The "New Patron System" Interview | Content DFY - Ben Adkins Digital Agency


The "Restaurant Growth Secrets" Interview

Ben's "New Patron Funnel" Diagram

(mentioned in the interview)


Interview Transcript


I’d love to welcome everyone to the Restaurant Growth Secrets Show. 

On the show we talk with the world's top experts at growing Restaurants and Bars.

Today we’re talking with Ben Adkins. 

Ben is the Owner and CEO at ContentDFY, an online marketing firm focused on growing restaurants and bars using digital marketing.

In this interview, Ben is going to walk us through the unique way that they’ve been able to help their Bar and Restaurant clients grow their monthly revenue using a unique and strategic online marketing Strategy.

Ben. Welcome to the Show.

Ben Adkins

Thanks Chris, it’s an honor to be here and to get to share all the fun stuff we’re doing with your audience. I’m excited to get into it!


Ok first big question.

What led you to starting ContentDFY and why do you focus exclusively on working with bars and restaurants?

Ben Adkins

Well I wish I could say that there was some master plan to it, but honestly, I just spend a lot of time in restaurants and bars in my day to day life. I’m a huge foodie and I love live music. Because of that I have always been someone that has spent a huge amount of time in bars and restaurants eating and watching bands and musicians. 

Over the years, I have become close with a ton of owners and managers at these kinds of places. Through those relationships, I’ve gotten a good insight as to what makes a place grow and what holds it back.

What I started noticing along the way is that there are so many great spots out there that just don’t advertise themselves well. I got lucky and came up at a time where the internet has just been a dominant force for growing businesses. Along the way I got really focused and got my “10,000 hours” in how to specifically grow restaurants and bars using online marketing as the core catalyst.

After tons of trial and error over the years, we got really good with it and ContentDFY was the name we put on the business that just naturally grew out of me helping a lot of my friends grow their businesses. From there we started getting tons of referrals to other restaurants and bars and got them results too. So… Long story short… I accidentally got into this but I’m good at it and I love getting up every morning and helping folks in the industry.


So what kind of bars and restaurants do you work with specifically?


We typically work with restaurants and bars that are in bigger cities. In that group I tend to really enjoy working with spots that have a strong focus on live events. 

The reason being is that the restaurants and bars that focus on bringing in music, comedians, or having other themed events have an advantage. That advantage being that they can give potential patrons more reasons than just their food or drinks to come in. We love marketing food and beverages and a place’s atmosphere. But when you have a location that has multiple events on their calendar every single week, it gives people a reason to come back more often.

From there it’s just about getting more people to come for the first time.

That’s where we come in here at ContentDFY. We have a proven strategy for getting in front of the right folks for each restaurant and bar using the internet.


I love it. So let’s get to the part everyone is waiting for. I’d like for you to walk us through the exact strategy that you put in place for all of your restaurants and bars that gets them new business using the internet.

What is the core framework of your system?


We call it our “New Patron Funnel” and we focus on overhauling 3 core components in every restaurant or bar that we work with.. The 3 components that make up that funnel are the Website, Social Media, and getting Google Reviews. 

Underneath each of those elements we have systems in place that get us to our ultimate goal of getting more new customers. But at the core, a lot of what we do is to take a restaurant or bars Website, Social Media, and Review getting process and make it actually work for the business instead of it being just something that someone set up because they thought they were supposed to.


Ok… so how do all of those pieces fit together?


So let’s start with the Website.

Most businesses just set one up because they know that they are supposed to. When that happens the website typically doesn’t do much for them because it’s missing some pieces and it has a lot of pieces that it doesn’t need. One of the core things that you have to understand about a business’ website is that it’s essentially just a table of contents. People come to a restaurant or bar’s website to find the menu, or the phone number, or the location. This is the basic stuff that everyone understands. What a lot of people miss is what’s going on in the background. When people come to a website, they are most often looking for the “Vibe” of the place. I can’t tell you how many customers restaurants and bars lose every year because the vibe of the website doesn’t match the amazing things going on inside of the actual restaurant.

So a lot of our focus is making sure the branding on the website is insanely attractive when a new person visits it. But more important than that even is making sure that the website is a lead collection tool. We equip every site we build with a way to collect leads and the bait to get them to sign up for something. An example of that bait might be a free dessert or a discount off of their first meal. It also might be something as simple as a way to sign up for alerts for the location's event calendar. You would not believe how many folks sign up just so that they can keep up with what bands are playing the upcoming weekend. And once we have those people on an email or text marketing list, we can send them all kinds of reasons to come in. And most of those emails and text messages are automated… so the owner or managers don’t have to do anything to make it continue to work for the business.

From there, we dig into social media.

Potential patrons go to your website to get the vibe of the place. They go to your social media to get a peek at what’s going on inside of the restaurant and bar. The first key with social media is that we make sure the branding looks professional and consistent with the overall branding of the business and website. The second key is that we are posting daily content that relates to all of the things going on in the business that week or month. So many businesses lose out on customers because people weirdly assume that if a social media page is dead that the business is also dead. What we’ve become really good at is making sure to keep a businesses social media pages posting good content, without adding any workload on to their staff.

We accomplish this through a 90/10 rule of what to post.

10% of the content that we post is new content. 90% of what we post to a restaurant or bars page is what we call “rotated content”. This is content that catches people’s eyes and gets them excited about the business but is repeated over and over again. This gets the job done of making the page active without it being a huge time or financial cost for the business.

For example… one of our favorite bar clients has a steak night every Wednesday. Rather than constantly having to have an employee post about it (and risk the chance of forgetting), we have 6 different steak night posts that rotate over a month span that keep it feeling fresh but are always advertising the special day at the bar. 

The big deal with social media is that it’s also always pointing people back to the website, where we are collecting leads (and then marketing to those leads via email and text).

Finally, there is review marketing.

One of the most effective tools for growing any restaurant or bar is just what the general public is saying about your restaurant and bar. Your Website and Social Media are your opinions about your place. Google Reviews are what other people think about your spot.

Most business owners hate Reviews before we start working with them because they are leaving their reviews to chance. The reason behind that is because usually the only reason someone leaves a review is when they have a bad experience and need to vent.

The key is to implement systems so that your biggest fans have a reason to leave reviews and that outweighs the occasional bad review. 

Both the website, social media, and your staff should constantly be asking for reviews. That can be hard if you don’t have a system in place. We have tools on both our client’s websites, social media, and cards that the staff hands out that encourage reviews from happy customers. 

A quick trick for every one listening.

We use QR code and NFC cards in all of our client’s businesses. When someone is obviously having a good experience, the staff member presents that card and asks for a review for the business and to mention them in it. If the customer isn’t having a good experience, we take care of that the best we can in house, but we don’t present them with a card. This, and what we do online, results in tons of new positive reviews each week.

When someone new is looking for a place to check out, all those positive reviews add up fast. On top of that, it also helps our restaurants and bars rank higher in google faster for the keywords that they are after.


I love all of that. So what do you consider a successful result of this system at the end of every month?


Our goal within the first two months of implementation is to add 10k to the bottom line of our restaurant and bar clients. After that it’s just keeping that number steady and adding to it little by little as the reviews and marketing list grow.


Ok… so lets say that a restaurant or bar wants to get started with your system.

Where do they go to sign up?


We’re pretty swamped but if anyone wants to apply to become a client all you have to do is go to and message me using the Contact Box. I love meeting new folks in the industry and talking shop so I’ll hit you back within 48 hours to chat.


And what happens once a new restaurant or bar signs up? 
What is the onboarding process like?


The day someone signs up with us, we have them select a point of contact in their business that will be who we talk to. This is going to be our connection to the business and someone who can handle getting us everything we need. This helps because it takes the pressure off of busy managers and owners so that they don’t have to be that person. We collect brand information and start designing mockups right away. Typically we are ready to showcase a “New Patron Funnel” for a business within two weeks. 

That’s website, social media assets, and review systems. The point of contact approves the stuff they like and then lets us know what doesn’t work. We fix any issues and are ready to go within 4 weeks of initial sign up. 

From there, we get everything live. Over the next month, we monitor everything to make sure everything is working. We tweak anything that isn’t connecting and work closely with our point of contact with once a week meetings. After we get it dialed in, we typically only have to talk with the business once a month and that’s just us checking in. 

The best part of our “New Patron Funnel” is that once it gets to working, it's pretty hands off for the business owner, manager, and the employees. We take care of everything and it just brings in alot of new business.


If you could give any piece of advice to a restaurant or bar owner who was looking to grow using the internet besides all of the good stuff you’ve already laid out… what would that advice be?


My biggest piece of advice is to just get started with digital. We obviously have this dialed in and down to a science so that we can work with businesses and get this done without it costing them an arm and a leg. Even if you don’t work with us though, just get started. 

An hour a day working on your social media can be absolutely huge to your bottom line. It won’t click right away (which is why people get discouraged), but if you consistently put in the time, you will see it affecting your bottom line. My advice to the restaurant and bar owners out there is to just get started and try to make a little bit of time for it daily… even if it’s not an hour and only 15 minutes.


I love it.

To everyone listening, I hope that you’ve pulled a ton out of our interview with Ben today. I’ve got a few pages worth of notes that I’ve been taking as we go and I can’t wait to share this with a few of my buddies that are bar owners.

Ben, thanks for being with us today on the show.

And like Ben said, if you have any questions, you can find Ben at

Thanks for listening to the Restaurant Growth Secrets Show. We’ll see you next time.