Monthly Archives: April 2017

Search Engine Marketing: SEO and PPC

Search Engine Optimizing and Media Advertising

The entire process of getting listed on search engines so consumer can find you is called search engine marketing (SEM). There are two basic aspects of SEM: Search Engine Optimizing and Pay-per-Click. The focus of this paper is investigating the relevance and uses of the non-traditional media of search engine optimizing in advertising and media planning.  The principle purpose of Internet marketing and advertising is to drive traffic to the targeted media.  Advertisers want to attract visitors to their brochure sites or e-commerce sites for branding and sales purposes and may use online and offline methods to generate traffic.

SEO tools and advertising work together in business media planning to promote online content. Therefore, it can never be either one or the other. Advertising involves a “call to action” giving the viewer cause to follow the advice in the advertisement and businesses must compete in the online search engine market for advertising and brand visibility, attention, and product placement.  A media planner should use SEO tactics for driving traffic to a site with advertising content to gain traction with consumers on coupon codes, subscriptions, promotional offers, and white paper content.

SEO’s require no out-of-pocket cost to pay for as placement, but there is a cost to design a site to optimize for a natural search but well worth it in the end.  While websites take longer to set up and implement, if monitored properly, it can have a positive long term effect.  To do this the company needs to understand their target market, developing keywords to reach that market, defining and developing their site around those keywords.  It’s always a good idea to do market research and ask customers how they search for their product.  Monitoring social media conversations is another way to determine how to pick appropriate keywords to monitor both paid and SEO.  As a marketer you want to be where your consumers are and to participate in the conversation to engage and keep customers, by doing this you can expand their search profiles on social media accounts.  In 2010 a recent study by indicated that top performing companies were using social media to enhance their natural search engine efforts with websites


“Search is the new Yellow Pages” from a Burke 2011 report:

76% of respondents used search engines to find local business information vs. 24% who turned to print yellow pages.

67% had used search engines in the past 30 days to find local information, and 23% responded that they had used online social networks as a local media source.

Search engine technology relies on the metrics of relevance and importance, and they measure those metrics by tracking what people do: what they discover, react, comment, and link to. So, you can’t just build a perfect website and write great content; you also have to get that content shared and talked about. Therefore, SEO is not a media message vehicle but in fact a supporting media tool for brand exposure.  Search engine optimizing is about your media advertising content being viewed online with search engines and those with the knowledge and experience to improve their website’s ranking will receive the benefits of increased traffic and visibility.

Search marketers as a community have come to understand many of the basic operations of search engines and the critical components of creating websites and pages that earn high rankings and significant traffic. The trend towards search engine usage and dependence has continued to grow. United States Internet users performed 75 searches per month, with an expected growth rate of 2%. SEO guides your submitted content URL to directories, social bookmarking sites, social networks, forums, Blogs, Q&A sites, guest blogging, video blogs, and more forms that are being created everyday though online culture. The most dominate search engine website is currently Google.  With around 85% of search engine traffic in 2016.

In 2016 research, StatCounter reports the top 5 search engines sending traffic worldwide:

  • Google sends 80.62% of traffic.
  • Yahoo! sends 3.78% of traffic.
  • Bing sends 3.72% of traffic.
  • Ask Jeeves sends .36% of traffic.
  • Baidu sends .35% of traffic.

An August 2011 Pew Internet study revealed, that the percentage of Internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of 59% of all adult Internet users.

The overall objective of SEO marketing strategies is for your website to appear in the first page of organic search engine results because that is when your website has the best opportunity to create an impression or inspire a call to action.

A 2011 study by Slingshot SEO reveals click-through rates for top webpage results:

  • A #1 position in Google’s search results receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic. The second position receives 10.1%, the third 7.2%, the fourth 4.8%, and all others under 2%.
  • A #1 position in Bing’s search results averages a 9.66% click-through rate.
  • The total average click-through rate for first ten results was 52.32% for Google and 26.32% for Bing. (Moz)

Search engines are answer machines scanning millions of webpage links using automated robots, called “crawlers” or “spiders,” to reach billions of interconnected documents on the web. Search engines find these pages, they decipher the Index code from them and store selected pieces in massive databases, to be recalled later when needed for a user’s search query.  Indexing means associating words and other definable tokens found on web pages to their domain names and HTML-based fields. The associations are made available for web search queries and the index helps find information relating to the query as quickly as possible.  Therefore, if you want your page to have a chance of ranking in the search results for “dog,” it’s wise to make sure the word “dog” is part of the Indexing or crawlable content of your document. 
Search Engines Design and Propose

The search engine has scanned billions of documents and does two things: first, it returns results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query; second, it ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites providing the information. It is both, relevance and popularity that the process of SEO is meant to influence. Popularity and relevance aren’t determined manually by users. Instead, the engines employ mathematical equations or algorithms. These algorithms often comprise hundreds of variables referred as “ranking factors.”

Search engines websites conduct three types of searches for users:

Transactional Searches – Transactional Queries: I want to do something, such as buy a plane ticket or listen to a song. Identifying, a local business, making a purchase online, or completing transactional searches don’t necessarily involve a credit card or wire transfer. Signing up for a free trial account at Cook’s Illustrated, creating a Gmail account, or finding the best local Mexican cuisine (in Seattle it’s Carta de Oaxaca) are all transactional queries.

Navigational Searches – Navigation Queries: I want to go to a particular place on the Internet, such as Facebook or the homepage of the NFL.  Visiting a pre-determined destination or sourcing a specific URL. Navigational searches are performed with the intent of surfing directly to a specific website. In some cases, the user may not know the exact URL, and the search engine serves as the White Pages.

Informational Searches – Informational Queries: I need information, such as the name of a band or the best restaurant in New York City. Researching non-transactional information, getting quick answers, or ego-searching.  Informational searches involve a huge range of queries from finding out the local weather to getting maps and directions to finding out how long that trip to Mars really takes (about eight months). The common thread here is that the searches are primarily non-commercial and non-transaction-oriented in nature; the information itself is the goal, and no interaction beyond clicking and reading is required.


Google has introduced several Panda updates to its ranking algorithm over the years since 2011, significantly changing the way it judged websites for quality. Google started by using human evaluators to manually rate thousands of sites, searching for low quality content. Google then incorporated machine learning to mimic the human evaluators. Once its computers could accurately predict what the humans would judge a low quality site, the algorithm was introduced across millions of sites spanning the Internet. The end result was a seismic shift that rearranged over 20% of all of Google’s search results.

The Importance of Keywords

SEO’s content development strategies help companies and organizations better position their websites messages on the Internet to gain attention and ultimately clicks by users. A foundation of SEO strategy is to create a seamless user experience, and to do this, your SEO will need to communicate with the search engine websites. By displaying your website/pages content to search engine algorithms, they in turn can recommend your website for a user’s relevant keyword search/queries.   Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high in return activities with search engine marketing. They are the building blocks of language and of search. In fact, the entire science of information retrieval, including web-based search engines like Google, is based on keywords. As the engines crawl and index the contents of pages around the web, they keep track of those pages in keyword-based indexes.  In order to know which keywords to target, when your message is targeting multiple keywords or an especially long keyword phrase. Having them in the title tag is essential to ranking and it may be advisable to go longer.  Having the right keywords can make or break your websites visibility on the Internet. It’s essential to understand the demand for a given term or phrase and by researching your market’s keyword demand you can learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO content.

In Moz’s biannual survey of SEO industry leaders, 94% of participants said that keyword use in the title tag was the most important place to use keywords to achieve high rankings.”(Citation).

The search engines’ primary responsibility is to serve relevant results to their users. To perform better in search engine listings, the easiest way to ensure that the words and phrases you display to your visitors are visible to search engines is to place them in the HTML text on the page, anchor texts, and relevant titles with descriptions are displayed.  SEO looks for performance of the website that has steady uploads and downloads while working properly with links from one page to the next. Having a high webpage authority indicates that your site has good enough content to link to, and having other authoritative sites using your website as a reference or site the information available contributes to a higher Page Rank with search engines. A friendly user experience allowing the site to look appealing, easy to navigate from the home page, appears and actually is safe for users, and has a low bounce rate. Search for sites like yours by using keywords and phrases directly relevant to your business. When you locate sites that aren’t directly competitive, email them, use their online forms, call them on the phone, or even send them a letter by mail to start a conversation about getting a link.

SEO Media Strategies

A search engines optimizer is looking for content that is determined or judged by a theme that is being relevant to the user’s keywords.  Implementing a keyword strategy with that theme is not only important to implement on-site, but it should extend to other off-site media platforms to link in your media planning campaign.  Getting customer to link to your advertisements, when you have partners who you work with regularly, or loyal customers that love your brand, you can capitalize on this by sending out partnership badges—graphic icons that link back to your site (like Google often does with their AdWords certification program). Just as you’d get customers wearing your t-shirts or sporting your bumper stickers, links are the best way to accomplish the same feat on the web.

SEO can connect users to your message through coordination of a Multi-channel platforms including links to networking media sites like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and linkedin. A 2011 research study revealed, that social media marketing and vertical search inclusion are mainstream methods for conducting multimedia search engine optimization.  Being consistent with keyword phrases within those platforms will not only help your marketing buzz and branding efforts, but also train users and consumers to use specific phrases you’re optimizing for.  It is important that your target phrases are embedded regularly throughout the page in question.  Remember to include the phrases in the headline, high in the body copy and again at the bottom, as engines like Google like the standard thesis approach to page layout.  White hat SEO techniques are condoned by search engines. (Larson & Draper, 2015).  White hat practices include webpage element such as keyword optimized content, good site architecture and internal linking.  Other white hat techniques are guest blogging, link baiting, quality content, internal linking, and site optimization” (Darell).

Using black hat SEO technique is when something is created intentionally to increase a website’s ranking (Larson & Draper, 2015). Black hat SEO is when a company uses frowned upon techniques deemed by google algorithms like hidden links, texts, and keyword stuffing.  Having too many hidden anchor text’s, doorway and cloaked pages, link farming, hidden texts and links, blog comment spams that are unrelated to the website purpose or function is a form of a Black Hat techniques being use to generate view traffic.   Black-hat techniques are also tactics that will lead to punishment such as a temporary shutdown of a webpage.  There are some very obvious risks when a company uses a black or grey hat SEO.  Staying in compliance with the terms and conditions set by the online browser/engine you are using will be in the company’s best interest when competing online for relevance to a consumer’s problem.

The term “grey hat” refers to a computer security expert optimizer who may sometimes violate Google’s policy or typical ethical standards, but does not have the malicious intent typical of a black hat hacker. Grey Hat involves techniques like, “cloaking, purchasing old domains, duplicate content, link buying, and social media automation and purchasing followers.” (Butters, 2014).

A SEM Manager should stay within the boundaries of rule and regulations enforced by governments.  They should also have ethical conduct when using SEO tactics to having their webpage be relevant for searching users on the Internet.  We want to have an understanding of what people are interested in or what they are looking for when accessing the internet.  And standard practices are not always effective and may not always be relevant, adopting or trying SEO tactics outside the white and into the grey is possible but only if it helps users to find what they are looking for or that a problem exists in the system be to revealed


Target Marketing and Visibility

An important aspect of SEO is making your website easy for both users and search engine robots to understand. SEO plays a large part in finding information that is relevant to users. Once you grasp what your target market is looking for, you can more effectively reach and keep those users and understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition.  Typically, many display search ads like banners means a high-value keyword, and multiple search ads above the organic results often means a highly lucrative and directly conversion-prone keyword.

The title tag is a new visitor’s first interaction with your brand and should convey the most positive impression possible. Creating a compelling title tag will help grab attention on the search results page, and attract more viewers to your sites advertisement. Highlighting that SEO is about not only optimization and strategic keyword usage, but the entire user experience.  Search engine “website link” results must include a Meta tag, in the Meta description tag that helps to attract clicks by viewers reading the results page, as the Meta description becomes the snippet of text used by the search engines.  Display advertisers utilize Meta tags with cookies and browser history to determine users’ demographics and interests so they can target relevant ads to those browsers. “One of many lessons search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for ‘shoes’ is probably browsing, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for best price on Air Jordan size 12.” (Drapier) You can gain targeted online marketing through measurement methods like patent analysis, experiments, and live testing.

An example of how search engines connect business to consumers with SEO, assume your search ad generated 5,000 impressions in one day, of which 100 visitors have come to your site, and three have converted for a total profit of $300. In this case, a single visitor for that keyword is worth $3 to your business. Those 5,000 impressions in 24 hours could generate a click-through rate of between 18-36% with a #1 ranking which would mean 900-1800 visits per day, at $3 each, or between 1 and 2 million dollars per year and therefore businesses should love search marketing.

Engagement Metrics and Link Building

When a search engine delivers a page of results to you, it can measure the success of the rankings by observing how viewers engage with those results. Link building requires creativity, hustle, and often, a budget. No two link building campaigns are the same, and the way you choose to build links depends as much upon your website as it does your personality. Below are three basic types of link acquisition.  If viewers click the first link, then immediately hit the back button to try the second link, this indicates that they were not satisfied with the first result. Search engines seek the “long click” – where users click a result without immediately returning to the search page to try again. Taken in aggregate over millions and millions of queries each day, the engines build up a good pool of data to judge the quality of their results.

SEO success comes when you see increases in search traffic, higher rankings, more frequent search engine crawling and increases in referring link traffic. If these metrics do not rise after a successful link building campaign, it’s possible you either need to seek better quality link targets, or improve your on-page optimization.  By examining the backlinks (inbound links) of a website that already ranks well for your targeted keyword phrase, you gain valuable intelligence about the links that help them achieve this ranking. Using tools like Open Site Explorer, SEOs can discover these links and target these domains in their own link building campaigns.  However, link building should never be solely about search engines. Links that send high amounts of direct click-through traffic not only tend to provide better search engine value for rankings, but also send targeted, valuable visitors to your site  This is something you can estimate based on the numbers of visits or page views according to site analytics.  As a general rule, it’s wise to build as vast and varied a link profile as possible, as this brings the best search engine results. Any link building pattern that appears non-standard, unnatural, or manipulative will eventually become a target for advancing search algorithms to ignore.


Spreading the Word

Build a company blog is a valuable, informative, and entertaining resource. Blogs have the unique ability to contribute fresh material on a consistent basis, participate in conversations across the web, and earn listings and links from other blogs, including blogrolls and blog directories.  Create content that inspires viral sharing and natural linking and in the SEO world, we often call this “linkbait.” Each leverages aspects of usefulness, information dissemination, or humor to create a viral effect. Users who see it once want to share it with friends, and bloggers/tech-savvy webmasters who see it will often do so through links. Such high quality, editorially earned votes are invaluable to building trust, authority, and rankings potential.  Be newsworthy because earning the attention of the press, bloggers and news media is an effective, time-honored way to earn links. Sometimes this is as simple as giving away something for free, releasing a great new product, or stating something controversial.  It takes time, practice, and experience to build comfort with these variables as they relate to search engine traffic. However, using your websites analytics, you should be able to determine whether your campaign is successful.






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Darell, R. (2013). SEO Tactics: A Comparison of Black, Grey & White Hat SEO. In Bit Rebels. Retrieved March 22, 2016, from


Butters, K. (2014, January 7). Grey Hat SEO Techniques: Should You Use Them? – Positional Blog. Retrieved from, March 30, 2017.

Ohye, Maile. “SEO for startups in under 10 minutes” Webmasters, Google


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Carrabba’s Comprehensive Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

Casual Dining concepts need to evolve to better serve lapsed consumers and to attract an ever-changing consumer set. Carrabba’s Italian Grills passion is taking care of people. This passion comes from the genuine hospitality founded on the idea that sharing food isn’t just about eating – it’s what connects people to one another.  Carrabba’s is authentic Italian and represents everything they are: heritage, passion for food, love of family, and hospitality in our hearts. Ada Carrabba’s full-service casual Italian dining experience gives consumers quality ingredients, handmade dishes, and cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen for consumers to smell and see. Moderately priced casual dining menu entrees are between $10-$30 dollars, featuring a mix of classics Italian American cuisines, individualized dishes with signature sauces, dips or other toppings cuisine.

Carrabba’s brand has matured and it will focus to connect with West Michigan couples. Customers for Ada Carrabba are typically within an 8 to 10 miles radius of Ada Carrabba’s and the average time that our consumers are willing to travel to the dining restaurant is around 17 minutes.  Advertisements will be targeting upper middle class families, couples, and business professionals around Ada and West Michigan.  Messages displaying award winning Italian-American recipes, large selections of wines from around the world, and an exciting family dining atmosphere to create sustainable sales and improve brand awareness. Ada Carrabba’s will use a mixture of push and pull promotional methods to help maintain consumer interest and have brand relevance, each family promotion concept leverages limited-time offers that is featuring seasonal specials. A consistent create message to customers is “The Carrabba’s family sharing award winning Italian American cuisine”.

Ada Carrabba’s chooses a direct-sales, channel because the business has access to the customer keeping all revenue under the control. Ada Carrabba’s will establish retail and online order purchase processes.  The Ada Carrabba’s will enter into a Bloomin’ Brands franchise agreements, the franchisees is required to pay an initial franchise fee and pay monthly royalties based on the percentage of gross restaurant sales (5.75%).



Business Name: Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Business Structure: Company Owned Restaurant

Business Owner: Bloomin’ Brands International is a world class casual dining company with about 95,000 team members and more than 1500 restaurants in 48 states in the USA.  Bloomin Brands consists of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish grill, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Estimated market share: 4.5%

Carrabba’s Italian Grill – In 2015, 247 U.S. Carrabba’s Italian Grill Restaurants were in operation. 244 were company owned and 4 were franchised.

Founding History – Two Sicilian boys from Texas who love to cook and eat and they loved the Sicilian food their parents and grandparents cooked.


Mission Statement

  • The Original Carrabba’s provides authentic homemade meals that draw on their rich American-Italian recipes.
    • “When you come to the Original Carrabba’s you are family”


Objective, Purpose, and Goals: Carrabba’s Italian Grills passion is taking care of people. This passion comes from the genuine hospitality founded on the idea that sharing food isn’t just about eating – it’s what connects people to one another.  Carrabba’s is an authentic Italian and represents everything they are: heritage, their passion for food, their love of family, and hospitality in their hearts.


Products/ Services: Carrabba’s is full-service casual Italian dining experience offering authentic Italian cuisine passed down from the founder’s’ family recipes, they use quality ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, our customers enjoy signature Sicilian dishes with a Deep-South twist, including appetizers-soups and salads- chicken, beef, and pork entrees, seafood, pastas, and pizzas.


Unique Selling Proposition: Carrabba’s food is straight from Italian family recipes brought into this country by our ancestors, used for generations and taught to us by Mama Mandola.  Carrabba’s makes sure that everything is perfect to ensure customers feel special by treating them like part of their family and create memories that last a lifetime.


Situation Analysis


External Factors

Key Industry Competitors

  • Bravo Cucina Italiana
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Magiano’s
  • Olive Garden ( Direct Competitor)
  • Uccello’s Ristorante
  • Vitale’s Restaurant


The Cooperative Environment

  • National Restaurant Association (NRA) – Provides industry news, research, sponsoring events, networking opportunities, and representation, among other things.
  • The NRA conserve program, is a broad initiative that helps restaurants implement conservative practices. The program serves as a catalyst of new solutions, garnering and generating ideas from across the restaurant industry for conservation solutions.
  • Bloomin’ Brands supply chain management.
  • Cooperation between Back of House employees and Front of house Employees


The Competitive Environment

National Industry Trends

  • Major fast food chains and a wide range of other establishments offer meals to eat in or takeaway is a common substitute for consumer in the market
  • The Chain Restaurants industry has a low level of market share concentration, the four largest industry players are estimated to account for about 21.3% of available market share.
  • The restaurant industry is highly competitive with a substantial number of restaurant operators that compete directly and indirectly with Carrabba’s Italian Grill in respect to price, service, location and food quality, and there are other well-established competitors with significant financial and other resources.
  • There is active competition for management personnel, attractive suitable real estate sites, supplies and restaurant employees. In addition, competition is also influenced strongly by marketing and brand reputation
  • Wages and associated labor costs represent the industry’s single biggest cost.


Direct Competitor

Olive Garden – Is owned by Darden Restaurants has more than 800 location in North America.

In 2015, Olive Garden recently launched a dramatically revised menu incorporating culinary buzzwords:

Plates for sharing, lighter fare and smaller portions with prices, specialty items with mix-and-match customizability, and gluten free dishes.

  • One of Olive Garden’s most expensive menu items is $23.99
  • Similar menu price points compared to Carrabba’s Italian Grill.


Vitale’s Restaurant – Are a local competitor of Ada Carrabba’s.  They offer a similar products with Italian American entrée dishes, appetizers, and alcoholic beverages.


The Economic Environment

            National Industry Trends

  • The industry’s annual sales are projected to reach $799 billion in 2017
  • Industry’s share of food dollar is 48 percent
  • Industry sales constitute 4 percent of the U.S. GDP.
  • The Chain Restaurant Industry has average a profit margin equivalent to 4.3% of revenue earned during the past 5 years (2012-2017).
  • Industry Revenue will grow an annual rate of 2.0% to 2020.
  • Licensed chain restaurants typically earn between 15% and 25% of the check value through sales of alcoholic.

The Social Environment

            National Industry Trends

  • Over a 3 year period, per capita income has increased and unemployment has eased, consumer confidence has improved, and therefore giving rise to greater spending on sit down meals.
  • Customer spending is forecasted to increase with an avg. annual rate of 2.7% during the next five years.(
  • Consumers have become more aware of issues related to weight and obesity, nutrition and foods safety then they were before. For many restaurants the health factor has become a key focus of their marketing strategy and has encouraged businesses to target a new segment.
  • According the US Census Bureau the average consumer spends about 5.2% of their annual expenditures on food and beverages outside the home.
  • According to the National Restaurant Association study, 20% of consumers use technology when choosing a full-service restaurants.
  • According to the NRA, an estimated 67% of consumers use smartphones to look up restaurants directions, a number that climbs higher the younger the customers are.


The Legal Environment

National Industry Trends

  • Agency responsible for providing guidance and regulation for restaurants is the US Food and Drug administration’s (FDA).
  • The industry is subjected to laws and regulations relating to the preparation and sale of food, including regulations of product safety, nutritional content and menu labeling. Therefore, requiring licenses to serve food and alcohol
  • Carrabba’s operations are also subject to federal and state laws for immigration, employment, minimum wages, overtime, tip credits, worker conditions and health care.
  • Industry players must monitor changes in government regulations in areas such as food safety, employees and staff, and cash handling.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act, is federally mandated requirement for the disabled wages and benefit and if not followed, may face fines or risk losing their operating license.
  • Franchising is regulated at the federal level by the US Federal Trade Commission. According the FTC there are three elements of a franchise
    • The franchise has a trademark under which the franchisee is given the right to distribute goods and services.
    • The franchisor has significant control of or provides significance to the franchisee’s method of operation.
    • The franchisee is required to pay the franchisor at least $500 before opening business.

Internal Factors

Figure 1.1

Structure – U.S Industry-Carrabba’s Financial Performance

Year Sales              ($ million) % Change Operating Income            ($ million) % Change
2010 3,634.0 0.2 146.7 4.4
2011 3,793.0 4.4 185.2 26.2
2012 3,934.0 3.7 156.1 -15.7
2013 4,084.0 3.8 196.7 26.0
2014 4,173.0 2.2 163.7 -16.8
2015 4,315.3 3.4 171.8 4.9

Culture Bloomin Brands Inc.

  • As of December 27, 2015, Bloomin’ Brands owned 20% of their restaurant sites and leased the remaining 80% of their restaurant sites from third parties.
  • Income from operations of $230.9 million in 2015 compared to $192.0 million in 2014 , which was primarily due to lower impairments and restaurant closing costs, lower general and administrative expense and an increase in operating margin at the restaurant-level,
  • Before they add an item to the core menu, a research and development (“R&D”) team performs a thorough review of the item, including conducting consumer research, in order to assist Carrabba’s Italian grill in determining the viability of adding the item.
  • Bloomin’ Brands has a dual distribution system which uses vertical integration channels and market governance. There is a relationship between the firm’s distribution strategy and its intangible value with Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
  • Carrabba’s is part of Bloomin’ national distribution program that includes food, beverage, small wares, and packaging goods in all major markets.


Bloomin’ Brands CEO Liz Smith recognizes a growing consumer awareness that it’s costing more and more to eat out then to cook at home.

New Product Market Research –

Bloomin Brands Implements a 12-month pipeline of new menu and promotional items across all concepts that allows them to quickly make adjustments in response to market demands. Research and development for new menu items and significant product changes, they have a testing process that includes direct consumer feedback on the product and it’s pricing. R&D expense was $6.5 million, $5.8 million, and $6.4 million for fiscal years 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.

Porter’s Five Forces


Threat of New Entrants

  • The barriers of entry in the Italian chain restaurant industry are low and steady.
  • Franchise Agreements – Entry to the industry can happen through signing a franchise agreement, which includes outfitting and equipment, as well as training and computer systems.


Threat of Substitute Products

  • Food service chains like McDonald’s where customers pay before eating and do not receive table service is a possible.


Bargaining Power of Suppliers –

Food and beverages are usually purchased from wholesalers, particularly from those that can guarantee both prompt delivery and quality foodstuffs.

  • Prices can be affected due to supply, market changes, increased competition, the general risk of inflation, changes in laws, shortages or interruptions in supply due to weather, and other conditions beyond Carrabba’s control.
  • Increased prices or shortages could affect the cost and quality of the items Carrabba’s Italian Grill and in turn would require Carrabba’s to raise prices, limit their menu options or implement an alternative processes or products.
  • In 2015, commodity costs increased by 3.7% and Carrabba’s increased their prices at each location in the range of 2.1% to 2.7%.
  • In short term, many of the cost increases cannot be passed into the consumer, therefore portion sizes and other inputs into food service must be monitored.


  • Selling Industries


Frozen Food wholesaling

Dairy wholesaling

Egg & Poultry Wholesaling

Fish & Seafood Wholesaling

Beef & Pork Wholesaling

Fruit & Vegetable Wholesaling

Beer Wholesaling

Wine & Spirits Wholesaling



Bargaining Power of Buyers

  • The food service industry is affected by consumer preferences and perceptions, including the increasing prevalence of food allergies. Changes in these preferences and perceptions may lessen the demand for Carrabba’s products, which would reduce sales and harm business.
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill’s key buyers are household consumers in the U.S. The decline of industry revenue during the recession illustrates the extent to which the industry’s performance is reliant on positive income levels, high consumer confidence and a growing economy. Indicating price sensitivity in the market.
  • Young millennial adults in the age bracket 24 to 35 have more disposable income than previous generations because of social trends and spend more of their food budget on eating out than any other age group.


SWOT Analysis



  • Brand Name: A strong brand name is a major strength for Carrabba’s. This gives them the ability to charge higher prices for their product and services because customers are placing additional value associated with the brand.
  • Supply Chain: Carrabba’s strong supply chain helps them obtain the right resources and shipping can be executed in a timely manner. Carrabba’s are managed by a custom distribution company that only provides products approved from the Bloomin’ Brand system.
  • An award-winning Italian American cuisine inspired by the many tastes of Italy.
  • Utilizes a global core menu policy to ensure consistency and quality in their menu offerings.
  • Carrabba’s New product development
  • An attractive customer base of high income consumers.



  • Italian food in general is not unique.
  • Mature Market: Mature markets are competitive. In order for Carrabba’s to grow in the market they need to increase market share which to difficult and expensive.
  • Bloomin Brands Carrabba’s Italian grill reported declines in U.S. customer traffic which fell 4.5 percent in the final quarter of 2016, while it has dropped 3.7 percent Since Jan. 1.


Opportunities –

  • Online Market: Expands Carrabba’s ability to reach a much wider customer base for relatively little expense. Customer can order online and when visiting utilize Ada Carrabba’s Carry out service.
  • New Markets: Serving additional customer groups or marketing segments. New products can help Carrabba’s expand their business and diversify their portfolio.
  • Expanding to new geographical markets



  • Slowdowns in market growth (Matured)
  • Increasing intensity of competition among industry rivals. Industry economics are making it tougher for Bloomin’ Brands and its peers to make a dollar with the intense competition and greater numbers of restaurants in the market.
  • Volatile Costs: Food prices fluctuate meaning Carrabba’s must plan for scenarios where costs could go up.
  • Change in Tastes: Consumers can change their tastes very fast.
  • Substitute Products: The availability of substitute products can hurt Carrabba’s ability to raise prices, because consumers can switch to a different product.


Target Market Description


Primary Customers


Carrabba’s brand has matured and it will focus to connect with West Michigan couples.

  • Target audience is married or considered to be in a relationship phase.
  • Typically have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Have a median household income above $80,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the highest quintile and fourth quintile of income in the market segment.
  • Men and Women between the ages of 24-54.

Attracting more affluent West Michigan family segments.

  • Families considered to be from Generation Y and Millennials Generations
  • Age groups 24-54 and have at least a child under the age of 18.
  • Have a median household income of above $60,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the middle quintile or above in income in the market segment.


Secondary Customers


White and Blue Collar business professionals

  • Men and Women between the ages of 24-54 years old.
  • Have a medium income above $50,000 dollars. Are considered to be in the middle quintile or above in the market segment..
  • Have disposable income to eat out.
  • Are looking for a lunch and dining experiences.


Major Market Segments for Carrabba’s Italian Grill can be inferred on the basis of annual expenditure on foods and beverages outside the home depicted in Figure 1.1.


Figure 2.1


  • Lowest income spends – $1,086 per year, versus highest income spends – $5,366 per year. While the three middle-income quintiles represents and contribute to 52% of demand focused on middle of the range chain restaurants.


  • Information from U.S. Census Bureau indicates that spending patterns within the income brackets are still relevant and the industry’s major market segmentation have not changed dramatically after the recession.


Consumer Demographics 

  • Targeted consumer demographics are based around West Michigan Kent County. I have selected 5 potential cities/townships to analyze in coordination with an implementation plan to establish a new restaurant location. Information is based on 2010 and 2015 U.S. Census.


Figure 2.2

Number of Households in West Michigan

Total Households 492,598
Family Households 336,702
Non-family Households 155,900
Households With Children 171,364
Households Without Children 321,213
Average People Per Household 2.63


Family Households – 68.4 %   Non-Family Household – 31.6%



  • Kent County Population– 602,622
    • 1% – Caucasian
    • 2% – African American
    • 4% – Asian
    • 7% – Native American
    • 7% Hispanic or Latino
  • Kent County Age Distribution
    • Under the age of 18 – 28.3%
    • 18 to 24 – 10.5%
    • 25 to 44 – 31.2%
    • 45 to 64 – 19.7%
    • Over the age of 65 – 10.4%


Kent County Income Distribution (2010 Census)

  • Median income for a household in the county was $45,980.
  • Median income for a family was $54,770.
  • Males had a median income of $39,878 versus $27,364 for females
  • Per capita income for the county was $21,629.


Prospect Cities Populations (2010 Census)

  • East Grand Rapids – 10,694
    • Under the age of 18 – 6%
    • 18 to 24 – 0%
    • 25 to 44 – 5%
    • 45 to 64 – 4%
    • Over the age of 65 – 7%
  • Grand Rapids188,040
    • Under the age of 18 – 0%
    • 18 to 24 – 1%
    • 25 to 44 – 5%
    • 45 to 64 – 7%
    • Over the age of 65 – 6%
  • Grandville15,378
    • Under the age of 18 – 8%
    • 18 to 24 – 7%
    • 25 to 44 – 3%
    • 45 to 64 – 6%
    • Over the age of 65 –               6%
  • Ada Township13,142
    • Under the age of 18 – 6%
    • 18 to 24 – 4%
    • 25 to 44 – 6%
    • 45 to 64 – 3%
    • Over the age of 65 – 1%
  • Walker 23,537
    • Under the age of 18 – 9%
    • 18 to 24 – 9
    • 25 to 44 – 7%
    • 45 to 64 – 3%
    • Over the the age of 65 – 1%
  • Wyoming 72,125
    • Under the age of 18 – 1%
    • 18 to 24 – 5%
    • 25 to 44 – 9%
    • 45 to 64 – 5%
    • Over the age of 65 – 9%


Prospect City Income Distributions (Census 2015)

  • East Grand Rapids
    • Median income for a household in the city was $112,000
    • Median income for a family was $98,967
    • Males had a median income of $66,528 versus $42,383 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $55,483
  • Grand Rapids
    • Median income for a household in the city $40,355
    • Median income for a family was $44,224
    • Males had a median income of $33,050 versus $26,382
    • Per capita income for the city was $21,027
  • Grandville
    • Median income for a household in the city $53,572
    • Per capita income for the city was $26,463
  • Ada Township
    • Median income for a household in the township was $121,439
    • Median income for a family was $87,972
    • Males had a median income of $61,795 versus $36,288 for females
    • Per capita income for the township was $51,767
  • Walker
    • Median income for a household in the city was $50,903
    • Median income for a family was $58,912
    • Males had a median income of $37,438 versus $28,372 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $26,583.
  • Wyoming
    • Medium income for a household in the city was $46,849
    • Median income for a family was $50,000
    • Males median income $35,772 versus $25,482 for females
    • Per capita income for the city was $22,39



Figure 2.3

Education (2015 Census) High school graduate or higher, percent of persons are 25+ Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25+
East Grand Rapids 98% 79.3%
Grand Rapids 85.1% 36.6%
Grandville 92.5% 32.9%
Ada Township 97.7% 63.6%
Walker 94.0% 31.5%
Wyoming 84.0% 20.7%


Consumer Geography

  • Customer for a Carrabba is typically within an 8 to 10 miles radius of Ada Carrabba’s
  • The average time that a consumer is willing to travel to a Casual Dining Restaurant is 17 minutes.


Figure 2.4


Consumer Behaviors and Perceptions

  • On average a consumer visit to a casual dining restaurant is substantially longer than at Fast Casual or Quick Serve. Carrabba’s casual dining concept needs to capitalize on this time with consumers to build a relationship that will trigger return visits and increase the concept’s net promoter scores.
  • Based on the average time spent dining is 1-2 hours per visit at Carrabba’s.


Carrabba’s Online Google Consumer Reviews


Erica Byers Pelton 5 months ago- 4 of 5 stars

They have a wide variety of items on the menu to choose from and everything is good. We have always had excellent service here and it is a great atmosphere. It is a little pricer than the other chain restaurants around but the food quality is excellent. It is not affordable enough for us to go regularly but definitely on special occasions.


Sarah Miller a year ago – 5 of 5 stars

The atmosphere is quiet. The food is always good. They now have smaller appetizers available, which is nice for couples. They always put bread with oil on the table. Easily one of my favorite places to eat out.


Gerard Louis a year ago – 5 of 5 stars

My fiancée and I went here for my birthday. We were promptly greeted when we walked in. Our waiter, Caleb, was great! He had the right balance of helpfulness and not hovering. He was also very knowledgeable about the menu and helped us pick a good wine that paired really well with our dinner. The food was phenomenal, I had the lobster ravioli and it was sinfully delicious!



Objectives and Strategies for the Target Market(s)


Objectives – Advertisements targeting upper middle class families, couples, and business professionals around West Michigan displaying award winning Italian-American recipes, a large selection of wines from around the world, and an exciting family dining atmosphere to create sustainable sales and improve brand awareness.

Ada Carrabba’s creative marketing content will focus on the restaurant brand image with “The Carrabba Family always sharing their great food and experiences with you” that marketing message will create an intangible market-base with West Michigan families. Ada Carrabba’s will spend advertising dollars first on lead generations, then on consumer retention, with generating awareness last.


Advertising Strategies and Public Relations Marketing –

  • Ada Carrabba’s will use advertising programs through Bloomin’ Brands national promotions.
  • Ada Carrabba’s will connect with consumers by brand visibility, conducting local marketing, online digital marketing, direct mailing, highway billboards, and promoting point-of-sale materials to consumers.


Traditional Advertising


Local traditional advertising is what most people think of when talking about advertising or marketing. This includes the “usual” venues for media placement, such as newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable television, or outdoor billboards.
Typical collateral materials needed for your business – like stationery, business cards, or brochures – would also fall under traditional advertising. These are the products that people normally expect from an established business, and are useful for building your business’ brand, identity, and image.


Print Media

  • Newspaper Press Releases – Targeting consumers in the Grand Rapids Press circulation and describing the unique and exciting family dining experience with award winning Italian American cuisine.
  • Flyers – Promotional print media handouts at trade shows and local events telling consumer about Carrabba’s 2016 award winning Italian dishes.


Video Media

  • Local T.V Broadcasting – using continuity scheduling and spreading media spending evenly across months. With an annual budget of $44,000 a year, continuity scheduling would allocate exactly $4,000 per month. This method ensures steady brand exposure over each purchase cycle for individual consumers. It also takes advantage of volume discounts in media buying.
  • Online Video Advertising – Using bloomin’ brands national T.V branding efforts to help our location to draw consumer’s attention.


Local Radio Broadcasts

  • Verbal descriptions to describe Carrabba’s Authentic Italian inspired dishes. Using local broadcasting stations around West Michigan.


Local Billboards

  • Targeting high volume traffic highways around Grand Rapids, specifically U.S. 131 North and U.S 196 East.




Online Advertising With culture trends leading to a digital-savvy consumer market, full service chain restaurants are continuing to invest in technology. Online channels are vital for restaurant chains like Carrabba’s Italian Grill, because online presence, brand awareness, and digital marketing strategies are effective due to the amount of time consumers now spend on their desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Ada Carrabba’s uses digital advertising and publishing networks to help the restaurant be more efficient with advertising expenditures. Online mediums will help to execute and develop relevant and timely campaigns and promotions based on local consumer demand.


Social Media Platforms and Search Engine Marketing Strategies

Objective –Is to have customer engagement and feedback from an online medium.


Facebook – Post on social media platform 2-3 times a week with community news and responses.

Twitter -Post on social media platform 2-3 times a week with community news and responses.

  • Both will promote Carrabba’s loyalty programs and contests to local consumers.
  • Discuss and inform consumers about Daily Chef Specials and new product launches.


Mobile marketing – Contacting new and loyal customers with mobile promotions

  • Targeting iPhone and Android smartphones for advertising and promotional content. According to the NRA, an estimated 67% of consumers use smartphones to look up restaurants directions, a number that climbs higher the younger the customers are.
  • Text messaging contest will attract brand awearness.

Using a CPC model, Ada Carrabba’s can connect with mobile internet users with Google mobile ads


Email marketingOffering food and beverage promotions

  • com page discussing the 25 email marketing statistics “44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (” and “7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. (2012 Blue Kangaroo Study)”.
  • According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. Companies that have the ability to manage, organize, and execute email campaigns while including the scheduling emails at a specific time and date, creating triggered campaigns.


Paid Search Advertising – Key to success is picking the right Keywords.

  • Using Google analytics.
  • PPC advantages is the ability for marketers to become the most relevant search term for a webpage online. Carrabba’s will do this by paying per click, this method becomes an effective short term boost in web traffic to Carrabba’s.
  • A clear disadvantage for this method is that PPC marketing methods will be constrained by budget factors for the business. Therefore when the budget runs out so does Carrabba’s online marketing in PPC.


Search Engine Optimization – Key to Success is consistent online creative social promotions, social content and Ada Carrabba’s information.

  • Searches drives an incredible amount of both online and offline economic activity.
  • Higher rankings in the first few results are critical to visibility.
  • Being listed at the top of the results not only provides the greatest amount of traffic, but also instills trust in consumers as to the worthiness and relative importance of the company or website.
  • An advantage for SEO with the business is it can be more efficient in the cost per click overtime after the webpage is established with an authoritative page ranking.
  • Some disadvantages are the high upfront costs in building website content and for the long term benefits and it gaining the attention of consumers.


Marketing to Target Lifestyles

  • Communicators – Individuals who like expressing themselves, whether it’s face to face, mobile to mobile, or social networking sites, and emailing people. Are working or attending college and are interested in sports, pop culture, and latest trends.
  • Knowledge-Seekers – Are Individuals who want to gain information to educate themselves about the world. They want to hear from like-minded people during a purchasing decision.
  • Networkers – Are Individuals who like to establish and maintain relationships. Have a busy lifestyle, they are considered professional, trade worker, or managing at home. Use social networking to keep in touch with people is a heavy internet user



Marketing Position and Mix Summary



Offering the finest in food, service and atmosphere with the casual price.


Easy in store and online purchasing – Creating and applying simple and easy purchase methods for consumers


Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Menu

Offers authentic Italian cuisine passed down from the founder’s’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order.


  1. Chef Specials –
    1. Carry-out family dinner bundle – A Budget-minded dinner will be a familiar option for family consumers that want quality food to take home.
    2. Amore Mondays
    3. Tasting Tuesday
    4. Pizza & Wine Wednesday – Customer can create a custom pizza and pair it with a unique wine.
  2. Appetizers & Small plates – Price Range –
    1. Appetizers7 options available
    2. Small Plates – 6 options available
  3. Soups and Salads – Price range –
    1. Soups3 options available
    2. Salads – 5 options available
    3. Combos
  4. Entrees – Price Range –
    1. Authentic homemade pasta Italian food with Mama Mandola’s family recipes
    2. Freshly flame grilled beef, pork, veal, chicken, and seafood style entrees.
    3. Custom made wood-fire pizzas
    4. Combinations
  5. Under 600 & and Gluten Free – Price Range –
    1. Under 600 – 31 options available
    2. Gluten Free – 35 options
  6. Desserts – Price Range –
    1. Sweet Italian Treats 5 options available
  7. Beverages – Price Range –
    1. Wine – Carrabba’s offers wine sourced from across the world and invite you to explore Carrabba’s selections that offer a variety of New World Familiarity, Old World Classics and Interesting Gem’s. Our wine list includes over 30 wines sold by the glass, so you can always find the perfect pairing to go alongside one of our made from scratch Italian favorites.
    2. Italian sangria & Cocktails – 10 options available
    3. Italian beers – 2-5 options available
    4. Cold Beverages –14-16 options available


  • Wood-Fire Grill: The wood-fire grill preparation infuses food with delicious flavor through natural burning wood, which perfectly complements Carrabba’s signature grill baste.
  • Freshness: Carrabba’s food quality is unmatched in the category. Dishes are made from scratch, in an open kitchen for the entire restaurant to see.
  • Sourcing: Carrabba’s sources its ingredients from all over the world, e.g. vinegars from the Modena region in Italy and ricotta salata from Sardinia, to ensure the most authentic and fresh flavors go into the dishes.
  • Nutrition: Approximately 31 dishes on the revamped menu are under 600 calories. Designed and managed by registered dieticians, Carrabba’s gluten-free menu offers 33 options, including a gluten-free pasta option.



Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Service

Front of house service that embodies Carrabba’s Italian Grill commitment to hospitality.

  • Prompt and attentive customer service
  • Management and staff members have clean and professional uniforms to distinguish themselves from customers
  • Professional mannered staff with energetic and positive attitudes
  • Ready to make menu recommendations and wine paring, if asked. No detail is ever too small to pay attention to when dining.
  • Escorting patrons to the table, holding the chair for women.


Offering Carry Out Service

  • Food is cooked to order and safely packaged for consumers to take home
  • Order is completed to customer satisfaction and completed after set specific time within 30 minutes


Carrabba’s Italian Casual Dining Atmosphere

Inside and Outside Restaurant Presentation

  • Scenic outside patio dining and seating.
  • Lighting will be subtle, leaning toward dim (romantic).
  • Music playing subtly in the background will reflect the theme, such as classical for a traditional fine dining restaurant


Exhibition Style Kitchen and Bar. – Ada Carrabba’s open kitchen atmosphere is where guests can see and smell fresh flavorful Italian dishes being prepared.

  • Ada Carrabba’s open kitchen atmosphere includes the Kitchen Counter, where guests can experience exhibition style cooking as dishes that are prepared right in front of them.
  • See and experience the process of preparing a handmade pizza and smell the wood-fire oven from the dining room.
  • Ada Carrabba’s modern bar design includes open bar seating, an elegant back wall display for customers to choose alcoholic beverages, and several community tables where friends can meet to enjoy favorite dishes and cocktails.

Modern Tableware and Furniture

  • Open family dining room tables that seat up 4 to 8 customers
  • Secluded section with dining tables for couples
  • Comfortable booths with seating for 4
  • Linen tablecloths
  • Fine china, wine glassware and flatware
  • Centerpiece Candlelight paired with authentic Olive oil bottles


Destination Attraction

  • A unique destination attraction will be a replica of a famous Italian wishing fountain.


Distribution Strategy


Business to Consumer Model – Exclusive Distribution.

Ada Carrabba’s chooses a direct-sales, channel because the business has access to the customer keeping all revenue under the control. Ada Carrabba’s will establish retail and online order purchase processes.


After analyzing consumer demographics in Kent County and West Michigan.  A restaurant location will be established at retail location in Ada Township’s business district. Covering Primary target demographics within a 10 mile radius.  Reasons for this decision are as follows.

  • Household median income in the Ada Township is $121,439 dollars
  • Percentage of the age population between the ages 25-65 in the area is over 50%.
  • The percentage of consumers with at least a bachelor’s degree is around 63%. This resonates with Carrabba’s sophisticated authentic Italian dining experience.

Ada Carrabba’s will implement a “Total cost of ownership” (“TCO”) approach that focuses on the initial purchase price, coupled with the cost structure underlying the procurement and order fulfillment process. The reason for that choice is:

  • The TCO approach includes monitoring commodity supplier markets and trends that execute product purchases at the most advantageous times.


 Price Strategy 

  • Ada Carrabba’s Italian Grill will seek to serve upper middle class families and the couples segment with a focus on matching expected and perceived brand value.
  • Moderately priced casual dining menu entrees are between $10-$30 dollars, featuring a mix of classics Italian American cuisines, individualized dishes with signature sauces, dips or other toppings cuisine.
  • Ada Carrabba’s Restaurant will use a Cost-plus pricing that includes all the overhead costs that are occurred when running a restaurant, including rent, wages for waitstaff and cooks. Utilities water, gas, and electricity to power the kitchen and dining room.
  • Profit includes wages for the owner, as well as the ability to conduct repairs on the restaurant and expand the restaurant, this percentage should be added onto the cost of any food item, leading to prices that pay for food and overhead costs, and result in a profit.


Management SupervisionAda Carrabba’s will be prepared when executing core turnaround initiatives that will stop loss of profits and more importantly, drive enterprise value through a robust and sustainable business platform.  Area Operating Partners and Restaurant Managing Partners will have completed a comprehensive training program that emphasizes Bloomin Brand operating strategy, procedures and standards.


Bloomin’ Brands Corporate Team – Services and structures Ada Carrabba’s supply chain organization and costs they are responsible for all food and operating supply purchases.  As well as a large percentage of purchases of field and corporate services.  This customized relationship enables Ada Carrabba’s staff managers to effectively manage and prioritize their supply chain. Keeping product prices moderate for consumers compared to competitors in the area.



Ada Carrabba’s will use a mixture of push and pull promotional methods to help maintain consumer interest and have brand relevance, each family promotion concept leverages limited-time offers that is featuring seasonal specials. A consistent create message to customers is “The Carrabba’s family sharing award winning Italian American cuisine”


Push Methods

  • Cooking Trade shows
  • Personal Selling by FOH
  • Search engine optimization

Pull Methods

  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Content Marketing (Word of Mouth)
  • Sales promotion/ Discounts
  • Paid search advertising


Marketing Research/ Decision process


Local Test GroupsCarrabba’s can continuously evolve their product offerings to improve their efficiency and based on consumer trends and feedback.


Online and Text Message SurveysTracking consumer satisfaction data with online and mobile surveys after visit.


Collecting Online Analytic Data – Utilizing SEO webmaster tools with Google. Ada Carrabba’s can control spending on local SEO and Paid search advertising tactics with search engine websites.


Nielson Consumer Graphic Data– purchasing and using strategic tactics to better target our promotions to West Michigan consumers.


 Coordination with Business Functions


Franchising The Ada Carrabba’s will enter into a Bloomin’ Brands franchise agreements, the franchisees is required to pay an initial franchise fee and pay monthly royalties based on the percentage of gross restaurant sales (5.75%). Coordinating with Bloomin’ brands for supply distribution chain.  Initial franchise fees are $40,000 for U.S. franchisees


Local PartnershipWith Ada Township’s business district committee to coordinate with local businesses for local events.


Sales Forecast and Expense Budget


Selected Sales Data Following is sales mix by product type and average check per person for Company-owned restaurants during fiscal year 2015:


Figure 5.1

Selected Sales Data – 2015 U.S. Market Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 85%
Alcoholic Beverages 15%
Average check per person ($USD) $21


Figure 5.2      

Cost of Sales Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Cost of sales $1,419.7 $1,435.4
% of Restaurant sales 32.6% 32 .5%

Cost of sales, consisting of food and beverage costs, increased slightly as a percentage of Restaurant sales in 2015 as compared to 2014.


Figure 5.3

Labor and Other Related Expenses Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Labor and Other Related $1,205.6 $1,219.0
% of Restaurant sales 27.7% 27.6%

Labor and other related expenses include all direct and indirect labor costs incurred in operations, including distribution expense to Restaurant Managing Partners, costs related to field deferred compensation plans, and other field incentive compensation expenses.


Figure 5.4

Other Restaurant Operating Expenses Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
(Dollars in Millions) 2015 2014
Other Restaurant Operating $1,006.8 $1,049.1
% of Restaurant sales 23.1% 23.8%

Other restaurant operating expenses include certain unit-level operating costs such as operating supplies, rent, repairs and maintenance, advertising expenses, utilities, pre-opening costs and other occupancy costs. A substantial portion of these expenses is fixed or indirectly variable.

Sales Forecast and Cash Flow


 Expense Budget   


Implementation Plan


Year 1


Quarter 1 – Staff Placement, begin promotional campaigns, and startup costs


Quarter 2 – Increase online and traditional promotional campaigns


Quarter 3 – Initiate measurements on promotional methods


Quarter 4 – Communicate promotional strategy with Bloomin’ Brands


Figure 3.2

Planned Promotion/advertising mediums

Expected Brand Improvement Cost ($) Target Date
Search Engine Marketing and

Online Advertising; customer reviews and online information:,, and Promoting happy hour and & chef specials
Social Media campaign with Facebook and Twitter. Promotions through loyalty program with mobile text messaging that will encourage customer engagement. Medium expenses because of promotional discounts
Mailers and regional print advertising: promotional discounts Awareness Campaigns Coupon, media placement and print costs 11/01/2017

Month before and continued after launch

Press Release – Describing the unique atmosphere and display attraction at Ada Carrabba’s Awareness and consumer interest TBD 10/07/2017

2 months before Grand Opening

Billboard Advertising  Campaign Awareness and consumer interest 10/01/2017

2 months before and maintain for 8 months after, then reevaluate.

 Grand Opening Special Event Attract the local community and nearby cities


Management Processes

  • Establishing information security, privacy, cashless payments, gift cards and consumer credit, protection and fraud.


Online Creative Content

SEO Creative Content Example: Figure 3.1


Wine and Dine at Carrabba’s


Red Wines


Cabernet Sauvignon:  is the name of both the grape and the wine it produces. The primary taste of this wine is blackcurrant, a sweet earthy taste unlike other berries. Fresh gooseberry and passionfruit flavour-aromas and hints of raspberry, combined with the floral aromatic notes of carnations and roses.

Cabernets are hearty and rich and thus go best with tomato-based red sauce and are terrific with steaks or chops—like lamb chops with frizzled herbs. The firm tannins in these wines refresh the palate after each bite of meat. BIG, BOLD, ROBUST.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Beringer Founder’s Estate, Cal.
  • Dark Horse , California
  • Coppola Diamond, California
  • Lohr “Seven Oak”, California
  • Louis Martini, California
  • Sequoia Grove, Napa Valley, Cal.


Italian Chianti is a strong, bold red wine that is perfectly suited for flavorful, well-seasoned sauces. It pairs best with tomato-based red sauces, but will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces. CHERRIES, BERRIES AND SPICE.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Gabbiano Chianti, Tuscany
  • Santa Cristina Chianti Superiore, Tuscany


Merlot is not as harsh as other reds, merlot is mellow with flavors of plums, black cherry, violets, and orange. It is best paired with tomato-based red sauces.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Ecco Domani, Italy
  • Robert Mondavi Private Selection, California
  • Markham, California


Pinot Noir is a light red wine with flavors that include earth, vanilla (from the oak), and jam. This versatile wine goes well with tomato-based red sauces, but will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces.  Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Mark West, California
  • Coppola Votre Santé, California
  • Elouan, Oregon


Sangiovese is a hefty red wine that goes wonderfully with spicy Italian dishes. Best paired with tomato-based red sauces, it will also work with cream- or oil-based sauces.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces Also: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces


Zinfandel, is a deep red wine. Spicy and peppery, with a hint of berries or dark cherries, this wine goes best with thick, tomato-based red sauces.  The words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel. SMOOTH AND VELVETY.

  • Best paired with: Red Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Joel Gott Zinfandel, California


White Wines


Chardonnay white wine can taste semi-sweet or sour, heady or light. Typical flavors are apple, tangerine, lemon, lime, melon, and oak. Like most white wines, it is best paired with cream- or oil-based sauces, considered to be delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush white sauce.  Can also be served with a light, tomato-based red sauce. CITRUS, APPLES, OAK.

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces Also: Red Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • William Hill, California
  • Kendall-Jackson, California
  • Decoy by Duckhorn, Sonoma County, California
  • Franciscan Cuvée Sauvage, Napa Valley, California


Pinot Grigio are actually the same white grape, with two different names: In Italy and California this wine is known as Pinot Grigio.  Light seafood dishes, like seafood tostada bites, seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy This wine is best paired with cream- or oil-based sauces, but can hold its own with tomato-based red sauces, as well. DRY AND DELICATE

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces Also: Red Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, Italy
  • Chloe Pinot Grigio, Italy
  • Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Italy


Sauvignon Blanc wine often tastes of grass and apple, and has a soft, smoky flavor. Sauvignon Blancs tend to be crisp and acidic, which make them a nice match for cream- or oil-based sauces. Goes well with tart dressings and sauces.  ZESTY, AROMATIC, FRESH.

  • Best paired with: White Sauce and Oil-Based Sauces


Carrabba’s Wine Selection

  • Riondo Prosecco, Italy
  • Noble Vines 242, California
  • Kim Crawford, Marlborough, New Zealand


Measurement Methods

Key measures that we use in evaluating our restaurants and assessing our business include the following.

  • Average restaurant unit volumes —average sales per restaurant to measure changes in consumer traffic, pricing and development of the brand
  • Comparable restaurant sales —year-over-year comparison of sales volumes for Company-owned restaurants that are open 18 months or more in order to remove the impact of new restaurant openings in comparing the operations of existing restaurants;
  • System-wide sales —total restaurant sales volume for all Company-owned, franchise and unconsolidated joint venture restaurants, regardless of ownership, to interpret the overall health of our brands
  • Adjusted restaurant-level operating margin, Adjusted income from operations, Adjusted net income, Adjusted diluted earnings per share —non-GAAP financial measures utilized to evaluate our operating performance, which definitions, usefulness and reconciliations are described in more detail in the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below; and
  • Consumer satisfaction scores —measurement of our consumers’ experiences in a variety of key product and service areas.


Required Staff


Job Title Quantity Expected staff turnover Skills necessary Date required
Restaurant Manager 1 * Prior restaurant experience and Bloomin Brand manager course 01/15/2018
Kitchen Manager 2 * Prior restaurant experience and Bloomin Brand manager 01/15/2018
Assistant Kitchen Manager 2 * ** 09/01/2018
Line/Prep Cook 10 * ** 09/01/2018
Information technology Support 2 * ** 09/01/2018
Bartender 4 * ** 09/01/2018
Servers 10 Every year ** 09/01/2018
Hostesses 4 Every year ** 09/01/2018
Busser/Dishwasher 6 * ** 09/01/2018
Human resources 1 * ** 09/01/2018


  • *- These positions do not have high turnover rate. Most of Carrabba’s employees are loyal to the business.
  • **- No skills required.


Recruitment Options 

 All manager positions are on a 3 year contract, which is done through a management program. All hourly positions are employed from Carrabba’s website at https//  These positions are as followed: host, bartender, server, head waiter server, assistant kitchen manager, line cook, and carry out services, trainer, dishwasher, and busser.  The human Resource Manager does all hiring and firing with the approval of the restaurant manager.


Training Programs

 All employees will receive in-house training consisting of a three day training session in that position.  During training sessions, employees are taught all of the needed skills for that position.  Once the training session is completed, employees enter a two-day shadow program, where they are expected to perform all duties next to trainer for that position.

Retaining employees is a critical piece that is often overlooked and can provide much needed consistency and stability for concepts that are in a turnaround phase.





Webpage Layout

Design a landing page that makes effective use of colors, trust symbols, buttons, images, and forms that would align with Relationship Marketing (RM) strategies aimed at managing long-term relationships with customers.  Explain in detail how each element would improve conversion rate.

A landing page is the first webpage that a visitor to a site will see.  “It could be the home page, a product page, or a stand-alone page created to be the destination when some clicks on a banner ad” (Larson, & Draper).  Marketers try to funnel the majority of internet traffic to landing pages specifically to maximize visitor conversion.  A marketer should know that landing pages should not include unnecessary distractions. If the element does not directly impact the visitors’ decision to reach the goal an advertiser has in mind, the company is probably better off removing it from the page. A company can perform A/B tests on landing pages to determine whether specific features of the page are helping or hindering conversion rates.

Elements of a Landing Page

Navigation – The navigation bar may be a critical element for some buyer types and products.  If consumers are interested in the product or service they may need more information that might not fit on the page thus resulting in a link on the navigation bar into guiding the customer into a sale.

Colors – Base colors often fall in line with the normal look and feel of the websites, but an advertiser’s advantage is using different colors to draw the consumer eye’s attention to it call to action and goal.  When implementing this tactic, advertisers should remember to main a consistent color scheme in the online ad campaign.

Buttons – Buttons are crucial for success because landing pages have a conversion goal in mind and buttons allow the customer to follow the businesses call to action.  Our book recommends that “A/B tests should be run on color, shape, and size for the button that brings the greatest conversion” (Larson, & Draper).

Images – The right imagery can increase a visitor’s desire to move forward and take action.   Having professional photographs of or about the products can communicate quickly to visitors to help understand what they should do and where they should go on a website.  By using images the site can improve user interaction.

Trust symbols – One way to dissipate a consumers fear is to include trust symbols in the page layout. “A trust symbol is any symbol, icon, image, or small statement communicating to the user that the site is legitimate” (Larson, & Draper).

Optimize for Conversion

By decreasing the bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment, a website will improve its conversion rates.  Having price discounts, promotions, and a streamlined payment process are few of the many thing to help a business’s online conversion rate.

Businesses should use Google analytics’ Content Experiments to help understand what landing page format will lead to higher conversion rates.

Website need to be as easy as possible for visitors to understand and navigate and the site needs to be explicit about the point of each page and what it wants visitors to do on that page or where to go next.

“A well-designed website is essential for the modern day firm. It is a highly valuable extension of the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. Existing clients will visit your firm’s website to find quick information” (Fannigan)



Larson, & Draper. (2015). Landing Page Optimization. In Internet Marketing Essentials. Retrieved from

Fannigan, M. Brian, “Five Relationship Marketing Strategies that Work”,

Why Businesses Use Web Analytics

All website user behavior can be tracked and measured in a way that allows us to make the best website design decision with the user in mind, rather than giving final decision power to the graphic designer.  “Website analytics refers to the data generated by website visitors. Therefore any website that has installed an analytics package, can examine several aspects of visitors’ browsing and purchasing behavior on the website” .    By adding an html code (tag) to your webpages you pass information to the analytics, program every time the server receives a request for that page.  The analytics programs stores this information and provides marketers will the data and information into expanding their businesses web designs and marketing tactics.

A website’s analytics package is capable of recording various metrics that can in turn be used for the company’s benefit. Basic metrics include things like “hits” on a page, visits on a page, visitors (more than one time visit), and time on a page.

There are also calculated metrics such as average page depth, average visit duration, entrance rate, and site bounce rate.  There are also manual metrics such as conversion rate and revenue which must be calculated.

Google Analytics, it allows you to focus on your audience and better understand their interests, language, location and what type of device they were using to access your website.  Identifying you businesses target audience you can justify trends in geographical areas, a company could create marketing campaigns that would immediately have an impact because they already have the data to suggest.  Helping business owners and managers implement better logistics and costs decisions in the area that is interested in my product.

A useful method in applying consumer generated data analyzed by Google Analytics is data activation. This tool allows marketers to improve upon existing marketing campaigns while experimenting with new content and media vehicles, and it also provides the opportunity for re-marketing, based off how or why the visitor used the website or app.  Effect web marketing tactics should lead your target customers to your online business domain. By expanding to more core customer demographics, it could lead to better sales forecasts because you’re increasing your websites conversion rates over time with an increase in loyal customers.