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How Wild Olives revitalised their online business presence

Stuart Ridley
Business and Technology Journalist

Stuart Ridley is the Smarter Business™ Print Editor and has covered trends in small business, tech and marketing for two decades

Stuart Ridley
Business and Technology Journalist

Stuart Ridley is the Smarter Business™ Print Editor and has covered trends in small business, tech and marketing for two decades

Steven Curtotti’s Wild Olives Italian restaurant is growing in popularity, thanks to its loyal customers and a Sensis digital marketing makeover.

Wild Olives had only recently opened its doors in the Canberra suburb of Gungahlin when the Curtotti family won our $8000 digital marketing makeover sponsored by Sensis®. Steven Curtotti told us last issue that he’d just started to get his head around the basics of digital marketing, though he was quick to point out he’d rather leave it to the experts. 

Three months later and Curtotti says he made the right decision: “One of the biggest benefits of having Sensis and Yellow Pages look after the Wild Olives website and listings for us is that we don’t need to worry about getting it all working.

“They look after the design, the words, the images – everything. They know what they’re doing online. It’s a lot better than a chef doing it! It’s better for me because I can focus on the food and don’t need to get into the technical stuff.” When Curtotti began learning his trade as a teenager on a working holiday in Foggia, southern Italy, restaurants relied heavily on word-of-mouth to build a loyal following. Online marketing didn’t emerge until he was into his thirties. These days, social media and review websites amplify the impact of word-of-mouth recommendations, but equally importantly, diners often turn to the internet first to find new taste sensations.

Email enquiries are working really well for us – bringing in new customers every week. We’re busy all the time, with full houses every Thursday to Saturday night. At the moment about 60-70 per cent of our customers each week have been here several times before. We’ve got customers who come every second or third day!


Wild Olives' new online presence

Six months ago Wild Olives didn’t have an internet presence. Now, you’ll find an attractive website designed with Yellow Pages SiteSmart™ that’s thoroughly optimised for search and “gives Wild Olives a professional look” notes Curtotti. Coupled with the website is a detailed Yellow Pages listing aimed at attracting new patrons.

“Since we opened, Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth have been our main ways of getting customers,” reports Curtotti. “The mobile version of Yellow Pages is great for new customers. When they search on mobile, maybe using ‘Italian’, ‘fine dining’, ‘Gungahlin’, our listing comes up well, and then there’s a map to help them find the restaurant, which is really useful. Yellow Pages also created a video for us which really captures the energy of the kitchen. The food is the main attraction (you can see me cooking, though it’s all about the food!).”

Yellow Pages recorded just under 1700 people saw the listing in its first month, averaging around 2200 each month since then, while email enquiries have tripled in the last two months. Regulars at Wild Olives say their favourite menu item is a veal with prosciutto and butter sage sauce, though an old favourite from the Curtottis’ previous restaurant is making a comeback. “The prize from Sensis was $8000 worth of marketing, including a new website, plus they also gave us $2000 on a prepaid Visa card,” explains Curtotti. “So we put that money towards a classic Lincoln pizza oven. Our old restaurant had one, so it’s great to have pizza on the menu again.”

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