Tag Archives: marketing

public-relations-for-chefs

The Benefits of PR for Restaurants and Chefs

 The restaurant world is highly competitive for today’s new chefs and restaurateurs. It seems that nearly everyone has a good idea, and foodies have grown especially reliant on the Internet for their information. If a restaurant owner is going to compete in the new market, they must have an effective public relations strategy. Attention is key in the restaurant industry, and a proactive public relations plan can help garner the attention necessary to put a new restaurant on the map. Here are some ways that restaurant owners and chefs can benefit from public relations.

Credibility Starts With Traditional Media

Restaurant owners must get inside in the minds of customers. When a customer thinks about the hottest restaurants, she will inevitably look to certain media sources to confirm her feelings. For many customers, a restaurant is not a legitimate choice unless some media outlet has run a good story on it. More importantly, with so many options at their disposal, many potential restaurant customers just don’t know about an option until they see it on the news, in the newspaper, or in their favorite local magazine.

One of the chief benefits of a public relations plan is that it can help a restaurant get recognition from those media sources that will ultimately provide much-needed legitimacy. This might mean putting out a skillfully crafted press release to catch the eye of a newspaper. It might mean having a local food magazine or television station run a special on the restaurant. All of these things can bring publicity and help to craft the sort of public image that a restaurant owner will need in order to find long-term success.

Highlight The Event

A good public relations plan will help a restaurant promote its biggest events. Whether it is the grand opening, some seasonal special, or the introduction of a new menu, a proactive public relations approach will connect the restaurant with the customers it needs the most. Simply having a great restaurant or a game-changing menu is not enough in a highly competitive marketplace. The restaurants that win are those that actively craft their image using all forms of media.

Utilize Social Media

In the past, a good PR plan involved nothing but press releases and contacting traditional media sources. Today’s PR professionals have the ability to integrate those trusted outlets with new media. A host of good websites are out there, and they connect food lovers with restaurants that are sure to wow those foodies. By bringing a restaurant to these new sources, a restaurant owner can reach out to those diners who are increasingly reliant on the Internet while choosing where to have their next big meal.

 A good public relations plan will help a restaurant promote its biggest events. Whether it is the grand opening, some seasonal special, or the introduction of a new menu, a proactive public relations approach will connect the restaurant with the customers it needs the most. Simply having a great restaurant or a game-changing menu is not enough in a highly competitive marketplace. The restaurants that win are those that actively craft their image using all forms of media.

Drive Diverse Customers

In the past, a good PR plan involved nothing but press releases and contacting traditional media sources. Today’s PR professionals have the ability to integrate those trusted outlets with new media. A host of good websites are out there, and they connect food lovers with restaurants that are sure to wow those foodies. By bringing a restaurant to these new sources, a restaurant owner can reach out to those diners who are increasingly reliant on the Internet while choosing where to have their next big meal.

split-testing-restaurant-emails

Restaurant Marketing: How To Split Test Your Emails

Split testing emails is a great way to zero in on what works for restaurant marketers. Whether your list has a few hundred or a few thousand opt-ins, you can develop a split testing strategy to improve open rates and response.

Subject Line

The subject line is easiest to change, so start there. Try running “Delicious Deals from Cuisine du Jour” against “What’s Hot at Cuisine du Jour” to see which produces more response. (You can be as creative as you like.)

Add personalization to one of your splits and leave it off the other. “Ericka, Bring a Friend to Cuisine du Jour” might prompt more opens than leaving the subscriber’s name off, or it might not.

Your company name may be taking up valuable character real estate in the subject line. Try leaving it off and letting the “from” field stand on its own. As long as subscribers can identify you, they’ll be likely to click.

“From” Field

You must always clearly identify yourself so opt in subscribers don’t ignore your emails or mark them as spam. However, the “from” field is where you reinforce your brand image, so play around a little.

Try just your business name. Try your owner’s name plus the business name. Try the chef’s name plus the business name. Add “the team” or “the crew” to include the whole staff. If your mascot is really recognizable, go with the mascot’s name in one of your split tests.

 Email Preview

Did you know a lot of email service providers show a few characters of preview in the inbox pane? Pay attention to the first few lines of text in your email.

Instead of writing, “Dear Jane, the weather has been really wonderful and we hope you had a great week,” write “Jane, bring a coworker and get a free appetizer this week only!” The preview packs a punch. Leverage this in split testing by writing different opening lines.

Tweaking the Offer

Once subscribers open your emails, you want them to do something (like drop by for a visit). Split test your call to action. Go for the homey approach (“Come on down, folks!”) or try something a little more aggressive (“You might starve if you don’t visit Cuisine du Jour today!”).

Or you could offer the same coupon in a split test but change the expiration date. A short window of opportunity might get subscribers to take advantage of deals more quickly, but a longer offer might get you more response overall.

Track Open Rates and Response

No matter what type of split testing you choose, make tracking easier by changing only one element at a time. Log into your account and note open percentages, click tracking, and forwarding. You could even get really fancy and track opens over a period of days to see which split produces immediate opens and which takes a little longer.

 

Split testing isn’t a one-time proposition. Make it part of your overall online marketing strategy and you’ll be a better—and richer—restaurant marketer.

 

methods-for-restaurant-success

6 Things To Consider Before Opening a Restaurant

A new restaurant can be a very rewarding and lucrative endeavor. It can also be an incredibly daunting challenge. Anyone can succeed with the right knowledge, resources, and motivation, whether you are an experienced chef, culinary enthusiast, or an entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity.

There are several common principles essential to every successful restaurant. The following are the most important things to consider in any culinary business plan:

Consider the Locale and the Competition in the Area

restaurant-location
This is your first step to immediate success. First, take an inventory of every restaurant in the vicinity. Get an idea of how much business they acquire on any given day. Compare these observations with the population density of the area and the types of eateries available to the local population. Another important thing to consider is public exposure and accessibility to your chosen location. Is there a steady stream of out-of-towners passing near the locale (i.e. an interstate or major highway)? Does the area attract tourists during a certain time of the year? If so, are there popular hotels and attractions nearby?

The Menu

the-restaurant-menu
A restaurant’s menu defines its individuality and purpose, and determines its standing in the community. From day one, you must decide on a prevalent type of cuisine or a consistent culinary genre. It is good to use different cooking styles and techniques to develop a unique menu. However, you should never stray too far from your specialty or stretch your menu. This only confuses customers and lowers your credibility. It also requires a complex and expensive daily food order. On the other hand, you should always include a child menu and a few basic staples that cater to the minority of guests who might not enjoy your specific food genre.

Hire an Experienced and Versatile Chef

hire-a-good-chef
This is one of the most important business decisions that you must make, and many new owners find it to be the most difficult. It is hard to find a talented and reliable leader in the kitchen. Your restaurant needs someone knowledgeable in a variety of culinary techniques with plenty of experience in your chosen specialty. The candidate must have good organizational skills in a busy restaurant environment, with the ability to effectively communicate with the rest of the kitchen staff. Knowledge of food orders and pricing is also essential. The individual that you hire will effectively become your new business partner, and the single most important factor in your success. Take plenty of applications. List the job opening in every available online job site, local publication, and social media outlet. Take your time. Interview each candidate thoroughly with a sit down “get to know you” session and a cooking trial. Allow the candidate to cook one of his/her signature dishes, then one of your planned menu items.

Hours of Operation

restaurant-hours
This business decision may seem straightforward, but it can make or break your restaurant. It is advisable to close up shop for at least one day per week. Your business can save a lot of money by closing on the slowest day of the week. Statistically, in the United States, this is Monday. Many establishments choose to close on Sunday, traditionally a much busier day. Consider doing a trial run for the first month to test out your most viable options. Experiment with different closing days, and try breakfast, lunch, and dinner combinations with varying hours of operation.

Fresh Food Vendors

gesunde ernährung
The next step is to secure reputable local suppliers. Research is imperative. It is also advisable to get advice from other chefs and restaurant owners. Acquiring fresh, high quality local ingredients is a major step toward success on two fronts. The obvious asset is the food itself. These suppliers harvest your ingredients, load them onto a truck, and deliver them to your establishment on the same day. This produce has been under the care of a highly skilled, privately owned farming operation that most likely specializes in its cultivation. These small farms normally offer very high quality at reasonable prices. They can also work with you and their partners to meet your restaurant’s specific needs after you have established a good business relationship. Marketing is another great asset of working with local vendors. Local business partnerships are very important for spreading the word about your restaurant to clients and other businesses. Furthermore, most locals will respect your strategy to keep business concentrated in the area; supporting small family owned businesses rather than faceless corporations.

Marketing

restaurant-marketing
Effective marketing is absolutely essential. The successful restaurant owner must be creative and diverse, employing both traditional and online promotional strategies. Local newspaper columns and culinary publications, billboards and/or signs, and commercials are always important marketing strategies. However, you should also cultivate your online marketing prowess. Create a Facebook profile and a Twitter account, and frequently update both with news, events, and promotions. Next, create your own mobile-friendly website. Another profitable option to consider is e-mail marketing. You can create a client list via post-dinner surveys. This strategy has a very impressive cost-to-benefit ratio. Try all of these strategies and see which ones work the best for you.

The preceding points are the most basic, and most important, factors to consider when starting up a new restaurant. The chances are that you already have a good idea of the direction you want to take your business. You may have to improvise as you go, but get creative, remember the basics, and stay motivated. Good luck and bon appétit!