Coast to Coast Black Sabbath

You may think that’s an odd title for a blog but what do the Restaurant chain Coast to Coast and the fathers of everything metal Black Sabbath have in Common?

Let’s start with an instantly recognisable unique brand and product and carry on with great customer service and communication. Let me expand I attended the final night of Sabbath’s current leg of their world tour at a hometown gig in Birmingham on Dec 22nd 2013.

I had booked the tickets several months earlier through Sabbath’s website where I was asked if I wanted to leave my Facebook, Twitter and email details and I did.

From then on I had regular communications via all three channels giving me information; photographs, fan reviews and band interviews. Each of these reminded me that it would not be long before I would be with the band. Although I knew the same was happening with tens of thousands of other individuals on other continents I still felt special.

I felt part of a club a family even and as my anticipation and excitement grew the nearer the concert day came I took to social media along with thousands of others. This ensured Sabbath were constantly in the news as fans created a frenzy. Even on the day a couple of hours before the concert I got updates telling me the band were looking forward to the concert and they hoped I enjoyed it. This also continued after the concert. The attention to detail in communication was a masterclass in how to run a news/social media campaign for an event.

We arrived in Birmingham mid afternoon and after settling into the hotel went to look for eateries. We settled on Coast to Coast as it looked warm and inviting from the outside its signage caught your eye more than other restaurants on Broad Street.

So we stepped inside The Restaurant Group’sBirmingham restaurant and were met by a greeter with an engaging smile who was friendly, helpful and engaging in conversation. She introduced us to our server who took us to our table; she introduced herself and again engaged us in conversation.

Throughout the meal she returned to the table and rather than just ask how the food was or did we want another drink she engaged us in conversation each time. She also remembered bits from previous conversations and brought those into the current conversation. She was doing this for several other tables at the same time as were other servers.

The ambiance was very good and a lot of thought had gone into furnishings, uniforms and staff training and the food was pretty good as well. When we finished and paid the bill we had a five minute conversation with our server Josie and then the same with the greeter on the way out.

All this communication is meant to make you feel at home and want to return again, which it does. The face to face communication starts as you walk in the door up until you walk out again. But whilst you’re there, there are subtle hints about connecting with the Coast family via all types of social media. Of course when your friendly server asks you to fill in a feedback form at the end of the meal you can’t wait to do it.

That feedback form includes your social media details and the day after I received a thank you email for dining with them and special offer vouchers. As I am now a customer and part of the family I get regular updates about special offers, openings and information regarding Coast restaurants near venues where I may be going to a gig.

Now you may say others do this so what’s special about Coast and Sabbath. What’s special is that all that communication, branding, marketing and social media interaction is done seamlessly, effortlessly and unobtrusively.

By the time you sample the product you are fully engaged with it and can’t wait to taste or hear it. At that point the engaging human interaction seals the deal and you really want to come back to Coast to Coast just as you want Ozzy Osborne to be your best mate and go for a pint at his favourite Birmingham pub and tell you about his days in the factory.

As an experience both make it one you will never forget. Many companies get the marketing and branding right and even have a great product. But when you engage with them on a human level they don’t quite match the expectations they have built up.

If you want to make your business no matter what the size or sector more successful in 2014 checking out how Sabbath and Coast to Coast run their business would be time well worth spending. I believe Andrew page CEO of The Restaurant Group when he says they are thriving because of their customer focus. But the last word has to go to Ozzy “To each their own to question why, learn from each other so they say”

Have a happy and successful 2014

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