Case Study : Domaine Hudson
As new owners, The Rosses engaged Strongpoint® for their rich knowledge of the food and beverage industry. After an initial assesment of the restaurant’s strengths and weakness, Strongpoint® recommended a more sophisticated and appealing website and a lively social media presence.Learn More
Case Study : Domaine Hudson
When your restaurant is a little like that place where everybody knows your name and the core of your business is the regulars who stop by for a glass of fine wine and then stay for dinner, and when you’ve got the cuisine just right, you want to be careful about changing the formula.
So it was with Domaine Hudson for years. Until the new owners came to town. Successful veterinarians by day, Mike and Beth Ross were sensitive to forcing too many changes too quickly when they acquired the well-known restaurant from the former owners. But the décor had grown a bit tired, the wine list needed a tweak, and, let’s face it, they were new owners and wanted to do things their way.
The Rosses engaged Strongpoint® because of our team’s deep knowledge of the food and beverage industry, our established working relationships with the local media, and our vision and creativity. The first challenge was to craft an announcement of new ownership while reassuring patrons that their favorite place would remain what they had grown to love.
Strongpoint® conducted an initial assessment of the restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses, concluding that loyal customers were predominantly older professionals. An immediate need was a more sophisticated and appealing website and a lively social media presence.
We developed a strategy to target younger diners while retaining the loyal core, and worked with the new owners to kick up the happy hour period by introducing specialty spirits drinks and a full line of craft beers. Pricing specials such as half-off wine on Thursdays and Happy Hour wine flights were developed to draw a younger demographic.
The team developed an aggressive lineup of promotions and events, including Winemaker’s Dinners featuring winemakers from around the world. Targeting specific demographics led to the introduction of the Women in Wine Master Class dinners and Wine and Cheese Master Classes.
Strongpoint® has advised Domaine Hudson on advertising and promotion, including a co-promotion with a local radio station. Social media management has been key, and effective particularly for event promotions. When Strongpoint assumed social media postings, Facebook followers increased from 12 in mid-2011 to more than 950 at the beginning of 2013.
Despite initial community concerns about new ownership, Domaine Hudson has retained its loyal customer base and has broadened the base to add new regulars. The restaurant has weathered a rocky local economy and a slowdown in fine dining, and has seen a growing presence of a younger audience that enjoys the upgrades and updates the Rosses have implemented.