Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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5 CONCRETE IDEAS FOR RESTAURANTS TO BUILD THE “REPUTATION”

Have you just opened and you want the customers to know you? Here are 5 ideas to improve your reputation

In the purchasing process of every possible client, there are 5 steps. Here we are going to talk about it briefly before to focus on 5 ideas that will let customers know you (tips typical of the second step of this process, which will bring to the purchase). We will learn how to plan a real “food marketing” strategy with simple, clear and concrete objectives starting from the basics.

The first step is the awareness, that is that perception of the Need/Problem. The second that we are going to discuss in this article is the interest, where customers look for information about the business or the places that might meet their needs. In the third we will analyze the alternatives; in the fourth step, the purchase of the good or the service while the fifth, the decisive one today, is the evaluation of the post-purchase.

N.B. The relationship with the client does not end with the selling of the good or the service.

In the second step, the interest, it will be necessary to be in the various alternatives of your customers, this means you have achieved ‘awareness.’ The final client should know your name at least, so he will be able to search for information about you.

Tip: choose a name that talks about you and helps people to remember you easily (jargon: branding). Names such as “Mario’s…” are less effective than specific or particular names. A name must be evocative and distinctive; it should represent the type of offer and be suggestive. The common name, then, on the web can create problems, overlaps or misunderstandings.

N.B. In this article, we will assume that the business that wants to channel the interest is widely present on the web with a site, social media, and discreet SEO, all essential tools to operate at best and attract customers.

Also, consider that, at this point, the offer, the ingredients, the staff, and the brigade have already been formalized, each one with their peculiarities.

After this extensive and necessary preamble, here are the 5 concrete ideas for restaurants to build the reputation

1. Take advantage of the commercial area where you belong

You can do that by signing agreements with hotels, B&Bs and successful shops that insist in your area of reference. This especially if you are a newly opened business and therefore you do not have your database of customers and their contacts, to which you can not yet send messages, e-mails, etc. Remember also that the attractiveness of your business also depends on the location and the area where is located.

Here is an example from the book “La ristorazione”:

An Upscale restaurant has signed an agreement with a credit card to invite the ‘gold’ cardholders to dine in the restaurant. For free the holder had to register on the restaurant’s website and subscribe to the promotion, he would have received a coupon to be shown to have a free dinner. Consequently, according to research carried out by Walk In, the results would be flattering. Either regarding the e-mails collection and because for each free invite brought at least 3.4 people on average. Therefore, every meal offered has been widely repaid.

2. Smart business cards

The case of the restaurant we are going to tell you is curious and a good example of the fact that an intelligent idea knows no competitors. The restaurant in question, in fact, has created a business card with its name. Then, at the back, the restaurateur put the name of all his competitors (naturally asking permission to them). He created a handbook for each of his clients, who kept his business card precisely for this reason. On that ticket, of course, it was the most visible restaurant. The same for the site: adding a list of restaurants inside would help you in the optimization, allowing the site to emerge at the top of the searches in the area (because it contains the names of all the businesses in the territory)

3. Create word of mouth with new customers through a welcome pack

Word of mouth is the foundation of awareness, and new customers are very sensitive to welcome gestures. For this reason, it is good to create a welcome pack. Give your new customers (especially if you are a newly opened business) a little gift, maybe a bottle of sweet wine or a packet of chocolates to take home, so that the kindness received remains in the mind of your guests for longer. The important thing is that it is your own production or created by a company you usually use, handmade of course. Alternatively, offer the dessert to the whole table. Avoid the discount, especially if you are a well-known restaurant (Moderate Upscale): you would debase the level of the service offered. Do you know what the average return rate is? Without a welcome pack, 13%. With the welcome pack, it is 28% (source: Walk In)

4. Use Facebook to generate reputation

Emblematic is the case of a bar that launched a Facebook campaign in which he declared that he would offer a cocktail to every person who would show up just in case his Facebook page had reached 10,000 likes within a given day. Well, the campaign started slowly as it happens in many social networks but then the ‘tipping point’ was reached quickly, and virality was created. Do you want to know the results? Here they are:

Likes achieved: 11.250
People at the opening: approximately 32,000
Cocktails offered: around 3,500
Cost of cocktails (0.92 each) about 3,200

So, with a minimum cost compared to the impact obtained (consider that in the province where this opening was held it represented an event, the police had to regulate the traffic, and the local press talked about it in the following days) the business has attracted a considerable number of people. A number that, with an advertising agency, would have cost a lot more than 3,200 euros

5. If you offer the lunch break, reach an agreement with the offices or the purchasing departments of the neighboring companies

In this way, you will attract more and more workers during the lunch break. What can you offer? Maybe a coffee for tables over 6 people or a free meal every 10

These are the basics, but don’t stop here! The best advice is to create a good “food marketing” strategy including of those actions that help a brand to stand out, get noticed and above all be remembered, not only thanks to these conventional marketing advise, but also and above all thanks to journeys that become real experiences to offer to your customers. Today the market has changed, consumers (foodies) are no longer just looking for a restaurant, but want to live a sensory experience, an emotion (food experience), they want to know the history of the product they consume, their provenance and tradition. A good food marketing strategy also includes the ability to know how to tell your story using modern communication and the care of your own image, avoiding improvised and often inefficient strategies.

Credits “La Ristorazione”, La Bussola

Photo Credits MaxDeVa, Snorpey, Jenni Konrad, Yu Pong, Giuseppe Lo Bello

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Pierluigi Capriotti
My name is Pierluigi Capriotti to be exact. Despite a degree in Architecture I'm a journalist. I write following temporary monomania and others that are chronic such reading, soccer, travels and food. When I write I use many asides – because I have the impression there is always something more to say. Because in those asides I talk about my passions. So that everybody will notice them but with nonchalance. I've never had a high regard for wisdom. And, thanks God, this helped me to leave for the foodiestrip journey with a spiritual-creative mathematician, an IT engineer who plays the Star Wars soundtrack with the coffee stirrers and a businessnerd. One way ticket. No return.