How to Build a Buzz Around Your Business: Buzztime Talks to Running Restaurants
If it’s buzzworthy, you’ll hear about it on Jaime Oikle’s popular podcast: Running Restaurants. Jaime talked with Buzztime Marketing Director Mark Madsen about how tablet-based restaurant entertainment and marketing can enhance the guest experience.
Find out how nearly 3,000 bars and restaurants are using the latest tech to build a “buzz.” It’s about providing social entertainment that get guests talking – and walking back through their doors.
Social Entertainment for Today’s Tech-Savvy Guest
JAIME) So Buzztime has been at it for a long time: 30+ years! A lot has changed over the years, especially in regards to technology. How has Buzztime’s restaurant entertainment and marketing evolved to appeal to tech-savvy customers?
MARK) Today, we provide bar and restaurant guests with Buzztime Tablets. Buzztime runs on a proprietary Android tablet, so it’s technology that feels familiar to guests.
These tablets connect guests to our social restaurant entertainment and marketing content. Our platform brings everyone together to compete in trivia, arcade games, poker tournaments, and more. People who were strangers in the bar, bond over friendly competition.
Plus, this tablet-based restaurant entertainment and marketing is mirrored on the venue’s TV screens. Buzztime creates a rich, social and competitive atmosphere.
Building Bonds Through Friendly Competition
JAIME) One of the things I love about Buzztime’s restaurant entertainment and marketing is the trivia. Is trivia your most popular offering? What other games can people choose from?
MARK) Yes, Buzztime is famous for trivia. At any daypart, guests can tap into our restaurant entertainment and marketing platform to access on-demand trivia games.
We also have primetime scheduled, a favorite of our avid trivia players. They enjoy competing in real-time against others across the nation. For example, if a player on the east coast joins a trivia game at 8:30pm EST, they’re playing live with those on the west coast at 5:30pm PST.
Outside of trivia, the Buzztime restaurant entertainment and marketing system connects guests to a digital arcade. This is a great option for patrons short on time, or who want to play alone. The arcade games are available on demand 24/7.
Guests can play for a few minutes or a few hours – it’s their call. Another Buzztime mainstay is our Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments that let patrons compete with others in the venue. The TV becomes the poker table.
Creating a Sense of Community
JAIME) I’m curious about the social aspect of Buzztime. Talk to me about 2 things. When people are playing against each other in the same restaurant, are they jabbing at each other? Are there leaderboards that show standings across the country? I’m trying to get a feel for the competitive atmosphere.
MARK) Great question, we do have national leaderboards that show up on the Buzztime restaurant entertainment and marketing platform: both TVs and the tablets. So, if you’re competitive, your top goal is to get on that leaderboard! We have an active player base that participates in friendly banter through their own forums, as well as Buzztime’s social media platforms like Facebook.
10 Million Players Looking For Buzztime Locations
JAIME) From an opportunity standpoint, one of the biggest opportunities I see for bars and restaurants is that Buzztime gives people a reason to come back for that competitive experience. How does Buzztime’s restaurant entertainment and marketing work as a customer acquisition tool?
MARK) Ultimately, Buzztime is a multi-channel restaurant entertainment and marketing tool. There are over 10 million registered Buzztime players across North America, and more sign up daily.
They seek out bars and restaurants that carry Buzztime.
We use restaurant entertainment and marketing channels to increase gameplay at bars and restaurants that carry Buzztime. At the same time, we’re attracting new players to join the Buzztime player network.
- Buzztime Social Media: We have nearly 80,000 players that are actively involved on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Social media makes existing players feel like part of a community, while exposing Buzztime to prospective players as well.
- Email Campaigns: We regularly send emails to registered players, alerting them of promotions and sweepstakes.
- In-Venue Digital Display Advertising: The Buzztime restaurant entertainment and marketing platform also functions as digital signage. TVs and tablets display offers from national advertisers</li<
- Prizes and Promotions: We partner with big brands like Lyft, Fandango, Miller Coors, and Dr. Pepper. They see tremendous value in Buzztime’s restaurant entertainment and marketing. To incentivize customers to play Buzztime, these brands offer giveaways, special offers, and even VIP experiences.
Bring More to the Table: Customer Facing Dining Technology
JAIME) Let’s shift gears. Aside from restaurant entertainment and marketing, do you offer menu, ordering, or payment tech?
MARK) Yes, Buzztime has also built technology for tabletop dining. Using the same restaurant entertainment and marketing tablet platform, patrons can order from a digital menu and securely pay.
This dining technology empowers guests to order on their own terms – and leave on their own terms. Patrons don’t have to wait for a server, they just swipe their card or insert an EMV (chip) card into the tablet. Waitstaff are still involved in the guest experience, but they’re freed up to cover more tables. It’s an opportunity for bar and restaurant owners to do more – with less.
The Kids Are Alright, But Parents Need a Quick Escape
JAIME) I’m a big fan of tablet payment. We have kids. So, anything that speeds up the transaction when we’re ready to leave is great. Do you have games for kids?
MARK) The great thing about the Buzztime restaurant entertainment and marketing suite? There’s something for everyone. And that includes kids. Children can access kid-friendly digital arcade games from the Buzztime Tablets. They love sinking their teeth into our games. Plus, it gives parents a chance to relax a bit while kids are occupied with the games.
How to Bring the Buzz to Your Business
JAIME) You guys are in an exciting space. You must have fun rolling out new games and partnering with your customers. It really is a buzzworthy product. If a business wants to learn more about Buzztime’s bar and restaurant entertainment and marketing, how can they get in touch?
MARK) Definitely start at Buzztime.com/business. Once you’re there, you’ll get a better understanding of how Buzztime restaurant entertainment and marketing creates a social atmosphere that brings customers back. Buzztime can enhance your guests’ experience – changing it for the better.
At the website, you can check out testimonials from the nearly 3,000 venues we partner with. There are also studies and data at the website. For example, an independent Arbitron study* that showed Buzztime players spend nearly 21% more per check averages.
If you want to speak to a Buzztime team member directly, just call us at 1-877-963-9200.
You hit on some great points, like the challenge of getting customers to return. So, it’s always good to find methods – like Buzztime’s restaurant entertainment and marketing – that give guests a reason to come back. It’s a competitive landscape out there. You’ve got to differentiate yourself and give patrons ways to have fun. Buzztime definitely does that.
*2008 Independent Arbitron Study. Actual results may vary.