Superb Restaurants Play An
Important Role In ValueCard�s Success!
Smilingly stating the obvious, Mike Ecks, Senior Account
Executive of ValueCard�s media department, exclaimed, �We
certainly can�t create diners.
�However, we can provide an advertising campaign that
enables our restaurant-owner clients to create an awareness
of their establishment--thereby attracting new customers
from the universe of restaurant patrons.�
short, restaurateurs in San Francisco face the same
situation as do restaurant owners across America. That is, a
finite number of diners within a given location.
according to Ecks, in San Francisco there�s even fiercer
competition, given the thousands of full-service, sit-down,
dining establishments available.
this city,� he pointed out, �you can get a fabulous gourmet
meal at midnight--so we�re close to Manhattan (NYC) in that
in-depth interview (issue #18) with restaurant owners across
the United States, titled �Why and How Savvy Restaurateurs
Trade,� showed that successful restaurant owners typically
allocated 4% to 5% of their gross sales to on-going
advertising and promotion.
says the same percentages hold for ValueCard clients. And
with some of San Francisco�s finer restaurants doing $6 to
$7 million a year in business, that translates into a
considerable media appetite.
the past two years Ecks, a communications graduate from
Marquette University, has been ValueCard�s point man,
interacting with and assisting 90 or so of the 125 member
restaurants, who regularly spend the bulk of their trade
dollars on advertising.
big users of trade are heavily into media. Some of our
restaurants spend nearly 100% of their trade earnings on
advertising. I�d say the average spends 60% to 70%. It�s a
very cost effective expenditure,� Ecks asserted, �for them.�
process to determine what�s needed begins with an in-depth
conversation between Ecks and the restaurant owner. �And
it�s their business we talk about, not mine,� Ecks
�Although my contribution is perceptible, it�s also
quantifiable,� he added. Analyzing a particular restaurant�s
needs, and then putting together the right advertising
campaign, is what makes ValueCard�s services so valuable.
all,� Ecks reasoned, �our restaurant clients are in the
business to make money, and the only way to make money is
says he works with his clients by always focusing on what
their goals are for the coming year, instead of asking them
what their media budget is.
from the beginning, I�m interested in their business--such
as where they want to be a year from now with the number of
covers.1 My job is to help them improve their profits.
�Depending on their input,� he noted, �the location of the
restaurant, plus the other variables involved, we analyze
years of experience in this business enables us to construct
an appropriate advertising campaign--targeting specific
markets--aimed at expanding sales volume to bring in the
desired number of additional customers to meet their goals,�
the campaign includes a mix from our media inventory of
print (magazines), cable car ads, taxi-top displays,
billboards, outdoor wallscapes and radio.
the years,� he continued, �we�ve performed. So we�re quite
confident in our ability to add value for them. That�s
really the bottomline, when all is said and done.�
emphasized that restaurants are a very important part of
ValueCard�s 263 different product categories.
�Virtually everyone enjoys fine dining. And our extensive
media clients are often entertaining (their many clients),
as well. Having superb restaurants keeps everything moving.
This is really a circular business when you think about it.�
was sold to Intagio since the time this article was