WHAT I LEARNED AT NAFDMA 2020 – PART 2 OF 3
Hey, [[ contact.first_name | default: ‘Friend’ ]],
Lessons from NAFDMA, the International Association for Agritourism convention in 3 Parts.
- Your marketing image is entrapping you.
- Wine, beer & food veto the “Parent Veto”
- Menus, food costs & quality drive profitability
Wine, beer & food veto the “Parent Veto.”
I bet you’ve done it. Your kids wanted to go to Chuck-E-Cheese, and you issued what Randy White calls, “The Parent Veto.”
You know the food’s going to be bad. NO ONE goes for the pizza.
You know it’s going to be loud.
You know the kids are going to pester you for more tokens.
You know they aren’t going to care in 4 hours about the redemption prize they just had to have.
So you issue the Parent Veto. You unilaterally decide that the children must choose differently, not because of what they want, but because of what you want.
Your business must address the Parent Veto. Randy even suggests starting to shift your attraction towards targeting adults, groups of adults he calls ‘gatherings,’ while remaining kid-friendly.
What?! Kids as an afterthought?! It hurts our feelings, but with the demographics, the real numbers of families shrinking, Where are you going to grow?
Randy has great ideas, and I’ll add my own to the list, for “Parent-Veto-Proofing” your attraction to these trends.
Food quality. I’m getting tired of writing about this, which probably means I’m 2-4 years behind. You don’t have to install a fancy steakhouse restaurant, but maybe focus on a few items, make them exclusively yours by using products you sell and eliminate everything else. i.e., Apple Butter Pulled Pork with a side of homemade applesauce, instead of hot dogs from Sam’s Club. (Please note: I am NOT on-trend, but we’re making changes this season!)
Wine & Beer. We have a winery, but we’re not maximizing the adult gathering marketing. This season, we’ll use a permanently installed tent by our tasting room, and focus Facebook Ads & Instagram Ads on adult gatherings.
A brief example: For a friend’s birthday recently, we went to an on-trend destination. The Millworks in Harrisburg, PA, is a farm-to-table restaurant with gorgeous woodwork, fancy cocktails, and, proving the concept, young parents had brought kids. The kids were safe in the upscale experience. The parents paid $9.00 for kid’s gourmet Mac & Cheese. The same parent was sipping an $11 cocktail before dinner.
Bathrooms. Many of you know that toilets are sexy. Full disclosure, my farm market bathrooms are sexy, but my Fun Park is still portables! [I don’t want you to think I’m speaking from an ivory tower with all problems solved.] If you already have real bathrooms, it’s time to make them sexy. Lighting can be sexy. Soft music can be sexy. Clean sinks that look like metal tubs and hand pumps can be sexy.
Educational / Transformational. Your ‘value of experience’ can be as simple as an apple tasting to show the wide variety of flavors ready in your orchard. Baking lessons in your bakery on a slow weekday/night for adults could feature a 70yr old mom and 55yr old daughter. The key is creating a ‘change’ in the visitors’ knowledge, skills or attitudes.
Sampling. Randy’s focus on sampling with storytelling is that it creates a transformative experience. You get a story, taste the jam, promote to buy that product, then bridge to the next taste, story, and product.
Action Steps. Take an inventory of the weak points of your business concerning the Parent Veto. Using the list above, how are you addressing the Parent Veto currently, and how can you efficiently can you fix another item on the list. (For us, it will be a struggle to fix our food service to better AND faster.)
Questions for you:
- What are Randy & I missing on our list?
- What have you seen Parents Veto at your place? Other places?
- Seen vetos in posts on social media? (We all LOVE to post our Vetos, right? I’m not going there, boycotting this, that place was dirty, etc.)
Email me your answers – email@example.com!
More soon in Part 3.
Have a great week,
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