Beijing F&B | A group notice about group notices

“What if I told you a free way to reach 500 interested customers?”
— Some drunk guy the other night.

Most people I know say they are in way too many WeChat groups. And complain there is way too much irrelevant and repetitive stuff in those groups. So people who run groups, including for restaurants and bars, and who focus on relevant and timely stuff should benefit, right?

Consider the Group Notice, the section that an admin controls and that any member can easily check. It’s kind of like the sign on a restaurant’s or bar’s front door.

Many bars and restaurants have nothing posted. Or a message such as ‘Cheers!’ or ‘Have a good time!’ Or details for an event or a special that happened months or even a year ago. Free advertising gone to waste

Here’s what they could have posted and why it matters:

  • Weekly opening hours, including any days closed.
  • Happy hour deals.
  • Food deals–and whether or not valid on holidays.
  • Address in English and Chinese.
  • Venue name for delivery / ride sharing platforms.
  • RSVP policy and contact details.
  • Website / Weibo / [insert social media] details.
  • Etc.

You know what happens when you have a good notice?

1 People don’t repeatedly ask “What’s the address?” or “What time do you open?” in the group as much, messages that annoy hundreds of others.

2 Because the hours are posted, group members are less likely to show up the day you are closed — frustrated — because they were “pretty sure” you are open seven days a week.

3 People get used to checking the group notice and it becomes even more useful for promotion, such as for giving weekly updates about new dishes, drinks and deals.

4 It’s easier for customers to be ambassadors. A friend just posted about wanting to try a new happy hour? You can double-check the info about your favorite bar and pass it along. (It’s always a bummer if the bar has changed the deal, and hasn’t updated the group notice, something you only learn when your friend finds out in person aka an unhappy hour.)

5 It makes you look organized, which gives greater confidence in your overall business.

6 It’s courteous.

Think I’m over-exaggerating? I’ve heard plenty of people complain about “Too many posts about non-restaurant stuff”, “I can never remember what time they are open”, “They are so disorganized”, etc. Situations that could be partly alleviated in minutes–and for free–using Group Notice.

Sure, if a place is so busy and profitable that it doesn’t care, fine. Or if it’s so local that most people are regulars and know the hours, deals et al by heart, fine.

But many bars and restaurants say it’s hard to get customers these days. And WeChat groups, and the group notice, are free marketing tools. And, again, how long does it take to post that info, anyway?

Sounds obvious, and easy, but many places don’t do it. And don’t get me started on maps.

Here’s a simple example of what I think would make most people happy.


JB’s Bar. Open 11 AM-11 PM, Tuesdays-Sundays (closed Mondays and on Groundhog Day).

Happy hours: 5 PM-7 PM. All draft beer half-price. Check out our new J-to-the-B Jasmine-Borscht IPA.

Half-price food deals. From 6 PM: Meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wiener Wednesday, Taco Thursday (we like tacos), Fish ‘n’ Chips Friday. Including holidays (except Groundhog Day).

For delivery platforms and Didi, type “JB Bar”. We’re at 188 Somewhere Hutong / 188 某处胡同.

We’re also working on a website: details soon. And a new B-to-the-J Brie Jalapeno Stout.

By the way, we’re launching a series of baijiu / kimchi milkshakes, so if you’d like to be a taste tester, let me know.

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Get regular Beijing updates via my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Also see my sibling sites Grape Wall of China, World Baijiu Day and World Marselan Day. Help cover the hosting and other costs of these sites with a WeChat, AliPay or PayPal donation.

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