It averages 10k to 100k views on its TikTok content.
When the second-generation owner of Mt Lewis Pizzeria, Jason Tarraf Shalala, began leveraging TikTok to market his restaurant, he managed to generate $1m in sales and he did it just by showing the everyday challenges they have as they make and cook the food they serve.
Before taking over, Jason told QSR Media that for the past two years, the business managed to maintain profitability through word of mouth alone however Jason thought more could be done so he decided to quit his current job as a mortgage broker and run the company.
“It was going downhill and my parents were working so hard to maintain a high-quality product, and didn’t have time to focus on things like branding. Business was good mainly because the product and marketing were reliant on word of mouth. To me, this wasn’t something that I would risk being sustainable coming into the age of social media. I felt as if I needed to step in and organise the chaos where I could, and by doing so I’ll feel more fulfilled in life,” Jason explained.
As a young entrepreneur, Jason said he knew the value of social media for marketing purposes so he introduced the store to social media through TikTok where he was known as the Manoush Man.
Jason’s main strategy was showing and showcasing the behind-the-behind scenes of his business.
“In a world where social media can reach tens of thousands of people in a single day, it’s given small businesses a chance of massive exposure, with an unprecedented amount of viewers, this would have only been available in the past to larger businesses that could afford to assign massive budgets to marketing campaigns,” Jason said.
One of his TikTok videos garnered a massive viewer count one day and now his content averages 20 thousand to 200 thousand views, with one video gaining a massive 500,000 viewers. After Jason started marketing in TikTok, the popularity of his restaurant skyrocketed generating $1m in sales
“My initial content was showing viewers the behind-the-scenes on how some of the products were made, in very short cut clips synchronised with music in the background. They were quick to match the attention span of users watching the videos while still taking them through a story,” Jason said.
In a report by Hootsuite, around 70% of consumers based their buying decisions on social media which many brands have taken note of.
Matt Fahd, Head of Partnerships at TikTok said authentic storytelling such as what Jason did is what many in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant business are doing on social media right now
“We know that business booms on TikTok – from stories like Jason’s, where small businesses reach new levels of success through authentic storytelling, to household name brands like Guzman y Gomez who have found new audiences and ways to connect with their consumers on the platform. As a fellow Australian-Lebanese man, Jason’s story particularly resonates with me, seeing the sacrifices he was willing to make to reinvigorate his family business through hard work and creativity. It’s always great to see local success stories on TikTok,” Matt said.
Some other great uses of TikTok marketing Matt has seen are how Guzman y Gomez’s “Did You Know?” campaign where they shared interesting GYG facts organically over 60 days and McDonald’s leveraging TikTok Creators where the brand asked six up-and-coming Aussie artists from different musical genres to reinterpret the jingle with their musical flares and amplified these pieces of content to reach Aussies at scale, who in turn used the catchy audio beds in their own UGC content. That campaign became the highest-performing TikTok campaign in Australia generating 41.2 million impressions and 4.2 million unique reach.
Mt Lewis Pizzeria’s future plans
Jason said one challenge is that marketing your business will eventually make you hit a wall for ideas for new content.
“Sometimes you run out of products to showcase, but this is where your creative side comes out. Post as much as possible, and show the back end of how things are done, things customers typically don’t see. Post videos of people and yourself, and make the videos as personable as possible as people love watching people. Always put yourself in your customers’ eyes and keep asking yourself if you would keep watching the video to this point. If not what needs to be changed? Also engaging with your audience through comments, lives and answering inboxes. Anything engaging your viewers to take action in any way is always a good strategy. You eventually find your flavour with what engaging content should be uploaded,” Jason said.
For now, Jason said the goal for this year is to take the next step to perfect efficiency. As for menu innovations, from a business perspective making new things is mostly just for content.
“If we create a product and market it in a fun way, the only thing I want to get out of it is exposure, people will then come in and order what they love,” Jason said.
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