The past few years have seen food delivery apps, such as Deliveroo and UberEATS, explode into popular consciousness and seeing at least one if not of more of these apps on someone’s phone is now commonplace. Food delivery has increased dramatically in popularity, aided by these easy to use apps catering for food-obsessed millennials no longer satisfied with the limited curry, Chinese or pizza options of years gone by. The range of food that delivery apps provide is certainly one of the reasons for this rise in popularity but also the convenience of ordering food on the move. However, the question is what are they doing to the restaurant industry? In this blog, we will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of food delivery apps restaurants need to consider.
Advantages of Delivery Apps
The advantages of food delivery apps for consumers are clear, however, there are also benefits for restaurants.
This is a particular boon for smaller restaurants, as when using a food delivery app your potential customers don’t have to hear of you before they order. This is because with an app it is more common for people to just search their local area or for a particular cuisine rather than a specific restaurant. This not only bags restaurant orders but potentially loyal customers.
Whilst there are of course costs involved with food delivery apps (which we will address further on in this blog) by using delivery apps restaurants can avoid the cost of delivery themselves. Whether it’s just saving on petrol and insurance and increasing staff numbers in the restaurant during busy periods or cutting down on staff costs completely this saving can always be put to good use.
Food delivery apps are a great way to get any promotions or discounts restaurants have available to a large audience, they also make it easy to organise if the restaurant is less tech-savvy. As a platform restaurant apps also make it easier for a restaurant to compare their promotions and prices to other restaurants in their local area as they are gathered in one place.
Disadvantages of Delivery Apps
Whilst we have highlighted some of the advantages of using food delivery apps, there are some definite disadvantages.
We have highlighted that by using food delivery apps restaurants can save money on delivery services, however, this comes at a cost, namely commission fees. These fees can be as high as 35% and will always be subject to increases. A ‘New Yorker’ article on the subject highlights that the consumer charges for delivery services alone will never be profitable so the profits will always end up coming from the pockets of the restaurants.
A Morgan Stanley survey indicated that 43% of food delivery app customers said the meal they ordered was replacing on that they would eat in a restaurant. That’s a lot of people not dining in and restaurants end up losing out on drink and possible dessert orders (not to mention tips).
When restaurants hand delivery over to a third party they end up relinquishing a certain amount of control over the condition that order reaches the customer in. Many complaints from consumers and restaurants alike are that the food arrives cold and soggy, due to delayed drivers or lack of care. Depending on what other platforms restaurants use to promote their business, they can also lose control over how they are being portrayed on the apps themselves and therefore their image.
The advantages and disadvantages of food delivery apps are far from clear-cut, an advantage to one restaurant could be a serious disadvantage to another. Subtle alternatives to food delivery apps are available for a restaurant not comfortable with them, Just Eat for example gives the benefits of a mobile platform but allows the restaurant to keep control of delivery services. It’s important that when deciding on whether to use a food delivery app that restaurants look at all aspects and way up the benefits against the costs. However, it must be noted that the popularity of delivery apps is undeniable and by avoiding them many restaurants could fall behind in the race for orders.
The restaurant industry today is no longer just about how good your food tastes, don’t get us wrong that still VERY important but you also need to create a buzz about your restaurant and employ the right marketing strategies to promote your business.
Social media is a creative and cost-effective way to draw attention to your restaurant and let your potential customers know what you're all about. In this blog, we will be looking at some super simple and inspired social media marketing strategies for your restaurant.
Write a Food Blog
Let’s start off simple if you run a restaurant you really need to be thinking about writing a food blog. It’s a great way to promote the food you serve as well as building a brand identity for your restaurant. If you’re a vegan restaurant, for example, its great way to tell the story behind your food as well focusing not only on the food but the lifestyle choice. Social media is the perfect way to share your blog and in turn draw attention to your restaurant so don’t forget to think about the latest food trends and piggyback on some popular hashtags!
Create a Legend
When creating your restaurant’s social media profile, a great way to make your business stand out is to create an awesome backstory! This can be completely true, slightly exaggerated or a work of pure silly fiction it doesn’t really matter as it’s about creating something exciting that will entertain people. This gives your restaurant more personality and builds a brand identity that could easily draw customers to you rather than your competitors.
Give Your Star Dish its Own Personality
A really quirky way of getting your customers attention is creating a social media account for your restaurant’s signature dish. You can post different photos of the dish along with thoughts and opinions as if from the perspective of said dish, always linking the content back to the restaurant. By doing this you can create a cult following and really set yourselves apart.
Be it, the amount eaten, the time taken or your chilli heat tolerance everybody loves a food challenge! Having an in-house food challenge will really do wonders for bringing in new customers. By offering a small incentive, for example, if you beat the challenge your food is free, and by advertising it prominently on social media people will actively seek you out to take part. It’s also a great way to exploit user-generated content as people will always want to take photos of a spectacular food challenge and share it with friends, so don’t forget to create a memorable hashtag!
Show off Your Staff
Family run business? Or do you just have really great staff? Then use that to your advantage, show them off. By including pictures of your staff and featuring their personalities on social media (don’t forget to ask first!) you will immediately make your restaurant more appealing to customers. If people know who is going to be serving them they will feel more connected and reassured that they will receive great service!
A great social media strategy is the perfect way to create a personality for your restaurant, and this will help set you apart from the competition. It is also the perfect platform to advertise any special deals or gimmicks your business has going on. By using social media to get your customers through the door they will have a chance to taste your amazing food and then, in turn, will promote you on social media, it’s a fantastic cycle!
Visual content marketing is huge in the food business – we’ve all felt our stomachs start to rumble and our mouths begin to water at the sight of a particularly well photographed dish. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Instagram can be an excellent marketing tool for restaurants. We've put together some top tips for making the most of it.
It’s been said that the 8th P of the marketing mix is partnering, and it offers some truly excellent opportunities for Instagram users. If you can partner with an Instagram influencer, that’s great. If not, consider who your partners are in the real world and have a look for them on Instagram. Promote your suppliers, and encourage them to support you in return. Breweries, for example, tend to have a great understanding of how best to portray themselves on social media, so don’t miss the opportunity to tag them and interact with them. If you provide catering for events, post images from the events to show what you contribute to, and tag the venue, and others involved in the event management process. If you get it right, everyone wins.
While suppliers are absolutely essential to any catering business, it could be argued that your most important partners are your customers. There are a number of companies on Instagram which do an excellent job of focusing on their audience – check out GoPro and Sharpie for great examples of how this can be done. You could even crowdsource photos for your menu from Instagram, as done by New York’s Comodo restaurant. Just ask participants to use a specific hashtag when they upload your photos, and you’re sure to end up with lots of gorgeous photos.
Instagram is not just for sharing photos – it’s also great for sharing short videos. The video editing process is simplified, ensuring that anyone who can work a smartphone can produce great looking content for Instagram. Give your followers a glimpse into the workings of your kitchen, or show off fun aspects of your company culture.
Use the Explore feature to keep an eye on trending hashtags. If you can see a way to link trending tags to your brand, jump on it! Posting in a timely manner can be a great opportunity to raise brand awareness, and to encourage consumers to engage with your company online.
Instagram is, after all, a social media, and if you aren’t capitalising on the social element, you aren’t using it to its full potential. Comment on content posted by other brands and individuals, and reply to users who interact with your images. Engagement is essential! If you'd like help with social media marketing for your restaurant, don't hesitate to give us a call.
How your restaurant can benefit from Google Plus
It's essential for businesses to have a strong social media strategy and while many successfully promote their business on Facebook and Twitter, few restaurant owners make the most of what Google Plus has to offer.
Google has been the number one search engine in the world for over ten years and with the introduction of Google Plus in 2011, they looked to finally crack the social world.
Although it has proven difficult to build large followings and get high engagement, it is possible to attract new customers, interact with existing customers and raise the profile of your restaurant effectively with a strong strategy. Here are some ways your restaurant can benefit from Google Plus:
It's essential to set your restaurant up on Google My Business, which is Google Plus's most important feature for businesses.
This will increase your search visibility and also allow potential customers to locate you on Google Maps as well as providing them with a phone number and a link to your restaurant's website. Business listings will be a crucial part of your online presence for years to come.
A good way to start growing your following is to engage with content other people have posted first. This will improve your visibility and attract people to your restaurant's Google Plus page.
Use some of Google Plus's many communities to connect with potential new customers. You can even create a food-based community of your own to attract new followers.
There is no limit to the number of pictures, videos and blog posts you can share on Google Plus. A lot of restaurants post images of new dishes and special offers to attract more custom. But be sure not to post too often as it can frustrate people.
Google Plus Hangouts is one of the platform's most popular tools and it allows businesses and celebrities to connect with their followers more intimately than by just sharing pictures and blog posts.
Google Plus Circles are a way to create subsets of people you're connected to and share selectively with them. This can be particularly helpful when you wish to separate your restaurant's customers from business partners and any influencers you may follow.
If you have any questions regarding restaurant social media marketing and how your business can improve its social presence, then contact us at any time.
Marketing your restaurant business can be as tricky as perfecting a baked alaska. Facebook can be an exceptional marketing tool for your restaurant, gaining you new customers and hoards of adoring fans. But how exactly do you leverage Facebook when the business you run is a restaurant, and you have no products to sell online? It's tricky to imagine how an online platform can benefit a bricks and mortar business, but it can be done. All that is required is time, effort, dedication, and a little creativity.
Here are our top five tips for using Facebook to market your restaurant business:
Incorporate your Facebook page into your front of house marketing by including the URL on menus, boards, and other items, and encouraging existing customers to visit your Facebook page. Entice them with the promise of offers and vouchers that can be redeemed during future visits.
Using black boards or screens around the restaurant, ask diners to tag you if they post any selfies or photos of their food during their visit, and set up some relevant and quirky hashtags for them to use in their posts. Be sure to have someone checking your page regularly and commenting on any images or posts made that you're tagged in. Not only will this boost the activity on your page, it will ensure that all your customers' friends and family see your restaurant.
Videos are the number one form of content on Facebook, with greater reach than any other form of post and the potential to go viral a lot more easily. Take some short behind the scenes videos of staff and food, to give people a peek behind the curtain. You might also create some tutorial-style videos teaching people how to make some of your favourite dishes.
Ensure you are giving your Facebook followers extra value as a reward for following you, by providing them with exclusive offers and vouchers, and running regular competitions. Always tie the prizes directly to your business by making them vouchers for a free drink or bottle of wine with each meal, a free appetiser or dessert with each main, or buy one course get another free - or really splash out and offer a free meal for two.
Facebook works best when your efforts are frequent and consistent. Ensure you post to your page daily, with snaps of new menu items, updates on what's going on, or simply shots of happy customers enjoying their food. It will take time to build a following and gain momentum so don't give up if you don't see results immediately, keep at it!
As a restaurant, reaching out to your current and potential audience online is a proven way of vastly improving your relationship with customers and developing new business by giving yourself a friendly voice on the web. There are multiple online platforms that can help to drum up attention for your restaurant, but in the current climate twitter is all about immediate interaction and quick moments of sharing, which makes it the perfect platform to speedily increase the interest surrounding what you do. The key to this is numbers – the more people who see your posts, the more they are shared, interacted with, and simply taken on board by people looking for somewhere great to eat. So how can you get those numbers rocketing?
There’s no point pulling in a crowd who aren’t looking for what you have on offer – you want a base of genuinely interested followers to improve the impact of your tweets. This means being clear about who you are with a robust, honest bio, and a profile picture that works with it.
Once again, you’re looking to target the right kind of people, so find them! There are lots of ways to do this, but a great starting point is taking a look at the profiles of businesses that you think have a similar flair to your own, and then following some of their followers.
This is an important one – as a restaurant business, you’ll be posting lots of mouth-watering pictures of delicious food, amazing deals, and plenty of business-specific hooks to get people interested in what you’re about. This is fantastic, but you also need to give people a reason to follow you when they’re not looking for somewhere to eat, too. Think about the kind of hobbies and interests the target market for your restaurant may have, and start to produce posts that will engage with them on a level outside of just the hospitality industry. If twitter users enjoy the posts you’re putting out, they will tag their friends and you will drum up new followers instantly.
The best thing about twitter is you can search by mentioned keywords, so why not get interacting? Search “hungry” and your general location, and respond directly to people looking for a bite to eat.
It’s super simple, but ask questions. Give people a reason to get involved. Offer prizes, run games, do what it takes to increase the sharing aspect of your profile. When it comes to increasing business potential using social media, we’re absolute whizzes – so why not get in touch and let us do the hard work for you?
As the proud owner of a thriving restaurant business, you’ll be aware that how you come across to your potential customers is half the battle of getting them through the door – getting people to enjoy good food is all about good communication, after all! Nothing encourages visitors like word of mouth, a great public front, and some seriously enticing behind the scenes work, so here are some of our top tips for utilising social media to improve your hospitality business.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, use your social platform to let people know what you’re offering them. Whether it’s great décor, delicious food, a fun cocktail menu, the best offers in town, or the world’s best-trained staff, shout about it. The competition is stiff and people like to find out quickly and easily what they can enjoy, so keep it short and use pictures to really sell your story.
Creating a friendly image is great to attract new customers, so show yourselves as human. Social media is a great way to introduce your staff and show off what they’re doing that day. Let people know what they can expect and when – for example, if your head chef is trying out some inventive starters, let your customer base know what they can have and from who.
A successful way to attract customers is to offer them something for nothing – everyone loves a freebie, after all! Running a simple competition like ‘caption this photo for a free iced coffee’ will make you seem generous, fun, and will get people sharing your brand. Free marketing is surprisingly easy to acquire just by giving a small something away! The most popular time to post on sites such as Facebook is at the weekend, around midday, so factor this is when generating interest.
Have a think about who you think you’re trying to get involved with your hospitality business, and how you can benefit them using social media. If the majority of your customers are 18-25s, what would they like to see? This also works the other way round too – who don’t you see coming in as much and how can you try and get them involved? By sharing information that’s relevant to a specific group of people you can largely expand your following. For example, perhaps the over 40s crowd might like to know that you’re holding a jazz night, or your 18-25s may be keen to find out you are trialling a new milkshake flavour.
Having a seamless online presence throughout social media and your main sight is integral in the modern day to creating a solid brand, and it also allows you to interact one-on-one with your customers which is a great business tool. Contact us today to find out how we can help you handle your online persona and generate new business with a few simple steps forward.
On the Internet I believe the website is the heart of your business. That is why it is essential to have well presented website for your customers and visitors. These are the features that I believe you need to include in your restaurant website to be more successful.
You want to provide professional and clean impression to your visitors that the website is well managed and cared by making sure that out of date content is updated regularly, and high quality pictures are used in order to present your restaurant’s image.
Visual content is in high demand online these days, having delicious looking foodie photos on your restaurant website and across various social media outlets is essential for drawing hungry eyes. However, taking really great food photos can be tougher than it looks, as lighting is often a key factor. Therefore, you might need to get a professional camera and hire an expert. Alternatively, you can try to use your smartphone together with some photo editing software like Instagram to make the photo look more professional and attractive.
One of the most important aspects is to present your food menu with prices to your visitors in a way that is clear to understand and follow. Make sure that there is also an option for the visitors to easily download up-to-date menu in .pdf format.
One of your main goals should be how to attract more visitors to your restaurant. Online and by phone reservations are an important feature to be considered in order to achieve this goal.
The Reservation page should include opening hours and the telephone number for those who wish to make reservation by phone. Or you might have simple online booking form on your own website for the customer to fill in. The form should contain the following fields (Name, phone number, email, date, time, and number of people). Alternatively, you could simply use a third party online booking system such as Opentable.
Your contact details should always be visible on every single page of your website.
Nowadays social media play big part of a successful business. Correct use of social networks can be hugely beneficial in growth of your restaurant business. Add your social networks links to your website. Preferably at the bottom or at the top area, or even on the side of your website. You could also include twitter feeds or Facebook like button to your site in order to encourage visitors to follow your network.
About us section is important for most of the visitors. In general it is good idea to inform your visitors who you are, your company’s background and your goals. It’s also good idea to include the profile of the people who work with you. This will help the visitors to relate to your restaurant and employees more.
Your website is a brilliant place to showcase promotions or special offers. Having promotions is a great way to attract new customers and introduce new products or dishes. You could either feature current promotions on your home page or create separate page for it.
Think about those customers who use mobile phones when surfing on the Internet. Help them to find you easily and quickly by optimising your website for hand held devices.
If you have positive reviews on “Google” or “TripAdvisor” you should implement it on your website for visitors to read. This will help you to gain their trust.
Starting your own blog is a great way to build community and engage with your customers. Blogs offer the chance to experiment with your restaurant’s voice and personality. Share your food recipes, funny stories, latest news, or even your business successes and struggles, and anything else you think might interest your customers.
Ask your visitors to register their details (Name, email address). Update your users by sending them newsletters with latest news and promotions.