Restaurant marketing on a budget

Browsing through a number of restaurant websites, I notice one missed opportunity in all of them… the absence of blog posts. Restaurateurs are failing to embrace new media which is capable of attracting new customers to their establishments without breaking the bank.

All it requires is for a restaurant owner to generate engaging regular content that will be published on restaurant website, shared on social media platforms which in turn is shared by readers to their respective followers/friends commonly known as going viral.

Restaurant owners can blog themselves, or assign a staff member to be responsible for generating regular content. Content ideas are plenty in a restaurant business to make for an engaging content…

restaurant photo

Photo by James E. Petts

Restaurant Content Ideas:

1. Showcase your restaurant

Show prospective patrons how your restaurant looks in most departments…even where your patrons are not permitted to access such as the kitchen and storage facilities. Don’t shy away from taking photographs of your bathrooms, let us know if they’re friendly for the disabled?

Next is your dining floor…how many people can be accommodated when fully booked? Even if you’re not comfortable writing…just include detailed explanations with all your captions.

Take pictures of your outside setup…do you offer outdoor dining experience, this is popular with most patrons especially in summer…people love interacting with nature.

Is your parking near to the restaurant?…why not include that in your pictures, so that potential customers know their cars will be safe within easy reach of their eyes.

2. Showcase your food

This should the most interesting part of your content, since you’re in the business of selling food. Take pictures of all your dishes served, top that with video clips in the kitchen when it’s being prepared. Show us all the ready ingredients before they go into the pot…take us on an educational trip and share your cooking skills and tricks.

If as the restaurant owner you’re not a chef, then assign your chef the role to showcase food preparation. Because food differs so much, even the preparation process is a journey on its own which can help you generate more unique content for days.

3. Showcase your furniture

There is nothing wrong if you have old furniture…as long as it’s still usable, let everyone see exactly what they’ll be using when they book your restaurant.

  • Tell us about your buying decisions…why you selected those particular chairs and tables?
  • Tell us where you source your furniture?
  • Share with us how you take good care of your furniture…repairs and replacements.

4. Showcase your staff

Without the manpower to help you deliver your food, there is no restaurant…they’re equally important to the operation of your business. Profile them individually, let us know more about them…their background, likes and dislikes.

Share their successes with your patrons, give them the recognition that they deserve.

5. Showcase your cutlery

Tell us more about your cutlery…why you use particular type of spoons, plates, forks etc…is it locally sourced or imported?

  • How many people can be served using all your cutlery?
  • How you keep track of breakage?
  • Do you hire out your cutlery?

6. Showcase your patrons

Let us see the type of people that visit your restaurant…is it a mixture of locals and tourists, young or old? Do celebrities frequent your facility?

7. Showcase your suppliers

When deliveries are being made…be there handy with your camera to take footage of your packed boxes. Interview them if opportunity arises, let them share a thing or two about their products.

8. Showcase your equipment

Your kitchen is home to a variety of expensive cooking equipments…let us know what type of brands you use. Do you have a backup power generator when there is no electricity?…show us the monster generator, tell us how much you invested on it and whether it’s a return on investment or not.

You’ve a long list of equipment that makes up a restaurant…take time to profile each equipment and tell us about their respective benefits….how they fulfil their duties?

Blogging Benefits:

1. Cheapest form of advertising

After word of mouth, blogging is the next cheapest form of advertising. You generate content yourself all the time in multiple formats such as photographs, video, audio and text. All these content can be shared in multiple social media platforms beyond your blog to spread the word about your restaurant.

Online reaches audiences far and wide than any other media platform can. Radio, print and television do not reach global audiences similar to online.

2. Long term benefits

The beauty about blogging is that all published content is always archived, can be accessed 24 hours a day worldwide throughout the year…beyond the physical location of your restaurant.

Generating content on a regular basis helps your website to rank high on search engines…which in term helps to increase bookings. Potential patrons are able to make bookings on your website even when your restaurant is closed.

3. You’re in total control of content

You’ve the last say on what gets published on your blog…without paying extra money for publication.

4. Blogging is flexible

Because you’re not only limited to publishing text…you can combine a mixture of formats such as video interviewing your staff, suppliers etc.

You might decide on running a competition involving your customers…to encourage them to generate content in return for in-house prices (they become your writers and photographers indirectly).

5. Promotes goodwill

If you blog honestly about your restaurant business and not make up fancy stories, your readers will identify with you. Just like respect, goodwill is earned over time…you’ll need to blog honestly about your restaurant. This means sharing both your successes and failures…nothing wrong in declaring your failures and let us know what lesson you learned from it?

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You’re also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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