Slater’s 50/50 Restaurant Demonstrates the Power of Soft Sell Marketing

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Dec 01
Slater’s 50/50 logo cleverly incorporates their USP and tagline.

Slater’s 50/50 logo cleverly incorporates their USP and tagline.

How would you like to launch a new restaurant and by the first weekend have a waiting line of patrons? That’s what Scott Slater did. Recently I had the pleasure of dining at a Slater’s 50/50. I was there to do a review based on a really strong recommendation. Not only did the food win Dorothy and me over, I was impressed with how successfully Scott Slater launched this business and how well it appears to be doing in only 90 days. So I wrote two additional articles for, an interview and an analysis of his marketing efforts, especially his social networking in “Anaheim restaurant Slater’s 50/50 uses social media to generate traffic and reviews.” In my brief discussion of why I believe his marketing is so effective, I covered the following seven areas.

1.    Ideal customer profile
2.    Unique selling proposition
3.    Traditional marketing
4.    Social networking and Internet marketing
5.    Website
6.    Blog
7.    Customer service

Begin your marketing with your appeal to your ideal customers.

In today’s article, I cover the first of the seven points, the ideal customer profile. In subsequent articles, I’ll go into more detail on each of the remaining points.

While your small business may seem to have nothing in common with a restaurant, generally good marketing is good marketing regardless of the business or industry. The main differences revolve around knowing your best customers well enough – and knowing what they want and need that you can provide better than your competitors – so that you know where to find additional people like them and how to appeal to them. You can avoid using pressure, control or manipulation when you present what your ideal prospects want.

It’s only added value if your prospects want it.

By the way, it’s rarely the product or service itself that differentiates you. It usually ends up being that “value-added” component which you bring to your relationship with your best customers. As you can blow a lot of money, time and effort chasing prospects with the wrong added value, it’s essential for your success that you know and understand what it is that your ideal customers really care about. This is the skill good heart-centered, soft sell sales and marketing people excel at.

Slater’s 50/50 understands what its ideal customers want.

For instance, Slater consciously appeals to a young adult audience that likes to watch sporting events and drink beer while visiting with friends so he has a contemporary sports grill plus beer and wine bar that appeals to a more upscale crowd capable of paying for gourmet burgers and appetizers. He also appreciates they like bargains so he has a generous happy hour. For a restaurant that specializes in gourmet burgers, especially a unique burger that’s 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef, he shows a sensativity to the fact that not everybody in a party of patrons wants beef or pork so he offers turkey and vegetarian choices.

He’s also tapped into some extra aspects of his ideal customers. They want control over their lives so he has “Burgers by Design” allowing patrons a huge number of choices. There are 8 categories of choices of which you would only select one from the first four: the basic meat or veggie burger; how rare or well done; the size; and the bread or lettuce wrap. After that things get more interesting. One of 11 cheeses is included in the price of your burger. Nevertheless, you can add others for $.50 each. Next you may choose four of the 18 selections for toppings before you need to add $.50 per addition. “Over the Top” includes 18 premium toppings at $1.00 each. And finally, your basic price covers one selection from 14 sauces. You have the option of extra sauces too.

Slater further demonstrates his understanding of those who frequent sports bars with his 57 beers, 8 of which are draft, and 11 wines available by the glass or by the bottle, for their companions who prefer wine.

Finally, he picked the right demographic for his marketing to take advantage of social networking and Internet marketing. The 20 – 30 year old crowd in particular has proven to be vocal about their opinions. I’ll discuss this more when I cover point #4.

Soft sell marketing, like Slater’s 50/50, customizes to what customers want.

By really understanding your ideal customer profile, you are able to design your product and you marketing to speak to their concerns. Scott Slater shows his understanding by investing in what they want most and not wasting money on “value-added” frills they could care less about. The reviews on different consumer commenting sites help spread the word at no cost to Slater’s 50/50. This is ideal soft sell sales and marketing because it focuses first on the customer’s interests. The sales naturally follow because Slater’s provides what they want.

Further reading about your ideal customer profile

For additional articles about your ideal customer profile, please check out my other 18 blog posts mentioning this topic, especially “The World Is Not Your Oyster When It Comes to Sales.”  Please let me know in a comment or email if you would be interested in my completing an ebook on how to figure out what your ideal customer profile is.


About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.