Social Media Audit & Tune-up for Restaurants & Small Businesses

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Rules of Engagement

Posted: 7/4/2017

Promotional offer for USA restaurants and small businesses from Patrick Maguire of Maguire Promotions-PR, Social Media & Hospitality Consulting.

After requests from prospective clients in Boston and across the US, I’m now offering a new, personalized Social Media Audit & Tune-Up Workshop for restaurant and small business clients. This social media marketing, independent audit, and workshop, is a way to ensure that you, your staff, and affiliates are maximizing the potential to market your business. This candid analysis and feedback will ensure that your restaurant/business is at the forefront of social media marketing, you’re “in the game,” and that you remain current with ideas to improve your business and income on an on-going basis.

Who will benefit?

#1- Restaurants and small businesses across the USA currently not optimizing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or email marketing to engage their current and prospective customers to maximize sales.

#2- Restaurants and small businesses that are using social media but realize they could be doing a much better job, and  need a jump-start to inspire them and get them back on track.

This service is not intended to disrupt any successful, existing relationships you have, but to supplement them. However, too many restaurants and small businesses are over-paying for PR and social media consulting firms that are over-promising and under-delivering. With minimal (but consistent) time and effort, social media can be successfully executed in-house.  For those of you currently managing social media on your own, our partnership, through coaching and candid feedback, will enhance what you and your team are currently doing.

Services include:

• An audit/analysis of your most recent 2 months of social media posts/content. This includes every aspect of your company’s online presence, including your website, social media platforms, and Google search results. This is the honest feedback you need that your friends, family, regulars, and vendors won’t give you for fear of offending you. The initial evaluation will be performed by me (Patrick Maguire) personally (not an intern), and the results will be presented in writing and in-person or via conference call with your team.

• A copy and review of my “Maguire Promotions Social Media Strategy Guide.”

• A copy and review of my “jm Curley Social Media Strategy” is included with our partnership and will be included in the initial discussion with your team. jm Curley barroom and restaurant in downtown Boston was named one of the “50 Coolest Small Businesses in America” by Business Insider when I was managing the social media marketing and promotions. Business Insider, eagerly embracing social media, currently has 7.5 million likes on facebook, 2 million followers on twitter, and 941k followers on Instagram.

• A copy and review of my “Instagram Strategy for Restaurants and Small Businesses,” including a referral for an Instagram takeover/give-away to add 300+ local Instagram followers.

• A copy and review of my “Free Promotional Content Checklist.” With this, we’ll implement protocol for communicating (Internally and externally) and humbly sharing positive reviews of your restaurant/business and all media, blog posts, and features praising your restaurant/business. Most restaurants and businesses have no strategic gameplan for sharing great news.

• A copy and review of my “Social Media Daily Checklist” for restaurants and small businesses.

After emailing all of the highlighted items above to your team, I will meet or conference call with your social media team, and your designated affiliates. (Average initial meeting time is 1.5 hours.)

• After the initial kickoff meeting, 2 hours of consultation, coaching and follow-up is included with our partnership.

Ongoing: I will be constantly seeking ways to promote your restaurant/business and improve your operation. A common complaint I hear from restaurateurs and business owners is, “I don’t have time to keep up with all that stuff. It’s overwhelming.” I agree. I read everything I can locally, nationally and internationally about restaurants and business, and will forward anything that I feel is relevant to your restaurant/business. I often find great pieces on hospitality, training, motivation, leadership, and other industry-related topics. I will forward select items I come across about your restaurant or industry that you may want to forward to your managers or entire staff. Great internal communication builds trust and loyalty.

Next Steps: Getting started on our partnership requires an up-front payment of $500 per restaurant or business that includes all of the services described above. Upon receipt of payment, I will email copies of all of the items above, then schedule time to meet with you and your team, in-person or via conference call.

Please feel free to forward this post to your restaurant industry friends and small business network within the USA who could benefit from this offer. Please contact me to clarify anything included herein, or to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Patrick Email: patrick@servernotservant.com

PS- Please email me for a complete list of all of the restaurant and small business consulting services I provide. All services are available à la carte, and can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. Thank you.

Permalink | Posted in Rules of Engagement | No Comments »

Restaurant Owner and Teenage Daughter Beaten by Grown ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ Customers.

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Shame

Posted: 6/25/2017

Subhuman. According to Merriam Webster, “subhuman” is defined as “less than human: such as (a) failing to attain the level (as of morality or intelligence) associated with normal human beings.” There aren’t too many other ways to describe the despicable couple who wantonly attacked a Qwik Chik restaurant owner and her 15-yr-old daughter in Baxley, Georgia on Thursday, 6/22, according to ABC WJCJ22. As the disturbing video within the piece by reporter, Tori Simkovic proves, the female customer physically attacks and beats the restaurant owner, then her husband sucker punches the owner’s 15-year-old daughter in the face on the way to fleeing the scene. The teenager easily could have died of a punch from the ’man’ almost twice her size, especially if she hit her head after the horrific blow. Miraculously, she jumped up immediately to come to the aid of her mom who suffered a broken nose during the beating.

According to this piece filed by Vince Cestone of KRONE 4 TV:

The owner of a Qwik Chick restaurant … says the incident happened Thursday. A couple went to her stand and complained about their food being cold. After a few minutes back and forth, the owner says she refunded their money, but then she says the couple went crazy. They started cussing and beating down the window. The owner went outside to tell them police were on the way when the woman started punching and slapping her in the face. That’s when her daughter got out of the truck to help, and the husband punched the teen right in the face.

“The camera surveillance footage that we put out tells it all. That’s just brutality,” Baxley Police Chief James Godfrey said.

In the WTOC report: “I’ve been here, what, 41 years – 30 of them as chief. I have never seen anything like this. I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Chief James Godfrey.

From the WJCJ22 piece: Mom/Restaurant owner, “When you see your child hit, by some grown man and she’s only 15, nobody deserves that.” The owner said that the customers came to the restaurant often, but had recently started becoming agitated in recent visits. This attack has made her question if she wants to continue working in the restaurant business. “Do I want to put myself, my employees, or my child at risk just over food? That’s so stupid. So senseless.”

When I spoke with the owner of the restaurant on Saturday afternoon (6/24) just before 4pm, police had not made any arrests, but were following several leads. The owner acknowledged receipt of my PM to the Qwik Chik facebook page, and I agreed to email her the same messages I posted there to make it easier for her to reply.

PM (Patrick Maguire): Reporter, Tori Simkovic from WJCL22 stated in her piece that the attackers came into the restaurant often, “but had started becoming agitated in recent visits.” Is that true?

Owner: Yes, they were irritated for the lat 5 or 6 visits, per my employees.

PM: And if yes, why were they agitated?

Owner: One example was ordering a large drink and then hollering at them when my employee brought the drinks back saying that they said they wanted a jumbo. Stuff like that…

PM: Did you say or do anything to upset them?

Owner: They said that the chicken was cold which it was not. It wasn’t right out of the grease hot, but certainly not cold. They were already irritated by the time I stepped in. I know they had already irritated my employee.

PM: In retrospect, would you have handled your previous interactions with them any differently?

Owner: Not really because there was no reasoning with them.

PM: Would you have handled your interaction with them the day of the incident any differently?

Owner: Probably not.

PM: Why is the video dated 2010?

Owner: Because our business had recently been hit by lightening and had some of the equipment replaced and the tech forgot to set the time and date. I had noticed the time was off, but had not looked at the date.

Ironically, this picture from 10/9/15, is one of the few pics on the Qwik Chik facebook page:

IMG_20170624_211333

The caption under the pic from the owner of Qwik Chick reads, “You never know what someone is going thru. We deal with this everyday and try our best to be nice. Sometimes it’s better to just walk away and not be ugly!!!” Amen.

Based on my research of the restaurant (reviews, social media, Google search) and conversation with the owner, I cannot envision a scenario where the owner and her daughter deserved anything close to the brutal assaults they endured.

I left the following PM on the dormant facebook page of the male attacker:

I am writing a blog post about your attack on the owner of Qwik Chik and her daughter. Contact me if you’d like to make a statement. [No response as of 1:33pm on 6/25/17.]

When I called the Baxley, GA police dept (912-367-8305) at 1:11pm on Sunday, outgoing VM indicated “office hours” are M-F 8am-5pm. I suppose one could call 911 if they had a hot lead on the thug/attackers…

Please watch the video before commenting below. And if you don’t want to feel worse about ‘humanity’ and the world we live in than you do after watching the video, don’t read the comments following the related stories and social media posts. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World…

Updates will be noted here as they are received.

6/26/17 9am: I received a call from the Baxley PD. They’re following several leads, but no arrests yet.

7/4/17 approx. 12:30pm. Facebook message from Qwk Chik owner:

Hello everyone. Just wanted to take a moment and tell you that you have no ideal how much your phone calls, messages, cards, gifts, donations and encouraging words have meant to me and my family. You would never think that something like this would happen in our town but it did and it’s getting worse all over the world. It is nice to live in a little town where everyone steps up and helps anyone in need. Again Thank You for everything. Please keep your eyes open for these two so we can get them where they belong. Happy Fourth of July and God bless our nation and keep us safe.

July 5th. Attackers surrender.

Permalink | Posted in Customer Hall of Shame | 2 Comments »

100 Days of Trump-The Unabashed Era of Arrogance and Ignorance in America

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service

Posted: 4/30/2017

The lack of grace, humility, and class are stunning. We knew he was a narcissist, but the true colors revealed in Donald Trump’s first 100 days as President of the United States are truly disgraceful. And just when many of us thought we couldn’t sink much lower during The Era of Ignorance in America, ’Trumpers’ who elected him doubled down. According to a recent piece in the Washington Post:

There are no signs of major slippage in support among those who voted for Trump. His approval rating among those who cast ballots for him stands at 94 percent. Among Republicans, it is 84 percent. Asked of those who voted for him whether they regret doing so, 2 percent say they do, while 96 percent say supporting Trump was the right thing to do. When asked if they would vote for him again, 96 percent say they would,…

 Hate is still winning, and we’re still far from “smarter than this,” as many optimistic Americans wanted to believe following the election.

The  ABC/Washington Post poll sample size is small (1,004 adults), but even if we triple the margin of error (+/- 3.5%), and use 10.5%, then 85.5% of Trump voters surveyed said voting for him was the right thing to do, still an overwhelming majority.  Consistent with their demagogue, Trumpers can’t admit they made one of the worst mistakes in American history. Despite all of his disgraceful words and actions, has Trump ever put forth a sincere, contrite apology? I don’t believe he has the capacity to, and that lack of humility is one of the most loathsome flaws in his character. It often takes time, but arrogance, hubris, and/or elitism are often what topple the once ‘mighty.’ As I’ve said before, my gut still says he’ll never last. Despite his cunning and manipulative ways, I believe he’s too dirty and incompetent to survive a full term.

On April 28th, Robert Reich posted the following on facebook:

In his weekly address today, Trump touted the accomplishments of his first 100 days in office: “My fellow Americans, I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country’s history. Our country is going up, and it’s going up fast.” [One can only hope not literally 'up' in smoke. -P Maguire]

Reich: If Trump sincerely believes what he’s saying, he’s delusional. If he’s in touch with reality, he’s a bald-faced liar.

Whether it’s pathological or not may be up for debate, but there is no dispute when it comes to the fact that Trump is, at the very least, a habitual liar whose supporters are willing to defend him at all cost. ‘Self preservation’ of ideals is a strong, often blind, motivator. I had the following exchange on 4/28 with a Trumper discussing Trump’s first 100 days on facebook:

Trumper: Funny……I think he’s doing great!!

Me: (Trumper), surely you jest?!? If not, 3 questions:

#1- After seeing Trump’s true colors over the last 100 days, when it comes to intelligence, research, preparedness, example, social skills, business acumen, savvy, intuition, focus, and integrity, are you proud the he is the leader of our country and representing us on the world stage?

#2- What specifically has he done to improve your life and/or the lives of your loved ones?

#3- At the core, do you believe he’s a good and decent human being? Caveat, your responses cannot include references to Hillary or Obama. Thank you.

Trumper: I have no response to your rebellion of our president!!! My answer…. He is doing everything he needs to do….

Me: No response could also be called “willfully ignorant.” “I’m done learning and blindly supporting my demagogue, no matter what.” More than 900 people in ‘Jonestown,’ Guyana worshipped their leader in a similar, naive fashion and died. Trump is a manipulative, narcissistic, maniacal, incompetent, unhinged and extremely dangerous human, using/preying on people unwilling to see him for who and what he is. Not surprisingly, his supporters can’t even admit they fucked up by electing him. I can’t recall a time when their deity ever issued a contrite apology, even after bragging that his wealth entitled him to sexually assault a married woman by grabbing her by the vagina. That blind faith in a ‘leader’ like that is beyond frightening. We are living in an Era of Ignorance in America, and if people don’t wake the fuck up and resist this scumbag and his regime at every turn, he will destroy us. His first 100 days mark one of the worst stretches (by comparison) in the history of our country.

Sometimes I wonder if ‘resisters’ (me included) are guilty of the same thing we accuse Trumpers of, lack of critical thinking and insulating ourselves with like-minded opinions. After all, a common refrain from the 96% (Trumpers) when accused of being uneducated or ’willfully ignorant’ is that we’re being condescending and elitist. The irony here is that their teflon hero is the king of arrogance, elitism, and entitlement. And the facts are the facts whether you want to learn them or not before formulating an opinion. Ad-hominem attacks and avoidance are knee-jerk, protectionist responses from people unwilling to support their ‘worldview’ with research, facts, and sound, intelligent reasoning. (I know, “Damn elitist.”)

Renée Graham of the Boston Globe concluded in her opinion piece on 4/28/17:

On Saturday, his 100th day in office, he’ll host yet another rally, this one in Harrisburg, Penn. He’ll bask in the anxious love of supporters who know that recognizing his failure as president is to admit their mistake in voting for him, and they won’t do that. For Trump and his true believers, it is a perverse delusion that blind adoration will be enough to stave off the botched policy decisions, mounting calls for impeachment, and the unshakable reality of a hapless, toxic presidency in free fall.

Permalink | Posted in Human-to-Human Service | 2 Comments »

The Economics of Restaurant Survival in a World Where “Everyone’s a Critic.”

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Confronting without Confrontation

Posted: 3/29/2017

John Howie, chef/owner of Beardslee Public House restaurant in Bothell, WA, wisely exercised restraint and took the high road with an excellent, professional response after an amateur ’reviewer’ scolded him about his prices being too high, and claimed that his ’high’ prices demonstrated disregard for his community. As current and former (myself included) restaurant owners know, operating most restaurants is a very hard, high-risk, low-margin way to make a living. Most customers have no idea how hard, and aren’t aware of the perpetual stress and grind involved. The insightful content within John Howie’s response sheds some light on the economics of surviving. More restaurants than you know are a couple of bad months or a mildly catastrophic event away from closing.

After reading John Howie’s response, I posted it in my Server Not Servant Facebook group and reached out to John requesting permission to reprint his blog post here. I also asked him a few follow-up questions that I’ll address at the end of this post.

Reprinted with permission from John’s blog:

Below is a review we recently received for Beardslee Public House, our Northwest-inspired, family friendly eatery and brewery. I removed the guest’s name as I am not out to shame anyone.

“First of all, I use to love this place. I’m sitting here at Beardslee now disgusted with their current price hike. I have one question for the owner, do you want to alienate your faithful customers that come here 2-3 times a week? Charging 14 dollars for a basic burger and fries is crazy. Especially when you are located right by 2 colleges and TONS of student’s come here to eat. Congratulations, after today I will never come back. Your disregard for your community and clients in an effort to make a buck because you are now popular won’t fly…… I’m 100 percent sure that others will take my stance…. based on your food and beer items that are overpriced. Yes, you just alienated your college based customers.”

I personally wrote back to our guest and my response is below:

I’m sorry you feel this way. I’m also concerned that you attacked me by stating that I had no regard for my community or clients in an effort to make a buck. I have yet to make a buck on the Beardslee Public House, I hope to someday be able to repay myself for all of the expenses to open a restaurant like the Beardslee Public House. But I do have a question for you … what is a fair profit for an owner of an establishment like Beardslee Public House? 15%, 10%, 5%?

In the time that we have been open, we have been able to pay back about $350,000 so far. We just looked at our business pro forma for 2017, and we were projected to make $80,000 on $4,500,000 in sales, that’s less than a 2% margin. Cash flow would have been a negative $150,000-$160,000 just to cover the debt payments of $260,000 a year.

We have approximately 25 people a day working around 6 hours each making minimum wage and tips. That’s 150 a day or 1050 hours a week. In 2017 we were required by law to increase minimum wage to $11.00 an hour up $1.51 over the 2016 set rate, that is approximately $1585.00 in additional wages every week, times 52 weeks, that is $82,000+ a year, add on 25% for payroll taxes, medical insurance, FETA, FICA, state industrial insurance and federal and state unemployment insurance and now it is $103,000+. Now add the other employees who want raises because all of the minimum wage employees got raises. Now add on all of the increased costs for food, beverage ingredients, and other increased costs because all businesses are dealing with the same problem, and you can start to see how this adds up.

People don’t realize how difficult it is to make a dollar in the restaurant industry; they just look at the food cost and think they could do it for less.

Take this into consideration … we pay approximately $1,260,000 in product costs. $600,000 a year in rent, $450,000 a year for management wages, managers, brewers, chefs, and none of that goes to ownership. A grand total of approximately $2,025,000 in all wages including the taxes and benefits. $130,000 a year in promotional costs, $50,000 a year for Repair & Maintenance, $150,00 a year in water, sewer, gas and electric costs, $36,000 a year in business insurance, point of sale costs, 3% or around $135,000 a year to the credit card company, janitorial costs of $50,000 a year, cleaning supplies $26,000 a year, dishes and utensils $25,000, we discount or give away food to employees worth over $60,000 a year, this as you can see can add up … and I have not even listed the other 25-30 cost accounts, paper supplies, dues and subscriptions, dish washing machines and supplies, city business taxes, state business licenses, health department licenses, federal alcohol production taxes, light bulbs, point of sale system, management information system costs, software, hardware, menu covers, menu paper, copier, copier paper, office supplies, business cards, delivery van, delivery van gas, and there is so much more that I can’t even think of it all right now.

I do take exception to your comment about disregarding my community. I’m sure you are unaware of the information I’m about to provide you…If you are a student nearby then you probably remember the massive fire which destroyed much of downtown Bothell last year. We were among the first to bring much needed supplies to the first responders, the following Monday we gave all of our after-cost proceeds to the Cozy Corner Café owner, who lost her business that day. Beyond that, we have supported Bothell schools, sports teams and many other community projects. Last year we provided over 800 gift certificates to different charitable organizations throughout our area.

This is not the greedy owner trying to fleece the college student … it is a legitimate business that employs 92 people in the Bothell community, pays its employees well, and pays all of its taxes, values its guests, the guests that value good service and good food. We use USDA Prime for our regular burgers; no one else uses USDA Prime for burgers. We bake our own buns, we make almost everything we do in-house from scratch, that takes time and effort, and we do pay our crewmembers a fair and living wage.

If my goal was to fleece anyone, my restaurants would never survive…it’s my hope that I’m able to provide people a great place to work, a great place to enjoy their friends and family, and a great place that supports its community.

But, There is a cost to doing all of these things and that cost is an additional $1.00 on our burgers and $.50 on a pint of beer. If that is too much to pay, then I’m sorry, and we will miss you. But I think most people will realize that this is a cost of doing business the right way at a high level and will be willing to support a living wage in Washington State by supporting those who chose to do business in this state.

Sincerely,

Chef John Howie

I asked John if the amateur reviewer replied.

John: The person has not responded to my response of their post, depending on how often they check their Google Reviews, they may not see it for a while. The good news is we have not had any other complaints from fellow students at this time.

[Update: The review has been removed, but John’s response to the reviewer remains as of 9pm on 3/29/17. I’m following John’s lead and not shaming the ‘reviewer.’]

I also asked John if there was anything else that he wanted me to share in this blog post that he would like the public to know.

John: I love what I do. I love the people who chose to work with me. I value them not only as co-workers, but as people. I love what my business has allowed me to do for my community. I hope to be able to continue doing what I love and providing for those who are less fortunate.

Tweet from John Howie (@ChefJohnHowie) at 8:43 pm on 3/29/17: Thank you to all of you who have responded to my blog, your comments and support have been incredible. I think I may have touched a nerve!

You sure have, John. Good luck to you and everyone else in the industry grinding it out every day. And let the voices of the positive, thoughtful, respectful amateur ‘reviewers’ drown out the anonymous keyboard cowards. Cheers.

Permalink | Posted in Confronting without Confrontation | 2 Comments »

Humanitarian Diner Award

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Shame

Posted: 2/11/2017

Because you can’t make this shit up. This week’s Humanitarian Diner Award goes to amateur ‘reviewer,’ “TM58″ who awarded one of the Boston area’s top restaurants 1 star on Open Table after being inconvenienced because of a fire at a business NEXT DOOR!! Without inquiring about the safety of the fire victims, “TM58″ was last seen ‘fuming’ in Newton Centre seeking a safer place to dine and whine… For those who actually do care, there were no injuries.

IMG_20170211_201423_680

Permalink | Posted in Customer Hall of Shame | 2 Comments »