Bluestar Detroit Catering in COVID-19
Today’s episode is with Barry Winfree of Bluestar Detroit. An established 20-year business that has been through brick and mortar and found a sweet spot in corporate catering. With the pandemic shutting down Michigan as a whole Barry’s business came to a screeching halt. Many of his business clients were no longer working. Large events and parties were canceled due to social distancing.
With an anticipated June “re-opening” of Michigan to food and beverage I figured it was a great time to talk to an industry leader on how restaurants will fare over the summer. As expected there is still a lot of unknown. There are so many variables on how consumers will react in being able to visit a restaurant again. What will the distancing look like? What are the factors that will allow consumers and staff to feel safe?
Barry speaks of his evolution in the restaurant and catering industry and how he came to settle into business catering in specific. “It’s referrals and word of mouth that stands time, Winfree added. You cannot replace good service and having a genuine connection to a customer. They become a friend and trust develops in what you will provide. As long as you keep quality on the top of your deliverable getting a referral shouldn’t be a problem.”
Using Digital Marketing for Restaurants
We touched on how restaurant apps are popular now as they make upon for lost revenue but, come at a price. Many can charge upwards of 30% that can cut deeply into your margin. And there are many in the space. Recently GrubHub has been accused of scraping Yelp and offering up menus for restaurants who didn’t even agree to provide for them. A pizzeria discovered that GH was selling its $24 pizza for $16. Through a series of test purchases the Pizzarea learned that GH actually lost money to offer on their app.
Barry agreed that the online space has to complement virtually business anymore. He added that learning all about the new and hot marketing tools and resources can also carry a burden for any business owner. “Align yourself with a trusted source who can help you navigate with online marketing and hold them accountable for results. This way it can be a win-win relationship and allows you, the restaurant owner to focus on doing what you do best.”