Our Town America Logo
Skip to content

Des Moines Volunteer Wins $3,000 from Marketing Franchise | NBC

2023 New Mover Survey Winner Beth Vitiritto, Our Town America Marketing Drawing

NBC Hello Iowa — A local Des Moines woman known for giving back is getting more than she ever expected in return. Beth Vitiritto, who relocated last year, has become quite a familiar face in the Ankeny community. Beth inspires the younger generation in her everyday work as a teacher, serves on the Iowa board, frequently contributes to local causes and volunteers whenever she can. Beth is the kind of person who pours her all into everything she does and deserves the world but would never ask for it. The type of person who, even when faced with cancer, woke up every day with a positive attitude and a smile. So, when Beth’s name was drawn to win $3,000 amongst tens of thousands of people nationwide, it seemed more like Good Karma than luck.  New Mover Welcome Package The drawing Beth entered is the Our Town America Annual New Mover Survey Drawing. She was entered by providing feedback on local businesses who welcomed her into the Des Moines area through Our Town America’s New Mover Package. The package welcomes residents who have just moved into their new neighborhood and introduces them to nearby reputable businesses with free one-time-use housewarming Gift Certificates. Little Ceasars Ankeny, Portofino Italian Ristorante, The Chicken Coop, and ACE Hardware were among the businesses that welcomed Beth to the area. “I used a Gift Certificate right away and took a friend out to lunch!,” Vitiritto said. Beth says that Our Town America’s Welcome Package played a significant role in helping her feel immediately connected and informed about the community. “The support network is incredible,” she says. “From local businesses to community events, everything is designed to help newcomers integrate smoothly and feel at home.” “Our package helps people get settled in, find their way around and get connected with local businesses,” said Tim McGrath, Our Town America of Iowa franchise owner. “In addition to being an aid for new movers, our franchise is a marketing resource for local businesses. We’ve been helping businesses thrive by bringing them new customers for over 50 years,” said McGrath. “It’s a feel-good business that I’m proud to be a part of.” Community Impact Local TV show Hello Iowa hosted Beth, McGrath, and Little Caesars Ankeny store owners Katrina and Brad Loney in-studio to hear this heartwarming story. As expected, Our Town America presented Beth with her $3,000 winnings and, to nobody’s surprise, Beth’s students and friends joined the event to support her. In the spirit of supporting the local community, on behalf of Beth and her late father, former Ankeny Chief of Police for 30 years, Our Town America donated $500 to the Ankeny Police Foundation. Additionally, Katrina and Brad of Little Caesars Ankeny, who are also known locally for their volunteer efforts, donated $500 to the John Stoddard Cancer Center on Beth’s behalf as well. Our Town America and Little Caesars of Ankeny are honored to have had the opportunity to give to someone so deserving. Press play below for the full Hello Iowa interview. Our Town America supports small businesses across the nation 365 days per year. Iowa businesses looking to gain new customers, can contact franchise owner Tim McGrath at (515) 240-6845. Businesses in all other U.S. states can contact Our Town America HQ at (727)345-0811 to be connected with your local representative. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Former Parkland Teacher, Now Atlanta Resident, Wins $3K | FOX

Atlanta New Mover wins $3K from Our Town America Survey

FOX 5 Atlanta — A former Parkland, Florida teacher, who recently moved to Atlanta is this year’s national winner of the Our Town America New Mover Survey contest. Amy Kleinman-Kenny was randomly chosen from thousands of surveyors to win a $3,000 check. Kleinman-Kenny was teaching at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School on the day of the tragic mass shooting in 2018. Unfortunately, she lost friends and students in the horrible tragedy that killed 17 people. Following the shooting, Kleinman-Kenny quickly became a leader in the community by offering her yoga expertise to the victims. She started the nonprofit ‘Yoga 4 MSD’ to help people heal. Once the Freshman class of MSD graduated, she moved to the Atlanta area to start a new life and continue her path forward after that horrific day. Shortly after moving into her Woodstock, GA home, Amy received the Our Town America (OTA) New Mover Welcome Package loaded with free welcome gifts from local businesses and a letter from the local franchisee, Chris Beer. Woodstock Furniture & Mattress Outlet, Vingenzos & Vintage Barrel, Woodstock Car Wash, and Buffalo’s Cafe were among the many local businesses to extend housewarming offers within the OTA package. “I was really excited to try all the new places! There was so much money to be saved from this package!,” Kleinman-Kenny said. OTA has been welcoming new movers and helping businesses find new, loyal customers for over 50 years. “We love the sense of community our program helps facilitate,” said Beer, the Atlanta OTA franchise owner. “Not only do we offer free one-time offers within our new mover package, we now also give businesses the option to welcome customers in via digital advertising as well – further extending the invite and strengthening these B2C relationships”. Woodstock Furniture & Mattress Outlet has been advertising via Our Town America’s New Mover Welcome Package for 24 years and counting — gaining new customers monthly. FOX Atlanta met Kleinman-Kenny and Beer at Woodstock Furniture Outlet to hear more about this heartwarming and inspiring story. Amy was presented with her $3,000 prize. Kleinman-Kenny is currently teaching part-time at Woodstock Middle School, continuing to inspire students through yoga and plans to allocate some of her winnings to her non-profit. Press play below for full FOX News interview. Our Town America supports small businesses across the nation 365 days per year. Local Atlanta area businesses looking to gain new customers via direct mail or digital advertising, please contact Chris Beer, our Atlanta franchise owner, at 800-887-9364. If your business is outside the Atlanta area, contact Our Town America corporate at 1-800-497-8360 to be connected with your local representative.       Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Royal Oak New Mover wins $3K from Our Town America Survey | NBC Detroit

Royal Oak New Mover wins $3K from Our Town America Survey

NBC Click On Detroit — For 50 years, Our Town America has been connecting new movers with local businesses and harvesting feedback on their marketing program from thousands of new movers across the country. This year, a Metro Detroit new mover won Our Town America’s $3,000 grand prize for simply filling out that survey. Emily Ciaramellano is the lucky winner! She said some friends questioned if this is a scam, but Ciaramellano kept hoping for the best. In Emily’s words, “This is definitely a good sign to fill out your [Our Town America] survey, because somebody will win and it could be you!” Our Town America has been sending new residents a Welcome Package containing a survey and gift certificates to local businesses upon move in for half a century. “We help new movers connect with businesses; it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Larry Neal of Our Town America Detroit South & West Metro. Emily Ciaramellano filled out the survey and used a few of the gift certificates within Our Town America’s Royal Oak welcome package – including TLC Car Care, Hollywood Markets, Pet Supplies Plus, and Jax Kar Wash. “This is great,” said Robb Remick of TLC Car Care, a 9+ year partnered business of Our Town America Detroit East. “And that’s what we try to build on. Obviously, once we get the customer through our door, it’s our job to make them a customer for life”. Ciaramellano moved from Rochester Hills to Royal Oak and added to her growing family by adopting two rescue cats. Ciaramellano tells Local 4 she plans to buy $300 worth of pet supplies and donate it to local shelters! “I think the more supplies they have, the longer they can keep those animals in the shelter,” she said. The New Mover Marketing company prints millions of personalized gift certificates to send to millions of movers across the United States, introducing them to their new communities and local businesses in the area. Watch video for full interview with Our Town America franchisees, Curtis Crawford, Larry & Becky Neal, Robb Remick of TLC Car Care, winner Emily Ciaramellano & her partner Andjela Grabovac.   Our Town America supports small businesses across the nation 365 days per year. Local Detroit businesses looking to gain new customers via direct mail, please contact one of our Detroit area franchisees: Becky Neal (South & West Metro Detroit) ➞ 248-672-6048 Curtis Crawford (East Metro Detroit) ➞ 248-760-2966 If your business is outside the Detroit area, contact Our Town America corporate at 1-800-497-8360 to be connected with your local representative.       Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Gift Certificates Open the Door to New Customers

Gift Certificates Open the Door to New Customers Our Town America

To help draw new customers through your doors, consider offering gift certificates, rather than coupons, to attract new residents. Every business owner understands the value of doling out coupons. The discounts encourage new customers to visit your establishment, introduce new product lines, and help shed excess inventory, according to Investopedia, an online investing resource. But, offering coupons has a downside. Coupons cost your business money, and customers might wait to make purchases until they have another coupon. Our Town America, the nation’s leading new mover marketing company, has an easy solution designed to ramp up profits and get new customers into your location. Rather than coupons, Our Town America appeals to new residents by offering an upscale Welcome Package that won’t get tossed in the recycle bin. The tasteful Welcome Package is oversized and designed to stand out from mundane mail. Plus, the offers included in the package are chosen because they line up with the needs of a recipient – therefore increasing the response rate. Every Welcome Package includes free one-time-use gifts, not repeat coupons. “A housewarming gift that includes proven special offers for local businesses will help welcome new residents to the neighborhood,” said Michael Plummer Jr., President and Chief Executive of Our Town America. “We encourage our partnered businesses to follow up on their welcome gifts with a thank-you postcard to keep their business top-of-mind with busy new residents.” People who purchase a new home typically open their wallets as they work to make their new residence a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders. For the first two years after closing on a new house, homeowners spend an average of $7,400 more than existing community members, $4,900 of it being spent in the first year after purchase, NAHB reported. While a big portion of expenditures are on appliances, furniture, and home repairs, new residents also spend the first few months in their new home running errands and learning where to buy groceries, take their pets, get dental work, order pizza, and more. New movers have no established habits or loyalties, making them an impressionable audience for businesses looking for new customers. Including New Mover Marketing in your advertising strategy makes it possible to reach a brand new, broad audience every single month. “Every time we add a new store, it’s a great decision,” said Tiffany Downing of Broadway Pizza in Maple Grove, Minnesota. “It depends on the market, but we get about 10-60 redemptions per month. We are seeing that people are spending more than we give in the certificate.” In case you’re still unsure whether implementing New Mover Marketing is the right choice for your business, here are some of the benefits of gift certificates. Advantages of Gift Certificates Keep your business top-of-mind New residents are busy unpacking boxes, painting, arranging furniture, and planting gardens. They are looking for easy, cost-effective options when out in their new community. Our Town America’s upscale Welcome Package is personalized and positioned as a welcoming gift to new residents, so is perceived by the customer as hospitality, not advertising. Help your business add loyal customers Gift certificates provide an extra incentive to try a new business risk-free, putting the local business at the top of the list. If you offer a free medium pizza on your gift certificate, hungry new residents will want to place an order as they unpack boxes and organize their new home. As an added bonus, if you impress them with stellar customer service and delicious food, they are likely to become loyal customers. Increase sales When customers come to redeem their gift certificate, it’s not uncommon that they will buy additional items, so it’s a great opportunity to enlighten them on your other offerings. If you’re ready to begin gaining more loyal customers, visit Our Town America today. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Tapping into the New Mover Market

New Mover Market New Mover Mailing List

Help your business recoup losses incurred this spring by marketing to new movers with Our Town America, the nation’s leading new mover marketing company. Local businesses took a hit following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States. As you strive to comply with social distancing guidelines and provide a safe atmosphere for employees and customers, new mover marketing offers a profitable way to increase sales while adjusting to the new normal. Approximately 9.8 percent of the U.S. population moved in 2019, or 31 million Americans, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, the average American moves 11.7 times during their lifetime. People opt to move to a different home – sometimes bigger, other times downsizing; to start a new job – whether a career advancement or a layoff; to improve their daily commute or be closer to family, according to MoveBuddha, an online moving service. “Our Town America’s mission is to help new movers adjust and feel welcomed into their community and fuel the economy for local business,” said Michael Plummer Jr., Our Town America’s CEO. “We help our sponsor businesses gain new, loyal and long-term customers every month by targeting new movers.” New movers are big spenders. Having the ability to tap into the new mover market is a cost-effective marketing strategy to snag new customers right when they come to town. During the first year of owning a home, homeowners spend nearly $11,000 on furniture, appliances and home repairs, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. With so many expenses related to buying a home, it seems natural that new movers would take this opportunity to economize, but research suggests the opposite. A home purchase does not suppress spending on entertainment, apparel, transportation and restaurant meals, NAHB reported. Americans are following through on plans to move, despite the pandemic, and businesses can attract new residents by helping them feel welcome in their new community. Americans missed eating at restaurants and running errands without worrying about their health during quarantine, according to a new survey commissioned by Our Town America. Over 70 percent of Americans are eager to try out businesses in their new cities, the survey revealed. Our Town America’s new mover marketing program allows businesses the opportunity to make a great first impression on new residents – essentially bringing new customers through the door – or into their curbside parking spaces! Each month the company sends a Welcome Package to new residents, which includes your proven offer. The high-quality Welcome Package introduces new movers to different businesses in the area to help them feel at home in their new community. Businesses have the option to take advantage of Our Town America’s follow-up ‘thank you’ postcard which mails to guests who redeem their housewarming offer. This gives businesses the chance to invite customers back with a second offer, or even just stand out from their competition by thanking the new mover for their business. “We’re just off the beaten path, just a little ways from the main intersection. It gives people a chance to come down this way and see what’s down in this area,” said Fort Mill, South Carolina salon owner. While businesses can choose what they want to offer the new movers, 49 years of data has proven that a free haircut, with wash, cut and blow dry results in the best response rate. If you’re still unsure if delving into the new mover market is right for your business, check out some of the benefits of new mover marketing with Our Town America. Brand Awareness Generates Customer Loyalty. New residents are stressed and tired of unpacking boxes and worrying if they will fit into their new communities. Social distancing guidelines are making it difficult for new families to meet the neighbors, and teleworking and remote schooling aren’t making it any easier. Sending a Welcome Package with housewarming offers is one way to make their transition smoother. The Welcome Package helps build brand awareness and marks the beginning step to customer loyalty, but getting repeat business is up to you. Make sure to make new residents who visit your business feel welcome by offering superior customer service and a positive atmosphere. Target Your Customer. Our Town America has been acquiring accurate new mover mailing lists for their customers since being founded in 1972. The company mines new resident names from multiple sources to ensure a clean, comprehensive list. They use proprietary technology to pull names from county courthouse warranty deeds, credit reporting agencies, magazine subscription address changes, credit cards, voter registrations, driver’s licenses, utility companies and more. With their impressive new mover mailing list and ‘sponsor exclusivity’ concept, Our Town America is able to target the new residents moving into your chosen ZIP codes so that you reach them before your competitors do. Unique Tracking Tools. The success of any marketing program is only as good as its ability to track your return on investment. Our Town America offers the Our Town TruTrak® mobile app, which is available on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. The app allows you to validate and scan redemptions at point of sale or at your convenience. It also tracks your return on investment, triggers a ‘thank you’ mailing and even gathers detailed demographic data of your new customers. Learn more about how Our Town America can help you add customers and boost foot traffic to your business today. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Millennials are Moving to a House Near You, Restaurants Should Get Moving to Greet Them

Restaurant Marketing New Movers

Modern Restaurant Management — When you own a restaurant, you’re often considering and painstakingly planning new entrées to add to the menu, but are you spending the same amount of energy thinking about the new customers who may soon be ordering from it?  When you own a restaurant, you’re often considering and painstakingly planning new entrées to add to the menu, but are you spending the same amount of energy thinking about the new customers who may soon be ordering from it?  Likewise, you could be losing a lot of Millennial customers, too, if they’re moving to a house that’s far from your place of business. You may not often think about it, or notice, but people are likely moving in and out of your neighborhood all the time. We’re a very mobile society. Estimates suggest that 35.5 million Americans move every year, far more than many countries such as those in Europe. That means you often can gain customers (new movers) and lose them, too (customers who move away). If you aren’t already marketing to new movers, the transient nature of our society is something you and, well, every restaurant owner should consider when marketing. After all, we’re all creatures of habit. You probably have a lot of loyal customers –but you may struggle to attract new people who have lived in the area for some time because they’re loyal to your competitors. It’s just human nature. People find a routine that they like, and they stick with it. But new movers? They don’t have habits and routines yet. They also don’t have a favorite restaurant –yet. That’s the argument for restaurants –or any local business, really –marketing to new movers. You want to find potential loyal customers and bring them in to try out your place, and hopefully get them to return a second and third time before they put down roots and start picking their favorite restaurants, which may or may not end up becoming your place. You also need those new movers, to make up for the loyal clientele who moves away. Fortunately, the good news, according to the Our Town America new mover survey, is that new movers are very interested in finding restaurants when they move in. You just need to make sure that you make it clear that you want them to find you. Marketing to the New Mover There are a variety of factors that appeal to any new mover when they move to a new city. When asked in Our Town America’s new mover survey for the reasons a city becomes their dream city, 33.1 percent of respondents listed “affordability” as being important, 59.7 percent cited “good scenery” as being important to them and 54 percent said “good weather.” As for how the dining and hospitality industry did, over a third of respondents (38.2 percent) said that it’s important to them that the “restaurants are phenomenal.” In other words, if the restaurants are top-notch, that helps make a city a dream city. Market your restaurant as one that has phenomenal food and atmosphere, and if you can make it affordable, that’s all the better, at least judging from the results of the survey. But the main takeaway from the survey is that Millennials moving to your neighborhood are as eager as you would hope to discover amazing local restaurants. The question that you should be asking yourself as a restaurant owner is –are you doing enough and are you equally eager enough to find new customers? Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Moving Trends due to Coronavirus: An Infographic

Coronavirus Moving Trends National Survey Data

All statistics drawn from survey commissioned by Our Town America. For more information, please visit: As U.S. Reopens, Coronavirus Concerns Could Lead to Mass Exodus Survey Says: Will People Move Homes during the Coronavirus Pandemic?   Survey Says: Moving Trends due to Covid-19. Top Takeaways from a National Survey commissioned by Our Town America. More than 40% would consider moving for Covid-19 reasons. Top motives to move somewhere else. 36% say less chance to catch Covid-19. 32% somewhere less expensive to live. 28% say warmer climate. More than 50% say finances are one of their biggest Covid-19 worries. Top 3 things missed most during quarantine. #1 dining at restaurants. #2 spending time with family & friends. #3 running errands without worrying about my health (ie. grocery store, dry cleaner, bank, etc.). Over 70% would be open to trying out new businesses in their new city. As Covid-19 restrictions loosen up 49% will order takeout & curbside from restaurants. 35% will dine inside restaurants. Over 80% would redeem a proven community-welcome offer from a local business (ie. free meal, haircut, etc.). Roughly 2/3 would feel more comfortable in their new neighborhood if they received a housewarming gift. Survey commissioned by moving industry experts, Our Town America. Our Town America has been connecting U.S. businesses with a new set of movers every month for the past 48 years. Full survey results at ourtownamerica.com. Our Town America Welcoming New Movers Since 1972. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

How to Create Meaningful Offers that Spark Long-Term, Loyal Customer Relationships

Restaurant Marketing Our Town America

Restaurant Owners – How To Create Offers & Loyal Customers   Modern Restaurant Magazine (September 2019) — It’s a sad fact of being a restaurant owner: even if your food and service are excellent, and a first-time customer had a wonderful experience, it may still be a while before he or she comes through your doors again. After all, customers have choices. Lots of them. It can be especially difficult for a restaurant owner to turn new customers into loyal ones if those people are new to the area. New residents often sample a variety of restaurants before choosing their favorite spots. That’s why it’s important to do more than offer incredible food and focus on creating a great first impression. Obviously, those things are important, but it’s vital to create a relationship with that customer. To begin building what will hopefully be a long-term relationship, you often have to offer an incentive — special offers or some kind of deal. While some people find a place that they like and aren’t interested in experimenting with other restaurants, many customers are understandably curious about what’s around the corner. They don’t want to miss out! While you could accept that fact, the danger is that customer may decide not to return. People do like to experiment, but they’re also creatures of habit. If your customers find a new favorite pizza place instead of yours, or a new French restaurant they adore instead of yours, or a new beloved burger joint instead of yours, and so on, you could be relegated to one of those “we’ll go there because we haven’t been there in forever” eateries. That’s better than nothing, but obviously, you want more regulars than semi-regulars. So how do you do that? Incentivize those new customers. Offer Restaurant Discounts Based on Age This is a classic; I’m not telling you anything that you haven’t heard before, so just consider it a friendly reminder. You might want to offer a “kids eat free” or “kids eat for half-off” type of deal. If parents know that every time they come to your place — even if it’s just on a particular day — they’re going to shave a bit off their bill, that may encourage them to visit more often instead of going elsewhere. Just make sure your discount is well promoted. Promote Dining Specials Based on the Day or Time of Day Dynamic pricing at work. Bars have their happy hour, not just because it makes customers happy, but it makes bar owners happy to see customers coming in earlier, at a typically less-busy time. If you often see a lull on Monday nights, offer an awesome Monday-night special that your customers will have trouble refusing. Again, make sure this is well promoted, so customers coming on, say, Friday, will be reminded about what they can have when they come in on Mondays. Market Restaurant Discounts to People who just Moved into Town Granted, this is my wheelhouse, since my company markets to new movers, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. If you aim your marketing at residents who are new to the community, and you can get them in the door, it’s extremely important to offer them more deals so that they return. That might involve sending them home with an added incentive to return (half-off your next appetizer!) as they leave — or using a service that will send them a thank you note for coming paired with another special offer for when they return. The new movers are the people in your community who haven’t picked out any favorite restaurants yet. You could be their first. Dining Loyalty Programs This is an obvious idea. But I bring it up because it would feel silly not to. If you haven’t developed a discount program for your most loyal customers yet, it’s definitely something to think about. Restaurant Incentives – Theme Days Your customers aren’t just people who like food. They’re dog lovers. They’re sports fans. They’re marathon runners. Maybe some of them are birdwatchers. Depending on your restaurant, you could have days where anyone dressed as a TV character or their favorite superhero gets a 25 percent discount. Or hold a singles night and see who shows up. Or — if you won’t be breaking health codes — invite your pet parents to bring their dogs. Not every interest is going to be worth catering to, or practical, but if it’s conducive to your dining establishment, you could host book clubs in the off-hours, where people gather for a drink and appetizers. The point is — your customers are more than just anonymous people receiving a delivery, sitting at a table or standing at a counter, ready to pick up their food. They have interests. They also have challenges, ranging from time-management to finances and everything in between. If you can remember that and cater to their personality or situation as much as you do their taste buds, you’re going to make a much stronger connection — the first step to building that oh-so-important relationship. You may have to do that with some clever incentives, but getting your customers to come through the door (and keep them coming back!) is the ultimate goal. Because another fact of being a restaurant owner is that you need your customers more than they need you. That is, until the relationship is no longer one-sided. That’s the day when your hungry and time-starved customer realizes that he or she needs your restaurant’s help more than they thought. Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

Why Leading Restaurants Commit to New Mover Marketing

Restaurant New Mover Marketing Our Town America

QSR Magazine (July 2019) — New mover marketing is a fantastic way to reach those new residents and begin building a relationship. Sometimes, being well-known and well-liked can actually work against a restaurant. That may sound like a crazy statement, particularly since brand recognition is an important aspect to consider when buying a franchise. Restaurant owners, after all, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase franchises with big-time brand recognition. But when it comes to landing customers who are new to a neighborhood, a big name is often a disadvantage for owners of mainstream restaurant franchises. When someone moves into a new house or apartment, they usually want to explore their new neighborhood. After a long day of moving, they’ll have worked up an appetite and be on the hunt for new, local places to eat. Many times, new movers want to know what’s good, trendy and local, rather than settling for the same restaurants they have already been to countless times before. The key is to let the new movers know that, while the brand may be national, the owner is still a local. Marketing to new movers can turn a big brand from being impersonal to personal. New movers may be searching for local mom-and-pop restaurants; however, that doesn’t mean big brands are out of the running. Reaching out to people who have just arrived in town can be an effective way to remind them that the owner of a national franchise is still a vital part of the local community. In fact, it’s something today’s movers are craving. In a recent millennial mover survey, 80 percent of respondents said they’d love to receive a housewarming gift and more than half (57 percent) said they want to live within walking distance of restaurants. Therefore, any neighborhood restaurant who connects with them first gains a huge advantage. Also, by welcoming a new mover to the neighborhood, a big-name brand is suddenly no longer something corporate and impersonal. It’s a brand that cares enough to reach out to somebody new to the neighborhood. That’s presuming the restaurant isn’t just mass mailing a coupon to every house and reaching the new people by chance along with everyone else. Targeted, new-resident offers with appealing offers or freebies are key to drawing in this lucrative demographic. There is more than one big-brand restaurant. Another simple reason to market to new movers is one that is as old as business itself—competition. Customers have a lot of choices, especially when it comes to food. The restaurant industry, along with the economy, continues to grow. Sales at restaurants hit $825 billion in 2018 , according to the National Restaurant Association, and are projected to reach $863 billion in the United States by the end of 2019. There are over a million restaurants in America, and a lot of them have familiar names. Even famous brands need to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack, simply because the pack is so big. If a neighborhood is full of popular restaurants with notable name recognition, that familiarity will draw some new residents in the door. But in a well-populated area, there’s no guarantee that every new mover will try out each big name-brand dining establishment competing for stomachs and dollars. People develop habits pretty quickly. While people new to a neighborhood may be looking for quirky and unusual eateries, they often get their morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches at the national restaurant franchises that can give people what they want quickly and efficiently. New movers who also work in the area and are grabbing food during their lunch hour will quickly start compiling a list of easily accessible favorite spots. When they don’t want to cook dinner, and they want something simple and easy, they go to the familiar and comfortable. In all of those cases, nationally recognized franchise restaurants usually fit the bill. But big brand names have the same problem as the small, mom-and-pop restaurants have; customers develop daily habits that can be hard to break. Restaurants that miss out on getting new movers to come into their business in those first few weeks may lose out on that customer becoming a regular forever—and that’s a lot of potential profit missed. New mover welcome packages should be full of fun, local offers to nearby businesses—included. New mover marketing is a fantastic way to reach those new residents and begin building a relationship. After all, from a new mover’s point of view, if he or she is enjoying that coffee and breakfast sandwich in the morning and getting to work on time, why go somewhere else where things may not go so well? If a new mover loves “Pizza Fridays” with the family and has discovered the ideal pizzeria to pick up something on the way home, why risk upsetting the kids—who are still adjusting to this move—by trying something different? While part of the excitement of moving is trying new things, what makes people feel at home are rituals that become ingrained in daily life. It’s a mistake for owners of a national restaurant chain to assume new movers will simply walk in the door. It’s always a good idea to put out a welcome mat and make life-long customers in the process. By: Michael Plummer Jr. – a U.S. Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience as a senior-level franchise executive and IT professional in the direct mail marketing industry. In 2009, he took over as the president/CEO of the Our Town America franchise brand for his father, the founder, Michael Plummer Sr.   Brittany N. JohnsonBrittany is the head of Our Town America’s corporate marketing department. She specializes in digital and print media, social media, and public relations. […]

Read More…

New Mover Marketing: The Critical Competitive Advantage Helping Restaurants Win Hearts and Minds

Modern Restaurant Magazine and Our Town America Eating Pizza

Restaurant Marketing to Millennials Modern Restaurant Management (July 2019) — We are creatures of habit. If you’re a caffeine junkie, you probably go to the same coffeehouse every day, rather than trying new ones every other day or so. If you find a favorite toothpaste, you probably stick with it. We have our favorite TV shoes and music. Some people even go to the same vacation spot year after year. That can be a scary concept if you’re a restaurant owner looking to win over more customers. It isn’t enough to offer wonderful food. You have to get people in the door, first to try your food — and then, of course, convince them to keep coming back. You have to ensure your food and service are so good that you can break customers’ habits of regularly visiting your competitors’ restaurants and come to yours instead. That’s a worthwhile goal, and of course, restaurants should be trying to draw consumers away from other restaurants. But if you really want to win over loyal customers, an easier approach is to focus on your potential customers who haven’t yet aligned themselves with your competitors. That is, look to the new movers, the people who have just bought a house or put down their first month’s rent in an apartment. They’re new to the community, excited to be there, and they’re hungry for information about your neighborhood. You can give them that knowledge — by targeting your marketing efforts to them. There are probably more new movers in your community than you think. Every year, approximately 40 million Americans move to a new home, and many of them, it should be noted, are Millennials and lately, Generation Z (people born in the mid-1990s). Our Town America, a new mover marketing franchise, recently commissioned an online survey of 652 men and women (born between 1981 and 1996), to get a sense of what’s important to Millennials when they move to a new city. And they are moving. Our research indicates that the most popular places for Millennials are the following cities: Phoenix, AZ Las Vegas, NV San Diego, CA Fort Collins, CO Raleigh, NC Fort Myers, FL Des Moines, IA Boise, ID Charlotte, NC Greenville, SC Wilmington, NC Houston, TX Birmingham, AL In other words, instead of cities like New York City, San Francisco and Boston, which have an exciting and glamorous reputation, many Millennials are opting for places that are known for a more reasonable cost of living and better quality of life. That’s good news for many restaurant owners across the country. Regardless of where you are located, your odds of winning Millennials over increase when you understand them. While individuals are obviously unique, as a group, generations have a lot in common. While baby boomers’ habits have been studied and over-analyzed for at least half a century, we’re arguably still getting to know Millennials. So, if you’re looking to know more about the young people moving to your neighborhood, you’ll do well to keep a few things in mind. Millennials Expect You to be Able to Come to Them Our survey found that 69 percent of Millennials want to live within a range of delivery services. That’s probably not a surprise, given how delivery has taken off. But it does underscore that if you haven’t partnered with a service that can bring your food to your consumers, it may be time. There are countless delivery methods to consider including: adding delivery drivers to your staff, working with Uber Eats, or encouraging customers to use services like Postmates to enjoy your food at their convenience. Despite Their Love of Delivery, Millennials May Still Want to Come to You Fifty-seven percent of Millennials want to be within walking distance to restaurants and stores. Three out of four of them would prefer to meet their neighbors in person rather than just see them online. This means that, while delivery is important, don’t forget to ensure your restaurant has quality table service and a nice ambiance for customers. Owners should be making an effort to get Millennials into their place of business. In fact, our survey indicates that if a Millennial is new to the community, they would love a new business to welcome them with a valuable offer. Millennials Very Much Want to be Part of the Community There’s a lot of talk about how Millennials are always on their phones and don’t take much stock in face-to-face interactions. But our research shows that a majority of them still crave human interaction. Fifty-three percent of those we surveyed say that they want to live in a neighborhood that offers great community events. In order, their preferences are food festivals, concerts, sporting events, bar hopping or wine tastings and family-friendly events. By sponsoring or participating in some of these events, you may be able to reach some new-to-town Millennials and establish countless loyal customers. If you’re involved in these events, Millennials are more likely to see your restaurant as one of their favorite dining spots, and a place that makes them feel as if they’re home. Millennials Are Always Looking for a Good Deal Sure, what generation doesn’t want to get the most bang for their buck? But like their great-grandparents who grew up during the Great Depression, the Great Recession came along when many of these Millennials were in their formative years or just starting out in their careers. The Great Recession made a powerful and often devastating impact, and so Millennials are looking to be part of the community while still being fiscally responsible. In fact, 85 percent of respondents say that they’d take advantage of a local small-business discount or freebie, like a free meal or haircut. Almost all of the survey participants (98 percent) say they’d likely revisit the business after trying out the offer. The point is — getting new Millennial movers in the door can pave the way for a new generation of loyal customers. New mover marketing can help to establish new […]

Read More…