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Essence Restaurant Altrincham
Yesterday after over 6 months in the number 2 slot, Essence pipped Phanthong to claim the Tripadvisor title of the Number 1 Restaurant in Altrincham

Essence’s rise to the top is even more staggering when you consider that

  • They don’t have a location in Altrincham town centre and are based on the very edge of town
  • Because of their location they receive little or no support from Town Regeneration Groups (although @hale_alt_review on twitter has been fantastic )
  • They don’t have a website, so their only point of reference for customers is Social Media (their full menus are on facebook)

Each month because of Social Media services from Altrincham HQ and linking this with a Tripadvisor strategy they get

  • An average of 80 New customers visiting the restaurant for the first time
  • Increased Brand Awareness in a hyper-local area as well as further afield
  • More repeat visits from their regulars – some of their customers now visit twice a week
  • Increased take away orders – for instance this weekend they got an enquiry for a takeaway order for 20 people in one order

So what is the story to Essence’s Social Media / Tripadvisor Success that has won them plaudits such as “Best Indian in Altrincham” “The best curry ever” and “Altrincham’s Little Gem”

Essence joined twitter in September 2012 after a recommendation from local Social Media success story Trevor Holt of Holt Business Solutions

Fittingly it also tied in with a new era for the restaurant after they spent August renovating the restaurant

When they joined twitter they gained that instance trust that has been built from a long-standing offline reputation in the area. Those that aren’t regulars may not know that owner Amin is a local Altrincham lad, a former student at Wellington Road School, and took over Essence restaurant from his cousin. If you cast your mind back you will know that the restaurant has been well established for over 30 years and used to be called Eastern Promise and Prince of India

So when they joined twitter they had a groundswell of support from locals who like Amin have lived in the area all their life

Lesson: Go where your customers are and make it easy for your customers to find out about you

Essence Tripadvisor - December 2013

In restaurant terms Essence were fairly late to the Social Media party … but… in local Indian Restaurant terms they are doing what others in their field are not – delivering a consistent strong marketing message

Essence are the only indian restaurant in the Top 10 Tripadvisor Restaurants in Altrincham and they are the only Indian restaurant to actually tweet with a consistent marketing message rather than dabbling with social media

They have used Social Media to inform customers on not just what is available at Essence, but provide a narrative on Indian cuisine to better inform people on the health benefits, the different types of curry in Indian cuisine and link in with what happens in the local community

Lesson: If others in your industry are not using Social Media, it’s even more important to use it. And if they are, why aren’t you?

In 2013 it’s become the norm for small businesses to discount. Even on something great to highlight small businesses like Small Business Saturday recently, the businesses that were highlighted by community groups were the ones discounting or giving something away rather than the best in the area

Essence in short don’t discount regularly – they build their reputation on quality and save the giveaway’s for fun prizes!

Since they opened they only have one Special Offer and that’s the “Special Happy Night” On A Sunday where you get a 7 Course Restaurant Meal for £10.95 or a 5 Course Take Away Meal for £8.95

Competition wise they linked in with football for a Real Madras competition to tie with Real Madrid vs MUFC and they did a 1000 followers RT competition

Lesson: Build a reputation on quality and you don’t need to offer constant discounts via Groupon / Living Social etc


Amin from Essence puts the Social Media success down to

“All the local people who have been very supportive. Without their support I have no business to stand on, so thank you for your loyal support and I hope we can carry on being the best.

Social Media has allowed us to keep in touch with our regular customers inbetween visits and also reach out to a new audience who were aware of us, but had never considered coming in until they read the reviews and feedback”

If you want to find out more about Essence follow them on twitter @essencecheshire or like their facebook

Want to speak about how you can achieve social media success for your restaurant – email or call 07806 774279


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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