Buchkantine Berlin Moabit. Marketing Successtory.

Birte Restemeyer
November 4, 2021
8 min. reading time
#localmarketing #localbusiness

One restaurant, 150 seats, no walk-in customers - how do you manage that?

Restaurateur Fridolin Taudtmann on good books, good food and marketing that works.

alphin talks to Fridolin Taudtmann, owner of the Buchkantine in Moabit. In addition, the company family now includes the popular food truck at Potsdamer Platz and a wine shop.

Books and food - how do they go together?

The concept is exciting. I got to know it when I was a student on a job. Reading, drinking, eating - that's all that's cozy. The atmosphere - surrounded by books - makes you feel good. It also encourages reflex buying. While buying a book, a quick coffee is taken away, or a stack of postcards after breakfast.

Then came the offer in 2010: a new location, four times the size.

Yes, the building owner approached us: "Don't you want the first floor? From 110 square meters to 400 square meters, in Moabit, no walking area, neighborhood - uff - we did it then - and managed - in the end.

How did you manage that?

80 % of our business comes from regular customers. That's great. They keep coming back, they like us, they're loyal and they're there for us even in times of crisis. And at the same time, we have a total of over 150 seats. Ten hours a day. In the long run, such a small neighborhood is not enough. We need about 120,000 guests per year. In the last 4 - 5 years, we've managed that.

Through marketing?

Yes, but we totally overslept in the first four years. It all costs money, you don't know what it will bring... two or three financially tough years changed our minds.

How did you go about it?

We felt our way in. Online marketing was not so far advanced 8 years ago, we had already heard about Google Ads. Google is, of course, a money-burning machine. Hard to understand, high competition, high costs per click. If you're not always behind the curve, if you don't adjust immediately, you bury a lot of money there. It's faster to use other media with less money.

Homepage, Instagram, Facebook?

Sure - that's standard now - and then at some point we started to be a bit oldschool on the road again: We have two S-Bahn stations here in the neighborhood. We put up posters all over them - branded, so to speak. Our idea was: when people in the neighborhood wake up in the morning, they might see our first post while they're having breakfast, when they take a quick look at Instagram or Facebook, and then they walk past our store to the S-Bahn station, and on the way back they see it again, and then they've had so much book canteen that they just feel like having a coffee with us ... and that's how we've been getting more and more guests every year.

Which of our products bring you the most?

The Instagram account management. That simply takes work off my plate in real terms. For a platform that has become incredibly important in gastronomy and also in literature. People find it cool, well written, well photographed, funny. Otherwise I would have had to do it myself, and I couldn't have done it that way. That's it. Done. The photo shoot: top quality. Automated. At some point I get a message saying "Hey, we need photos again." I would have forgotten again. I probably would have called the photographer when I posted the last picture. And then: alphin 360 is of course also very cool - it distributes all our content across all channels. So these products I think are extremely good.

What do you think about influencer marketing?

Well - I have to admit - I find this influencer thing a bit strange - when I see these really professional accounts, with 200,000 followers, with whom people really interact - that's a full-time job.... - On the other hand, it works - I can see that in my circle of acquaintances, in my family and in myself. My cousin buys a cosmetic product because an influencer recommended it, and when the relevant influencers recommend something to me and post cool photos, I think - awesome product - I have to have it. And in the gastronomic sector - I must have been to 20 restaurants in the last year because I saw something on Instagram that I found interesting.

Why actually alphin and not the agency around the corner?

I tried it. I was not satisfied. The price-performance ratio at alphin is simply unrivaled.

Obligatory question: One year of Lockdown - hopefully soon over forever - any Take-Outs?

Many new regular customers and book customers - indeed. I'm sure they'll stay. As far as the book trend is concerned - I'm cautious about that - I'm sure that will normalize at some point - including the trend toward online purchasing. But I think that many people have noticed that it's really sad when everything is closed, when I don't know what to do in the evening - I can't go to the fitness center, I can't go to the movies, I can't go out to eat, I can only wait for my parcel service or delivery service - it's just kind of dreary. Anyway, the support in our neighborhood was tremendous. I'm sure some of it will stay.

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