Promotions Take Center Stage at vomFASS Naples

In-store promotions are a tried and true approach to increasing customer traffic in vomFASS shops around the country. Willie Doyle, owner of the shop in Naples, Florida has taken and perfected this marketing strategy. To get a better idea of how Willie designs these promotions we decided to ask him a few questions.

franchisee promotions

Toni Jakovec:  Hi Willie.  You have become quite the event expert.  When did you start this event extravaganza?


Willie Doyle:  Well, I’m not sure I’d call myself an expert, but we got the idea for staging events after we saw the success of our grand opening.  We held a great kick-off event and had several promotions running both Saturday and Sunday.  We decided, based on that success, to develop a program of themed events that we could run anytime.  We started with an every-other-weekend schedule.  Once we saw how successful the events were, we decided that every weekend was an even better idea.


TJ:  What kind of events are you staging?


WD:  The first major event was actually the corporate Irish Whiskey Contest for St. Patrick’s Day.  We got fairly competitive for this contest and went all out with lots of events and promotions.  There were 3 winners in different categories and we won one, so we just wanted to keep up the excitement.


Our first solo store event was the last weekend in March after the contest.  We called it “A Taste of Spain” and focused on our Spanish products; Fernandez Brandy de Jerez; Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil and our Sherry and Viejo vinegars.  Our chef, Joan Barney prepared wonderful Spanish inspired bites for our guests.


We enjoyed that event so much, we expanded the idea to the next event, “A Taste of Italy,” following the same principles emphasizing Italian inspired products and recipes.


Our shop is in the Mercado Shopping Center, so next we participated in the shopping center wide “International Food Festival,” which of course was tailor made for vomFASS.


Another great promotion was the “Quick Pickling and Bloody Mary” event.  This event was focused around Chef Joan as she held cooking demonstrations and prepared samples for the customers.


Since it’s always summer down here in Florida, we offered a “Picnic Food” themed event.


We originally planned for all of these events to be held on Saturdays and Sundays.   Beginning this April we are branching out to Friday night “open door tasting” events as well.  The open tasting event might have a Spanish theme, where we would serve sangria for example.  This scheduling allows us to have “closed door events” or private parties on Thursday nights.


TJ:  What would be an example of a “closed door event”?


WD:  The St. Andrews Society here in Naples celebrates all things Scottish.  So we had a private Scotch tasting for their members.  That’s what I mean by a “closed door event.”  It was very successful.  We try to have an open event every weekend and then at least one private event or tasting per month.  Actually, another very successful closed door event was our “Whiskeys of the World” tasting.  For that event we offered Scotches, Irish whiskey and the American whiskies.


TJ:  Of your open door events, which would say have been the most successful?


WD:  It’s hard to pick just one.  I think our most popular has been the “Craft Cocktail” event.  We teach our customers how to make cocktails using our liqueurs and spirits and they love it.  It’s a great Friday night event.  It was so well attended that we expanded it into a closed door event which was equally popular.  Craft cocktails are very hot right now and they appeal to a wide audience.  This is a terrific way to increase store traffic since those attending one event will often bring a new customer to the next event.


Most recently our Mother’s Day event was very rewarding.  The weekend before the big day we offered our customers vomFASS Orangecello Mimosas, salads and Greek yogurt with vomFASS Star Honey Balsam, plus lots of various brunch bites.


TJ:  What has been your personal favorite event?


WD:  I really like the craft cocktail events.  They’re a lot of fun.  It’s always entertaining to hear the history of cocktails and various spirits.  These events draw a good audience of both men and women and it becomes very social.


TJ:  How important do you think in-store promotions are?


WD:  Well it’s a trifecta….you get more people into the store, the customers have more fun and you increase sales.  I think well planned and entertaining promotions are the key to a store’s success.  These presentations are theatrical, energetic and keep customers entertained.


TJ:  Who is the host of your promotions?


WD:  My son, Pat is the store General Manager and Master of Ceremonies at all of our events.  He has a Broadcasting/Journalism background, so he’s a natural.  He’s the entertainer and does all of the research for great presentation as well as being a terrific mixologist.


TJ:  Any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with us?


WD:  I think it’s important to offer a variety of events so your customers are always watching to see what will come next.  My customers have high expectations of things to come and it keeps them interested in vomFASS.  People always want to stop by vomFASS Naples because they know something fun is always going on there.


TJ:  It is always a pleasure Willie.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.


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