Can you waiters do your marketing? Let's kill two birds with one stone!
The 4th S.I.T. Template, Task Unification, is used when you assign an additional task to a component (person, item, product) who/that already has its own job to complete. The Waze app is a great example of the Task Unification template. Not only are you a user of the Waze app but you also have an additional job – to track traffic. In fact, the Task unification template was used to create the App Store in the first place. Instead of Apple expanding their entire line of developers, they turned the job of app development into the hands of the customers. Apple created only a few of their own apps. The rest of the apps are being created for free – by us. By employing Task Unification properly, you can save a lot of time and resources, as well as solve a number of your problems.
Let’s get back to the Italian restaurant that you plan to open. What are the main components or pieces of your restaurant? I’d say the food, location, customers and staff. Ok great. With Task Unification, we are going to give the components additional jobs that will end up benefitting you. We’ll do this by working backwards, using the principle of Function Follows Form. Let me ask you a question – what is a current problem you are having? Well, I’m concerned that even if we have an innovative menu, we still will not get customers. I’m pretty nervous about the marketing. I don’t have a budget to hire a marketer or to advertise in a meaningful way. I can’t compete with the large chain restaurants out there. Perfect example. Let’s try to use the resources you already have to market your restaurant – you’ve already listed four of them. Food Location Customers Staff Let’s start with the location. How can we use the location itself to market your restaurant. Oh that’s interesting. It really is in a prime location. We could possible put large signs outside of the building so people would see them on their way to work. Great. How else could you use the location to market? Actually, I never thought of this but there’s a great roof on top. We could probably serve our customers up there in the nicer months. Passerby’s seeing the roof would definitely be intrigued to come in. Okay great. Let’s try another - how can you use your staff, say your waiters to market? My waiters? Yes. I don’t know. I mean they work for me when they are in the restaurant and helping existing customers. What type of interactions do they have with the customers? Obviously pleasant ones. We want all our customers to return. Are they telling them to? What? Well, you want the customers to return. But are the waiters helping with that? What messages can they be giving the customers to entice them to return. Hmm. Maybe they can incentivize them to return with a special? Or maybe they can record the customer’s information in a database and tell them that if they return within the month with a larger number of people (say a party of five instead of a party of three) they will receive a special discount. Oh that’s interesting. I have another question. Yes? Why do your waiters only work for you while they are in the store? Can they work for you while they aren’t? How can they be marketing for you when they are out and about? You want me to pay them for hours they aren’t working? No, that’s not what I mean. What help can they be providing after hours? After all, they know the ins and outs of your restaurant. Hmm, maybe I can pay them extra to get their friends and family to the restaurant by extending a friends and family discount? Nice! Or maybe I can even provide for them logo’d clothing to wear outside that was really stylish. How old are you waiters? Probably around 20. I bet they are great at social media. For a few dollars you could probably have them run your store’s social media accounts. I bet they can even do this during down time in the restaurant when they are sitting around. It won’t cost you anything extra you’ve now got yourself a few marketers. Wow, I never would have thought of that without your help! Thanks!