FAQsSonoma Valley Delicious

About this Promotion 

In partnership with Visit California, the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau will participate in California Restaurant Month this January by offering up culinary and artisan promotions to Sonoma Valley guests. Sonoma Valley and California’s wealth of fresh, local ingredients, paired with innovative chefs, farmers and culinary artisans means guests can enjoy cuisine as diverse as the state year-round.

Sonoma Valley restaurants, cafes, cheese makers, olive producers and others can create custom prix fixe menus, offer a signature dish, cocktail, seasonal pairing or other added value offer to participate in this program! The options are endless and up to you! We ask that you do something out-of-the-ordinary and memorable to stand out in the program. Sonoma Valley will be featured as a destination program partner on Visit California and California Restaurant Month website.

This campaign is also a part of the larger California Restaurant Month initiative—featuring dozens of destinations statewide—put on by Visit California and designed to drive post-holiday travel to the Golden State. 2017 California Restaurant Month encompasses a broader and more diverse scope of offerings that not only includes Restaurant Week promotions but a broader range of culinary happenings such as food festivals and culinary experiences. The revitalized campaign will offer a bigger marketing platform for the state’s culinary travel experiences to be shared with potential visitors. Since January 2011, California Restaurant Month has driven 124 million incremental U.S. earned media impressions valued at $11.8 million.

 

PROGRAM GUIDELINES AND DEADLINES

MENU: During the period of January 1 – 31, 2017, present every guest with a special menu or offer. (A menu template has been created for your use.) Menus should include the name of the program, the meal periods you are participating in, the price tier you are participating in and the offerings for each course. Please submit your menus, offer, signature dish, or drink to David Wells by December 21 to be included on our website and in our marketing campaigns.

WEBSITE: Promotions will be featured on our microsite on SonomaValley.com, in email blasts and marketing campaigns.

ASSETS: Provide us with your assets --ex: restaurant menu, chef or food photos, logo, gift certificate, video content, etc.] by December 21.

PROMOTIONS: Help us spread the word about your participation in this promotion by utilizing your Website, e-newsletters, social media channels, Open Table reservation confirmation emails, etc. Please also "Like" us on Facebook and share our campaign creative and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Program promotions begin December 15.

 

MAKE YOUR MENU COUNT

  • Showcase several signature menu items that represent who you are so first-time diners will know what to expect when they return.
  • Plan your menu, dish, drink or pairing with kitchen-efficient dishes that you can execute easily during a rush and allow you to reflect the day-to-day quality associated with your restaurant.
  • Utilize portion sizes that reflect those typically found on your menu year-round.
  • Feature added value items such as wine pairings, specialty cocktails or supplemental courses to build sales; be sure to list prices for these clearly so diners don't think they are included in the menu price.
  • Communicate with your purveyors and beverage suppliers well in advance to negotiate special pricing on larger orders or more economical menu options.
  • Make sure to include vegetarian options.
  • Talk to fellow restaurateurs who have participated in the program before, or other programs like it, to see what worked for them.
  • Always offer your full menu alongside the Restaurant Week menu.

 

GET YOUR STAFF ON BOARD

  • Educate your staff about this promotion well in advance and continue to discuss it as it approaches.
  • Make any necessary schedule adjustments to manage an influx of traffic.
  • Remind staff that Restaurant Week diners should be treated equally, not "less than" for ordering a special menu. If anything, they should receive extra attention because they could be your new regulars.
  • Staff's attitudes towards Restaurant Week can make-or-break a customer's experience of your restaurant. Rather than being concerned about "budget diners" and low tips, they should focus on the opportunity to turn first-timers into regulars so they can earn more in the long-run.
  • Acknowledge your staff for their hard work during this busy period. Incentives and "thanks yous" go a long way to keep spirits high.

  

INTERNAL MARKETING TIPS

  • A small, affordable gesture such as a complimentary amuse bouche or shared starter for the table can make an impactful first impression for new diners.
  • When possible, management should table-touch and find out about their Restaurant Week guests. This often makes first-timers feel like VIPs and encourages them to return.
  • Having a process in place to capture and convert first-time diners is critical. Utilize email collection cards and then quickly send out a "thank you" after the close of the program; include a short-term bounce-back offer to get them back in your doors to experience the full menu.
  • Talk about your participation in this program on your Web site’s landing page.
  • Use your own marketing channels to spread the word leading up to the start of the program to spotlight your participation in it—such as e-blasts, e-newsletters, social media channels, Open Table email confirmations, guest check copy, footer copy on menus, etc.
  • Create simple promotions spotlighting your participation on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare and encourage guests to post photos of their meal while in-house or offer something special for those who “check in” while dining with you during the program.

 

TRACK YOUR RESTAURANT'S PERFORMANCE

In order to measure the success of this program for your restaurant, we will ask you for specific data at the close of the program via an online survey.  Please work with your staff PRIOR to the start of the program to ensure that you will be able to report the number of Restaurant Week meals sold during the program period. You can do this by creating a special code in your POS and running reports by meal period at the close of the program. We will also ask you for subjective information such as estimated increase in sales, estimated increase in first-time diners, etc.

 

Please direct any questions to David Wells at davidwells@sonomavalley.com or 707-304-5940.

Thank you again for your participation!!