Ohio Restaurant Association Joins National Restaurant Association In Adding E-mail Marketing Services to List of Member Benefit Programs

Ohio Restaurant Association Joins National Restaurant Association

In Adding E-mail Marketing Services to List of Member Benefit Programs

Partners with Fishbowl Marketing to offer exclusive program for e-mail marketing services to member restaurants

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) in partnership with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) today launched a new member benefit that offers exclusive rates on e-mail marketing tools to its restaurant members. The provider of the program, Fishbowl Marketing, is the leader in permission-based e-mail marketing for the restaurant industry.  Fishbowl currently provides services to over 14,000 restaurant locations—from independent operations to multi-unit companies—across the nation.

 “We realize that customer retention is a top priority with our members in the restaurant industry,” said ORA President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Hetrick.  “Therefore, we are pleased to announce our new partnership with an e-mail marketing company that was created just for the restaurant industry – Fishbowl Marketing.”

E-mail marketing is a powerful way to target communications to a restaurant’s loyal guest beyond traditional mass media, which can be expensive and take weeks. E-mail can be used to announce new menu items, charity events, new store openings, special promotions, reservation reminders for high traffic holidays such as Mother’s Day and so much more.

“As more Americans rely on e-mail and the Internet to find information about restaurants, restaurants are moving toward new cost-effective, technology-based marketing strategies, and the National Restaurant Association is committed to helping its members take advantage of those channels,” said Association Acting Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Kilgore. “We are excited to partner with Fishbowl Marketing to offer a great service through which our members can build sales through guest communication and promotional opportunities.”

According to NRA research, seven in 10 fine-dining restaurants plan to use e-mail to market their restaurants this year; 28 percent of family-dining, and 38 percent of casual-dining operators also plan to do so. Among quick-service restaurants, 46 percent of those with average checks of $6.50 or more, and 36 percent of those with average checks of under $6.50 plan to use e-mail marketing this year.

Founded by a restaurateur in 2000 and staffed with restaurant veterans, Fishbowl has always focused on restaurants and their marketing needs. Now Fishbowl has harnessed its combined restaurant and e-mail expertise to develop an affordable turnkey e-mail marketing solution for independent restaurant owners and small chain operators. What sets Fishbowl apart from its competitors is its focus on restaurants and its commitment to dedicated and personalized service on the local level in all aspects of the program, from initial start-up, to list-building, to marketing ideas. 

“Creating and sustaining an effective marketing program is a challenge for all operators, and especially for the time and budget-strapped independent restaurateurs. Our new partnership with the Ohio Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association is a terrific way to get the word out about a turnkey program that has already been proven in the chain environment,” said Scott Shaw, founder and CEO of Fishbowl Marketing. “As a company that is exclusively focused on the restaurant industry, we share a common commitment with both associations to this industry’s long-term health, and to helping operators grow their business.” 

The selection of Fishbowl Marketing reflects a comprehensive development and thorough selection process by the NRA, with recommendations and reviews by two committees of the Association’s Board of Directors, and an organization representing all the state restaurant associations.

Restaurant operators interested in the Fishbowl Marketing services should call the ORA at 800-282-9049 or 614-442-3535. For more information about other member benefits, visit the ORA at www.ohiorestaurant.org.

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), founded in 1920, is the leading business trade association for the Ohio foodservice industry, the second largest, private sector employer in Ohio. The ORA represents the interests of the $16 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of 27,000 locations and a workforce of more than 553,000 employees.  The ORA provides its members with advocacy, information services and education, as well as many cost-saving benefits.  For more information, visit the ORA website at www.ohiorestaurant.org.

Fishbowl Marketing, based in Alexandria, VA, is the leader in innovative e-mail marketing programs for the restaurant industry. Fishbowl was recently rated among INC 500’s fastest growing privately-held companies. For more information on Fishbowl, call 703-836-3421 or visit www.fishbowl.com.