How This Restaurant Connects with Their Customers
Welcome to C’est What?, Canada
A local favorite since 1988, C’est What? serves up a slate of classic comfort food — poutine, tagine, beef ribs, and more — in a laid-back, hip setting. If you’re looking to try one of Canada’s amazing craft beers, you’ve found the right place. C’est What?, tucked into Toronto’s charming downtown, is the perfect spot to kick back and relax with a good brew and good company. “We want people to feel like they’re in a rec room — it’s relaxed and casual,” says George Milbrandt, the owner.
The Challenge: Connecting with Customers
“Being downtown, we get tourists, after-work traffic, event traffic, and locals,” says Milbrandt. “Sometimes it’s hard to make the connection with customers.” Since the restaurant is at the heart of Toronto, it can get pretty busy. “You can’t say hi to everybody,” he says. “And sometimes customers don’t want to be said hello to since they’re busy having fun with their friends.”
That’s where Tripadvisor WiFi Plus comes in.
Milbrandt and his team used to manually collect email addresses for their email list, which is how they drive a lot of repeat business. Now, they use Tripadvisor WiFi Plus, which allows their customers to seamlessly connect to their wifi using either their email address or social media accounts. “It’s a nice way to softly get in touch with them after they’ve left the restaurant,” Milbrandt says. “Hopefully they’ll leave us some feedback and [come in again.]”
How They Use Tripadvisor WiFi Plus
“Setting up Tripadvisor WiFi Plus was very easy. All of the access points almost set up themselves compared to other products, and the tech support team was very responsive,” says Milbrandt.
Tripadvisor WiFi Plus automatically triggers requests for reviews for new collected email addresses. Says Milbrandt, “We get more well-rounded feedback as a result, and you can see that in the way we are being ranked on Tripadvisor. [With more reviews], we went from 110th to 40th.”
Using Tripadvisor WiFi Plus, Milbrandt can get a better picture of how his business is operating since he can’t be everywhere at once during service. “If patterns develop, you know there is a problem that we hadn’t identified before,” he says.
This way, C’est What? can focus on what matters — the guest experience. “The best thing you can do is to keep your customers happy,” says Milbrandt. “Then you get this wonderful word-of-mouth effect going on,” which is reflected on Tripadvisor.
How They Continue the Conversation with Email Marketing
In addition to review reminders, Milbrandt also likes to keep the conversation going with a monthly newsletter to drive repeat visits.
“Every month we get to connect with people on our list,” says Milbrandt. C’est What?’s monthly newsletter is Milbrandt’s go-to way of highlighting which of their 42 craft beers are currently on tap along with their roster of local live music.
As for advice for other restaurateurs looking to build lasting relationships with their customers? “Be stubborn, work hard, and adapt when your ideas are inevitably not perfect. Just keep going.”