Meet The Metropolitan Bar + Grill of Victoria’s West Shore. The Met is a restaurant and patio bar attached to the 4 Points by Sheraton Hotel. It was formerly known as the West Coast Tap House, a once very successful staple for locals.
During the last few years, the restaurant suffered from poor management, changed names a few times, and was a far cry from its glory days as the Tap House. When the lease came up in early 2014, the new hotel ownership group and management team made the decision to take the restaurant back and to operate it themselves.
The new management team knew they had their work cut out for them. Not only did they have to hire new staff and undergo a renovation, but also they needed a plan to develop the brand they had envisioned, and they needed the right team with the right resources to execute it. Enter the LYF Marketing team.
Dan Kerr, President and Director of Sales and Marketing at LYF Marketing:
“We were originally introduced to the team at The Met through Lyle Eggen at Labatt to help with some event promotion. We quickly found out they needed more help than that.”
A meeting was set to discuss the needs of the restaurant and management team. Dan recounts,
“They laid down a list that included web design, running their social media, photography, graphic design, copywriting, and event planning. They asked if we could help with any of it. I said, ‘how about all of it?’”
The Metropolitan was faced with the same challenge almost all LYF Marketing clients are faced with. They needed one team to take a holistic approach to their marketing, planning and curating each step along the way. LYF Marketing offered them a perfect solution that fit their budget. The Met didn’t have the resources of an internal marketing team to manage the ongoing process properly, which is pretty common in most small, medium, and even large businesses. All they needed to do was elect a point man/woman: one person that communicated their thoughts and ideas to their LYF Marketing Project Manager.
“We took the headache out of the whole process for starters; they didn’t have to hire and communicate with three or four different trades, wasting valuable time on logistics.
We started out by asking a lot of questions and then building a plan to offer the best value proposition for their target clients. By having an ongoing relationship with them, we’re able to easily make adjustments on the fly and keep their message unique and fresh.”
The Web Design Process
Funnily, the web design process doesn’t start with web design at all; it starts with content. You can’t even begin to build a website without content, but usually that’s the last thing on peoples’ minds. The Met needed professional photos to show their restaurant, their staff, and their food. They also needed to engage clients in their new atmosphere, so LYF hired models, brought in a hair and make-up team, pulled wardrobe from local shops, and put together a simple photo shoot to show people what it’s like to dine at The Met.
Keeping the website up-to-date and simple to navigate on both desktop and mobile devices was top of the list, so LYF built the custom site design using WordPress CMS. In this way, they are able to make updates and changes quickly to keep up with the fast-paced business of The Met. Connecting with The Met’s social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was very important to the marketing plan. Their clients use social media to share their experiences with friends, and, when they include the restaurant in their posts, the Met and their marketing team have the opportunity to engage with them, gather feedback, and reward them, building value and relationships that will last a lifetime.
Because the restaurant is attached to a hotel, The Met sees many guests from all over the world, so it was important that guests local and abroad were able to make reservations and contact the restaurant on the go. They decided to integrate the Open Table Reservation System for its ease of use and compatibility with mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. Now, guests can make a reservation and confirm it 24/7 from anywhere in the world in 2 minutes or less!
The website was launched in December of 2014, and, although the framework is built, the process never ends; the LYF Marketing team is continuously working with The Met to grow their business. In fact, LYF prefers to work like this with all of its clients.
“The best way to describe us is simply an extension of your team. We’ve designed our business around long term relationships. When I look around at the companies we do business with, I don’t see clients. I see friends and colleagues.”