Best Lunch in Finland competition increased awareness and business
What is the secret behind the winners of the Best Lunch in Finland competition? At least good food, authenticity and a focus on what they do. These are the things that unite the recent years winners JJ'S BBQ from Salo (winner in 2021) and Mimosan Aito from Kouvola (winner in 2020). They believe that having your own thing is everything.
"You should focus on your core business and do your own thing as well as you can. The more satisfied customers you have, the more voters you have," says the founder of Mimosan Aito.
In addition, restaurateurs found that it is worth communicating the competition to customers, both on-site and on social media, so that they know how to vote for their favourite.
Getting the votes awakened the competitive spirit
Jari-Jukka Kallunki from JJ'S BBQ had come across the competition on social media and noticed that it was causing a stir among restaurant guests.
"At first it felt like no one was voting for me," Kallunki says. However, the restaurant received a steady stream of votes, which motivated him to promote the competition on the restaurant's own channels.
Mimosa Koskipuro, entrepreneur of Mimosan Aito, explains how the good ranking when the 2020 competition was underway got her in the competitive spirit. Edenred's competition evokes positive feelings in her:
"It's nice to have competitions like this, where customers vote. It's nice to be able to say that you've done well."
Winning the competition brought plenty of awareness and visibility
The success of the winning restaurants in the Edenred competition was not their only achievement. Recently, JJ'S BBQ won the title of Finland's Best Burger Restaurant and in May they were selected by the HoreCa professional panel as one of the 100 Best Restaurants in Finland, which is updated annually. Both winning restaurants particularly emphasize the visibility that the competition has given them, which has helped them to succeed.
"It (the competition) gave a lot of visibility, there's been no shortage of it," says JJ'S BBQ, which has become an almost nationwide hit. There was a huge increase in awareness," adds Kallunki, explaining how Edenred's competition helped spread the word about the restaurant.
Diners are arriving from all over Finland – the success is also reflected in business
Both Jari-Jukka and Mimosa believe that the visibility that the competition brought during and after it will support their business, as consumers all over Finland will know about the restaurant. Diners from all over Finland travel to both restaurants with the idea of testing "the best lunch in Finland".
"I especially notice it in the holiday seasons. We get a lot of visitors outside of town. People know our restaurant well," says Mimosa.
Small investment helped to succeed
The barbecue restaurant, which has achieved high visibility on social media, believes in the power of social media and says it has helped build the restaurant's story.
"I encourage all entrepreneurs to actively use social media, it's really easy," encourages the entrepreneur of JJ'S BBQ, who believes that you can do well on social media if your posts are genuine and honest.
You can take your time with social media posts, but you can also do it on the spur of the moment, with a low threshold. Mimosan Aito agrees. In Koskipuro's opinion, even a small investment is enough to be successful in the Best Lunch in Finland competition. Koskipuro describes how, with a small investment, she got her customers to become active:
"I put a link on our Facebook page that we are in the competition," Mimosa says, and continues, "I also put an A4 poster in the restaurant: 'Do you think we're the best place for lunch?' Vote for us."
Kallunki also encourages the promotion of the race in the restaurant. This will make customers, the people who vote in the competition, aware of the competition and increase their chances of winning.
"It's worth advertising at the checkout, for example, and mentioning that you're taking part in this kind of vote."
Where is the next Finland's best lunch?
Edenred Finland is annually looking for the best lunch restaurant in Finland! The Best Lunch in Finland competition takes place in autumn at paraslounas.fi.
For the story we interviewed JJ'S BBQ, the 2021 winner of the Best Lunch in Finland title, and Mimosan Aito, the 2020 winner.