Eric Burns

Eric Burns is a former bar and grill owner, as well as a customer engagement consultant for a larger consulting firm. He used his past experiences to create a product that was made for restaurant and bar owners. The product, Gazella Wifi, provides free Wifi in restaurants in exchange for social media engagement. 

 

 

 

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Eric Burns is a former bar and grill owner, as well as a customer engagement consultant for a larger consulting firm. He used his past experiences to create a product that was made for restaurant and bar owners. The product, Gazella Wifi, provides free Wifi in restaurants in exchange for social media engagement. 

 

Eric started consulting after college, but realized that working for a big firm was not his dream. He decided to buy a bar and grill in a small town in Nebraska. He says this taught him many lessons, considering he had no prior restaurant experience.

 

He attempted to automate everything he could so he could spend less time in the restaurant, and created the Gazella Wifi system, which automated different aspects of customer service. It replaced things such as surveys on back of receipts, rewards programs and comment cards. 

 

He started offering the product to other operators, and when the concept took off, he sold his own restaurant. 

 

Eric says his system is similar to “Net Promoter Score”, which essentially tells operators how likely a patron is to recommend their establishment to friends and family.  It allows you to find your “raving fans” and create a profile of them, so you can find more similar people through your marketing efforts. 

 

Facebook ads are a great marketing tool because they are so targeted, but Eric shares that many people use them incorrectly.

He has a hard time quantifying a monetary value for a Facebook “like”, as it depends on how you’re using Facebook. He says it’s the good content you post that is really valuable. However, he does say that “likes” are validation from a customer as it will keep the restaurant fresh in the minds of people looking for places to eat. 

 

The Gazella system has ratings of 1 to 5. If a customer answers 1 through 4, they are asked a what the restaurant can do better. If they rate the experience as a “5”, they are redirected to Yelp and asked to leave a review. 

 

Rick notes that when negative situations arise, reaction time by a restaurant and/or a corporate office is of utmost importance.

Gazella gets permission to access a customer’s profile, with email, age, location etc., which the operator can then use in the restaurant’s marketing efforts. As well, the number of times a customer has been to the restaurant is tracked.

 

Eric wanted to create something that even a small restaurant in a small town could benefit from. 

 

Gazella plugs into the existing router and doesn’t affect current systems. Eric notes that the system can be up and running “in minutes” and includes a feature that limits bandwidth or time that users are hooked up to it. 

 

The price of a standard package with his system is $49/month, as well as offering a pay-as-you-go model (charging 50 cents per unique Facebook likes). 

 

INTERVIEW LINKS: 

www.GazellaWiFi.com