Caprice Holdings’ on data, marketing and social media

Table at the Ivy Caprice Holdings restaurant

At Caprice Holdings, Frances Dore, group sales and marketing director, is in charge of communications for the company’s brands, including J Sheekey, The Ivy and Sexy Fish.

Here she tells OpenTable about how she manages the marketing across these three restaurants, the role of social media and why she would never use the words “data” and “customer” in the same sentence.

How do you manage the communications for all three brands and ensure each one has a clear, separate voice?

Each of the restaurants in the Caprice group has its own fascinating story and distinctive identity – history and heritage playing a major role. We are very careful to treat them all as individuals, each having their own communications strategy and voice. In the case of Sexy Fish, J Sheekey and The Ivy – the audiences are markedly different and, by that token, so is the messaging.

How do you collect and manage data and information on your customers to ensure your marketing and communications remains as targeted as possible for your customer base?

Marketing across our restaurants is done on an individual basis. We don’t do weekly newsletters. We only communicate when relevant. Everything is bespoke and pertinent. We do, however, have a monthly Caprice Journal which anyone can sign up to if they would like to know what’s going on across the group, and we work in close conjunction with our comms team, which has regular send outs to their national and international press contacts.

What importance do you place on social media for the three brands and which platforms do you believe work best for restaurants?

We live in a world of image lovers. Everyone is obsessed with them. We have Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for each of the three restaurants, although Instagram seems to be the one that people are more engaged with.

Social media has yet to prove incontestably that it actually brings in covers, but, there is no doubt that it is a perfect vehicle for establishing and building on brand identity. Sexy Fish itself is like one giant Instagram feed – the photography opportunities there are endless.

What data and information do collect on your guests that is important to be able improve your relationship with them?

We would never use the word data and customer in the same sentence. We are very fortunate to have fabulous operational teams including Maitre d’s, managers and head waiters in our restaurants who know our customers very well and remember their preferences. We also store information on our online booking system such as people’s table preferences, birthdays and allergies.

What digital marketing tips do you have for growing a hospitality brand, and for keeping current and new customers engaged in the brand?

Make it appropriate to your brand and always keep reviewing it. Look at what other brands are doing – outside of hospitality too as there are always areas to learn from. Never feel pressured to do posts on any platform – if it does not look or feel right then do not do it.