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Hershey Italian Lodge Marketing Plan

In: Business and Management

Submitted By leesimon
Words 6707
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A private club, with a rich community history, faces the challenge of membership declines and shrinking profits. Like many private clubs, the Hershey Italian Lodge’s declines are driven by economic downturns, aging membership, and increased competition. This document explores the hardships facing the club as well as some alternative action steps the lodge can take to meet those adversities head on.

Marketing Plan
The Hershey Italian Lodge

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Company Overview
The Hershey Italian Lodge (HIL) is in its 94th year of operation. Located in the heart of Hershey, PA, HIL was established by a small group of Italian men in 1920. The name Nuova Societa Italiana Indipendente Di Mutuo Soccorso Per Uomini was, and still is, the true name of the lodge. It means, Men’s New Independent Italian Mutual Benefit Society. HIL is a private men’s social club that includes a bar &restaurant serving a traditional style Italian menu, a banquet, and other activities and amenities. As a staple of the Hershey community for many years, the HIL is well known and respected throughout the area. The primary goal of the lodge is to preserve their heritage and build a strong, close community. The mission statement is, “…to provide a comfortable, friendly, affordable, family atmosphere for our members and guests.” The saying “Ieri, Oggi, Domain, Sempre Fratelli” is the motto of the organization and is printed at the bottom of each quarterly newsletter. Translated, this means, “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Always Brothers”. There are currently approximately 3,000 total members; although a large population of the membership has relocated to areas outside of Hershey. The primary membership is the “Active” membership. The requirement to join as an “Active” member is that an individual be a male 21 years or older and of Italian decent. The club also offers a “Ladies Auxiliary” membership, as well as, a “Social” membership; both are open to the public. Social members must also be at least 21 years old. The cost of membership is $30 annually for an active or social membership, and auxiliary members (spouses) can be added for an additional $15. The club offers a number of social activities for members including a Bocce league, organized golf events, a pool league, a summer picnic, sponsored trips to sporting events, Karaoke, and live bands on the weekends. In order for customers to drink alcohol at the Hershey Italian Lodge, they must be members. The lodge has a full kitchen with a traditional Italian menu including pasta, seafood, steaks, pizza and Stromboli. The lodge also has a full bar serving a range of beers, mixed drinks, micro brews and other beverages. There is daily food and drink specials, including $5 lunch, Drink of the Day, and Chef’s choice dinner specials. The banquet facility is primarily used by members, and accommodates parties from 50 – 250 people. The unique feature of this facility is the cost of the space is free as long as the party orders food. According to the lodge, members are using the facilities at different times depending on the activity. For example, the older generation (65+) is the main population of dining between the hours of 4-8pm. After 8pm, the dynamics changes to a bar crowd with an age range of 35-60.
*See appendix for additional detail.

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There is also a 46 team Bocce league played at the lodge at different times during the week, with player ages ranging from 21-70+. During the 1980s membership was thriving. The club generated profits and offered a wide range of activities to club members. The club was also recognized as a significant charity contributor in the community. Unfortunately, the economic downturn of the late 1990s and through the 2000s has taken its toll on membership enrollment and activity. Couple this with an aging member base and the Italian Lodge has seen their membership and profits decrease over the past decade. As a result, operating expenses have been cut, to manage profits, causing services and activities to be reduced. The HIL board of directors believes attracting new membership is the key to the long-term success of the business. HIL offers an attractive, well-known, private social club membership services pack with amenities that continue to be valued by consumers. The 5 year goal for the club is to increase membership by 3-5%. Although you must be 21 yrs. old to be a member, HIL is targeting males, 30-55 yrs. old, with families, and an annual income between $35K-$55K. Company Statistics

Membership by Type
Social 93% Auxilary Active 1% 6%

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Membership by Age
41-55 35%

31-40 25%
21-30 5% 55 & Older 35%

Revenue by Category

Food 48%

Bar 39% Membership 10% Banquet 3%

Hours of Operation
*Per the quarterly newsletter, the Hershey Italian Lodge hours of operation are as follows:
  

Bar: Sun-Thurs 12p-12a

Fri-Sat 12p- 2a Fri-Sat 12p –11a

Restaurant/Dining room: Mon-Thurs 12p-10p Banquet: Reservations Required

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Company Web Strategy
The Hershey Italian Lodge does have a website and a Facebook page but neither is consistently maintained. The website* has a very old feel and has not been updated with key items such as the latest company hours and menu. The Facebook page is available but also lacks the consistent maintenance necessary to be useful. The last outward communication on Facebook was over 2 months ago.

Market Summary
Hershey Italian Lodge provided their perception of the market and the target customers. The intention is to use the information provided by HIL in combination with our own research to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how HIL can improve the offering and achieve its goals. Note: All demographic and geographic stats provided by Market Analysis

Potential Customers Male Female Total Italian Heritage Total Italian Heritage %

Hershey 6,746 7,511 14,257 1,711 12.0%

Hummelstown 2,186 2,337 4,523 262 5.8%

Harrisburg 23,708 25,571 49,279 1,528 3.1%

Lancaster 29,486 29,874 59,360 2,196 3.7%

York 20,973 22,577 43,550 1,698 3.9%

Total 83,099 87,870 170,969 7,396 4.3%

M/F % 48.6% 51.4% 100%

Market Demographics
The profile for The Hershey Italian Lodge’s target customer consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors:

*See appendix for additional detail.

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   

The immediate geographic target is the city of Hershey, PA. The city of Hershey is 14.4 square miles. The total targeted population is just over 14,000, with a 12% Italian ancestry. Hershey is a huge tourist destination, with over 2.5 million tourists annually.

    

Male: 47.3% Female: 52.7%. The median resident age is 35.3 years compared to 43.3 for the state. 49.5% of population 15 years and older are married. The estimated median income is $53,838. 94.2% of the target population has a High school diploma, 52.4% have an undergraduate degree, and 26.9% have a graduate degree.

The average commute to work is 16.7 minutes

Behavior Factors
At 12%, Hershey’s percent of Italian population is the highest in the area. Italians are very proud of their history and the preservation of their tradition through the younger generation. They take pride in a family first approach as well as their fondness of cooking and wine. For Italians, family starts in the home but extends to their Italian brethren and the local community. It’s very important for them to spend time socially with each other, as they feel the time goes a long way towards building strong relationships and a strong community.

Market Needs

Social needs – Keeping the population and behavior factors in mind, Italian families desire a place to come together with other Italian families and share in a traditional atmosphere; designed in the spirit of Italy. For non-Italian members, HIL offers a chance

*See appendix for additional detail.

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for their families to come in and share in the atmosphere, while enjoying traditional food and drinks. The target customer appreciates the Italian heritage and cuisine, but also prefers a less formal more personal dining experience.

Economic needs – The U.S. economy rebounding from a recent economic downturn. Competition has been aggressive on price to adjust the demands of cost conscious consumers. The target consumer values a low cost, higher quality dining experience for their family.

Convenience – Over the years, family dynamics have changed; with a rapid increase in homes where both parents are employed. As a result, the time for meal preparation in the home has been reduced and parents are relying more on local restaurants to supplement meals. It is important that restaurants offer quality solutions that are prepared in a reasonable time and have options that meet the nutritional needs of the entire family.

Market Trends
The market trend for the private social club industry has been an overall decline in memberships and activities. The trend is primarily driven by increased competition and changing family dynamics. Most private clubs are close to 100 years old, with services that cater to an aging membership population. However, this is not the only challenge facing these clubs. Changes in market demographics like the age, race, and sex of the working class have all had a major impact on club memberships. Clubs have been forced to make alterations to their services to stay competitive.

Market Decline
Overall, the club market has seen steady decline in memberships since the 1980’s. The Hershey Italian Lodge has not experienced the same level of membership erosion, but has experienced consistent decline in member frequency, club activity, and in-house spending. Competition has continued to increase over the years with new, high-end, restaurant and entertainment options. Clubs have been slow to adopt changes for fear that they may not appeal to the current membership.

*See appendix for additional detail.

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The changing role of women in the home and society has also played a major role in the decline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women employed in 1970 was 29.7 million. As of 2011, that number was 65.6 million and growing. This staggering growth and social evolution of women has changed the needs of the clubs members. Historically male dominated, private clubs have struggled to come up with membership types and activities that address the needs of woman.

The Hershey Italian Lodge is a traditional social club that offers a number of different services. The target customers are males with families between the ages of 30-55 yrs. old. The target market is Hershey, PA and the surrounding areas. While there are no other Italian social clubs in the area, there are a number of private clubs, Italian restaurants, and other chain restaurants that are in direct competition for the target customer. HIL management identifies the VFW and American Legion as the competition in the best position to threaten their business. Therefore, we will review these organizations as well as some other local restaurants and private clubs to ensure we fully understand the competitive landscape. Private Clubs & Banquets The primary private club competition in the area is golf clubs, the VFW, and the American Legion. Golf clubs offer a large number of benefits but are focused on families with a greater interest in recreational activities such as swimming, golf, & tennis. The clubs also offer fine dining restaurants and banquet facilities but the membership and services are expensive and target a consumer with a higher income range. The VFW and American Legion are national organizations that offer a wide range of benefits to veterans and their families. These benefits include everything from healthcare to college scholarships and employee placement. The facilities normally include a bar & restaurant combo and banquet facilities available for members and non-member use. *Veterans of Foreign Wars & American Legion The VFW & American Legion membership offers social benefits that are similar to HIL’s membership. The difference is, they are national organizations, with over 2 million members and are solely focused on wartime veterans and their families. They not only offer recreational benefits for members but also rehabilitation and community services. The only commonalities are membership and the bar & restaurant; but these service is offered more as a convenience to

*See appendix for additional detail.

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members and not a part of the core business. The membership has experienced declines due to a reduction in the US military but consistent U.S. military activity throughout the world continues to create demand for their services. Therefore, although both organizations offer a social club atmosphere, the target customers are different. For this reason, the VFW and American Legion are not direct competition for HIL and should not be a high priority for HIL management.
Golf Club

Golf Clubs are the modern social clubs. They compete with HIL’s member activities, restaurant & bar service, and banquet facilities. Two local golf clubs in the area are The Hershey Country Club and Colonial Ridge. Both are traditional golf clubs that offer golf, swimming, tennis, fine dining, and banquet facilities. The monthly membership price ranges from $138 - $385 per month. The price for wedding and banquets ranges from $75 - $90 per person with a minimum number of occupants. Similar to HIL, these clubs have experienced membership declines in recent years, primarily as a result of economic downturns. The summary below is a quick comparison (Advantage/Disadvantage/Similar) to HIL.        Place: Advantage – newer establishments with modern accents and amenities that are superior to HIL. Menu: Advantage – the menus are more upscale and are considered fine dining. Menu Price: Disadvantage Promo: Advantage – a much higher use of web and social media platforms to promote. Club Membership: Advantage – Club members have access to more services and upscale facilities. Membership Price: Disadvantage – $138 - $385 per month. Banquet & Wedding Price: Disadvantage – $75 - $90 per person for wedding.

Restaurants There are a number of local and chain restaurants in the area including Houlihans, Devon’s, and Fire Alley. These restaurants offer a variety of menu options but are not Italian eateries. Therefore, the focus for this evaluation will be on the top competitors offering a traditional style Italian menu. *Piazza Sorrento Piazza Sorrento (PS) started in 2009 and was quickly voted “Best New Restaurant” by Harrisburg Magazine. Piazza Sorrento is a “modern Italian restaurant based on “Old World”
*See appendix for additional detail.

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Italian recipes of the owner’s family back in Italy.” The restaurant is owned and operated by Pete and Anna Maria Collura, a local Italian family that started a pizza shop in Hershey back in the 1980’s. The pizza shop was a huge success and lead to the opening of Piazza Sorrento in 2009. The hours of operation are Mon-Wed 11am – 9:30pm; Thurs-Sat 11am – 10pm; Sun Closed. The menu is similar to HIL in terms of the traditional Italian items but has considerable advantage in some other areas. Piazza Sorrento uses no frozen ingredients, which means everything on the menu is prepared fresh daily; and their homemade pasta, made daily in-house, can be ordered for all entrees. They have a separate and full “Gluten Free” menu that includes appetizers, salads, lunch, dinner, desserts, pizza and subs. Gluten Free alternatives have become a huge point of emphasis, particularly in Italy, where it has become routine for children to be tested for the disease by the age of six. The menu at PS features a suggested wine and price per glass with each entrée and pizza. Another unique feature of PS, is the “Piazza Party Truck.” The party truck is targeted at sporting events, community events, birthday parties etc. The menu usually includes pizza, subs, and drinks but can be altered upon request. Ordering option include, pick-up or drop-off box lunches, buffets, and in-home dinner parties. Finally, PS offers full service catering, including a full bar, to any event in the Hershey area. The catering service can accommodate groups of 50-600 off-site. The in-house banquet facility can accommodate 4050 people. On Sundays, the entire restaurant is available for private parties. These distinguishing features really put Piazza Sorrento ahead of the competition. They not only have the Italian lineage to support their menu, but they are also aligned with the latest consumer trends and demand. The location of PS is a major drawback. It’s located in a shopping center with poor parking and a poor external ambience. The summary below is a quick comparison (Advantage/Disadvantage/Similar) to HIL.       History: Disadvantage – HIL has a longer history but PS owners also have a 25yr history in the area. Menu: Advantage – Fresh ingredients, Homemade Pasta, and Gluten Free menu. Place: Advantage – Opened in 2009, larger dining room, catering and party truck Price: Similar – Most areas of the menu are comparably priced but PS has the more expensive Gluten Free option as well as some signature dishes. Promo: Advantage – a web strategy that is better executed. Club Membership: Disadvantage – HIL’s club membership offers a number of benefits not offered here.

*Fenicci’s Fenicci’s is a traditional Italian restaurant that has serviced the Hershey area since 1935. Started by a local Italian family, Fenicci’s ownership has changing hands a few times over the years, but is still locally owned and operated. The hours of operation are Mon-Thurs 11am – 12am; Fri-Sat
*See appendix for additional detail.

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11am – 1am; Sun 11am – 11pm. The menu is very similar to HIL in terms of price and items. However, Fenicci’s menu offers a few more options in the pizza, seafood, and steak areas of the menu. The summary below is a quick comparison (Advantage/Disadvantage/Similar) to HIL.       History: Similar Menu: Advantage – a few more options and signature dishes Place: Advantage – recent renovations, larger dining room Price: Similar Promo: Advantage – a web strategy that is better executed Club Membership: Disadvantage – HIL’s club membership offers a number of benefits not offered here.

*Mangia Mangia Mangia Mangia is a traditional Italian restaurant that was started 2 years ago by a local family, of Sicilian decent. Mangia is a “Trattoria style” eatery, which is a less formal, low cost alternative to a formal dining restaurant. Mangia’s dishes are also served family style, meaning dishes are meant to be shared. The hours of operation are Tues-Sat 11am – 10pm; Sun 11am – 8pm. The menu is very similar to the HIL in terms of price and items. However, Mangia’s menu does not include steaks, except when offered as a special and also is a BYOB establishment. The summary below is a quick comparison (Advantage/Disadvantage/Similar) to HIL.       History: Disadvantage – 2 yrs. old Menu: Disadvantage – No bar service, although, the family style ordering is a point of differentiation. Place: Advantage – A newer building with modern accents and features that are appealing to customers; also larger dining room Price: Similar Promo: Advantage – Web strategy better executed Club Membership: Disadvantage – HIL’s club membership offers a number of benefits not offered here.

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Situational Analysis
The Hershey Italian Lodge offers a unique private social club membership for families of Italian decent and the local community. The club offers an affordable dining experience, a pleasant social atmosphere, and membership activities that engage the entire family. The club has identified that member participation and revenues are falling and they are need of a way to reengage current members and attract new ones. In an attempt to reengage and attract members, the club has made a number of building renovations, including removing a main wall to open up the dining area, and renovating the banquet areas. The wall removal was a huge step for the lodge because the wall restricted dining room hours. Prior to the removal, the dining room was only available between the hours of 5-9 Tuesday thru Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Those operating hours denied large groups the opportunity to enjoy the bar setting as seating in the bar area was limited. It also improved the dining experience for individuals wanting more of relaxed dining experience. With the wall taken down and hours extended, diners can take their time in the dining room. The change has the potential of increasing revenue from food and bar sales as members will stay longer and spend more. To attract new members, the club has been hosting family picnics and organizing bus trips to sporting events. They have added an occasional live band and a DJ on the weekends as well as made adjustments to the drink menu; including new microbrew beers and mixed drink specials. The primary source of promotion, at this time, is the newsletter. The current promotions include a daily $5 lunch deal, daily drink specials, daily dinner specials, member appreciation events, and membership referral incentives. They also use the newsletter to promote the newly renovated banquet facilities. The above changes will go a long way towards making the club more attractive to potential members, however, it is equally, if not more important, for the HIL stop and review the stated objectives and strategy of the organization. The translated name of the lodge is “Men’s New Independent Italian Mutual Benefit Society.” This states that the lodge is for Italian men; and since 1920 the lodge has operated under these guidelines. Over the years, HIL has moved in the direction of expanded the services to be more family inclusive, but the core mission remains. Currently, the club’s membership statistics reveal it has a much higher percent of social (nonItalian) members than active (Italian) members. However, it is the active members that visit the lodge more frequently and utilize the services. The club also has an aging facility and aging

*See appendix for additional detail.

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member population. The stated target customer is a male, with a family, between the ages of 3055 years old. The goal is not specific to Italian males. This is a major gap for the organization as they move forward, and the board needs to be clear with the objectives of the organization. The HIL also identifies the VFW and American Legion as their primary competition. These organizations offer a far different service and, in our opinion, should not be considered as the primary competition. HIL needs to understand who the competition is in order to effectively compete. The area golf clubs membership has a significant advantage, with onsite recreation activities with which HIL cannot compete with. However, the membership and services are expensive; and a number of customers are priced out of the market. HIL has an opportunity to capitalize on those customers and improve their membership numbers. Piazza Sorrento, Fenicci’s and Mangia! Mangia!, are competing directly with HIL’s bar and restaurant service. The customers at these restaurants share a passion for Italian cuisine and heritage. The restaurants are also owned and operated by local Italians that take great pride in creating an atmosphere that is pleasing to Italian families. With a competitive menu, innovative delivery strategies, and new construction and renovations, these restaurants are leaving the Hershey Italian Lodge with no choice but to make changes. After review, The Hershey Italian Lodge needs to shift its focus from the VFW and American Legion and place more emphasis on competing with the Italian restaurants in the area. These restaurants don’t offer a social membership but they do offer restaurant, bar and banquet services that rival those at HIL. They target a similar customer; offer a rich history, and a quality Italian cuisine. HIL is faced with stiff competition that has newer facilities, modern menus, innovative delivery strategies, and impressive web strategies. HIL has a revenue distribution that is 48% food and 39% bar. Therefore, be they members or not, the customers are coming in for the food and drinks. HIL has to realize that new competitors like, Mangia! Mangia! and Piazza Sorrento, which have opened in the last 5 years, are aggressively cutting into their market share; with offering that are convenient and without the cost of a membership. The market has social needs, economic needs, and convenience needs as stated above. HIL has an opportunity to increase membership and increase spending by current members as long as the organization can position itself to meet those needs. The stated target customer is a younger customer; and targeting younger a customer means targeting customers from a technology driven, convenience generation. If HIL has a technology deficiency, they may not be able to take on a position of relevance for the core consumer. To be successful, HIL must be proactive and put systems in place to recognize and address potential issues as well as the associated
*See appendix for additional detail.

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learning curve that accompanies any new process. A failure to properly execute the changes can lead to a failure to meet customer expectations, and ultimately a reduction of customer frequency. The best opportunity for the Hershey Italian Lodge to drive new membership and increase spending by current members is to identify the real competition. Take some cues from new competitors, like Mangia! Mangia! and Piazza Sorrento, to understand the latest demands of the target customer. Using the information, HIL can update the menu, service, delivery and web strategies, as necessary, to align the business with consumer needs. The Hershey Italian Lodge was started to serve the needs of the local Italian families. The business is losing customers to local Italian competitors that have better positioned themselves to meet the demands of the target consumer. By reviewing the areas where competition is having success and making some strategic adjustments, HIL can grow the business and stay true to the core business objectives. It’s also extremely important for HIL to review the impact the club membership is having on their business. Membership dues make up a very small percent of the total revenues and could easily be replaced with increased customer frequency and spending. HIL should review the benefits and limiting factors of the membership and consider making changes.

SWOT Analysis
The following SWOT analysis captures the key strength and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing the Hershey Italian Lodge.

 

Membership: 3,000 current members (has been relatively flat for the past decade) History: 94 year history with the community and many perspective customers in the target market

 

Product: A competitive menu and club benefit offered at an attractive price for members Strong name recognition and equity in the community

 

Aging member base Aging facilities

*See appendix for additional detail.

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   

Outdated Web Strategy No Gluten Free menu options Fee for membership A large population of the membership lives outside the Hershey area

   

Renewed Objective: Align services with target customer. Expand Service: Banquet & Catering Expand Menu: Add healthy choices including Gluten Free options Membership: Capitalize on women and other under-represented membership opportunities

Membership: Target families seeking club memberships that are priced out of today’s social clubs

  

Current & Future competition from area restaurants and other private clubs. A slump in the economy, reducing discretionary spending. Loss of current members during the learning curve process associated with adopted changes.

Relevance of club services to changing needs of target customer. Does the value of a male dominated social club membership still exist?

Critical Issues & Keys to Success
The Hershey Italian Lodge is in the declining growth stage. To meet the challenge, the Hershey Italian Lodge must:
 

Have an objective that is complete, clean and consistent. Continue to update the facilities and services to be attractive to today’s consumers.

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Take a modest growth approach, expanding services at a reasonable rate, not for the sake of servicing a completely different market, but because it is economically wise.

Marketing Strategy
The marketing strategy will be to improve brand equity, increase customer awareness of the Hershey Italian Lodge improvements, and build the customer base. The strategy will use several different methods to achieve these goals.

The mission of the Hershey Italian Lodge is to provide a comfortable, friendly, affordable, family atmosphere for members and guests. The Hershey Italian Lodge will continue to make the necessary updates to their facilities and services in an effort to consistently exceed customer expectations.

Marketing Objectives
   

Grow total membership by 5% in five years, focusing on 30-55 years old population. Increase repeat customers by 5% a quarter. Steadily increase Banquet reservations by 30% in 2 years. Improve brand awareness and acceptance, quantified by a decrease in customer acquisition costs.

HIL Membership Growth Goal
21-30 yrs. Old 30-40 yrs. Old 41-55 yrs. Old 55 yrs. & older) Total

Member %
5% 25%

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR
150 750 150 765 150 780 150 796 150 812 0.00% 8.00% 8.00% 0.00% 5.00%

35% 1,050 1,071 1,092 1,114 1,137 35% 1,050 1,050 1,050 1,050 1,050 100% 3,000 3,036 3,073 3,110 3,148

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Financial Objectives
  

Increase the profit margin by .5% a quarter. Increase weekend food and bar revenues by 50% in 2 years. Achieve a double digit growth rate in banquet revenue each year for at least the first three years.

Use “5s” lean concepts to develop efficiencies and remove waste from the HIL process.

Target Marketing
Hershey Italian Lodge segments its customers by their age and life cycle. HIL believes that the age and life-cycle of its members determines their services and activity requirements. 1. 21-30 Years Old (No children): These customers are singles and young couples. They prefer evening entertainment between the hours of 8pm-2am and enjoy being surrounding by people in the same age group. They prefer not to be out when there’s a large number of children present. The goal is to inform these customers of the available times when HIL is a fun place to hang out and meet new people. 2. 21-30 Years Old (With children): These customers can be singles or young couples beginning new families. Their children are usually younger children and don’t necessarily require any activities specific to their needs. However, child maintenance areas may be necessary (i.e. changing tables etc.). 3. 31-40 Years Old (No children): These customers are mature singles and young couples. They have a higher mean income and prefer evening entertainment between the hours of 5pm-10 pm. They enjoy being surrounding by people in the same age group or younger. They prefer not to be out when there is a large number of children present. The goal is to inform these customers of the available times when HIL is a relaxing place to unwind with friends and meet new people. 4. 31-40 Years Old (With children): These customers are mature adults, with a higher mean income and prefer evening entertainment between the hours of 5pm-8 pm. They enjoy
*See appendix for additional detail.

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being surrounding by people in the same age group or family dynamic. These individuals can be starting new families or have older children that have a “veto vote”. The aim is to inform this group of times when HIL is an interactive place that allows children to participate. 5. 41-55 Years Old (No children): These customers are mature singles and couples. They have a higher mean income and dine at two distinct times. There is a lunch crowd during the hours of 11am-2pm and an evening crowd between the hours of 4pm-8 pm. They typically order meals and enjoy being surrounding by people in the same age group or younger. They don’t mind dining when families and children are present and are more likely to use the banquet facilities for events and occasions. The intention is to educate these customers on how HIL can support their occasion needs. 6. 41-55 Years Old (With children): Similar to the group without kids, these customers are mature adults with a higher mean income. They also prefer lunch and early evening dining and usually have older children with a “veto vote”. These parents are celebrating sweet 16’s, high school graduations, and sending kids off to college. They may also be celebrating wedding anniversaries and 50th birthdays. This is a prime celebratory stage of life and the ambition of HIL is acquaint guest with their services and they are the best choice for those events. 7. 55 and Older: These customers are retirement aged singles and couples. They are cost conscious and usually dine between the hours of 11am-4pm. They typically order meals and enjoy being surrounding by people in the same age group. They typically don’t care for large crowds or a noisy atmosphere. They are more likely to use the banquet facilities for events and occasions including birthdays and anniversaries. The intention is to notify these customers on how HIL can fully service their occasion needs.

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Hershey Italian Lodge seeks to position themselves as the premier Family Italian restaurant and banquet hall in the Hershey area. This positioning will be achieved by leveraging their competitive edge: Hershey Italian Lodges' competitive edge is the rich history of the organization and the quality of the name in the Hershey area. As mentioned, the organization has been in existence for over 94 years, and has an excellent reputation for their food and fun atmosphere. HIL is also known for its charitable contributions and has a number of both business and personal contacts. In addition, HIL will continue to offer fun family activities that extend beyond the dining room, including Bocce, billiards, and other activities; continuing a tradition that has been a staple of its history.

Strategy Pyramids
The single objective is to position Hershey Italian Lodge as the premier Family Italian restaurant in the area, steadily increasing market share. The marketing strategy will seek to improve customer awareness, develop a customer base, and work toward rebuilding customer loyalty. The message that HIL will seek to communicate is “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, Always Brothers”. With over 94 years of community service, HIL is a full service restaurant, bar and banquet facility where family comes together. HIL delivers an unrivaled guest experience with a great combination of food, drinks and games in an ideal environment for celebrating all occasions. This message will be communicated through several different methods. The first method is the placement of advertisements in the local newspaper. The local paper, The Patriot News, has a solid distribution and will reach a high portion of the target market segment. The second method will be advertising in the weekly bulletin at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. HIL is a non-profit organization and the primary benefactor of its services is the Catholic Church. The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church has a parish of 2,400 families in the area, many who are also members of the Hershey Italian Lodge. This platform will allow HIL to communicate changes and build relationships with many within their community. The last method of communication for HIL’s marketing pyramid is the use of coupons within The Patriot News & the HIL quarterly newsletter. The use of coupons in the newspaper will likely introduce people who are not yet familiar with the lodge to the available services. Coupons in the newsletter conceivably encourage members to visit the lodge.

*See appendix for additional detail.

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Marketing Mix
Hershey Italian Lodge’s marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to product, pricing, place, advertising and promotion, and customer service.

Product- The food is the core of the business. HIL will continue to modify the drink selection, entertainment and activity offerings, as well as consider adding Gluten Free choices to the menu.

Pricing- The pricing strategy is based on a per service price. HIL employ various loyalty programs which will provide a volume discount to the customer.

Place- The core service will continue to be offered onsite. HIL will continue the renovation process to improve the ambiance of the restaurant. o Customer service- A focus on employee training will ensure that HIL can continue to offer exemplary customer service.

Advertising and Promotion- HIL will use several different methods for advertising and promotion, including automatic rewards, affinity programs, and occasion discounts (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)

Marketing Research
The Hershey Italian Lodge has some ideas on what types of advertising and promotion programs they would like to run to best engage and compel guest to visit the restaurant. However, before any programs are executed, HIL will perform some market research in the form of a questionnaire/ survey. Surveys will be distributed to the current diners and members as well as potential customers. The goal will be to gauge the preferences of the current members as well to understand the decision making process of the target market. For example, are there any stereotypes that HIL can address with their marketing campaigns?

*See appendix for additional detail.

Stamey 20

Promotional Execution
This section will offer an overview of Hershey Italian Lodge advertising and promotion activities.


Automatic Rewards The intention of an automatic reward program is attract guest participation. In an automatic rewards program, guests earn points for each dollar spent. When a defined threshold is met, the points are converted into a reward. After earning the reward, the point values are reset to zero and guests begin to earn points toward their next reward. In this particular program, guest will earn 5% off towards their next purchase for every $50 dollars spent. Affinity Programs With affinity programs, restaurants donate a percentage of guests spending to a selected charity. This is already the case with HIL as it has aligned the organization with the Catholic Church. This program will be a way for HIL to call more attention to a program that is already in place. Occasion Discounts Birthday programs encourage guests to celebrate at your restaurants. Guests receive a welltimed, personal invitation to visit and enjoy an enticing indulgence. Programs can be set up with defined parameters (offer, expiration, etc.) and then set to run on an automated schedule. HIL will seek to become a fixture in guest occasions and celebrations including birthdays, holidays, wedding, graduations, and anniversaries. Wine Pairing Dinner Activities that are attractive to women are lacking at some historical social clubs. This program will encourage guests to bring a partner or spouse out for a nice couples dinner. The event will be run monthly and the meal will be prepared banquet style. HIL will feature a couple different appetizers, entrees, and desserts to be paired with different wines. HIL will invite wine representative to feature and pair their wines with HIL menu items. The Guests have a chance to win free dinner or bottles of wine by filling out a survey during dinner. HIL will receive valuable information on guest preferences and use the information to make future changes.
*See appendix for additional detail.

Stamey 21

Marketing Expense Budget

Marketing Tracker
Advertising Patriot News Advertisement St. Joan of Arc Advertisement

Start Date

End Date


Weekly 1/4 pg Ad: Full Page Holiday Ads $100 Qtrly donation Printing Cost

Sunday Paper Quarterly

$ $ $ $

4,000 400 400 4,800

Quarterly Newsletter Advertisement Quarterly Total Advertising Budget Coupons Holiday Discounts Total Coupon Budget Direct Marketing Flyers Manager - Guest Invitations Total Direct Marketing Budget Website Website Development Socail Media Maintenance Total Web Development Budget Total Marketing 4/1/2013 1/1/2013 Quarterly Quarterly Holiday Alignment

$ $

3,000 3,000

Based on Redemption



Print Cost Manager Calls to Local Businesses



6/30/2013 $ 12/31/2013 $ $ $

3,000 300 3,300 11,500

Upgrade and Maintenance Interactive updates

The objective of the Hershey Italian Lodge’s marketing plan is to serve as a guide for the organization. The following areas will be monitored to gauge performance:
     

Total Membership Sales- Weeknights vs. weekend; monthly and annual. Gross Profit Margin- monthly and annual. Banquet Reservations Repeat business. Customer satisfaction.

*See appendix for additional detail.…...

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