Until recently, Queenscliff, Victoria restaurant owner Barry Iddles was one of many business owners struggling amidst the nation’s labour shortage.
Barry was once desperate to find staff, but now receives more applications than he knows what to do with. What was his secret? Direct mail. In a bid to attract customers throughout the winter season, Mr Iddles designed a postcard which promoted the venue’s events, included complimentary offers, and advertised the openings in the restaurant team inviting locals of all ages to apply.
Mr Iddles printed 42,000 copies of the postcard to be distributed throughout Queenscliff and surrounding postcodes, a decision born from what he considered as direct mails’ specificity and practicality.
“I don’t know 42,000 people’s emails,” he said.
“If I use Australia Post’s postal delivery services I can target specific areas and postcodes.”
Mr Iddles also chose postcards as they were an affordable option.
“I think it cost me about $14,000 to do it. If you go to a recruitment agency to recruit someone, you pay around $4,000 per person,” he said.
“I looked at it as a double-edged sword.”
The postcards were successful on all fronts for the restaurant, resulting in a great turnout at the advertised events, of which many sold out. The campaign also solved Mr Iddle’s staffing issue, equipping him with a strong team and a new manager he speaks of with fondness. Once struggling to fill the roster, he says he now has too many staff and is even considering opening another venue.
Mr Iddles restaurant has gone viral gaining coverage across Australia and New Zealand due to his inclusion and employment of mature-aged locals, with 12 staff over the age of 50. In the print industry, Mr Iddles story serves as a testament to the personal and effective nature of print media. Direct mail has a far reach, is personable and inviting and can yield great marketing success.
Just ask Barry.
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