The restaurant industry in Australia has recently growing with a solid revenue growth as the change in social trends in the past 5 years. (Vuong, 2017). IBISWorld states that the competition in the industry is very high and it keeps growing, the current annual revenue for the restaurant industry reaches 20 billion Australian Dollar and still expected to grow to 21 billion Australian Dollar in the next two years.
Seng Hing Gourmet is a BYO Chinese Food Restaurant that serves Southern-style dishes. It was established on July 1st 1997, at Derby Road Caulfield, Melbourne. Seng Hing Gourmet is a small restaurant with neither traditional nor digital marketing strategies to promote their own restaurant.
The purpose of this report is to improve Seng Hing Gourmet's marketing strategy especially in digital marketing. Company overview, current digital marketing strategies, industry and competitor overview and future impact of digital marketing to the industry will be discussed in this report. There are four recommendations to achieve the better marketing strategy of the restaurants: website, social media, search engine optimization, and email newsletter. Suggestions and action plan will be written at the end of the report to improve the company using digital marketing strategies.
Executive Summary 2 Company Overview 4 Current Digital Marketing Strategies of the Company 5 Current Digital Trend in the Industry 7 Industry and Competitor Overview 9 Future Impact on Digital Marketing 12
Online food orders and delivery 12 Socialising 12 In-store Augmented Reality 13
Digital Marketing Recommendations 14 Create a Website 14 Involve in Social Media 15 Search Engine Optimization 17 Create Email Newsletter 17
Action Plan 19 References 21
Seng Hing Gourmet is a small BYO Chinese Restaurant which is located in Caulfield, 200 meters away from Monash University Caulfield. Seng Hing Gourmet was firstly established on the same day when Hong Kong returned to China, which is July 1st 1997. Being established for more than 20 years makes Sing Hing mostly filled by loyal customers which are dominated by Monash students and Monash alumni. Serving delicious and affordable Southern-Style Chinese Food is one of the reason why Seng Hing has positive customer word-of-mouth. One of the most popular menu of Seng Hing Gourmet is deep fried spicy pork over omelette and duck over omelette. Being one of the oldest restaurants at Derby Road makes Seng Hing Gourmet the more popular place to eat for the older people.
Seng Hing Gourmet's main strategy is to aim the Monash University students as Seng Hing Gourmet has the advantage of being located in a strategic location. During university holidays Seng Hing Gourmet normally has only few customers during the day. However, at dinner time there are often students who are on holiday take their family who are visiting to Melbourne and take them to have dinner at Seng Hing Gourmet. (Founder of Seng Hing Gourmet, 2017).
Current Digital Marketing Strategies of The Company
Back to more than a decade ago, good restaurants were usually popularized by word of mouth. Until the internet enters humans' daily life, the way people search things started to change. For instance, nowadays cafes and restaurants take good and aesthetic photographs of their dishes and upload it to their Instagram profile. Not only the pictures of the dish but also the ambience, the customers, and also to spread discount promotion or just to share their opening hour.
This method has not been used by Seng Hing Gourmet. Seng Hing gourmet is available on Facebook, but using an unofficial page. The unofficial page is created by people who have shown interests with the restaurant. Being run by older people and no young employees, it makes Seng Hing Gourmet has the lack in digital and technology. The only digital marketing available online for Seng Hing are Trip Advisor, Google reviews and Zomato, and their reviews are the new version of word-of-mouth, eWOM (Electronic Word of Mouth). However, the reviews of Seng Hing Gourmet will come up on Google whenever we type Seng Hing on Google search bar.
Pic Facebook unofficial page
Pic: Google Reviews
Current Digital Trend in the Industry
With the increasing numbers of cafes and restaurants, it is becoming more difficult for people to choose a restaurant to dine in. Previously, people trusted the positive word-of- mouth from friends or relatives, but now people tend to rely more on eWOM. Many restaurants get rated by online based restaurant review websites, for instance Zomato, Trip Advisor, Google, and Yelp. The reason why people rely on those restaurant review websites because everybody could upload their review and give a star rating based on their satisfaction level after having a dine there.
Instagram is the other popular way for restaurants and cafes in promoting their restaurants. “The Facebook-owned app revealed that it has 700 million monthly users, up from 600 million in December 2016.” (Heath, 2017). Having 700 million active users means that the possibility for the restaurants and cafes to reach has increased than it was in 2016. People tend to search and look for the more aesthetic Instagram profile compared to the profiles which upload basic non-aesthetic pictures. Not only sharing the food and the ambience of the restaurant, but posting the menu, announcement, or a discount promotion are also used by some cafes and restaurants on Instagram. For instance, Fukuryu Ramen Melbourne announced on their Instagram profile that any customer who post a selfie with the bowl of ramen will get a free dessert. The new feature by Instagram, Instagram Business Tools has recently been one of the most popular way to market restaurants. The new tool has been popular lately since it enables people to call, email, or get a direction just within a click on the Instagram profile. (Pittman, 2017).
Available on online orders and delivery is also the popular trend in food industry. Restaurants and cafes don't usually provide online orders and delivery, but they work together with online delivery experts such as Deliveroo, UberEATS, and Foodora. Ordering food using mobile application is also the reason why people love using these online food delivery experts, is to reduce human error as there are less human communication compared to the traditional food delivery.
Industry and Competitor Overview
Seng Hing Gourmet is categorized in the ‘Restaurant in Australia' industry in IBISWorld, as the industry comprises sit-down restaurants that provide table service and pay after eating, and includes licensed, unlicensed, and BYO restaurants. The changing of trends in the restaurant industry has heavily impacted the revenue growth for the last five years. Busier lifestyles and diminishing leisure time have increasingly led consumers to turn to restaurants for meals, especially for time-poor consumers.
Beside the busier lifestyles, consumer demand for quality food has also increased, the success of cooking TV shows encouraged consumer to eat at the restaurant. The restaurant industry has mostly benefited from the growing of foodie culture. More people has increased the awareness to the fashionable restaurants, keeping up with the new through online restaurant reviews website such as Zomato and Trip Advisor. It is supported by the trend of celebrity chefs as well, most of the celebrity chefs are popularized through the television program for instance, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef Australia, and My Kitchen Rules.
The main competitors of Seng Hing Gourmet are Rose Garden BBQ and China Bar and below is the comparison between the restaurants.
Seng Hing Gourmet
Rose Garden BBQ
Available on review websites
Available on Google, Zomato, Trip Advisor
Available on Google, Zomato, Trip Advisor
Available on Google, Zomato, Trip Advisor
Have social medias
Available on online delivery apps
The three Chinese restaurants are all available on the review websites. Thus, whenever the consumer searches the name of the restaurant on Google Search, Google will provide the details of the restaurant and also the reviews and the rating. The same thing happens if we search on Trip Advisor and Zomato, especially Zomato, since Zomato is a review website just for restaurants. China Bar is the only restaurant that owns their own website and Facebook page (official) and none of the three is available on online delivery applications.
Pic: Competitor's website
Future impact on Digital Marketing
Based on the analysis of the industry and competitors, there are three key analysis that digital marketing will impact on the next two years.
Online Food Orders and Delivery
A recent study found almost half of all Australians had ordered food online, and most of them would do it again. (Nicholson, 2016). People rely a lot to the internet, and most of the time-poor consumers prefer to look for what they need on the internet. The online orders will be more effective and more efficient. There will be less misunderstandings and human error as the online orders will be sent directly right from the consumer's mobile phone or other devices. More time will be saved using the online orders. Calling the restaurant is a traditional way of food delivery, but with online orders food could be ordered just with a few clicks on the mobile application. In the next two years, this key analysis will improve the user experience in restaurant industry.
More than half Australians are regular social media users. For instance, 7 out of 10 Australians are Facebook users. (Cowling, 2017). People live on social media, it is where the consumers find entertainment, news, and social interaction. With the presence of the restaurant in the social media is having a direct line to the consumers' smartphones. (Catford, 2017). The increase of the quality of the profile in social medias will impact positively to the restaurant industry.
In-store Augmented Reality
Dissimilar from the virtual reality which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. (Rouse, 2015). Augmented reality could be used in restaurants in the next 2 years as an entertainment while consumers are waiting for the food to be served. Le Petit Chef, a restaurant in France uses augmented reality to entertain the consumers with movies on dining the plate. Instead of having bored customers waiting for the food, this will entertain the customers especially kids.
The augmented reality could also be used to change the experience in ordering food in the restaurant. For instance, consumers could use the augmented reality application in their mobile phone and point it to the selected dish in the menu. Augmented reality will not just be an entertainment in the next two years but it will be a newer way of bringing the image of the food without having to see the food in front of us. In-store augmented reality will be decrease the number of bored customers while waiting for the food in the future.
Digital Marketing Recommendations
Seng Hing Gourmet is a small and old-fashioned restaurant and Seng Hing Gourmet could not attract consumers who are aware with fashionable restaurants. In order to improve the performance of Seng Hing Gourmet, there will be four digital marketing recommendations.
Create a Website
Website is an internet based platform where consumer can gain information from opening the selected website. Seng Hing Gourmet will be more informative by putting information such as the menu, opening hours, location, and contact number on a website. But looking from the future impact of technology, Seng Hing Gourmet will have a more practical website if the website provides an online ordering.
From the table in section Industry and Competitor Overview, it can be seen that Seng Hing Gourmet and the other two competitors are not available on online delivery services such as UberEats and Deliveroo. This will be an advantage for Seng Hing Gourmet for keeping the consumers' efficiency. Online reservations will also help to increase the convenience for the customers.
Pic: Seng Hing Gourmet website
Involve in Social Medias
Seng Hing Gourmet Facebook Page has been created and available when type its name on Facebook, but the page is unofficial and created by customers. Pew Research Centre showed that there are 71% online adult are plugged into Facebook, whereas there are only 26% who uses Instagram. However, the smaller group of Instagram is more likely to be engaged to the content of Instagram compared to the large percentage of people on Facebook would. Instagram delivers an engagement rate of 4.21% per follower, which means 58 times more engagement per follower compared to Facebook. (Cohen, 2015).
Therefore, Seng Hing Gourmet is suggested to create an Official Facebook Page of Seng Hing Gourmet and an Instagram Business account. Being popular in the circle of teenagers, Seng Hing Gourmet is suggested to create aesthetic posts on Instagram. Punching up the biodata with opening hours, location, description of the restaurant, and a website are the things to start having worthy digital marketing strategies. With Instagram business tools
make Seng Hing Gourmet able to create a call, email, and direction button just below the biodata, it makes a clean look of the biodata without having too much wordings in it. Both Facebook and Instagram profile should upload picture at least twice a week to maintain the followers of the account.
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Pic: Seng Hing Gourmet's Instagram Business Profile
Search Engine Optimization
To be able to attract non-customers, Seng Hing Gourmet should firstly able to show up at the first page in Google Search. “Search engines are always changing the way they rank websites, constantly improving, so that only the best and most relevant are shown first.” (Restaurantden, 2017). After creating a website, Seng Hing Gourmet should do some steps to improve the SEO rating of the website and get it to the first page of Google Search. Putting lots of keywords inside the website will not be a good way to cheat the search engine. However, having a strong and relevant title and URL, being consistent with the content are what should Seng Hing Gourmet do.
Having a visible contact number and customers' real testimonial can also help the increase of customers' number of visit to the website. Focusing on user experience will also gain the SEO rating, a website that does not satisfy the user experience will not stay long on the website and the website will not gain much on the rating.
After optimizing the SEO rating of the website, setup Google Analytics on it. After using Google Analytic, it will allow Seng Hing Gourmet to see the number of visitors and where did they come from. More organic searches mean that the SEO is working well.
Create Email Newsletter
Email marketing is one of the oldest digital marketing approach to customers. One of the benefit of using email marketing is that it is highly targeted. Mailchimp, an email service provider, is able to help us by choosing the recipient of the email from the number of repeat customers, the age of the customers, gender of customers, and also to the non-customers. But obviously, the list of customers should be created first.
Email marketing is also very cost effective. The Mailchimp email services is freemium and it has a forever free plan, the free plan is able to send up to 12,000 emails per month if the subscriber is less than 2,000. But Seng Hing Gourmet is expected to have more than 2,000 subscribers, then the fee that should be paid to Mailchimp is $35 monthly. Mailchimp provides the template for email newsletter which is very convenient for Seng Hing Gourmet.
Pic: Mailchimp Email Newsletter
To start improving Seng Hing Gourmet's digital marketing strategy, the following action plan based on the recommendation should be followed.
- WordPress business plan
is supported with SEO tools and Google Analytics
part-time IT student to run the website
Update food pics, ambience, menu, and promotions every 2 weeks
- $33.25 (Website)
($18 per hour x 12 hours)
Facebook and make the unofficial page become official by
- Facebook: Upload food
pics, ambience, menu, and
- $0 (Social media)
gourmet - Create an
Instagram business account
every week - Instagram:
Upload food & ambience pictures every 3 days
- $216 (Run by the same part-time job student)
Maintain the two
Included in the WordPress business plan
recommendations above and check the Google Analytics everyday
$0 (Run by the owner)
(Mailchimp) - $216 (Run
by the same part-time job student)
Remind the customers to come back Seng Hing with email newsletter once a week
Register Mailchimp and get the $35 monthly plan
The total cost to run the digital marketing recommendations is $83.25 per month and the operating cost to keep the tactics running is $216 for a part-time job student monthly wage.
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