Chef Advice: Marketing and Restaurant Technology
As a modern day restaurateur, you might still be operating like it’s 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.
If you plan to survive in today’s tight profits world of the food business, you better get at least comfortable with the idea of tech in your artistic food world. Anything I mention that doesn’t make sense, google it, then youtube it, and you’ll be proficient quickly. If there is anything I know, it’s that we have to operate our business in real time. So how is it that restaurants market as if it’s 2010?
Let’s talk the basics of what any restaurant owner should be using within the business. I don’t care if you’re a pizza joint, a full scale restaurant or something in between, you’re giving away profits if you don’t use all the tools at your disposal. Today we’ll focus on marketing.
Do you have a modern website? Or does it look like 1998? People will bounce away from a bad site quickly, so make sure it looks good. And it needs to be mobile optimized. Over half of all internet traffic is mobile, and this will only grow. You can use sites like Wix.com, Squarespace.com to build a website easily. First impressions matter.
Are you on all social media? More importantly, do you use it? If your last post is more than a week old, the answer is no. Social media is a free and powerful tool that can help grow your business. Tools change (remember MySpace?) but the idea of connecting online will never change.
How do you collect email addresses? Do you market to them regularly? You can have a sign up form on your website, cards, or receipts to collect in store. If you offer mobile payments like Delect to customers, their email address is already part of their account, so you’re able to reach consumers directly on their phone. Even better, with Delect, you can send direct notification to your customers when necessary. What are you giving away for someone’s privacy? A reward component can play very well when you ask for email addresses or offer mobile payments.
Do you have a way to sell them something? Ecommerce is real, $7K in 36 hours is my record. You must offer a lead magnet of sorts. You customers are interested in “what’s in it for me?” What is your marketing strategy for your list? How often, who is writing content? Get your staff involved maybe?
Acting as if your business will just continue to go along as planned is ridiculous. Part of my motivation for creating articles, videos and more is to fight the onslaught of closings in our industry. We all know this is a tough business, it’s that reason you need to have your most current skill set to fight a good fight! I have realized for a long time as even an aggressive marketer, that people will drop out of your “funnel” just by life happening.
If you don’t continually get your message out there, your numbers are bound to drop. Good food and service just aren’t enough, because we live in a world of choices. I’m in a city with 270 restaurants / eating places. We’re number 1 in Bethesda on TripAdvisor.com. People’s attention spans are getting smaller and smaller. Make sure you respect the attention of your guests which is 2017’s current economy. People can make more money, but they cannot get back time.