Petrini’s Italian Restaurant has been a staple for fine Italian food in Santa Barbara since 1958. With two locations in Santa Barbara and Goleta, Owner Joe Bohnett, points to his loyal and dedicated customers as the main reason behind their long-term success. “It’s not uncommon for us to host 50th wedding anniversaries for couples who had their first dates at our restaurant years ago,” said Bohnett. “We do everything we can to keep our most dedicated patrons happy and coming back.”
To keep customers coming back, Petrini’s has customized their menu to include “lighter” options for the more health-conscious crowd. “One of the benefits of being around for so long is that we’ve become adept at distinguishing the genuine pushes for higher quality, healthier cooking from the food-craze fads that come and go,” stated Bohnett. “To keep in line with the health-conscious crowd, we’ve added new, lighter fare as well as providing the option to substitute many of our dishes’ sides of pasta with fresh, steamed vegetables. This has proved quite popular.”
Although “word of mouth” marketing has kept Petrini’s busy, they have also adopted several creative marketing concepts, including their wildly successful Comedy Hideaway Thursday and Trivia Tuesday, to attract a fresh buzz for their restaurant. The Comedy Hideaway was a somewhat unexpected partnership between Petrini’s and Comedy Hideaway developer, Andrey Belikov. Belikov was scouting a myriad of locations for his comedy show and Petrini’s was lucky enough to pique his interest because they were so flexible with their space and availability. “We were able to develop a symbiotic relationship where Andrey’s comedy shows benefit from our restaurant experience and established customer base while our restaurant benefits from the fresh foot traffic and constant buzz that his standup creates,” said Bohnett. “I believe if you want to create an event that’s going to last, it definitely helps to partner with someone who is very familiar with that scene. We, as a restaurant, just don’t have the resources, time or technical experience to put on the quality of show that Comedy Hideaway does. Same thing applies to our Trivia Tuesdays hosted and run by Tim Duggan.”
Another marketing concept Petrini’s finds valuable is taking advantage of table top space to market their events, specials and new menu items directly to their patrons. “You’ve got a captive audience sitting right there at your tables, so why not give them a little something to glance over while they’re there?,” stated Bohnett. “We’ve found a two-or-three-sided table tent works best – you want to get your advertising across without inundating them with material to peruse. We like to change out the table toppers every month or so to keep them interested.”
For more information about Petrini’s Italian Restaurant, visit www.petrinis.com or check them out on Facebook and Twitter.