Published On: April 29th, 2020
Established in 1985, Timothy Patrick’s (TP’s) Irish Restaurant and Sports Pub prided itself off being the most authentic Irish Pub in the Rochester, NY area. They accomplished this by creating a cozy, Irish cottage atmosphere complete with a bar and tables flown in directly from the Emerald Isle, and offering Irish food and drink specials in addition to traditional America bar fare.
The restaurant became a fixture in the area and has thrived since their opening, but when it was time to direct their efforts towards attracting a new generation of customers, we worked together on a digital presence that made TP’s a popular destination for adults of all ages in Rochester.
When attempting to reach younger people, especially in an area with two colleges located within 5 miles, it's important to draw them in with attractive events. Live music, holiday parties, sporting events, and more were to be displayed on the TP's Irish Pub website in a prominent way, with full details displayed on individual event page. To increase traffic, events were also posted on Facebook containing abbreviated information with a call to visit the website for full details.
One dynamic area of the website was to be the food and drink specials. TP's has always offered new dinner specials every Friday and Saturday, and also updates their beer selection often (but not by any regular schedule). To display these options, a special Weekend Specials section of the homepage would appear every Friday (and hide on Sunday), and an ever-present list of beer logos would be updated according to availability.
It was always expected that March would be a good month for an Irish Pub, but considering the other events taking place at the same time (particularly, March Madness), it was especially important that we capitalized off the entire month. Do this by incorporating much of St. Patrick's Day promotion in with sporting event promotion, and ensure that people are focused on TP's for the entire month of March.
Just like opening a store in the middle of the desert, a website is no good unless people can find it. Social media also helped reach a younger audience while still allowing us to speak with regulars, and search engine optimization efforts ensured that anyone who searched for an Irish Pub in the Rochester area would find TP's Irish Pub in the top 3 of their results.
TP's Irish Pub has always been community-focused and we wanted to maintain that commitment with our digital marketing efforts. The TP's website was regularly used to enhance fundraising events including for ticket sales, promotion, and sharing moments after the event finished. Further, TP's took full advantage of Internet outreach opportunities such as participating in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge to benefit Mike Dugan and Hearts for ALS NY.
One of my first ever freelance clients, Phil Fiorella (owner of TP's) put his faith and trust in my abiliites in a way for which I will always be incredibly grateful. Phil granted me nearly full autonomy to design/develop his website and other digital properties, and then, he allowed me the same level of freedom in managing those properties. Eight years since our introduction and I still work with Phil on some projects for TP's Irish Pub, and I am infinitely proud of the success we've had in promoting TP's. As a result of this close working relationship, I placed special focus on making sure the TP's website was updated regularly with new and more effective designs. A new WordPress theme was created annually and updated with new features throughout the year.
Many people make decisions about where they want to eat while they are out and about. The TP's Irish Pub website provided an optimal user experience for mobile users by allowing them to get contact information and menu items quickly and easily.
Custom WordPress themes were created and updated regularly to keep the site looking fresh and to take advantage of modern coding techniques. In addition, custom pages within the theme were created for special events, including an annual St. Patrick's Day page.
As website manager for TP's, my roles included graphic design, updating food & drink specials, adding event pages, and continuously reviewing and improving search engine optimization efforts.
Visitors to a restaurant website expect to find information on food and beverage offerings, as well as Specials, quickly and easily. While it had always been a focus, we revamped this aspect of user experience after a hotel opened nearby, causing an uptick in the amount of pick-up orders received.
Google Analytics was installed on the TP's Irish Pub website at launch, and traffic was monitored closely. Analytics reports were regularly reviewed with TP's Irish Pub ownership to determine areas of improvement and how to improve in those areas, as well as identify areas of strength and how to use them to our advantage.
Promotions for TP's have primarily consisted on contests wherein participants submit their response to a question or challenge including, "What's your lucky charm for sporting events?"; "Name this item on our menu"; "Send us your best Irish joke"; and more.
Monthly newsletters were designed, written, and distributed via the website by me. These newsletters included event promotion, food and drink specials, and other going's on information. Mass mailings were completed at no additional charge using the free WordPress plugin, MailPoet
TP's events include features live music, fundraising events, sports related events, and an annual St. Patrick's event. An event calendar was configured and individual pages were created for each upcoming event. In addition to being informative to the public, this also helped with search engine optimization.
Local media seems to want to broadcast live from an Irish Pub every year on St. Patrick's Day, but we wanted a relationship with the media that lasted year round. I was able to keep close contact with the media and secure multiple pieces of coverage on TP's by submitting press releases and maintaining an open line of communication.
Print design projects have included an a menu for TP's annual New Year's Eve party, customer feedback cards, bar and table top advertisements, posters, and prize promotion entry forms.
Over the years, I have continually observed the hosting and domain registration landscape, and have moved TP's to new services in order to provide the best performance at the best price.
Since beginning work with TP's in 2012, I have managed all Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram marketing efforts including prize promotions and games, event promotion, food photo sharing, and fan engagement.