even a stunt.
“Target does great word-of-mouth stunts,” says Andy Sernovitz, CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. “They didn’t have a store in Manhattan, but they brought a truck of $99 window-unit air conditioners, parked them in Union Square and sold them off the back of the truck.
“The Drury Inn hotel chain gives you an hour of free long distance for every guest every day. It costs them nothing, but the first thing you do when you pick up the phone is to say, ‘Can you believe there’s a hotel with free long distance?’”
Even your humblest item can offer a surprise, says David Esrati, chief creative officer of ad agency The Next Wave in Dayton, Ohio. Like the pizza box he designed for Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory. The front of the box reads, “Smile! Your pizza’s here,” while the bottom says, “If you can read this, it’s time to reorder.” Says Esrati, “Everything you do in a restaurant is an advertisement.”
Unique service also gets people talking, says McConnell. At Cyrus, a fine-dining establishment in Sonoma, California, the hostess alerted the kitchen to a new guest’s arrival. Once seated, a cart came up with champagne and caviar. “It’s an experience I’ve talked about hundreds of times,” McConnell says.
Another gossip-starter is to offer dishes that aren’t on the menu but can be requested by people in the know. California’s In-N-Out Burger has a cult following for its “secret menu,” with burgers like the Animal Style, Protein Style, Flying Dutchman and 4×4. Jamba Juice has a similar reputation for smoothies, with unofficial concoctions like White Gummi Bear, Strawberry Shortcake and Peanut Butter and Jelly.

It’s nice to be quoted in the same article as Laura Ries, Jay Levinson and a mention of Crispin Porter Bogusky’s “Subservient Chicken” site- but what was more important is the results Pizza Factory has enjoyed over the years.

We’ve introduced blogs as a tool for our other restaurant clients, Eclipse and Coco’s Bistro, and although they haven’t fully taken advantage of them yet, once again, The Next Wave is on the forefront of Marketing Innovation.