Category: Restaurants

5 Ways to Build an Online Presence for Your Restaurant

The 2017 Restaurant Success Report shows that one in five restaurants find attracting and retaining clients to be their biggest challenge. One big reason for that is how much the rules of marketing restaurants have changed over the years. Twenty years ago, restaurateurs only had to push delivery menus through doors and list their restaurants in the town’s yellow pages to market their business. In this digital age, doing that is not enough.

People have moved to the internet to get whatever they’re looking for. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA):

  • 88 percent of adults look up restaurant locations, directions, and operation hours online,
  • 72 percent of them check restaurant menus online, and
  • 58 percent read reviews posted for a restaurant on review sites.

It’s clear to see that by having an online presence, a restaurant can capture a wealth of potential customers. But there’s just one small catch: when it comes to building your restaurant’s online presence, you have to do it right to ensure it’s effective — otherwise, your efforts won’t be impactful. Let’s take a look at the best ways your restaurant can achieve a strong online presence.

  1. Make Google Work for You

Google is primarily known as a search engine. But that’s not all. The company has many platforms that can help you maximize your web presence. Trying to utilize all of them can be a daunting task, so consider focusing on these two at first:

  • Google My Business (GMB): This platform allows you to provide your restaurant’s details such as website, opening times, phone number, and location to thousands of users on a daily basis. Be sure to fill out your GMB profile and verify your restaurant’s address straightaway. A complete GMB profile will help you grab the attention of people who live close to you by making your restaurant show up in local searches. Google frequently changes the features and options you control on your GMB account, so it’s important for you to revisit your profile every few months to add to your content and optimize it.
  • Google Analytics: As a 21st-century restaurateur, it’s crucial for you to start digital marketing campaigns and measure its success. Adding the Google Analytics code to your website will help you track important metrics like the number of visitors to your site, where these people were referred from, how long they stayed on your site, and many other important website stats. In today’s competitive environment, the last thing a restaurant should do is leave its digital marketing efforts to chance. Since new-age marketing can be overwhelming, so consider hiring a digital marketing company. Above all, the agency will work with you to adopt the right strategies to reach today’s internet-driven customers as well as help you measure the performance of your marketing campaigns and make the necessary improvements conclusively building an online presence for your restaurant.
  1. Be Present on Social Media

 

You can’t rely on Google alone to build your online presence. You also need to be active on social media. With a solid social media strategy, you can maximize your exposure, engage your past, present and potential customers, and boost your bottom line.

Create social accounts for your restaurant and use them to regularly post relevant and engaging content, such as:

  • high-quality photos and videos of your food and restaurant
  • promotions you’re running
  • up-and-coming events
  • educational posts on culinary topics
  • responses to posts you’ve been tagged in

Always focus more on the quality and interactivity of your posts than your posting frequency.

Social media also allows you to focus your advertising campaigns on a specific demographic. Facebook sponsored posts ensure your message or content is visible on the walls of your target audience. You can also geo-target on Twitter. Targeted advertising on social media can help you build your brand and generate sales cost-effectively.

 

  1. Have an Online Menu

Smartphones and tablets make up a significant part of people’s dining experiences. The NRA reports that 72 percent of adults use the devices to look for menus. Therefore, a menu is a useful tool you can utilize to make your restaurant visible online. Whether it’s on your website or a third-party provider, it offers a great means of enticing customers.

Make sure your online menu displays good pictures of the food you serve and detailed descriptions.

 

  1. Encourage Customer Feedback

Customer reviews add to your restaurant’s credibility and help highlight your strengths. They can potentially help your website rank higher in search engine results. Ask your customers to leave online reviews.

While third-party review sites like Yelp can be pain points for businesses, they can be a valuable resource for your restaurant provided you know how to go about them. Reviews on these sites, whether positive or negative, help you gain insight into your customers’ experiences. But that doesn’t imply you should stop at browsing the reviews. You need to engage the users on the sites to close the customer feedback loop and enhance their experience.

Respond to all your reviews politely. Thank the visitors who review you positively. For the negative reviews, try to get all the facts then assure the reviewers of fixing the issues they’ve raised. Connecting to these unhappy customers can help you win back their trust and loyalty.

 

  1. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways of reaching your customers and keeping them in the know. According to OptinMonster, the ROI for email marketing is 28.5 percent better than that of direct mail.

Sending out a monthly email newsletter helps you engage your customers and build brand awareness. Consider sending welcome emails to new customers and move to sending them offers and updates. Besides greetings and discounts, there’s much more valuable content you can also include in your monthly newsletters. These include:

  • new menu items
  • the faces behind your restaurant, such as the chefs and owners
  • content from your blog
  • short videos showing how some recipes are created
  • food preparation tips
  • history of the restaurant

It’s advisable to use a branded email address. In a survey conducted by VeriSign, 65 percent of consumers said they believed company-branded emails to be more credible than free email accounts.

The Bottom Line

A significant number of diners rely on online interactions to connect with their favorite restaurants. If you don’t have an online presence, your digitally savvy competitors will get the upper hand and convert these people into their future customers.

For you to attract customers, keep them, and experience exponential growth, you’ll have to invest in continually improving your online presence. A strong online presence will help you catch the eye of all types of diners, including the millennial generation, and build long-term relationships with them. And, of course, don’t forget to offer them good food and hospitality.



How do the Best Restaurants Get Steaks to Taste that Way?

Steak is a sweet, fulfilling piece of meat that has been enjoyed worldwide. Non-vegetarians can attest that few meals can beat a nice cut steak. Do you ever wonder why your home-made steaks don’t taste as good as those that are served at fancy steakhouses and grill restaurants? Well, if you’ve been thinking that good steaks require just a flash in the pan, you’ve been making a huge ‘mis-steak’. Here are some restaurant steak secrets that will reveal how the best restaurants get their steaks to taste so good:

Beef Aging

Apparently, wine isn’t the only thing that gets better with time. While wine can take years to age, beef only requires several days to intensify its flavor and improve tenderness. Most fancy restaurants let their beef sit in well controlled conditions for sometime in order to ultimately get that sumptuous steak that everyone loves. Aging the beef is a complicated process for an average person to execute as the risk of poisoning and spoilage are high. If you can’t age your beef, be sure to check with your local beef market if you can get some.

Bringing Beef to Room Temperature

One of the things that’ll give steak an inferior taste is grilling it from cold. After removing beef from the fridge, restaurant chefs leave it for one hour before cooking so that it can come up to room temperature. Grilling the beef while still cold prevents heat from penetrating to the middle. If you don’t want to end up with uncooked steak, it’s best that you emulate the good chefs.

Proper Season

Another secret to great steaks lies in seasoning. Before cooking your steak, it is recommended that you rub or brush your steak on both sides with olive oil and season with kosher or sea salt, parsley, and coarse ground black pepper. If you like spices, you can add garlic powder, paprika, or chili powder to the rub.

Use of Overhead, Infrared Broilers

This is probably the main reason why restaurant steaks taste way better than home-made steaks. While you strive to achieve near perfect results with your cast iron pan, restaurants make use of overhead, infrared broilers that help chefs achieve excellent results with little effort. These broilers provide incredible temperatures that cook steaks hot and fast enough to make them perfect. If you do not have such sophisticated equipment, you can still have excellent results with your pan, barbeque or griddle. The secret is to let your apparatus to get super hot before cooking. This will help to caramelize the beef, crucial for a delicious crust.

Cooking Steak Medium-rare to Medium

Chefs at steak restaurants also know all too well that perfect steaks are those that are cooked medium-rare to medium. Cooking any more than that will leave you with a tough piece of meat. In order to get an even cook, you need to turn your steak every minute or so. For more flavor, you can rub the steak with garlic clove, and/or a knob of butter. You can also brush the steak with herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Once it’s nicely cooked, rest your steak on a plate for a few minutes and then carve with a sharp knife.

Conclusion

You don’t necessarily have eat perfect steak only when you visit a fancy restaurant. With the above points in mind, you can get to enjoy delicious steaks made right from your own home. Whether you like to eat your steak with homemade horseradish sauce or with good old chips, cooking restaurant-style steak will be something that you’ll always look forward to do.



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