So you opened a restaurant…now what? In 2003, Tellem Worldwide created the Food Issues Group (FIG) to offer consumer education, crisis preparedness and management, food safety training for restaurants, food, beverages and bioterrorism education, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan development. The FIG team put together ten tips for restaurant owners to increase exposure and foot traffic. Have something to add to the list? Leave it in the comment section!
- Announce all news and updates via a press release to food reporters i.e.: new chef; new dish; new hours; new web site; anything new gets your name out there.
- Educate yourself about social media and utilize it. Listen to feedback from customers and fans. Create a Facebook fan page or Twitter account for example and promote exclusive offers to fans and followers. Ask for recipe suggestions and favorite flavors or dishes. Encourage customers to review on Yelp, Opentable, and Google reviews etc.
- Get your restaurant on every food web site listing such as: opentable, Zagat, restaurants.com, urbanspoon.com, dine.com, citysearch.com or AOL’s City Guide etc. Seek placements in City Guidebooks – not just mentions, but actual reviews.
- Identify your USP – Unique Selling Proposition – what makes your restaurant different from any other in the city – then use it!
- Check with museums, art centers and theaters to see where their support groups meet – invite them to meet at your place.
- Advertise on themed web sites – like Italian ones, German ones, etc. Utilize micro-targeting advertisements on social networks like Facebook.
- If a reviewer could mention anything negative about your restaurant, what would it be? Now take steps to change it!
- Work with convention centers – most publish a guide to local restaurants for those coming from out of town.
- Tie in with specific country tour groups. If you are Italian, for example, tie in with Italian tour groups – they are sure to miss home cooking.
- Get a booth at your local farmer’s market and give away bite size tastes of food for free – these booths are so cheap and fun!
If it’s in the budget, hire a PR agency or publicist and let them get to work promoting your business to target audiences and potential customers and watch your sales flourish!