The Villa Roma raises the "bar" on "bars"
Posted in the San Mateo Forum
#1 Dec 28, 2012
The Villa Roma Bar is uplifting their image, their marketing and their community involvement creating a fun environment, professional image and encouraging giving back. We hope you'll consider coming in to visit us!
Call it a neighbor dive or a Redwood City icon, but call. The Villa Roma just overhauled their “hole in the wall” dive bar.“We took a look at our image from a variety of angles and realized that we’re falling into the trap of accepting an ‘as is’ business,” said co-owner, Tami Barbara.“We decided we didn’t just want to be a bar, we wanted to be the bar to be at attracting new customers and giving our existing regulars a better experience. We know that in order for our business to grow, we need to have a marketing plan and create promotions that will bring new customers into the bar.”
The Villa Roma hired a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Debbie Quintana to make recommendations to bring her physical, technological and online environments to a level that will raise the bar for the bar business in Redwood City.“I’ve been coming to the Villa Roma for years and knew exactly what I appreciated and what needed improvement. It was easy for me to combine my personal experience and professional marketing expertise and help them become a better business,” said Quintana. Quintana sent in secret shoppers to judge their customer service and then trained the staff and asked the owners take a fresh look at their physical environment if they were new customers. She also created a recommendations list that both owners embraced with a high level of energy and excitement.“I was overly thrilled with the way the owners and the staff embraced some new concepts,” said Quintana.“Often times, its difficult to accept change but everyone at The Villa Roma was ready to step up and participate and in this business, that’s exactly what it takes - a energetic level of involvement.”
But an overhaul of their physical environment and a new marketing game plan wasn’t the only thing developed at The Villa Roma. They realized the importance of giving back to their community and each month have some sort of collection or donation program. In November, they collected coats for One Warm Coat and in December, Toys for Tots. In 2013, their monthly marketing plan has a line item for “giving back” and a plan to encourage their community to support needy causes.“If we all do a little, it will make a big difference,” said Barbara.
Fast forward just three months and The Villa Roma has a strong online presence with social networking, new carpeting and seating, more entertainment and even a fresh new cocktail menu. But most important, The Villa Roma managed to do one very important thing - maintain it’s friendly neighborhood feel. Local patron, Ron Estrada, said,“I’ve been coming to The Villa Roma for many, many years and I always feel at home when I’m here. It’s what keeps me coming back. The changes that have been made are just the icing on the cake!”
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