How do you market 104 restaurants?

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The city of Ocean Springs has 104 restaurants, ranging from fast food to fine dining.  Here's the problem, not everyone knows that. The chamber wants to change that with a message that has some sizzle.

Restaurant owners have their own ideas about stirring up more business. One of them is Adam Flinchum.

"I'd like to see more signage, maybe at the major intersections on Exit 50, as well as Exit 57, to help folks find their way down here, find that there's a lot going on," Filchum said.

Others, like Tracy Stanley, say don't forget about the folks right at home.

"I think one of the marketing tools that we need is to market to our citizens of Ocean Springs, and to bring them more into the restaurants and make them aware of what we're offering," Stanley said.

While the restaurateurs and chamber officials all have good ideas about what they want to see in a marketing campaign, one thing is certain. Any campaign recipe will have a hearty helping of social media mixed in.

"We're extremely interested in things like apps and some of the new ways that are available to distribute information through the new technology," said Margaret Miller, who heads up the Ocean Springs Chamber.

Other business owners say don't forget traditional methods of getting the word out.  Issam Sabagh is in that camp.

"I think we should advertise more on the TV and get more involved with the casinos so we'll be able to get the word out to get people to come down here to Ocean Springs and see what we've got," Sabagh said.

The $30,000 for the campaign comes from the city's two percent tax on food and beverages sold in restaurants. Chamber officials hope that whatever marketing plan is chosen, it will be up and running in the next few months.

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