Despite the widespread of cafés, global expansion and opening branches in new countries is not an easy task. This is simply due to the diverse nature of cultures, customs, and characteristics of each country. The taste of the dishes served is not always the only success criteria, as success often requires building a unique relationship with the local community.
So Yummy Waffles was not only looking to promote its authentic Belgian cuisine offered in its new branch and increase its sales when it contacted Alamah, but it also wanted to create a unique relationship with its customers and the surrounding Omani community, and to reach them in an innovative and unique way.
Yummy Waffles specialises in authentic Belgian waffle. It brings its unique components from Belgium to be served in its various branches in the Sultanate and the UAE. The brand entered the Omani market by opening its first branch in Oman at Oman Avenues Mall, then its second and newest branch in Muscat City Centre.
In order to promote its new branch in Muscat City Centre, Alamah recognised that reaching to social media audiences through regular posts and paid advertising had become inefficient, despite the popularity of the café culture, and the experience of sweets and sharing it on social media networks.
Having considered and searched for the best international practices in the field of restaurant and café marketing in reality and on social media, and after conducting a number of internal brainstorming sessions with the Alamah team, we found that most café and restaurant customers get affected by the opinions of social media activists and influencers, based on their interests and the accounts they follow.
Therefore, Alamah came up with an idea that combines marketing the café both on social media and off line, by creating a diversified and innovative content on “Yummy Waffles” accounts and by organising an event to attract social media influencers to visit the new branch and promote it.
At the content level, Alamah took into account the various types of content. Thus, it relied on the direct marketing of Yummy Waffles through funny posts that aimed at encouraging the public to interact with the content posted on the account and competitions where the winners won prizes from Yummy Waffles.
Being aware of the importance of the visual content, Alamah did not overlook posting animated GIFs or sharing content via visual content platforms such as Instagram Stories.
After ensuring that the account content is appropriate and attractive, Alamah moved to the second phase which is paid advertisements on Instagram that reached about 100k people. Through these paid campaigns, Alamah has sought to target different audiences through specific marketing messages.
As for the event itself, Alamah started by selecting a group of social media influencers of various interests to invite to the café. Its known that influencers receive a lot of invitations; so, Alamah tried to make the invitation unique by pointing out the opportunity to make their own waffles. Alamah prepared and designed the invitations and contacted social media influencers directly.
Alamah assisted Yummy Waffles in welcoming and hosting the social media influencers, taking them on a tour in the café and introducing them to the owners. They tasted different dishes and had the chance to make waffles in the Café’s kitchen.
In addition, Alamah did a live coverage of the event through Instagram posts and Instagram Stories. It also made sure to interact with social media influencers posts during their hosting period.
The campaign yielded more than 700 new followers to the account, and most importantly, loyalty to Yummy Waffles, especially from influencers who visited the café after the campaign to try different dishes and advised their followers to do so.