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Sir Benedicts - Consumer Behavior

Group project to observe 40 hours of consumer behavior in the client's establishment, compile data, and present recommendations to increase consumer satisfaction, liking, and loyalty.

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Sir Benedicts - Consumer Behavior

  1. 1. Sir Benedicts Tavern on the Lake Prepared for: Antonino and Aura Coppola Prepared by: Axel Rosar, Trevor Nordberg, Luke Swanson, and Jenna Takavitz
  2. 2. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 2 | P a g e Table of Contents Company Background Store History 3 Layout and Design 4-5 Store Location 6 Products Sold 7 Store Positioning 8 Competition 9 Target Market 10 Buying Behavior and Decision Making 11 Atmosphere and Kinesthetic 12 Customer Service 13 Observations Time in Sir Benedict’s 13 Studying Sir Benedict’s 14 What We Observed 15 Basic Observations 16-17 Recommendations Recommendation #1 - Birthday Beer 18 Recommendation #2 - Keep That Corn Popping 19 Recommendation #3 - House Keeping 20 Recommendation #4 - B-Five 21-22 Recommendation #5 - Clean the Clutter 22-23 Recommendation #6 - I Missed It 23-24 Appendix 25-30 Citations 31
  3. 3. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 3 | P a g e Company Background Store History It’s rumored Sir Benedicts was originally built to be an old service station but was eventually transformed into a specialty gourmet sandwich shop by day and an English tavern by night. When Jack and Barbara Arnold first opened Sir Benedicts in 1979, they wanted to create a combination of atmospherics to experience such as having a relaxing lunch or dinner while enjoying the low-key atmosphere and enjoy the live music entertainment. Sir Benedicts prides itself on its consumer centric approach and offering soups, salads, and sandwiches crafted with the freshest ingredients on the market. In 2009, Antonio and Aura Coppola purchased the 2617 square foot building and still put customers first by providing unprecedented customer experiences and an atmosphere that one will never forget. Thirty-five years later, Sir Benedicts takes great pride in the community providing great customer service to their guests. Sir Benedict’s harbors it’s relationships as well as builds new relationships among all persons to Sir Bens, including college-aged persons and senior aged ones as well.
  4. 4. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 4 | P a g e Layout and Design The 2,617 square foot pub has enough seating for 110. The circle tables are beneficial for socializing because each person is equidistant from the others at the table, so it makes conversation comfortable and relaxed. Bar seating allows new and returning consumers with others on an individual basis to build relationships and develop networking opportunities. Bar seating also allows consumers to view and trial all of the craft and micro-brews Sir Benedicts has to offer. Dining room seating allows new and returning families or groups of consumers to enjoy the fresh soups, sandwiches, and more while avoiding the fast-paced action of the bar. The entryway seating allows consumers the opportunity to eat, drink, and interact more intimately outside the larger bar and dining room seating areas. Finally, the patio seating allows those who admire nature’s beauty to breathe the fresh spring air, witness titanic sized ships magically drift through the harbor, and to view the pure- panoramic beauty of Lake Superior. Sir Ben’s has two implications with their layout and design. When you first enter the facility, the heavy wooden door opens to the right. Behind that door, against the wall, is a rack of brochures for tourists to look out in Duluth or along the North Shore. These brochures are completely out of the peripheral view of the consumer and are presented behind them upon entering the restaurant. Unless you are a regular attender, you would be unaware of these opportunities the store has to offer. (See Appendix A) Another store layout and design issue of Sir Ben’s is they have placed a round table right in front of the chalkboard menu and sandwich line which can disrupt the flow of the consumers approaching to order their meals. The customers may feel even awkward to spend time looking at the menu if the table is occupied due to the little space that is provided for each party.
  5. 5. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 5 | P a g e
  6. 6. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 6 | P a g e Store Location Sir Benedicts Tavern on the Lake is located in downtown Duluth, Minnesota at 805 East Superior Street which happens to be across from the popular Portland Malt Shoppe. The location of Sir Bens has busy drive by traffic all day. It has a fantastic location in the fact that it is on one of the most popular streets in Duluth with a location where it’s almost impossible to miss. Also, an access to the lake walk boardwalk is less than 50 yards away for anyone who wants to take a nice stroll down by Lake Superior on a warm summer day. One of the biggest perks to the location of Sir Benedicts is the annual Grandma’s Marathon which hosts over 5000 men and women that run right by Sir Bens on their 26.2 mile trail, not including the spectators. It has incredible potential for drive by spectators to be merely exposed to the local gourmet sandwich shop, but it is underutilized because the signage is less than adequate.
  7. 7. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 7 | P a g e Products Sold Sir Benedict’s has a plethora of goods and services available for consumers to purchase and experience. Many of its hors d'oeuvres include a combination of chip, dip, and nacho items. Sir Benedict’s entrees include famous homemade gourmet sandwiches such as the Cuban pulled pork melt that has tender and juicy pork smothered in pepper jack cheese topped with fresh avocado and a little creamy sriracha sauce added for some extra kick. Being Sir Ben's is now owned by an Italian family, the Coppola’s pride themselves on the delicious and authentic homemade lasagna and refuses to give light to the recipe. One of the most popular items for loyal customers is the soups. The famous English onion soup or the white chicken chili cause salivation just at the mention of it and will create even the warmest sensation on the coldest of Duluth days. Last, but certainly not least, Sir Benedicts offers over 45 different types of beer from domestic, to imports, to locally crafted brews such as Bent Paddle and Lake Superior Brewing Company. However, many of the menu items are not updated creating confusion and uncertainty for new and existing consumers. Also, the menus themselves are extremely congested which can create perplexity and can be an eyesore for new customers trying to decide what to order.
  8. 8. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 8 | P a g e Store Positioning Sir Benedict’s views itself as having an authentic English Tavern atmosphere with great lake views. The above average prices reflect the high quality of products that go into the food and beverages they sell. Sir Benedict’s believes in the products and services it provides to the local community, as well as anyone touring through the Twin Ports area. The perception that Sir Ben's has for itself is that they have differentiated themselves so much between the gourmet sandwiches and the wide array of locally crafted and higher scale brews on tap and in house, they feel as though they do not have any direct competitors in the Twin Ports Region. For the locals and existing customers, Sir Benedict’s is seen a casual place where one may be able to relax after a long day of work, or looking for a quick bite to eat during lunch. Many of the locals mentioned the consistency in which Sir Benedicts provides its professional services and friendly environment. It is a place where locals take acquaintances, friends, family, and significant others, especially if those individuals haven’t heard of it or ever been there before. They want to share the great experiences they’ve always had, and expect to have in the future. However, for anyone just driving by, or walking in for the first time, you might expect it to be either a house, or a disorganize dive bar. Our secondary research shows first time patrons are unsure exactly what the procedure is to order. Roughly 20 reviews explain Sir Benedict’s is a dive bar with terrible service. Others mentioned they have sticky tables, waited for 15-20 minutes before being attended to, and said the food ordered was less than adequate. Other first time patrons mentioned the “local drunkards” and hipster college kids that infest the establishment. There is a gap in Sir Benedict’s perception of their own operations versus the desired and actual perception of customers experiencing the diverse procedures of Sir Benedicts for the first time.
  9. 9. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 9 | P a g e Competition Sir Benedict’s prides itself on being unique, but in its prime location there are many competitors’ downtown Duluth, and Superior area. While Sir Benedict’s does have many different competitors it still offers a distinct mix of offerings that no other store can offer. Sir Benedict's is the only gourmet sandwich shop that also offers a bar like atmosphere. There are many full service restaurants nearby that offer a full menu and a wide selection of drinks such as The Fitgers Brewhouse, Canal Park Brewing Company, Tycoons, Pickwick, Grandmas, and Pizza Luce. Other bars like Carmody’s, Dubh Linn’s, 7 West Taphouse, and the Thirsty Pagan, that focus more on the Brewing beer and they also sell food as a subsidiary. Most of their competitors are within five minute driving distance of Sir Benedicts. Sir Ben’s also has a great view of Lake Superior, unlike many of their competitors. Mexico Lindo, in the Fitgers Complex, and Canal Park Brewing Company are the only two that provide a bar-like atmosphere combined with a great view of the great lake. We have considered Sir Benedict’s to be in competition with these companies because they are an alternative choice to the consumer that provide the same benefits you can derive from Sir Ben’s. Their prices are relatively the same and they offer the same type of atmosphere. Sir Benedict’s separates themselves because they focus on specialty sandwiches and soups when their competitors are selling a more traditional assortment of food; burgers & fries, pizza, pasta, appetizers. Most of the sandwiches sold at Sir Benedict’s are original recipes that only Sir Benedict’s can replicate. Jimmy John’s, Subway, Erbert’s and Gerbert’s are seen as indirect competitor because they are classified as fast food restaurants and they do not sell alcohol
  10. 10. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 10 | P a g e Target Market Sir Ben's target market caters to many different types of individuals, but when we interviewed David, he specified he wanted to target college students. With their daily specials, David wanted to incorporate a college night once a month, the last Friday of the month. When our group performed observations at Sir Ben's, we found the actual target market was at the business. We noticed seven out of 10 people were beer connoisseurs and the other three ordered a cocktail or a non-alcoholic beverage. Out of those 10 people who ordered their beverage about eight of those people also ordered food with their drinks. The ratio of males to females was about 50:50, anywhere above 21 years old and older were considered in their target market. Each came in either large groups or by themselves to enjoy the experience Sir Ben's has to offer. We did not see any ethnic diversity in the establishment in our observations. There was only one person that were sought to have an ethnic background, otherwise the customers were Caucasian. We observed 9 out of 10 people were either employed, retired, or college graduates. By these observations, we decided that Sir Ben’s target market is experiencers whose median age is 24 that are 13% of the US population. These individuals are assertive, energetic, impulsive, physical, and irrelevant where 14% have a college degree, 67% are employed. Their attitudes and behaviors is that they buy brands that reflect their style, eating their meals on the run, sociable, attend concerts, and enjoy dancing at bars and nightclubs. These consumers also buys product that increase sociability and entertainment, interested in doing what is the right thing for themselves, and seek fast action, mobility, and customization. Another target market Sir Ben’s caters to is the believers. This segment of consumers are described to be careful, neighborly, passive, and literal with a median age of 52. Of these consumers, 56% are employed and 64% are married. Buying American products is important to them, they have a cell phone for safety measure, and they enjoy cross-stitching and other arts and crafts activities. They believe in traditional values and gender roles, look for simple answers to complex questions, have a narrow worldview, and prefer the comfortable and familiar. In the winter months, Sir Ben’s caters primarily to their loyal and returning customers (80/20 rule). Since Duluth is known for its tourism, Sir Ben’s is the place to go during the summer months. During these months, it is estimated that 60% of Sir Ben’s customers are visiting the Duluth area from the Twin Cities area or Wisconsin.
  11. 11. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 11 | P a g e Buying Behavior and Decision Making Decision making is a mental process whereby a customer recognizes a perceived need, seeks information to fill that need, evaluates alternatives based on certain criterion, and eventually makes a purchase. Essentially, individuals evaluate the options available to them and choose the alternative that best suits their identified needs. In Sir Benedict’s case, a potential customer who identifies a need as described by Maslow’s Hierarchy, will need to search for information to fulfill their new found need. One form of information customers are exposed to is Sir Benedict’s signage outside the retail location. Unfortunately, the sign is rather dilapidated and is challenging to read when driving by at 30 MPH. Being as this form of information is accidental, potential customers who are actively seeking a physiological need such as hunger or thirst may sample Sir Benedict’s only based on the social proof theory; people base their own decisions subject to what others are doing. This means, if other people are sitting outside enjoying soups, sandwiches and beer, it must be good, but there is no guarantee the sign has enough information in order for customers to quickly comprehend the product and services offered. Another form of information exposure is Sir Benedict’s promotional posters targeting students for their college night on the last Friday of each month, but other than that traditional promotional activities are limited. A third and probably most effective form of information search for Sir Benedict’s is its referrals and word-of-mouth. When asked “how did you first discover Sir Benedicts?” 60% of those we observed mentioned they first heard about the English Tavern through referrals or word-of-mouth. Potential customers naturally search for new information via this channel first. They may ask their family, friends, and mutual acquaintances about their experience associated with the restaurant in consideration. This then can be paired with the next forms of information search which is previous experience and online review search. Asking your family, friends, and mutual acquaintances about their previous experience, or using social media to learn of others who may have had a positive or negative familiarity with the restaurant in question gives you a perception which will eventually lead to two thoughts: 1) To eat at Sir Benedicts, or 2) To avoid it at all costs. In order to actively learn about products and services that offer value, consumers must devote cognitive capacity for the task. When a customer visits Sir Benedict’s and views the sandwich and beers they have to offer, there is little involvement that takes place in the purchasing process. The involvement a customer has with the business comes when they either can’t interpret the menu or need guidance/advice of the product offered. If the customers wish to know more about the daily menu items they can ask the employees about the soup of the day, or special ingredients for the day. The most involvement the customer has with the business is when they are deciding what beer or drink to buy. The bartender might be required to describe the beers taste, or even recommend a beer based on their interaction.
  12. 12. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 12 | P a g e Atmosphere and Kinesthetic The Music is great. One consistent thing I noticed was the great selection of music playing over the speaker system whether it would be air played or live music. It was not too loud where some restaurants/bars you have to talk over the music. The music had much variety anything from Italian music to Bluegrass/Folk to modern rock. The music can be heard from all parts of the bar at an equal volume. Every time we did our observations we were pleasantly surprised with the selection of music, they played a variety of genres and it always complimented the current vibe of the tavern. The atmosphere was unique in its respect that the establishment is garnished with bottled beers all around the ledges of the restaurant priding on their culture of craft and specialty beers. Sir Ben’s has numerous small poster advertisements all around the establishment. They have other inspired advertisements that really caught our eyes inside the restaurant for the beer company Schlitz. It is a massive hand hanging by a chain with a finger pointing toward the bar saying, “Lager this way”. Sir Ben’s has an extremely oversized mug on the top of their cooler advertising Sam Adams. Another unique statue that is featured in their store is a large medieval tin knight in armor. To go along with their sports entertainment played on their TV, next to this is a Vikings helmet in a glass case. This English Tavern appeals itself inside with its antique design and makes the environment feel “genuine” and supports the historical aspects of Duluth. Sir Bens gives its customers a sense of choice when being welcomed into their establishment with a system of many different path to take to enjoy their customer experience. From their U-shaped bar and circle tables welcoming conversation to square or rectangular tables to cater to large groups. Depending on the pace of the environment, you have an option to order from the bar, from the register, or seat yourself and in hopes to be approached from a friendly staff member. Overall, Sir Ben’s atmosphere is sought to be welcoming and an experience everyone has to enjoy in the Duluth area.
  13. 13. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 13 | P a g e Customer Service The consumer centric approach alongside with the phenomenal food and drinks is one of the reasons customers keep coming back for more. The employees at Sir Benedict’s are very personable, courteous, and charismatic. Their knowledge of specialty brews is a useful resource for anyone seeking to explore the craft beer realm. If a customer asks for a specific beer that Sir Benedict’s does not carry, the employees are able to describe an alternative similar to the original product description. While we made our observations, we noticed the employees interacting with the customers, whether it is a first timer or a loyal patron, discussing the local trends and human interest topics. The employees were always interested in getting to know who you are, either by first name or by remembering what you order repeatedly without having to ask. My only recommendation is to have a set system, whether it would be full service or ordering through the register. This may help to reduce confusion on orders, making sure each customer is taken care of efficiently. I have noticed they use a POS system in the bar, but they do not use one at their register. The POS system creates a printed ticket sent to the kitchen, and ordering at the register, at the end of the sandwich line, the employees would write the order on paper and bring it back personally to the kitchen. Unfortunately, when we initially met with David, one of the group members ordered a sandwich and it took 20 to 30 minutes to receive. This was not the only time. Another situation that occurred was another group member ordered a taco salad. As they watched other receive their food, even if they ordered after, the food was still yet to be delivered to the table. After about 45 minutes, we approached the bar to ask about the food. Immediately, the bartender went in the back to the kitchen and the order was up in five minutes or less. Observations Time in Sir Benedict’s Dates and times of the total 40 hours (10 hours each) that we spent observing can be viewed in appendix B attached. We all agreed that 10 hours per member was more than enough time to fully observe and understand the nature of Sir Ben’s and a variety of its customers, yet we simply decided to just go along with the recommended 10 hours anyway. What this did for us is reinforce our thoughts that we were beginning to formulate, and allowed us to better analyze and interpret the rest of our group members observations during our meetings. The time that we spent in the store was spread out to a variety of seating locations so that we could obtain a diverse perspective of the store and get a different view each time of how customers act. In total, we tracked roughly 400+ observations, and we felt as though this was an adequate amount due to the overlap in repeated observations that we all had.
  14. 14. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 14 | P a g e Studying Sir Benedicts The observations we chose to record while completing this project included but are not limited to: the demographics of the customers that frequent Sir Ben's, including gender, age, ethnicity, and social class/employment status, where customers were entering the establishment from, the paths they were taking when walking around, the amount of time spent in varying locations before, during, and after placing an order or making a purchase, the specific food and beverages being ordered by individuals, where people chose to sit, the length of time it took for them to receive their order(s), the overall length of time they spent in Sir Ben's, and customers’ overall demeanor while in the restaurant. We chose to observe these factors because they were fairly easy to identify through observation alone and gave us quick and important information about the customer base, they showed us what the behaviors are of current Sir Ben's customers, and it gives us some insight as to what the typical Sir Ben's customer looks like and who they are. We chose observations that would paint us a bigger picture of what these people are like, what attributes they seek out when entering Sir Ben's, the consequences they seek in those attributes, and the overall value that they want out of a dining out experience. Records of both observations and interviews conducted within Sir Ben's were kept individually initially until we were able to compile all of our observations, organize it better for the rest of the group, and then share it with one another during our meeting times. On the other hand, our time sheet for observations was assigned to one group member before the observations began, and that individual was responsible for asking for dates and times of observations and the other group members were responsible for sharing that data before our next class meeting time via email or verbally face to face. This was done this way because while compiling all of our initial observations into one document, or holding one person responsible for keeping or even organizing this information was too much of a hassle, it was feasible for one person to keep a time log of recorded observations for the group’s individual members. Data was analyzed and interpreted collectively as a group, with all members present each time it was discussed. After we finished conducting individual observations, we spent a number of days after each class period analyzing and interpreting all of our information at the same time as a group, so that we not only got a better view of each other’s observations, but also came up with an agreed upon interpretation of what the data inferred. Observations were divided among group members based on the personal availability of group members instead of setting a schedule of set days or times; however, we did attempt to stagger our own days and times and communicate to the rest of the group our plans for observations so that we could get a diverse set of days and times that we observed. We chose to observe this way due to factors such as other classes, work schedules, family matters, and more that didn’t allow all of us to stick to a predetermined schedule.
  15. 15. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 15 | P a g e What We Observed During the time we spent in Sir Ben’s, we mostly observed factors that we had initially set out to view and understand. This included the genders, ages, ethnicities, employment or school status, and paths that customers took when walking around in Sir Ben’s, the amount of time they spent in certain locations, the length of time being spent in Sir Ben’s, the full layout of the store, and the signage including the menu and beverage boards as well as wall decorations. One thing that we observed is that less than 1% of Sir Ben’s customers aren’t Caucasian. Another is that their busier hours of the day are consistently between 12:00 - 4:00pm and 7:00 -11:00pm; however, the days of the week have an effect on what type of customer comes through for the lunch rush. On weekdays, over 75% of lunch rush customers are business professionals and other working individuals who come in wearing attire that ranges from semi-formal business wear to business casual. They come in for lunch and almost all of them order food and refrain from ordering alcoholic beverages of any kind, as they must return to work. For weekday dinner rushes and weekends, there isn’t a phenomenon as clear cut as this. There is a much wider range of people that come in without one particularly noticeable group or type of people as the majority. Another thing we observed was that 80% of customers come in through the front door, over 98% come directly into the bar area as their first destination, and over half of all Sir Ben’s customers stand somewhere in the middle of the bar area viewing the menu chalkboard for at least 30 seconds and sometimes as much as four to five minutes, often times standing right beside customers who are already eating and conversing, creating many awkward moments for those customers.
  16. 16. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 16 | P a g e Basic Observations After reviewing the observations we made at Sir Benedicts Tavern on the Lake we have made a few key insights regarding the consumers, employees, layout, & customer service. David, the manager, specified that he would like to target “more college students” because it is a large market within the area. Our observations proved that Sir Benedict’s is not capturing as much of the college market as they would like to. Currently the main consumer range seemed to be from about 21 to 65. We believe this is because Sir Ben’s does not cater their advertising towards one group of people. The decor and the environment is universally friendly to a lot of different audiences. Through interviewing a few of the people who visit regularly, they seemed to like the fact that Sir Ben’s wasn’t for a certain “type” of person. It made them feel welcomed, unjudged, and accepted. They said it had more of a sense of belonging compared to other bars and similar establishments. Depending on the time of day, the average time spent at Sir Ben’s varied. During the Lunch hour, from 12:30am - 1:30pm, people spend about half an hour to an hour eating. During lunch, patrons would sit with a colleague or friend 75% of the time. During evening hours, customers would spend between one and three hours each in Sir Ben’s. At this time people would be with somebody else 90% of the time. Out of eight parties that came in around 7:30pm on a Tuesday, not one was a single person. There were only two people who looked to be alone and they were sitting at the bar. Judging by our experience patrons usually did not have to wait, at all, to order food, but it did take some people a one or three minutes to decide what they would like to order. For the people who were looking at the sandwich menu, it looked like they had a hard time reading the menu. This menu is also placed directly in front of a table, where people would be sitting, putting extra pressure on them to decide what they wanted. We observed a couple, who had recently entered the tavern, briefly look at the menu and say, “all they serve is sandwiches?” and then they turned around and walked out, not knowing there were two other menus located behind the sandwich bar. When waiting for our food to be delivered, it took approximately 10-20 minutes to get a meal delivered to our table, and like everybody that we observed we were able to sit at a table and converse with one another while waiting. If we ordered a beer the bartender would have it in our hands within a minute or two, this is normal for any bar. If you ordered a mixed drink, like a bloody mary, it took around five to ten minutes for the drink to arrive at our table. Through our observations, we came up with a conversion rate of over 99% for Sir Ben’s. This is because almost everybody who comes through the doors has done so purposefully to get a specific food or drink item that Sir Ben’s has to offer. The reason that they don’t have a 100% conversion rate is because every now and again, which we only witnessed three times over the course of our observations, people who haven’t been there before will come in to see what the restaurant is all about and what they have to offer, and decide to leave after they notice that they don’t offer what they came in for. In one specific case, the customer left because Sir Ben’s doesn’t serve hamburgers.
  17. 17. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 17 | P a g e Also through our observations, we have estimated that Sir Ben’s has an interception rate of 100%, because at one point or another each customer inevitably had contact with an employee, regardless of the duration or engagement. Through the simple task of ordering your own food or beverage, over 95% of customers speak with an employee within the first few minutes of entering the establishment. Even if someone else orders your food or beverage for you, servers bring out your food, often bus your table while you’re still there so you can continue speaking with one another, often bring the tray of beverages out, most often card individuals to ensure they are of legal drinking age, and if they haven’t done any of those, the friendly bar staff is constantly greeting customers, asking them about their day, and inquiring as to their level of enjoyment towards the food and drink they ordered. Not a single one of us witnessed an individual go their entire time in Sir Ben’s without coming in contact without at least one employee, as most customers came in contact with at least two.
  18. 18. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 18 | P a g e Recommendations Recommendation #1 - Birthday Beer Current Situation: Sir Benedicts currently does participate in a birthday perk of giving a free Golden Light or a rail drink, but it is not advertised. Having a “birthday freebie” that is advertised could be the deciding factor when a potential customer is weighing their alternatives. Recommendation: Once per year, that special day comes along that’s all about you, your birthday. Birthdays are fantastic and let’s be honest, one of the greatest perks of it being your birthday is all that free stuff you get! Tons of restaurants, stores, and services offer birthday perks that range from discounts off purchases to free ice cream or the embarrassment of riding a saddle and a horribly sung song. Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Caribou, and other big name chains all participate in birthday giveaways. While Sir Benedict’s does in fact give a birthday perk, it is not advertised, and we believe it should be. Justification: As humans, social pressures surrounding us says there is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay. We have been raised to return repayments of favors, gifts, and things of the sort. This urge for giving and repayment is based on the rule of reciprocation. The rule states we should try to repay what another person has provided for us. We have been taught to live up to this rule, and each of us knows the social sanctions for anyone who does not follow it. There is a general distaste for those who take and make no effort to give in return. We will often go through great lengths to avoid being considered a moocher, or a freeloader. This whole idea can be related to Valentine’s Day. You and your significant other both agree not to buy each other anything, but when you return home, you find they bought you a $100 item. Now you feel like you need to return the favor. If Sir Benedict’s promoted their birthday freebie, this would bring in more customers celebrating their special day. The benefits to would simply be: 1) More birthday customers! If the community is aware Sir Ben’s gives customers a free beer or free rail drink for their birthday, this perk would be an evaluative alternative when potential customers are deciding which restaurant or bar to dine at. When a customer is at Sir Ben’s drinking, especially on their birthday, they are more likely to order more than one beer, and are likely to be with a group of friends, also drinking beers. 2) From this aspect, the birthday freebie would be considered a loss-leader which is a pricing strategy where a product is sold below its marketing cost to stimulate sales of additional goods and services, that being, more beer, better beer, and food. 3) If a customer just received a birthday beer, they just saved $4 and are likely to spend it on something else at the bar, maybe a craft beer with higher margins.
  19. 19. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 19 | P a g e Recommendation #2 - Keep That Corn Popping Current Situation: Sir Benedict’s currently has average waiting time of 10-20 minutes. During busy hours, it can take even longer for your food to arrive. After the customer’s order food, they go and find a table to sit at. Unless the customer ordered a drink with their meal, they sit at their table with nothing in front of them. Currently, Sir Benedict’s has a popcorn machine in the northern corner behind the bar between the cash register and the sandwich bar. They also serve appetizers but there is no difference in wait time if you were to order a sandwich and appetizer at the same time. (See Appendix C) Recommendation: When sitting at a table waiting for your food, having something to sip on or munch on can make this time a lot more enjoyable. With this being said, we recommend that Sir Benedict’s implements the diversion tactic by relocating the popcorn machine next to the piano. People can eat popcorn while they are waiting for their food instead of thinking about how hungry they are. Last time we spoke with David Kalligher, the GM, he informed us they would be getting rid of their ATM machine. When they get rid of the ATM then we recommend they put the popcorn machine in the same place or on the other side of the piano. Justification: According to Paco Underhill’s book “Why We Buy” if the wait time is too long, the customers “feel as if the service was poor and inept.” (Underhill 201) Any wait time over 90 seconds will start to be perceived as longer than it actually was. Customers who have been waiting for two minutes say they have been waiting for three or four minutes. With waiting times of up to twenty minutes this can seem like an eternity especially if the Customer did not order a drink to sip on. When a customer orders food they are obviously hungry which can increase their anxiety levels when they are unsure of when their food will be delivered. This is the reason why restaurants always take your drink order before you get a chance to look at the menu. Timber Lodge Steakhouse brings you a loaf of bread, Texas Roadhouse provides peanuts to keep you occupied while you are waiting, Buffalo Wild Wings lets you play trivia to pass the time. All these tactics are designed to reduce the perceived waiting time. By placing the popcorn machine where the ATM is now, it will be in a central location that can be seen from most of the seats in Sir Benedicts. By bringing it out from behind the counter it shows patrons that it is free and self-serving. Another added benefit to placing it in the center of room is the social proof principle. When people see others getting popcorn it becomes “socially acceptable” for a customer to walk up and get popcorn themselves. We believe that this simple change can greatly affect the perceived waiting time at Sir Benedicts Tavern on the Lake.
  20. 20. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 20 | P a g e Recommendation #3 - House Keeping Current Situation: Currently, Sir Ben’s bathrooms have not been changed since it previously was a gas station bathroom except maybe some painting. The tiles on the wall, the toilet, the sink, and the paper towel dispenser have not changed since the ownership. The bathrooms have a generic odorless smell and are very small accommodating a single person. In the men’s bathroom, there is an extensive amount of advertising, and not the type of advertising you could benefit from, but the type that can make your establishment look unprofessional, graffiti. People have tagged the door, the wall, and even the paper towel dispenser. There are a couple of printed events in each bathroom and a painted quote bordering one wall. (See Appendix D) Recommendation: We recommend that Sir Bens rid of the graffiti, place advertisements promoting the business and it’s events above the toilet, next to the sink, and on the door. Making sure the bathrooms are clean, orderly, and stocked with toiletries keeping the consumer’s business their own, and not yours. Also, instead of using a generic soap, replace with a scented antibacterial soap. Adding a fragrance to the bathrooms themselves with an air freshener would be another idea to consider. Lastly, at the very least, in the women’s bathroom, Sir Bens should install a changing table for those families who visit Sir Bens. Justification: By ridding the graffiti and replacing advertisements in the areas recommended helps fill those empty moments when doing your business, and benefitting the business by generating the most interest of a product or event from your consumers in their psychological downtime. By making sure the bathrooms are pleasant and well taken care of causes the customer to feel less embarrassed to approach an employee to request a toiletry item that may be needed publicly. According to Underhill, if you were to talk to a woman, you would quickly learn how pleasant bathrooms make prolonged visits possible, while nasty toilets encourage the quick in- and-out. (Underhill, pp 72). For this reason, adding fragrances to the bathrooms is a suggestion in our recommendation, this recaptures the care of the facility and a feeling of a “fresher” self after your visit to the bathroom. Lastly, Sir Ben’s caters to families and at least 10% have children two years or younger. Though it is a small percent of their consumers, installing a changing table in at least one of the bathrooms, usually found in women’s bathrooms, is a good idea. It would accommodate to those visiting the establishment, in return, inviting them to stay longer since their child no longer has a dirty diaper. This may apply to the tourists who visit Duluth and have been touring all day long. They may want to end their evening with a nice craft or specialty beer, but their children always comes first priority. If there is not a changing table, there is no purchase and move on to their next decision alternative.
  21. 21. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 21 | P a g e Recommendation #4 - B – Five Current Situation: Sir Ben’s currently has events that mostly revolve around musical situations such as karaoke on Sunday nights starting at 10pm, open microphone on Tuesdays at 9pm, Bluegrass open jams on Wednesdays at 7pm, Celtic music jams on Thursdays at 7pm, and scheduled bands filling in during other days, mostly Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9pm. Besides that, they have a knitting group of ladies oddly named “stitch n’ bitch” that meets most Wednesday nights after the Bluegrass music has ended , and they also have game night on Wednesdays that consists of board and card games that goes from 10pm - midnight. Recommendation: Our recommendation is to add a weekly bingo night into Sir Ben’s repertoire of social events to help bring in additional customers and make the night more fun and memorable for the regular or current customers that would come in otherwise. We recommend they schedule this event on a Monday night, as they don’t have regularly scheduled events during that particular day. All while abiding by Minnesota state gambling laws and regulations such as obtaining the necessary permit and official bingo cards, they would charge $2 per bingo card, give a percentage of each round as a cash prize such as 75% of profits up to $99, and keep the rest as additional profit to their organization. Justification: By providing a fun and social event within Sir Ben’s, people will come to play and convince their friends and families to do so as well. Through the principle of social proof, people will view a behavior such as playing bingos as the correct behavior in this situation to the degree that they see others performing it (Cialdini, 99). By getting the initial day implemented and by first establishing a small group of individuals who want to become the bingo regulars, those in the restaurant that aren’t playing bingo will view their behaviors as the incorrect ones for the situation, will feel social turmoil over not behaving in the expected manner, and will join the fun only to realize what they had been missing out on which is a fun and relaxing time, and potentially a large cash prize in addition. The more people start to join in on the fun, the greater the social pressure for people to play, which leads to even more playing, making playing bingo at Sir Ben’s “the right thing to do”. Our recommendation for Monday nights was is due to the fact that Sir Ben’s does not have regularly scheduled events on Mondays. Also, Mondays in bars and restaurants are typically slower days so we could bring more business around an otherwise slower evening. Lastly, we would have it on Monday nights because customers would relish at the opportunity to get out of the house and have fun playing bingo at Sir Ben’s on an evening after having a difficult and stressful day at work or school and having a case of the Mondays. Our final reason behind implementing a bingo night at Sir Ben’s would be the additional income that it would bring them on more than one level. First, Sir Ben’s could keep a small
  22. 22. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 22 | P a g e percentage of the funds collected from customers who are playing, such as keep 25% and pay out 75% as a prize. Next, as it would bring in more people on an otherwise slow night, Sir Ben’s would have far more customers to potentially sell food and drinks to while they are playing bingo and conversing with one another, and make a greater weekly profit through this Monday night activity. Finally, as those additional people are playing bingo and having fun joking and speaking with one another, the concept of flow time will play a big factor as individuals will be staying far longer than they typically would and are far more likely to place additional orders, especially for drinks at the bar. Recommendation #5 – Clean the Clutter Current Situation: Currently, Sir Ben’s presents its food menu in two ways. The first method is by using two large chalkboards with handwritten words. The specialty menu that is labeled “sandwiches, appetizers, salads, kid’s stuff, and desserts.” The second chalkboard is behind the sandwich bar. Listed there are soups, prices for lunch specials (½ sandwich, cup of soup; ½ sandwich, ½ salad; or ½ salad and cup of soup), and prices for a full sandwich from the build your own sandwich followed by five categories: the main ingredient(s), cheese, bread, vegetables, and spreads. The second way that they present their menu is from paper printouts folded in thirds printed in solid black lettering found either at the start of the sandwich line or laminated hidden behind the bar. One error found on these printed menus are a list of Pepsi products when they actually carry Coke products. Sir Ben’s presents their beer menu similarly to the food menu; hand-written on a chalkboard located above the cashier. They have bottled beers listed on the left side and tap beers listed in their product category. One employee did mention their menu is not updated, and many beers that are listed on it are not carried anymore. Recommendation: We are suggesting that Sir Ben’s update their menu to have the correct products listed in which they do carry. Also, for easy updates, installing a TV, above the specialties menu, to advertise the items on the menu which can present more pictures, less words, and advertise both popular and limited-offer items. (See Appendix E) Justification: The average human eye begins to falter at the age of forty, and even the healthy ones are usually impaired by their sixties. “With age three main ocular events take place: The lens
  23. 23. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 23 | P a g e becomes more rigid and the muscles holding it weaken, meaning you can’t focus on small type; the cornea yellows, which changes how you perceive color; and less light reaches your retina, meaning the world looks a little dimmer than it once did (Underhill 138).” Almost half of the consumer population visiting Sir Benedicts are over the age of forty, having small, colored font, handwritten on a blackboard, could easily turn people away from trying to decipher the menus. Often times when companies want to include more information about the product they try to squeeze more type into a space by making the font smaller. In this situation a picture is worth a thousand words. By adding advertisements to the televisions around the tavern could show pictures of their sandwiches, soups, specials without having to describe them in words. This would show the customer what they food looks like without them having to interpret a list of ingredients. As people get older “the difference between blue and green will become more difficult for many shoppers to perceive, and yellow will become much trickier for designers to use (Underhill 141).” Over 75% of the main headers on the specialty menu is colored in bold and the other 25% is in Green. Using a higher contrasting color scheme will make it easier for everybody to read, especially for people over the age of forty. Recommendation #6 - I Missed It Current Situation: Sir Ben’s has two signs outside of their facility. One of their signs is on the building itself and one is further towards the sidewalk hanging from a metal designed light post with two round light bulbs at the top. The sign is rather small and painted mostly yellow with their name, “Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake” and on the bottom “est. MCMX XLVlll”. In red paint is “imported” and “wine, beer, food” painted in blue next to imported. Sir ben’s has one more sign, and that is seen upon entering their front door. It is a small A-frame chalkboard that is placed on the floor, below peripheral view. Written is a direct statement to order at the bar or the register, giving no physical direction toward those two areas, and above the A-frame chalkboard is a large hand pointing toward the main area that does state “Lager this way”, but it’s unnoticeable in a simple observation. This statue may be a soft notation to enter the main area, but does a poor job at getting the message across. Those signs are the only ones that are present in Sir Ben’s that give a sense of direction for the establishment. (See Appendix F) Recommendation: Based on the current situation of Sir Benedict’s we recommend to build or purchase a new street sign to attract customers. The sign is rather dilapidated and is almost impossible to see and comprehend driving at 30 MPH, especially when many drivers passing by are distracted by Lake Superior. We recommend the graphics of this sign to include the “Sir Benedict character” as well as “Sir Benedict’s” in writing.
  24. 24. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 24 | P a g e Another recommendation in regards to signage, is including directional and way finding signs. As we described in our observations, customers were unsure as to where to place their order. Having a simple “order here” sign hanging or posted by the sandwich line will decrease confusion. Similarly, having a “pay here” sign will direct customers to the cashier. A final recommendation is having the bathrooms clearly identifiable. Besides our own group members, other customers who entered the tavern were puzzled as to where the location of the bathrooms were when “nature called”. Justification: Signs are almost as important as the interior of a business. A business sign must be able to capture the audience’s attention in two or three seconds. If you don’t get your audience’s attention first, nothing else will register. One of the most common mistakes restaurants and businesses make, is in the design and the placement of their signs. Using correct color, contrast and large font in the design of signs is imperative to getting your message to your target. The principles are simple enough: strong color, no extra words, and good images. While we are driving, we use icons and images to comprehend any messages we are exposed to. For example, a fork and spoon represents a restaurant, and a wheelchair represents handicapped locations. For Sir Benedict’s, they need to not only update their sign, but change the design as well. As for the directional and way finding signs, reducing confusion for consumers is essential. By better informing customers about the expected flow and order of operations as far as ordering and paying, Sir Ben’s can eliminate some ambiguity and frustration customers have had in the past. Customers expect all the information they will need to be out in the open, and don’t want to wait for someone to point them in the right direction or explain things to them (Cialdini 64). Not only will this allow customers to be in the correct places, but this will help employees identify and anticipate a customer’s needs within seconds of seeing them.
  25. 25. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 25 | P a g e Appendices Appendix A
  26. 26. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 26 | P a g e Appendix B
  27. 27. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 27 | P a g e Appendix C
  28. 28. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 28 | P a g e Appendix D
  29. 29. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 29 | P a g e Appendix E
  30. 30. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 30 | P a g e Appendix F
  31. 31. Sir Benedict’s Tavern May 2014 31 | P a g e Citations Cialdini, R. (2009). Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take... and Take. Influence (). Boston: Pearson Education. Cialdini, R. (2009). Scarcity: The Rule of the Few. Influence (). Boston: Pearson Education Cialdini, R. (2009). Social Proof: Truths Are Us. Influence (). Boston: Pearson Education. Gosselin, S. (2012, February 21). How to Choose the Right Dining Table. . Retrieved April 30, 2014, from http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1344061/list/How-to-Choose-the-Right- Dining-Table Loopnet.com Property Record for 805 E Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802 http://www.loopnet.com/Property-Record/805-E-Superior-Street-Duluth-MN- 55802/MC_1S2W2g/Property/ Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake | Duluth, MN | Ratings. (n.d.). BeerAdvocate. Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/12551/?view=ratings&ba=TastyTaste Sir Benedict's, Early 1980s. (2008, March 6). . Retrieved May 1, 2014, from http://attic.areavoices.com/2008/03/page/3/ Underhill, P. (2004). Breakfast at Cartier. Call of the Mall: The Geography of Shopping. New York: Simon & Schuster. Underhill, P. (1999). If You Can Read This, You're Too Young. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (). New York: Simon & Schuster. Underhill, P. (1999). How to Read a Sign. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (). New York: Simon & Schuster.