Steven Edwards is the founding father of etch., a restaurant in Brighton & Hove on the south coast of England. After profitable MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013, Steven set about discovering the proper house for his personal restaurant and etch. was born. We caught up with Steven to listen to extra about etch., weathering the pandemic, and the way he makes use of email advertising and marketing to maintain visitors coming again.
Hi, Steven. Firstly, inform us a bit about etch. What’s your story?
Well, etch. celebrated its fifth birthday in March, which is simply a enormous milestone for us, particularly after the previous two years of the pandemic. The idea was born in 2013 after I received MasterChef – I needed to create a area and firm the place I may showcase my type of meals. I began doing pop-ups across the UK earlier than lastly settling in Hove in 2017. It felt like a pure house. It’s a busy vacationer vacation spot; a metropolis with hospitality at its core and nice lodges close by.
And what makes etch. particular?
We hold issues extremely seasonal. We solely provide tasting menus from 5 to 9 programs, and we modify two to 3 dishes a week. Our philosophy is to rejoice native and British produce, and dishes are created to showcase two important substances.
Who involves eat at etch.?
Our visitors are actual foodies; they benefit from the eating expertise. I wouldn’t say we now have a particular age demographic or visitor profile – it’s simply individuals who care about good meals and wish to come and rejoice that with us. We have round 200 visitors eating per week. Of that, round ten to twenty per cent are common or returning visitors.
And what function does email play in encouraging these returning visitors to maintain coming again?
Our subscriber listing is primarily individuals who have dined or booked with us. We have a month-to-month e-newsletter to allow them to learn about new menus and reserving availability. We wish to excite them with new dishes and, finally, encourage them to make a reserving or purchase a voucher. We additionally use email to advertise occasions, like visitor chef evenings which we host a few occasions all year long.
In the broader advertising and marketing combine, what function does email play? How does it match alongside different channels like social media?
I’d say email and social media are equally essential – each are nice methods to let visitors know what we’re as much as. Email feels extra private as many visitors received’t be checking socials on a each day foundation, however can atone for emails in their very own time.
What sorts of content material do you discover work greatest?
For us, it’s occasions or menus. We need the meals to be central, so utilizing photos is de facto essential. Showcasing that high quality is an important a part of our model. We additionally be sure to make use of clear calls to motion with buttons in order that visitors can simply navigate to e book or purchase a voucher.
COVID was clearly an extremely tough time for the hospitality trade. How was etch. impacted?
It was fairly unhealthy. We needed to shut for a interval and, after we have been capable of reopen, we needed to have a restricted capability. We don’t have any exterior area, so we suffered on that entrance, too. The optimistic is that we stayed busy whereas we have been open and had nice assist from our visitors. We saved emailing individuals to maintain them engaged, and in addition to maintain them knowledgeable about our COVID coverage.
How did you get began utilizing EmailOctopus, and what’s the expertise been like to date?
We used Mailchimp earlier than however a colleague recommended EmailOctopus to us. I discover the platforms related however EmailOctopus is straightforward to navigate and, for what we’d like, it’s higher worth for cash. As our listing grew, email prices have been changing into dearer so it made sense to change over. I like that emails look skilled, and it’s simple so as to add hyperlinks and photos
What’s developing on the horizon for etch.?
We have lately expanded into the property subsequent door in order that’s preserving us busy for now. Our long run aim is easy: we simply wish to hold getting higher and making our visitors proud.