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The New Home of Honing Steel Hospitality

Honing Steel Hospitality has a new home! We’ve moved our offices into the historic Circle Tower building on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. As part of the Level Office co-working suite, our private office’s address is:

Honing Steel Hospitality
55 Monument Circle, Office #713
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Want to visit our new office and see our wonderful view of Monument Circle, while learning more about what a partnership with Honing Steel Hospitality can do your business? Contact us today!

About Level Office

Level Office offers fully furnished, amenity-rich workspaces with direct fiber internet & WiFi in prime locations so businesses can thrive. With budget-friendly private offices, office suites, dedicated desks, coworking memberships, virtual offices and daily offices, Level Office is perfect for small businesses, entrepreneurs, professionals and companies expanding into a new city or looking for an impressive new office space.

When clients rent an office space at Level Office, they’re not only getting a physical workspace—fully furnished with desk and chair, direct fiber internet and WiFi, and company logo display—but access to tons of on-site amenities and entrepreneurial community! Our communal lounge areas and coworking space are available to all Level Office members and feature a fully-stocked kitchen, espresso bar, and local beer on tap, as well as an array of great networking events. Plus, our all-inclusive pricing means that mail service, 24/7 secured access, and taxes and utilities are already included in clients’ rent.

As the fastest-growing owner-operator of shared workspace nationwide, Level Office takes pride in renovating and improving historic buildings with the latest technologies and amenities, all while keeping rents 30-50% lower than other coworking providers. Our clients love the vibrant community within Level Office, and we encourage clients to do business with one another through networking events, Lunch & Learns, and happy hours.

About Circle Tower

Completed in 1930, Circle Tower overlooks downtown Indianapolis’ prestigious Monument Circle and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A prime example of Art Deco architecture, this unique building features a ziggurat crown, Art Deco sculptures, and bronze grilles with hieroglyphic images.

Overlooking the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle, the historic Circle Tower boasts one of the city’s most prestigious addresses. Restaurants, hotels, nightlife, and nearby parking abound, making it the perfect location for networking lunches or meetings with clients. In addition, the building’s proximity to Washington Street, I-65, I-70, and multiple local bus lines makes it easy for commuters to get in and out of the city.

Circle Tower was designed by the firm of Rubush & Hunter, and built to house prime office space, with commercial storefronts on the ground floor. Faced in smooth-dressed Indiana limestone, the building rises to stepped back top stories, ziggurat-like upper stories that recede from the outer façades in terraces, punctuated by Art Deco sculptures.

Each pier top is ornamented with capital blocks carved as stylized foliate panels. The north entrance has a massive one and one-half story arch lined with foliate banding. The ziggurat crown, sculpture façade panels, granite sculptures of the arched entryway, and the design of the interior lobby, elevators, and street-floor shops are highly illustrative of the Art Deco style.

Circle Tower was completed only eight years after archeologist Howard Carter’s sensational discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. The intricate bronze screen over the north entry arch reflects the widespread interest in Egyptology at the time. Sculptor Joseph Willenborg filled the bronze grille with hieroglyphic-like images, stylized into the Deco mode.

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A Little Digital Advertising Goes a Long Way: One Restaurant’s 30-Day, 4,381% ROI Success Story

Digital is in!

For some industries, this can be bad news, as traditional media can take a backseat to modern technology. Luckily for the restaurant industry, people will always be hungry, and they will always be looking for new dining experiences to satisfy both their hunger for food and taste for adventure. Yet, with Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat overrun by pictures of delicious meals all around the world, it can be hard for a local restaurant owner to find ways to stand out in the digital crowd.

That’s where digital advertising technology and tactics comes in. This is the story of how one restaurant turned hungry internet surfers into happy new customers with the power of digital advertising, and the team who skyrocketed their ROI to 4,381%.

Read the full case study here: Honing Steel Digital Agency’s Cafe Mexicana Digital Advertising Case Study

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Matthew Kennedy Appears on Abdul At Large, WIBC 93.1FM

Recently, Matthew Kennedy, President of Honing Steel Hospitality, appeared on the Abdul At Large program on WIBC 93.1FM radio, along Dave Meeker of Bringing Tech 2 You and Mike Murphy of Hirons Communications. On the program, we discussed the pitfalls businesses should avoid when it comes to social media with Abdul-Hakim Shabazz of Indy Politics.

Listen to our conversation on SoundCloud, courtesy of our friends at Indy Politics:

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How to Get More Positive Online Reviews for Your Restaurant

Sites like Yelp, Google Reviews and Zomato are dominating the digital landscape and telling your potential customers where to go. Make sure your raving fans are sharing their love for your restaurant online.

Capture Contact Info

Before you learn how to capture a positive review, you’ll need a strategy to avoid negative reviews:

  • Place a survey card on each table. Don’t pass the card out with the check; put the survey card in a card holder where it is visible and easy to see. Ask your server team to refer to the survey card and encourage patrons to fill it out.
  • Keep the survey brief (no more than five questions) with check-the-box options to make it easy and convenient. Give them a contact info section where they can enter a drawing for a prize, such as a gift card for a free appetizer, free dessert, etc.

Once you’ve captured the contact information of your raving fans, create a follow-up email campaign that asks them to review your restaurant on other sites. Provide links to the sites in the email to make it easy for them and offer rewards for bringing in a copy of their online review the next time they dine.

Not a fan of the card method? No problem. Retailers have been using online surveys and contests in exchange for contact information with great success. For example, while large companies like Home Depot have their own survey sites, you can use survey tools like SurveyMonkey, or an experienced digital hospitality consultant can assist you with a custom survey feature on your website.

Reviews Page

While many people use third-party sites to read reviews, if your restaurant has a landing page dedicated to reviews that appear in the search results, it will get traffic.

Looking for a creative tip? Personalize the page with patron photos and images. Invite your mom to star in her personal photo shoot and review! Be sure to use the caption “Sincerely, Mom,” or use the parent of a chef, hostess or lead server.

Respond to Social Media

If you already have a reputation management strategy in place to deal with negative reviews, it will be easy to implement a policy toward the positive reviews. Whenever someone gives your restaurant a five-star rating, make a comment and ask them to review your restaurant on another site as well. Be sure to thank them, include a link to your restaurant page on the review site, and offer to give them a photo shoot for your reviews page the next time they visit.

Getting positive online reviews for your restaurant isn’t difficult; it just takes a little effort backed strategy and creativity.

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Why Social Media Is More Important Than Ever: Open the Floodgates to Your Marketing Strategy

As people are increasingly spending more time with their eyes glued to screens, it’s vital to have a social media strategy in place. With so many different platforms out there, it’s imperative to know how to use them all and be able to cater to each one’s nuances.

Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t underestimate the use of social media for your business marketing strategy.

1. Reach a Greater Audience Organically

In the United States alone, over half of all small businesses increased their social media marketing budgets this year. People all around the world are now more glued to their personal screens than ever before, with Facebook statistics today showing there are more than 1.2 billion users.

2. Create a Loyal Community

People are often more willing to buy from a brand that they feel a connection with. Nowadays, this means a digital connection — when they are subscribed to your social media channels, you can personally interact with them and meet their needs.

3. Advertise for Free

Besides the many free platforms out there, you can get your most loyal customers to advertise for you, at no cost at all. When they are genuinely interested or convinced that your product is the best, they are likely to share it among their own social network. And your reputation grows. And so your marketing efforts can be more targeted and efficient while costing you much less in the long run.

Proper Planning and Investment

However, in order for your social media marketing plan to be effective, you must be willing to put in the time, research and initial investment. Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time in the beginning learning how various platforms work, updating your tools and apps, and getting to know the world of digital marketing.

Then later, once your business is up and running, you will have an easier time managing your digital networks and seeing results. Today, more than ever, social media is more important and essential for businesses. But the key is planning a strategy that works for you and your market.

Need help with formulating your next social media strategy? For more advice, tips and digital consultation, call us today.

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Should You Buy Twitter Followers?

As one of the longest-running forms of social networking, Twitter’s perfunctory style (only 140 characters per tweet) means it’s challenging to gain a following. Some restaurants avoid Twitter altogether because of the frustration of tweeting to an empty forest. That’s why those ads for fake followers can be so tempting.

But should you really do it?

The practice of paying for followers on Twitter isn’t new. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney attracted unwanted attention with a dramatic increase in followers in a single day. Fake followers are easy to get, inexpensive and can boost your confidence. Celebrities and brand names do it all the time. But, ethics aside, are fake fans a good idea? Here are both sides of the argument.

Sure, Buy Followers

With a few dollars, you can buy a few thousand followers and feel good about how your restaurant looks to others. If your competition has many followers, you can match that number or exceed it. There might be other reasons to buy followers; for example, you need to take a screenshot of your page for promotional reasons, or your restaurant will be in the limelight due to a news story. Having a stock of followers on Twitter lends legitimacy when others are looking. Also consider the law of attraction — if your account appears lively and interesting enough that many people follow it, others will want to participate. There’s nothing wrong with buying a few followers to get real ones.

Don’t Buy Followers

One good reason not to buy followers is that others probably don’t care that much about your follower count. Spend some time on Twitter, and you’ll soon realize what matters is the quality of your tweets and ability to capitalize on hashtags. Do those two things, and you’ll acquire followers naturally. Another reason to avoid fake fans is that the companies providing them control their accounts. You could wind up with throngs of followers whose profiles promote causes you don’t believe in or are antithetical to your business.

There are other quick ways to get followers besides buying them. Hold a contest on your Facebook page or Instagram account and make a requirement that entrants follow you on Twitter. An even more solid route: Host an Amazon giveaway. Choose a book or other product on Amazon that reflects your cultural ethos. When you designate it as a giveaway, Amazon will ask for your Twitter handle and let you require the participants to follow you. Since thousands of people enter Amazon giveaways, you’ll soon be hearing the pleasant ping that means a new follower has landed in your nest.

Follow us @HoningSteel

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Top 5 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Your Business

Once upon a time, building your business meant registering with the Yellow Pages and hoping people would find you. These days, the tidal wave of social media has left businesses awash with opportunities to connect with new and existing consumers around the clock. In fact, 95 percent of millennials expect brands to have a presence on Facebook and 80 percent expect them to be on Twitter. Simply put: If you want to grow your business, you need to get social.

Here are five ways to use your social media pages as a business tool to create new customers and ultimately drive real income.

1. Target Your Market

Facebook ads let you specifically target your ideal customers and encourage them to like your page. You can narrow the field by region, age, other pages they already like, and other relevant details. Combined with a social media icon on your website, soon you can start attracting qualified leads on social media.

2. Create Real Dialogue

Once you have people interested in your social media pages, you’ll need to stay engaged. Your social media management strategy should include more listening than talking. Take polls, respond to questions and comments, and get to know your base. As a small business, positive and personable engagement on social media can really set you apart from your competitors.

3. Become a Thought Leader

Start sharing valuable resources. Industry papers, new articles or your own thoughtful blog content all make meaningful posts. As you become known as a go-to source for interesting content and timely information, your business’ reputation will grow and improve.

4. Build Trust

Your social media pages can also be a venue for building trust with the public. Be routine and prompt with your responses to followers, and post content on a regular basis. Is there an industry crisis or problem you can help with? Offer advice and service right away. Your responsiveness on social media will send the message that you treat customers with quick and friendly service every time.

5. Direct People to Your Website

A robust “About” section that includes a link to your website helps convert people from online followers to real life customers. You never want to spam people with constant links back to your site, but a healthy dose of blog content leading there can drive traffic.

Your social media pages are not a “set and forget” operation. When it comes to social media management, you’ll need to monitor them as much as possible to cultivate meaningful relationships. Once you do, your social pages can be an excellent source for leads and real money!