Any master chef or successful restaurateur will surely testify to the importance of presentation. It is not enough to concoct a dish that tastes good; it is equally important for that dish to look appetizing—or else, who’s going to want to eat it? It is for this reason that culinary professionals spend so much time learning the nuances of artful and appetizing food presentation.
But if the presentation of the dishes served is important, so is the presentation of the business itself—particularly to online consumers. Study after study affirms that, these days, more and more consumers are making their local business decisions based on what they read on the Internet. Moreover, who among us has not been out and about, suddenly struck by a desire to grab a bite, and immediately reached for the old smartphone, using either a Google search or something like the Yelp app to find a tantalizing local eatery?
The fact is, what the Internet suggests about a restaurant will likely dictate the level of foot traffic that comes through its doors. This is especially true for newer restaurants, seeking to establish visibility in the local community. Without a strong showing on the Web, it is all but certain a restaurant will lag behind in its level of patronage. On the other hand, a restaurant with a strong online presence will not only gain online visibility, but it will also be better positioned to keep diners coming back for more.
Shareworthy Content and Your Restaurant
The question many restaurant managers face is the simple question of how social media channels and other online outlets, like blogs, can be used to boost a restaurant’s credibility and to generate organic online buzz. The ultimate goal, of course, is to develop content that people will want to share with their social media friends and followers. In this day and age, a shared Facebook status update or Pinterest image is as good as any word-of-mouth recommendation, and it can cause your sphere of influence and visibility to expand exponentially.
There are plenty of examples of how restaurants can create fun and interesting social media or blog content, encouraging users to click the “share” button. Many diners, unfamiliar with that goes on behind-the-scenes of a restaurant, will love to see some candid photos from in the kitchen (if only to see how closely the real thing resembles what they see on celebrity cooking shows). Restaurants can also post blogs or online photo albums chronicling trips to the local farmer’s market, or showing the thought process behind the plating of a specific dish.
Alternatively, restaurants can provide online content that will offer some immediate value and benefit to readers. A good example of this is to offer some online tips for pairing wines with foods; you may even offer some simple recipes, or cooking tips from some of your chefs. You might also pen reviews of new cookbooks, of different wine labels or local beers, or something similar.
Essentially, any online content that engages the user and makes him or her more curious about your restaurant—or more likely to share your restaurant’s social media content—is going to be good for your business. Many restaurant managers are coming around to the idea that sharing big events or promotions, via social media channels, is useful—but with a full content marketing campaign, your restaurant can take its efforts to the next level.
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