The Original Hooter’s

The problem: Ed Droste, Founder of Original Hooters needed a team experienced in online reputation management to support his internal marketing team and address 1,200+ online reviews spanning several sites.  And knowing that consumer reviews would be an ongoing thing, he needed to have an online reputation management program developed to monitor and respond to reviews on an ongoing basis.

The solution: Exakt Marketing was engaged to put together the ORM team and address the existing 1,200+ consumer reviews posted about the 23 locations (Florida, Illinois & New York) in the Original Hooters chain, and subsequently developed an online reputation management program to monitor and respond to reviews going forward.

Why this is a big deal: Back in 1983, when Hooters was founded, a food critic could pretty much be defined as a person who analyzed the taste and quality of a restaurant’s food as well as the dining experience, and then published their findings.  And publishing options at that time were somewhat limited to newspapers, magazines and short segments on television.

Fast forward to 2012 when we were engaged to provide a solution, and a food critic can be defined as anyone carrying a smartphone.  And at last check, that should be right around 206,050,000 (two-thirds of the nation).  The United States is one smartphone carrying nation.

A simple search in the iPhone store “local food” produces 438 app results.  There is not one restaurant open for business today that can afford to not have an online reputation management strategy implemented.  Not doing so is simply bad for business no matter how iconic the brand.

How we solved the problem:

  • We conducted an audit of their current online reputation on the leading local search and review sites.
  • We claimed/optimized their profiles on sites like Google+ Local, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon
  • We developed and implemented an ongoing reputation management program to solicit, monitor and respond to both positive and negative reviews.

Having successfully implemented the ongoing reputation management program, Exakt Marketing was also engaged to port the originalhooters.com website to a new content management system while enhancing functionality surrounding the locations portion of the website.  As part of this process, a new mobile website was also designed and developed for the chain.  In addition to maintaining the online reputation management program, the Exakt Marketing team currently maintains and manages Original Hooter’s integrated messaging program that includes both email and SMS text message campaigns.

Our team also provides contest and sweepstakes administration as needed.

If you’ve reached this case study and are a restaurant operator facing a similar challenge, the technical names of the services that were used to solve the problem are:

  • Local Search Presence Optimization
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Website Development
  • Mobile Website Development
  • Integrated Messaging Management (Email Marketing and SMS Messaging)
  • Sweepstakes Administration
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