Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Food Glorious Food

(1:04) It seems pretty obvious that if you provide the things your customers really want, your business will improve. Old customers will keep coming back and word of mouth and positive reviews will bring in new customers. Something I have often mention in Minutes is the importance of thinking beyond what is offered at your facility. Make sure to take in the nearby town and surrounding area. Any service offered within walking distance or accessible by courtesy cars and public transportation is a service you can promote to cruisers. The needs of cruisers are as widely varied as cruisers themselves and can sometimes be hard to predict. The best way to learn is to listen to their requests.

(0:48) But there is one need that is universal no matter what a cruiser's age or inclination or special needs. We all need to acquire food on a regular basis. I've probably belabored this point enough that you know to include the locations of nearby grocery stores in your welcome packet. Each listing should include distances for walking and/or information about available transportation.

(0:40) Something we are seeing more and more frequently are local farmer's markets popping up. As we all become more conscious of what we eat and its impact on us and our environment, local farms and other businesses are organizing to offer their fresh products directly to consumers. Keeping good, fresh produce onboard is a challenge for any liveaboard, so this is great news for cruisers. But only if we are aware of it.

(0:31) Make sure that you know about farmer's markets that are accessible to cruisers. Have directions, times, and other information available in the welcome packet, on your website, and in your ActiveCaptain marker. Easy access to a farmer's market can influence my decision to visit your marina and even cause me to extend my stay.

(0:22) If the market is out of reach via walking or public transportation, try organizing car pooling with a sign up sheet. Most marinas we visit have long term liveaboards who often offer transportation to transients. It's a great way to meet interesting people.

(0:19) Will this really make a difference? Yes it will. We always look for farmer's markets when deciding where to stay. It's often the small but significant things that influence boaters' decisions. Make sure they have the information they need to select your facility. That will bring you more business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.