3 Ingredients to Content Marketing Success at Cafe Boulud

Is content marketing critical at a French restaurant? Mais oui! My wife and I learned this during two recent visits to the Café Boulud in Palm Beach. We were so enthusiastic about our experience that we returned just two days after dining there for the first time. And I was so enthusiastic that I decided to tell the world how wonderful they are.

Palm Beach is full of snooty retail establishments that cater to the town’s incredibly wealthy residents. But the Café Boulud manages to be superb without being snobbish. It’s worth noting that the Café is located in the equally delightful Brazilian Court Hotel, which is located a short walk away from the ocean and from all that expensive shopping. The Brazilian Court knows how to care for its clients, too. But that’s another story.

Really caring for your customers

My wife has celiac disease, which means that she cannot eat wheat or gluten. I informed the restaurant in advance and they made very special efforts to customize their cuisine—and perhaps more importantly, to make us feel very special. For this we credit the cafe’s general manager, Theresa Valiante and her top notch staff.

Valiante arrives each morning at seven and does not go home until quite late and evening. She somehow manages to be welcoming and enthusiastic throughout the day. Her attitude pervades the staff, each of whom genuinely cares about their customers. Even though we were first timers, they made us feel like cherished regulars.

In Person–Content marketing makes all the difference

Although we think more of online or print when content marketing is under discussion, it may be even more important and powerful in person. That really applies in the restaurant universe, as the wonderful Café Boulud proves.

The Café Boulud masterfully combines three essential ingredients of content marketing for restaurants:

• great food

• great ambiance

• great people

Careful blending of these three ingredients makes for a dining experience so memorable that you’re motivated to tell everybody you know about it. The cafe clearly understands that its clients care just as much about how they’re treated as about the food that they eat.

Content marketing success—when your customers sell for you

Now that Zagat’s includes customer verbatims in addition to its numerical ratings, the real flavor of a restaurant comes through. That’s bad news for a lot of rude and snobby establishments, but it’s wonderful for the Café Boulud.

Here’s the lesson for marketers: having a great product may be a small part of your success. Really understanding your customers and hiring great people who genuinely care about making customers happy may is equally important. That’s when the benefit of content marketing really kicks in. Customers will go out and sell for you.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted October 24, 2007 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Bless you, Newt. You are the living proof of the power of the Inet.

    Would that more customers would share their positive experiences as you have here.

    Unfortunately, from a business’s standpoint, bad experiences travel faster and more vehemently than good experiences. I say from a business standpoint because, from a customer’s standpoint, knowledge of bad practices is more important than that of good practices.

    Coming to content marketing, how does a responsible business that extends itself to provide a superior experience encourage customers who receive it to spread the word? How does one do this without appearing too promotional?

  2. Newt Barrett
    Posted October 24, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Bill,
    I think we’re all motivated by rewards. I don’t think that a restaurant, for example, would anger its clients by offering a nice extra for everyone they referred back. Smart restaurants–such as the Culinary Concepts folks(Chops, Pazzo, etc.)–are very smart about databases and do a great job of motivating their diners to come back again and again. Although they don’t have a program for referrals, I’m pretty sure it would work if they tried it. At least, I know it would work for me. :-)