[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” text_align=”left”][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are too many restaurant owners who think of restaurant marketing as an afterthought when they should be thinking about it as a priority.
If you want to set your restaurant up for massive success, you can’t have one foot in while the other is out in your restaurant marketing.
This article in Modern Restaurant Management features Schloss Diaz.
Schloss is the co-founder of Diaz Schloss communications.
Over the past 12 years, she has covered the food trends column for The Montclair Times/North Jersey Media Group.
If there’s anyone who has seen what makes different restaurants successful, it’s her.
My favorite quote from this article is…
“As long as they continue to see smart, strategic marketing as an expense rather than an investment in their brand and their community … they will continue to spend too little and not value it. That’s a huge mistake.”
In my own experience, I’ve met many restaurant owners who don’t think that separating yourself online is crucial to a restaurants success.
Let’s say you are doing fine without marketing, business is booming.
Would not you want more of a stronghold of your market? Also, who’s to say that your competitors are not gearing up for a great restaurant marketing campaign of their own?
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There’s nothing quite as convincing as word of mouth marketing. When we get approval of something from a friend (or sometimes a stranger even), we trust that we’re hearing from a reliable source and can instantly get genuine interest. This can work to your advantage quickly if you own a restaurant or are a chef.
If you’re not using reviews in your chef or restaurant marketing, you could be missing out on a great way to connect with potential new customers and make past customers return.
If you want to learn how to use reviews in your restaurant marketing strategy, check out this article in QSR magazine
https://beyondtheeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/reviews.png800800Roukhttps://beyondtheeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/BeyondTheEats.pngRouk2018-04-02 21:24:202018-04-02 21:24:20Reviews are powerful. Are you using them to market your restaurant?
https://beyondtheeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/LADesertshops-1.png800800Roukhttps://beyondtheeats.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/BeyondTheEats.pngRouk2017-12-19 15:53:522018-02-03 17:35:28How 3 Dessert Shops Are Using Instagram To Boost Their Sales
As a restaurant owner, you have a lot to be proud of.
But how often can you brag about your business to a large group of people at once? Odds are, the answer is never.
But what if there was a way you could do this daily?
Well with Facebook, you can!
As one of the most powerful platforms on the web, Facebook is the perfect tool to connect with both repeat and potential customers.
It gives you the opportunity to create a buzz about your food, service, venue, or whatever it is that makes you unique from others in the industry and other food establishments in your local area.
By posting the right content, you can create some serious word of mouth that will make customers come through your doors on what will feel like autopilot.
When customers visit your restaurant, you want them to have a memorable experience.
With Facebook, you can start creating that environment before they ever walk through the door, in fact, you should be creating that environment before they walk through the door because it’s likely that people are looking at your online presence.
This is done by allowing people to “meet” your staff, peek at your menu items, and check-out your events all online.
Pretty cool, right?
Facebook is such a simple platform that it takes just a few minutes to post awesome content that won’t consume your day. However, it’s important that you’re posting consistently with content that matters to your customers.
You should be building excitement for their upcoming visits and anticipation for what you might post next.
Fortunately, as a restaurant, this is easy to do because of the variety of features available to showcase.
In fact, you could even implement a daily theme to make content creation easy and fun. You could try How-it’s-Made Monday, Take a Tour Tuesday, or any theme that allows you to show people what you have to offer.
Build a content calendar that excites your customers and makes your job just a little bit easier.
So you still aren’t quite sure you have enough to share on your Facebook page? Let’s take a look at 6 content ideas that any restaurant can utilize on Facebook today.
1.Share your Staff
Your food is great and your service, top-notch. So why not let people know who makes that happen?
Human capital is a very powerful asset today, and Facebook is a great place to flaunt your staff. This can help boost engagement on your page and bring in new fans, expanding your network rapidly.
Featuring your employees can also boost your company’s overall morale, allowing your staff to feel appreciated for their work.
So go ahead, get personal and share photos and facts about your team members. Where are they from? What hobbies are they interested in? Share the things that people might not know about them.
The goal here is to make your potential and repeat customers feel like they know you and your team.
Include the information that makes them unique and valuable to your staff. You can also go a step further and showcase their talents in the workplace. Take some action shots or a short video of them at work.
You can also use this opportunity to demonstrate initiatives and volunteer work that your company or employees are involved with. Allow your customers to know what causes are important to you and how you are giving back to your community.
Allow your customers to know more about who you are and the things you stand for.
2. Behind the Scenes
Who doesn’t like a good behind the scenes action or a “how this is done” type of post? People love when you demystify things that seem complicated or unexplainable.
Believe it or not, the building your restaurant is housed in has a personality of its own and people like to see that. Maybe it’s the photos on your wall or the new lighting you’ve recently installed. ‘
No matter what it is that makes your building unique, a photo or video tour can spark customers curiosity. If you start the trend of sharing something that’s really enticing about your restaurant, people will follow.
[bctt tweet=”If you start the trend of sharing something that’s really enticing about your restaurant, people will follow.” username=”beyondtheeats“]
In addition, be sure to share a little behind-the-scenes glimpse of your day-to-day operations. Simple things like sharing photos of your staff restocking shelves or opening up the restaurant.
In today’s world, the general public appreciates transparency and this will help humanize your brand into one that people continuously support thanks to a connection that feels personal.
3. #FoodPorn – GREAT food photos, not just good
We’ve all seen it. Photos of the perfect steak or massive slice of pizza. They make your mouth water and tummy rumble on sight!
People eat with their eyes first, so sharing a photo of your signature dishes is the perfect way to bring new customers to the table.
This is also a great way to introduce new menu items or a daily special. But it’s important that your photo is high-quality and looks visually appealing.
Poor photos can be the deciding factor on whether someone wants to try your food or head to a different restaurant down the street.
I know a lot of people who choose whether or not they want to go to a restaurant based on the pictures alone! I’m sure you do too.
4. Customer Connection
There is a lot that goes into owning a restaurant, but the one thing you can’t do without are your customers. So why not show them some appreciation!
People love free stuff, whether it’s merchandise or a discount. By providing special offers to your fans on Facebook, you are encouraging them to interact with your page and visit your restaurant. Talk about a win, win.
You can also increase engagement by hosting contests and giveaways with entry granted to people who interact with your posts.
Always remember that customers can be your greatest advocates and ultimately do promotion for you!
Their reviews, photos, and posts, better known as “user-generated content” (UGC), is not only free to you but also genuine to other consumers who might see it. These are photos that feature other people enjoying your food or establishment.
Using photos and videos that are straight from your customers (UGC) is an easy way to fill your content calendar with high-quality posts. But be sure you have permission to repost before you flood your feed with your customer’s selfies and #hashtags. You can get permission by simply messaging the person whose photo you’d like to post.
5. Show your customers HOW-TO do something
How-to videos are a secret to getting customers to interact with your page because they get something valuable from watching.
Own a burger restaurant? Show people how to make the perfect at-home burger.
Own a pizza restaurant? Give a tutorial, showing how to stretch pizza dough.
Customize the videos to your skill set and provide information that is valuable to your customer so that it’s a win on both sides! These videos work well because the person watching gets something from the videos that you’re putting out there.
In a later post, I’ll be explaining how to reach the people who watched this video on Facebook through advertising.
If your idea tank is running low, feel free to take a look at the national day’s calendar to add to your pages schedule.
Whether it’s national cupcake day, national cheeseburger day, or anything in between, find a way to work it into your daily posts for an easy way to fill specific days with content. You can even plan promotions around these.
Take advantage of the fact that the days already exist and that your customers likely have no idea that they’re coming up!
Make it fun, make it fresh but don’t overdo it.
You can also use actual holidays as a way to engage with your customers. Fortunately, since you know when these are each year, you can plan ahead to create quality posts.
You can also encourage people to share their traditions with you to connect with customers and create a 2-way conversation.
What are you waiting for?
With over a billion users, Facebook’s potential is limitless. It can be the number one channel to acquire new customers if done correctly.
However, in order to guarantee results, you may need to “pay to play” and put a small advertising budget behind your posts. With the amount of content created on Facebook daily, it can be difficult to reach your audience organically.
With just a few dollars a week, you can reach thousands of people within your desired demographic or geographic location. It may sound crazy to pay for a free social media platform but the results are worth every penny!
Now on to you! What have you seen work in your business on Facebook? Is there anything I missed that you like?
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People eat with their eyes first. Especially on social media.
They definitely do before they get through the doors of your restaurant.
Even the famous Chef Roble, owner of Streets restaurant in Brooklyn was quoted saying
[bctt tweet=”“people eat with their eyes, so it can’t just taste good it needs to look good too.” – Chef Roblè ” username=”beyondtheeats”]
Did you know that 86% of diners check out a restaurant online before they visit? I know most of my friends do.
Most people will try and get an idea of what they’re in for before they even walk in, which means that you must set their expectations while they’re still online.
The #foodporn hashtag has been used over 137 million times on Instagram, and #instafood over 96 million times, which demonstrates just how much people love to share images of their food.
Now, all your job is, is to give them a reason to share YOURS, it’s probably not as hard as you think.
2. Have an item that people feel they HAVE to share
This one is big.
It’s easy to see how Instagram has influenced food to look visually striking, there are restaurants that are even making changes to their entire menu to support this new trend.
What can you offer that’s visually spectacular, funny or unusual that people can’t possibly resist photographing, sharing and coming back to brag to friends about?
Black Tap is a craft burger restaurant in New York City.
They’re known for these big elaborate milkshakes that everyone LOVES to share to Instagram, and there’s a never-ending two-hour wait just to get your hands on one.
Where did the idea come from? Well, it’s simply a reflection of the owners’ childhood nostalgia.
Owner of Black Tap, Joe Isidori, was quoted saying, “As a kid, I grew up in the neighborhoods of New York City, in Brooklyn and Queens, and you’d go to the luncheonette to get a cheeseburger deluxe—a burger with extra American cheese—which always had a milkshake with it. I wanted to recreate that here,”
If you do an Instagram search on their location, it will probably look something like this at any moment…
Seriously though, how could you not want to share these? It’s just not something you see every day (or at least I don’t, that’s for sure.)
3. Make something about the physical location a must share
If it’s not the visually appealing food, it’s something about your location.
Instagram also helps you to understand your audience; what they like about your food, your restaurant, branding and what attracts people to visit you and share their experiences at your establishment.
This article in the Verge even talks about how Instagram is pushing restaurants to be kitschy, colorful, & irresistible to photographers.
Although a full interior re-design might be out of your reach, there are ways that you can use the settings around your restaurant too.
Is there a cool feature in your spot that constantly comes up in social media posts?
It might not be an everyday thing that people post (yet), but there’s a good chance that you can recognize a small trend or type of post people do while they’re at your establishment already.
Your job is to simply promote that thing so people follow your lead, whatever it might be. For Media Noche in San Francisco, their physical “thing” is their white and green tiles, check out some of what people post to Instagram, a lot of it has nothing to do with the food!
Even lighting in eating spaces is more carefully considered than ever before, with restaurants such as Bellota, in San Francisco, featuring custom lamps with adjustable light settings that allow customers to get the perfect shot for Instagram.
These owners know that the more people that are posting their establishment, the more free promo they get.
With social media, it’s important to keep your content as fresh as your food too.
Mix it up by using a variety of photos, videos, & photos your customer’s post.
After a while, you might notice a pattern that enables you to figure out what type of content resonates best with your followers, or even better, what kind of content attracts more new followers to you.
Ever thought about an Instagram-only promotion where your followers get a discount or a freebie by mentioning your latest Instagram post, or by tagging your restaurant when they visit?
People love to feel exclusive, so why not reward those who share your establishment with something exclusive?
Instagram competitions (follow/like/re-gram for the chance to win a free meal) can also be a great, short-term activity to grow your account more quickly.
If you already have an audience, try using Instagram Live or Stories with some behind the scenes snippets from the kitchen to really get your brand’s personality across.
This can work well to build engagement and brand recognition, as well as to let that audience know what’s going on behind the scenes that helps your restaurant run.
Keep an eye on your engagement levels and what gets the most likes, comments and follows to see if you can work out what the secret sauce to social media success is for your business specifically.
There are plenty of useful tools that you can use to measure and create the right content for you.
I recommend starting with Adobe Spark, Adobe Spark Video, & Canva. They’re apps that you can use on phone or desktop to make great photos & videos of your restaurant.
What’s been the most popular post for your restaurant? Is there anything else that you see work on Instagram?
Let me know in the comments!
Looking for more tips to help your restaurant stand out on social media?
Click here to schedule a free 15-minute strategy call with me where you can ask me anything!
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Although there are many advantages to using email marketing to grow your business, this specific return helps to keep you in business and can become a consistent way to engage with customers.
Moreover, Forrester statistics show that people are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to interact with you on Facebook.
So, if you can give them a reason to share their email address just once, it raises the possibility of them joining your list.
You could even begin by getting your existing Facebook fans onto your email list.
In this article, I’ll focus on benefits of email marketing; and more specifically why you need to use it for your restaurant.
Let’s get into it!
1. Build excitement
Get your customers more excited by sending them new updates about your restaurant.
Have you got a new menu item, coupon, or location? There is no better way to reach out and let people know that through email.
It’s an effective way to raise their level of emotional engagement, build a lasting relationship with them and get them involved in your restaurant or food business.
Email marketing is based on customer interaction. Statistics show that 61 percent of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly, and 38% would like emails to come even more frequently.
The determining factor is whether they enjoy their experiences with you or not. When you build up excitement with your updates, your customers are more likely to act immediately.
They’ll want to visit the restaurant to check out what’s new, or even visit your new location to see in person!
Building up excitement with emails can help customers make fast decisions based on your updates.
2. Attract new clients
Sometimes, it’s much easier to retain an existing client than acquiring new ones.
However, with email marketing, restaurants can easily connect with new prospects, clients, or subscribers.
When you offer people exclusive access to deals or offer them new deals such as discounted sales, discounts on new menu items, or a free wine tasting, you’ve given them a reason that’s valuable enough for them to exchange their email address with you.
They might share with their friends and family so that they too can get in on the action!
According to McKinsey, “Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter”. So, what are you waiting for?
3. Stay top-of-mind
Staying top-of-mind is what email marketing is all about.
The restaurant industry is very competitive and it’s important to stay present in your customers’ minds very often as they focus their attention in different places and are distracted by so many different messages per day.
Email gives you direct access to somewhere that people check on a regular basis, so you are always in control of the conversation between you and your customers.
When you keep your customers informed about your new deals or restaurant updates, you stay at the top of their minds.
This naturally increases your chances of creating loyal customers and bringing in repeat customers.
4. Enables targeted/segmented marketing
The great thing about email marketing is that you can target your marketing efforts towards specific groups of customers.
This makes your restaurant marketing much easier and cost-effective because it’s much more scaled down to tailor to specific needs.
You can break your consumers into segments based on their needs, and then concentrate your marketing efforts on each segment by matching your service offerings with them.
For example, imagine how valuable it would be to send personalized & completely separate email messages to people who are vegetarian, have peanut allergies or vegan? Very powerful. The experience is much more personal.
This intimate and personalized connection is powerful, to say the least.
According to MailChimp, “Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns, meaning that it’s clearly something people enjoy more as it’s personalized to their specific tastes and satisfies their specific needs.
The proper use of targeted or segmented marketing will help you really connect with your existing customers, increase your sales and grow your restaurant business.
5. It’s cost-effective
You can start email marketing on a shoestring budget and still achieve amazing results.
In fact, email marketing is much cheaper than most other marketing channels.
There are several email marketing services – free and paid tiers that you can use.
If you just want to see if email marketing is for you, I’d suggest starting with MailChimp. But if you’re looking for something with more powerful and advanced features that can help you serve your customers, I’d recommend checking out ActiveCampaign.
I typically recommend ActiveCampaign for restaurants because it offers powerful automation that you can easily customize, and it is also a CRM (client relationship management) system.
An ActiveCampaign Lite account will cost just $9 per month for up to 500 contacts to get started!
6. Boost Sales
Is it possible for restaurants to boost sales with email marketing?
Well, the short answer is – DEFINITELY.
In fact, email could become your number one top-secret weapon to increase your business sales and grow your customer base.
This quote from Grant Galuppi, owner of Galuppi’s illustrates the power of having your own email list.
“Five years ago, we started with about zero contacts, but we have a great database now – we have 7,000 email addresses. That means I can push out a social event or a holiday and let 7,000 people know, instead of advertising it for $500 in a newspaper.”
I’m sure you can imagine how valuable it would be for you to be able to reach almost 7,000 customers instantly.
Although this number can seem like a far reach to get to, it is possible if you implement the right systems within your restaurant for people to share their email, and consistently serve them relevant offers.
7. Get started quickly
Speaking of the right systems, the next step is to get started!
Getting started is easy and you can be up and running in under one hour. So, don’t feel intimidated by the process.
One important thing to know is that collecting emails should be something that you get into a rhythm with as a restaurant owner.
Your subscriber’s list is an asset to your restaurant business and you need to look for effective ways to collect emails consistently.
What can you offer that’s valuable enough for someone to share their email with you? A free lunch? 25% off? A free drink?
Giving people something just once can create a much longer relationship, which makes it worth it.
I’ll detail many ways that you could go about this in a later post, but for now, it’s important that you try to maximize on your foot traffic by connecting with them through email.
Similarly, you can make use of other channels such as your website to collect emails.
When you have an email list, you can command traffic to your restaurant every time you want.
8. Reach people on their mobile devices
Nowadays, mobile devices are unquestionably the most extensively used.
We carry them with us in our bags and pockets, check them when we have any moment of downtime, and they’re always on our bedside tabletop when we are asleep.
Statistics show that 88 percent of smartphone users actively check email on their phones, which makes it more popular than any other app for both iPhones and Androids.
Thus, mobile is a great opportunity for you as a restaurant owner, as it gives you unlimited access to your customers no matter where they are.
A more advanced step in your email marketing system would be to focus on how you can create the perfect “mobile moments” by sending emails to your customers at the right time, but I’ll save that for another post.
I hope you can now see the huge opportunity available through email marketing and why you need to use email marketing for your restaurant.
Email marketing offers restaurants tons of opportunities to help achieve their business goals and I hope you now understand how large of an impact it can have when properly done.
You can easily connect with your customers, build a lasting relationship and stay ahead of your competitors.
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