Top 2019 Digital Trends You Should Care About

Things are changing. Fast. User behavior, competition, technological advancements and consumer trends are different this year in 2018 than they were the year prior, and it seems next year we are in store for even more change.

Before you roll your eyes, we’ve made a quick list of things for you to look out for in regards to your restaurant marketing so you can stay ahead of the growing competitive landscape.

VOICE SEARCH

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As our mobile & home smart hubs become further engrained into our lives, so will be the voice-activated “hands-free” search. Klick estimates that by 2020, 50% of searches will be done through voice commands.

Why Should I Care?

User behavior is different with voice search, and with that comes a whole different set of keywords that your restaurant should be showing up for. 2017 Google Data shows that 70% of voice searchers are using natural language vs. snippets via typing, and that means long-tail searches. For instance, speaking, “Hey Siri…where is the closest sandwich shop to me”, vs. typing “sandwiches near me” brings up an entirely different experience…let alone search results. Evaluate these trends, put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and focus on how you are perceived online.

PROGRESSIVE WEB APPS (PWAs)

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This may be the first time you’ve heard of PWAs, but it won’t be the last. A Progressive Web App is basically a mobile website that performs with the speed of an app. PWA's are not only faster, but more engaging and shown to increase conversion rates. PWAs are immune to network speeds because they store data via “service workers”, which access and serve content up instantly.

Why Should I Care?

We see over 70% of restaurant web traffic occurring on mobile devices. Most of your visitors are there to view your menu and your photos…which just so happen to be the largest files on your site…which means slow load times….which means poor Google rankings. Start thinking about PWA vendors for the near future.

PAID SOCIAL ADVERTISING

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What’s sadder than posting a great photo of your restaurant, and getting 2 likes? How about zero likes. An organic social post has become the proverbial tree falling in the forest. On Facebook, organic reach is down to 2% for the biggest brands, which means 4-6% for most of us, and that’s predicted to reach close to zero by 2020.

Why Should I Care?

Paid ad campaigns on Facebook & Instagram show exponential improvement in engagement, have low CPCs & CPMs, are fully trackable, and can be micro-targeted to your niche market. We see some of the lowest Cost-Per-Reach through paid social - only second to Paid Search. Every marketer should combine a paid component into their organic social calendar.

VIDEO MARKETING

By the year 2019, Tubular Insights predicts 80% of the World's Internet consumption will be video. They also predict that over half of Earth’s population will have Internet access and Internet-accessible devices will be 3 times the Global population.

Why Should I Care?

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Your industry is hungry for video content, and much of that is food-related. According to Comscore, 81% of Internet users visited a food-related site in September 2018. Yet only 5% of marketers are using video. This gives you the opportunity to really tell the story of your brand, your food, and why people should put down Uber Eats, get off their couch and come visit your restaurant.


















3 Tips to Creating a Successful Seasonal Google Ads Campaign

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It’s not too late to capitalize on the holiday season and get your Google Ads ducks in a row. A successful campaign this time of year is largely a product of getting the right ad content in front of the right person at the right time. We’ve pulled together a few simple tips to help you create a successful seasonal Google Ads campaign.

Create Urgency

When creating your campaign, we recommend establishing a sense of urgency – this is especially critical during the holiday season when offers and incentives are flying at your prospective customers left and right. Consider offering limited time special pricing on a holiday dish or cocktail to create urgency around your offer.

Be Targeted

This is not the time to cast a wide net and hope you catch a fish or two, be targeted in your approach. Give some consideration to the offer you’ve put together and who would be most interested in said offer. Develop a keywords list and be sure to refer to it when creating your campaign-specific landing page and drafting the text for your ad. Ensure that you’re leveraging the power of location targeting by limiting its reach, for example only to those located in your city or those within a certain mile radius of your restaurant.

Record Results

It’s important to take note of the performance of your campaign, especially if you’re running a few different ads. You’ll be able to refer back to this data to inform future campaigns. Take note of which ads generated the most clicks and conversions to gain insights on what keywords or creative direction works best.

Running a Google Ads campaign can be an effective way to ramp up marketing and traffic during the holidays, if done right. Following our three simple steps will get you well on your way. Have any questions? Contact us at 214 Eats to learn how we can help you make the most of your Google Ads efforts this holiday season.

A Dash of Work Creates Tons of Holiday Content

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While it comes to successful content marketing during the holidays, just a dash of strategic effort will go a long way in cutting through all of the noise from your competitors.

Host a Themed Event

Hosting an event at your restaurant doesn’t have to be boatloads of work. It can be as simple as designating a themed evening and coupling it with an appropriate instrumental performance or cocktail offering. Ugly sweater party, anybody? Hosting a themed holiday event is a great way to drive traffic to your restaurant during the busy season while also building brand awareness. A themed party makes for a great photo opportunity, one that those in attendance are also likely to share – thereby contributing to said brand awareness building!

Embody Holiday Spirit

By allowing your staff to show their holiday spirit, they will foster a festive mood in the restaurant while taking part in the holiday season with their colleagues. Be sure to snap some fun photos to share across your social media channels as any opportunity to introduce your team to your customers should be seized.

Special Dishes and Cocktails

If there is ever an appropriate time of year to release a limited-time seasonal dish or cocktail, it’s during the holidays. Whether you’re putting your unique spin on a timeless classic or creating something entirely unique to your restaurant, this makes for great content. Promote your specials across your social media, website, menu, and e-newsletter. Specialty dished and cocktails are also a great way to jazz up the menu for regulars.  

In addition to opening up opportunities to create holiday content, this time of year is the ideal time to connect with your customers and share in the holiday spirit. Being that we’re in the full swing of the season, now is the time to put the final touches on any holiday content promotion initiatives and publish holiday content.

3 Practical Tips for Creating an SEO-Friendly Website

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Having a website that can’t be found online is like swimming blindly against a strong current, likely to fail. If your target audience is having a hard time finding you with a simple google search, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever connect with your business. Don’t leave this opportunity to chance, follow our simple tips to creating an SEO-friendly website that drives boosts rankings and drives visitors.

Prioritize Content

Strong search engine rankings hinge on creating valuable content. When search engines evaluate websites, they look to website content to evaluate what your business is all about and what you are offering. A main focus should be on content value and quality, including keyword density. While it may be tempting to stuff as much content as possible on a single webpage, refrain from doing so. Narrowly focused website content with keywords reflective of the subject matter is more likely to capture strong search engine rankings.

Intentional URLs

Though it might seem a detail not to be troubled with when facing a project as significant as a web design, creating search engine friendly URLs helps a search engine’s ability to crawl URLs. Take the extra time to change your obscure URLs to descriptive and brief URLs to boost rankings.

Responsive Design

Most of your target customers use their mobile phone or tablet, rather than a laptop, to browse the web. If their mobile search leads them to a website that isn’t responsive and doesn’t adapt to their screen resolution, they aren’t likely to stay on it. A responsive website will go a long way in creating a positive user experience from the outset of an interaction with your brand.

Search rankings are more competitive today than ever before, follow our three tips when designing your next website to create an SEO-friendly website.

Simple Menu Design Guidelines that Boost Sales

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One of the most effective (yet often overlooked) tools that a restaurant has to attract and retain customers is its menu. An effectively designed menu should be clear, sophisticated, and visually appealing while representing the essence of your restaurant. We’ve rounded up () tops for (effective) restaurant menu design for you to consider.

Keep it Simple

When detailing the mouthwatering dishes your restaurant offers, descriptions should be easy-to-understand. That’s not to say that your menu shouldn’t touch on the details of each menu item. With so many diners living with food intolerances and abiding by dietary restrictions, disclosing ingredient details while keeping things simple is increasingly valuable.

Prioritize Quality

Decisions as granular as the weight of the paper used, the font you decide on and the imagery you include should all work cohesively. All photography or graphics should be of high-quality as anything short of that will immediately ding the credibility of all that your restaurant has to offer.

Showcase Dishes

Don’t miss any opportunities to highlight seasonal or promotional dishes that are available for only a limited time. Whether it’s a special cocktail or a menu item only available in the winter, be sure to communicate the time frame in which these offers are valid. Also use this as an opportunity to bring attention to any dishes your restaurant is known for. If you don’t want to print menus seasonally, printing quality menu inserts or designing eye-catching table tents are budget-friendly options for showing dishes.

Confusing menus that are illegible, not graphically interesting or dirty are an effective way to lose your regulars and detract new business. Investing in a strategically created menu can attract more visitors, limit confusion with returning and new visitors, and boost sales.

Best Practices for Driving Positive Yelp Reviews

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There is no doubt that Yelp reviews have the power to drive guests to (or away from) restaurants. Since reviews wield such potential, they can easily become your strongest ally or your fiercest foe.

Create an Account

Step one, create an account. This is about as simple of a first step as there can be. Did you know that even if you don’t create a Yelp account for your restaurant, guests still have the ability to review your business? Take a proactive approach and create an account that most accurately reflects your business. The emphasis should be on creating as thorough of an account as possible that includes all of the basics, such as hours, location, and menu. Be sure to upload well-lit, quality photography to offer readers an understanding of the essence of your restaurant. Your Yelp account is also an appropriate platform to share any key information such as where to park, whether you offer Wi-Fi, or whether you have an outdoor seating area.

Responding to Feedback

Maintaining a high level of responsiveness is essential to managing relationships with former guests and prospective guests. Regardless of how perfect your restaurant is, inevitably you will receive negative feedback from time to time. Be polite and responsive in all of your dealings with both negative and positive reviewers. A public apology is always encouraged, as is addressing any specific concerns where possible. To take things to the next level and attempt to make amends, reaching out to the reviewer privately is a savvy move.

Making Reviewing Easy

Once you’ve activated your Yelp page, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for guests to review your restaurant. You can try a number of strategies such as hosting a Yelp event, offering an exclusive Yelp deal, display positive Yelp reviews and add a Yelp QR code on signage inside your restaurant.

There are tons of best practices you can employ to drive positive Yelp reviews. The only strategy that is guaranteed not to work is doing absolutely nothing.

Failproof Tips for Taking 'Insta-Worthy' Photos

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Navigating the waters of Instagram can be rough to say the least. Our simple tips will empower you to ditch the grainy photos and consistently take ‘Insta-Worthy’ photos once and for all.

Bring It In

Yes, there’s space on your restaurants Instagram page for wide-angle photos. Tight shots, however, powerful can be very powerful. Whether you’re photographing a particular dish or cocktail, focus near the center and try to highlight the most enticing element. Whether that element is an elaborate garnish or a mouth-watering glaze, you can focus your shot so closely that the item your focusing on actually runs to the edge of your photo.

Rough It Up

Your photography doesn’t have to be perfectly manicured and freshly styled. A photo showing guests enjoying quality time mid-meal can be just as moving. Though the food may not be styled exactly how it would be had it just come out of the kitchen, you’ll succeed in capturing the experience of dining at your restaurant.

Leverage Natural Light

While this isn’t always possible, leverage the power of natural light as much as you can. Even natural light filtered by a curtain can provide better lighting than the flash of a phone. Take some time to observe your restaurant through the eyes of a photographer. Identify any corners or areas that may receive better natural light than others.

Use a Camera

There’s no arguing the convenience of whipping out your cell phone to snap a quick photo. That being said, a manual camera has far greater capabilities in low light scenarios, such as your restaurant at dinner. You can still email the photo from yourself and proceed to post it from your phone.

These four tips will get you well on your way to shooting and sharing photos that Instagram would be lucky to host.

Leverage Google Posts to Drive Guest Traffic for Labor Day

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With Labor Day around the bend, now is the time to consider how you can leverage the power of Google Posts to drive guest traffic to your restaurant this holiday. Since they specially target a local audience, they are a far more effective way to attract new guests when compared with traditional marketing efforts.

Identify Your Labor Day Offer

First thing’s first, zero in on your Labor Day offer. What can you offer your guests to enrich their Labor Day celebrations? Consider offering a complimentary appetizer, discount on a favorite meal item or promote a specialty cocktail.

Craft Content

Google posts are graphic in nature and centered around either a brief video or photo, housed in the Knowledge Panel of your Google My Business Listing. Once you’ve identified your Labor Day offer, you’ll want to capture a compelling image or brief video to accompany your copy. The Google Post you create will be relatively small and centered around your graphic so you’ll only require 100-300 words to explain your offer. If you’re strapped for time, you can always look to your existing digital assets to determine if there are any relevant images or graphics that could be repurposed. Remember, keep your content brief and on-brand. Your post should include a very specific call to action, such as order online, download offer or learn more.

Finalize Your Google Post

  1. Access your Google My Business Account

  2. Identify location to target

  3. Select “Create Post”

  4. Determine type of post

  5. Add content

  6. Select preview prior to publication

  7. Publish!

Remember, your post will be live for 7-days so don’t get it posted too far in advance of Labor Day or too late and risk stale content. What are you waiting for? Get to brainstorming!

What Facebook's Newly Rolled Out Start Order Button Means for You

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Facebook’s newly rolled out Start Order button represents another opportunity to remove any barriers customers may have when interacting with your restaurant. Note that to be eligible, you page must have a restaurant associated with your business page. Facebook is currently supporting the Start Order button for restaurants that use Zuppler, EatStreet, ChowNow, Slice, Delivery.com, Grubhub, LevelUp, MAVN (Austin only), DoorDash (Austin only) and Favor (Austin only). If you currently order from other third-party delivery systems that are not listed above, check back to see if Facebook may support your chosen delivery system in the future.

Adding a Start Order call-to-action (CTA) button to your Facebook restaurant page will allow you to receive food orders from customers directly from your page. This further simplifies the ordering process as customers won’t need to leave Facebook to place food orders. Once they select the button, customers will need to input basic information, including a delivery address. They’ll be able to manage their cart by adding and removing items, check out, and check on the status of their order.

Adding a Start Order CTA  

If you’re interested in adding a Start Order CTA to your business page, you’ll need to reach out to Facebook. Doing so is as simple as filling out this brief form. Provide some basic information including the link to your Facebook profile, contact information and confirm that your business currently offers online ordering for pickup or delivery. After completing the form, Facebook will determine your eligibility and instruct you further. If you have issues accessing the CTA creation platform, the problem is likely due to access rights. You must be designated an admin, editor, moderator, or advertiser of the page to create the CTA. If your business has any hesitation with adding the Start Order button, know that it can be removed or revised at any time!

The Facebook Start Order CTA button is just another way to enable customers to interact with your business and streamline the ordering process. What do you have to lost by leveraging this new opportunity?

How Restaurants Can Benefit from Content Marketing 

With all that you have on your plate, carving out time to develop a content marketing strategy may seem like a major stretch. What if we told you that an effectively executed content marketing strategy can bridge the gap between your restaurant and your guests, building strong customer loyalty in the meantime? Every restaurant can benefit from content marketing by boosting follower engagement, using it as an opportunity to share relevant information and making new connections. 
 
Boost Connections

The beauty of social media is its ability to get your business connected to new followers. If you invest some time in building a trusting relationship with your existing followers and remain committed to creating and sharing quality content, you will organically boost your connections. When your followers interact with your brand via thoughtful comments, likes and sharing your content, they are effectively helping broaden the reach of your content while growing brand awareness. 

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Leveraging Original Content

The idea of regularly creating content that’s authentic and engaging can seem daunting. Just remember, with a pinch of planning and a few platform-specific revisions, you can cross-promote your content on multiple platforms. By expanding your social media activity across a few different social media channels, you can reach a broader audience while leveraging just one piece of original content. In turn, you'll be boosting follower engagement

Inspire Creativity

Once you commit yourself to creating and following a content marketing strategy, you’ll find that this commitment will help inspire and drive creativity. Bring your team into the process and look to them for ideas on what to promote. Not only will this help drive ideas to fuel your content marketing efforts, but it will help build buy-in from the very team that makes it all possible.

You’re already creating incredible food and cultivating a top-notch guest experience at your restaurant, but are your guests fully aware of that? Give consideration to what’s stopping you from dedicating time to being intentional about your content marketing strategy. Identify and move these roadblocks to building relationships and awareness among your guests. 

5 Content Ideas for Promoting Your Restaurant

It’s not uncommon to hit what you might consider a dry spell in terms of content production. Fortunately, a restaurant has almost limitless opportunity for compelling, valuable and engaging content ideas!

Menu Items

Do you have new menu offerings? Let your followers know! Take an opportunity to highlight your most popular offerings and any specialty menu items. 

Events

If you have any events on the horizon, be sure to promote them several times leading up to the event date. Start a few weeks in advance with a save-the-date posting and continue to tease the event. Don’t forget to share photos post-event to show what a great turnout you had. Want to add a charitable element to your program? Consider partnering with a local charity to plan an event that gives back to your community. 

Guest Photos

Take advantage of owning a restaurant during the digital age when people of all ages are sharing their experiences online. If one of your foodie friends snaps a great shot of  their meal, be sure to share it. Don’t place all of the pressure on yourself to generate engaging content ideas when there are so many opportunities to leverage the creativity of your guests.

Specials

Whether it’s happy hour or a holiday-related special you are offering at your restaurant, be sure to share information on your specials! Not that you need any reason to celebrate but holidays sure do present a great opportunity to do so. Identify a holiday that your restaurant aligns with and plan a special cocktail or promotional offer to celebrate it. A Halloween contest, for example, is a fun and creative way to riff off of a well-loved holiday while driving traffic to your restaurant. 

Job Opportunities

Service is a huge component to cultivating an incredible dining experience for your guests. Yet finding top-notch talent that fits your company culture is no simple feat. Why not promote job opportunities among those that already love your restaurant? Share job opportunities with your followers and you may just get connected to the next perfect fit. 

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Influencer Outreach

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The process of identifying a social influencer that aligns with your brand and subsequently securing a partnership can seem daunting at first. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to ensure you’re not committing a major faux pas in the process. 

Identify Your Platform

A critical first step to kicking off your social influencer outreach is identifying the most appropriate platform for your brand. You know your target consumer better than anyone, what platform do they most actively engage on? Whether it’s twitter, instagram, facebook or Pinterest, nail down your platform first.

Conduct Initial Research

One thing you’ll notice almost immediately is that many successful influencers have found success in a specific niche. While you’re conducting your initial research, you’ll want to focus on those with a strong following in your local market who also have niche in food culture or general lifestyle with a focus on restaurants.  

Initiate Outreach

Be thoughtful in reaching out to influencers that you believe to be a good fit. Rather than sending out a slew of blanket inquiries, take some time to craft a custom message to each influencer. Why do you think your restaurant would be a good fit for their brand? What exactly do you have to offer them and their followers? Focus on what differentiates you from your competitors. Be sure to communicate any initiatives you’re prioritizing. Are you making a concerted effort towards increased sustainability? Partnering with an influencer in the culinary space who is also committed to sustainability would be ideal.

Formalized Engagement

Every influencer has different brand guidelines but most seek out partnerships that match their brand, some are very specifically defined. When formalizing your partnership, be transparent about your expectations and be sure to communicate your own brand guidelines as well. The sweet spot is partnering with an influencer whose brands seamlessly mirror one another for the most natural fit. 
 

3 Major Content Marketing Faux Pas

Marketing faux pas, we’re all guilty of committing them. Whether it’s a glaring typo on the homepage of your website or a company Facebook page that hasn’t seen an update in six months, it happens. By avoiding the three major content marketing faux pas we’ve outlined, you’ll be well on your way to an effective content marketing strategy.

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Irregular Communication

With engagement on social media platforms as strong as it’s ever been and gaining in popularity, there’s truly no excuse for irregular communication with your followers. One of the easiest (and cost-effective) ways to grow engagement on social media is to post regularly. Has one of your guests left a comment on a recent post or asked a question? Be sure to respond promptly. This is an opportunity to engage with a follower, don’t let it go to waste. The reality is that you won’t always have compelling, fresh content to share. If you’re ever short on ideas, see if there’s something relevant you can share or a community happening you’d like to plug. Riffing off of holidays can help inspire content ideas, too!

Dated Content

Have you taken time recently to audit the content on your website? At any given time, you website should be a reflection of what is relevant today, not three years ago when you originally launched your website. Use your website as an opportunity to highlight any special events, new menu items or information relevant to your guests. As you make updates to your content, be sure that it reflects your brand and isn’t run-of-the-mill copy that will make website visitors glaze over.

No Clear Call to Action

Each time you create a new piece of content you should ask yourself what hour objective is at the outset? Are you trying to boost happy hour attendance at your restaurant? Focus your promotional efforts on doing so and be explicit in inviting your community to stop in during happy hour. Whether it’s a slash in prices or new menu items, highlight what differentiates your happy hour as a component of your effective content marketing strategy!

3 Free Ways to Generate More Buzz Among Social Media Followers

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The social media accounts you manage for your restaurant are a key component to building your online reputation. As you consider effective ways to generate more buzz among your social media followers, keep a few basic best practices in mind. 

Increase Posting Frequency

One of the most effective methods to improving social media engagement is to boost your activity, consistently. Be strategic about your social media efforts. For the first two weeks, consider posting at different times of day to gauge what time of day will generate the most engagement with your follower base.  Pay close attention to what your followers are saying as their insights can help provide valuable insights for your brand.   

Have a Clear Call-to-Action

As you create and share content with your followers, have a clear call-to-action in your posts. As you develop a relationship and build trust with your followers, they will be more inclined to share your posts with their friends, improving visibility for your restaurant. An effective strategy to incentivizing participation is to hold a photo contest, launch a giveaway or establish a contest. Ask your followers specific questions, such as what their favorite menu item is, to increase follower engagement. This is a great opportunity to get to know those that love your brand most, seize it!

Tailor Your Content

Every social media platform features its own features and purposes. With some overlap, the followers you have on twitter are different from those that may be following you on Instagram or Facebook. While you should absolutely repurpose the content you’ve worked hard to create, each content piece should be tailored and refined for that specific platform and demographic. Regardless of what medium you are posting on for your brand, always try to drive value for your followers and share relevant, compelling information whenever possible. 
 

Best Practices for Creating Top-Notch Video Content

Video content reigns supreme when it comes to effective content marketing. Now more than ever, companies are leveraging video content  to get their brands noticed. Simply put, it has been shown to boost follower engagement and generate more buzz than simple text and images. Before rolling up your sleeves and diving right into video creation, we’ve identified a few video best practices to keep top of mind. 

Have a Plan

While it’s valuable to keep the content you create organic and authentic, it’s still important to have a plan. Going into production, know the key points you’d like to communicate. Having a plan will go a long way in helping you stay concise and compelling. The content you land on should be relevant to what viewers want to see. 

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Focus on Differentiation

A video is your opportunity to communicate why someone should visit your restaurant! Is it your beautiful, dog-friendly patio? A unique and flavor-packed menu? Consider what differentiates you from competitors and be sure to communicate any upcoming events or promotions you have in the works. 

Promote, Promote, Promote!

Creating a video can be a deeply involved process. Don’t let all of your effort go to waste. Take time to create a thorough promotional strategy to share your video and get it in front of potential customers. Encourage your followers to share your video to reach new followers. 

Keep it Simple

Especially when creating your first video, keep  it as simple, short and concise. Rather than investing in tons of visual elements and complicating the process with different shooting locations, why not just shoot from one spot in your restaurant? You’d be surprised by the big impact proper lighting and a simple space will have. 

As you prepare for filming your first video, be sure to keep the best practices we’ve outlined above and be sure to have fun throughout the exciting process. 
 

Sustainability at the Top of 2018 Culinary Trends

Does sustainability make a difference for restaurant patrons? Absolutely, as many consumers look far beyond the menu offerings and service. The efforts to reduce waste, recycle and donate food are finally being recognized by a sophisticated generation of restaurant patrons.

According to the “What’s Hot” survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, environmental sustainability is ranked among the top 10 culinary trends in 2018. More than 55% of consumers consider waste reduction efforts as important when choosing a restaurant.

Local Sourcing

Restaurants who obtain food locally are not only supporting their community but also attracting consumer interest. Over ¾ of family dining, fine dining, casual dining and fast casual restaurants have experienced increased demand for locally sourced meal items.

Also among the hottest trends surveyed across 700 chefs in the American Culinary Foundation,  hyper-local sourcing is the number 1 culinary concept. This new age restaurant trend incorporates house specialty-made menu items, onsite brewing and even onsite gardens.

Sustainability Marketing

How do restaurant operators approach marketing their sustainability efforts? While there are dozens of ways to display sustainability efforts, the most effective way is to print it where every patron will see it -- on the menu. It is also vital to house sustainability information on the restaurant website and social media profiles.

If you are looking for other ways to spread the word, have your employees talk to patrons to develop rapport and share sustainable practices. Donating leftovers, conserving utilities and using packaging safe for the environment are just a few initial steps to take that can make a huge difference in your following.

As you explore a sustainable journey, the National Restaurant Association has networking opportunities and learning programs to guide restaurant owners in reducing their environmental footprint.

Download the State of Restaurant Sustainability 2018 report to learn more about how culinary trends are impacting  food service operations.

Is Your Restaurant 'Insta-Worthy'?: 5 TIPS from DFW's hottest Insta-foodies

If you’re an Instagrammer, you already know what this term means.  But If you’re a restaurateur, you best get familiar with what it takes to be "Insta-Worthy".  With the food boom in DFW, you need not just participate in the social game….you’ve got to compete.

But be glad!  You've got a business that deals in more than just one of the five human senses, and social media is all about sharing that experience.  

So what does it take for a restaurant to offer an experience that makes people pull out their phone, snap a picture and brag to the world about it? We asked some of DFW’s hottest "insta-foodies" what it takes to turn guests into brand-buzzing ambassadors. 


 
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@dfwfoodgirl says,  “The best Instagram food posts are those that feature excellent lighting, plating and should feel inspired. If the food doesn’t evoke excitement to feast I probably won’t post the picture.  As a foodie I want to display the food on my page in a way that will engage the senses of my audience. They should be albe to see the post and have an idea of the delicious taste and smell of the food before even reading the copy.” 
— @dfwfoodgirl

@just.dallas.things says, “I love a restaurant that values good food presentation. If the food is beautiful to look at, I’m definitely going to photograph it. The aesthetics of the restaurant are also important - does it have jaw-dropping decor? Light-up signs? Painted walls or murals? I love anything that makes me go ‘wow’. Last but not least...natural light = stunning photos! 
— @just.dallas.things
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@kawaiidfw says, “In a well-composed food photo, the background is just as important as the focal point. Every surface in a restaurant is a potential backdrop - both inside and out. Think color, texture, and print. Whether it’s a rustic, unfinished wood table top or a photo friendly wall with the perfect eye-popping pattern, the right background can transform a simple food photo and make it instantly share-worthy.”
— @kawaiidfw

Most importantly, lighting is key. I want to be able to see the meal without having to filter it. A filter can take away from the true colors in the food and make the photo less authentic. Plate presentation is important too. I don’t tell a lot of restaurants that I’m a foodie because I want my viewers to see how their food is truly presented. Finally, a fun atmosphere, sign, or view can help a shot go a long way!
— @dailydallaseats
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People eat with the eyes first so presentation of the dish is what I look for. I also eat out so much that restaurants blur together so memorable pieces in decor is important. It’s always fun to have a conversation piece or artwork as a statement...
— @still_hungry_dallas

 

214EATS stands is proud of Dallas, TX, and is excited to be a part of such an enormous food movement. We appreciate all of our city's Instabloggers and know how hard it is to maintain an audience with delicious pictures. Keep up the good work! 

5 Creative Content Ideas for Promoting Your Restaurant

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It’s not uncommon to hit what you might consider a dry spell in terms of content production. Fortunately, a restaurant has almost limitless opportunity for fun, valuable and engaging content ideas!

Guest Photos

Take advantage of owning a restaurant during the digital age when people of all ages are sharing their experiences online. If one of your foodie friends snaps a great shot of  their meal, be sure to share it. Don’t place all the pressure on yourself to generate content when there are so many opportunities to leverage the creativity of your guests.

Menu Items

Do you have new menu offerings? Let your followers know! Take an opportunity to highlight your most popular offerings.  

Events

If you have any events on the horizon, be sure to promote them several times. Start a few weeks in advance with a save-the-date posting and continue to tease the event. Don’t forget to share photos post-event to show what a great turnout you had. Considering partnering with a local charity to plan an event that gives back to your community.

Specials

Whether it’s happy hour or a holiday-related special you are offering at your restaurant, be sure to share information on your specials! Not that you need any reason to celebrate but holidays sure do present a great opportunity to do so. Identify a holiday that your restaurant aligns with a plan a special cocktail or discount to celebrate it. A Halloween contest, for example, is a fun and creative way to riff off of a well-loved holiday while drive traffic to your restaurant.

Job Opportunities

Service is a huge component to a cultivating an incredible dining experience for your guests. Yet finding top-notch talent that fits your company culture is no simple feat. Why not promote the opportunity among those that already love your restaurant? Share job opportunities with your followers and you may just get connected to the next perfect fit.

3 Benefits of Targeted Social Influencer Outreach

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Partnering with an influencer has proven to be an effective marketing strategy to boost visibility for brands across industries, the restaurant industry included. Doing so could present a stellar opportunity for restaurants to engage with new prospective guests while aligning themselves with an influencer with a strong following in the local market.

Follower Engagement

In many ways, influencer outreach can be considered the modern day form of the good ol’ word-of-mouth referral. Social influencers invest considerable effort in engaging with their followers to create a long-lasting relationship built on trust. Many followers rely on influencers to qualify and suggest new products, services and restaurants. For the restaurant, this follower engagement can represent a boost in media referrals and an exciting opportunity to get in front of new guests. 

A Fresh Perspective

Succeeding as an influencer requires a tremendous amount of creativity. That creativity is especially valuable in looking at your restaurant through a new lens. An influencer can help bring a fresh and discerning eye to your space, menu and services. They may see a new way to promote a particular menu item or space in your restaurant that you hadn’t considered before.

Content Creation

More often than not, partnering with an influencer will warrant some type of content creation from the influencer. Whether it’s a post on Instagram or a pin on Pinterest, the result is a fresh piece of content carefully curated by a professional. Depending on the formal agreement you have, your restaurant can then share the original post and benefit from the top-notch content created by your partner. Influencers may also include back links to your website or social media page, driving traffic. It’s a win-win!

While partnering with a social influencer shouldn’t be your sole marketing strategy, it can serve as an effective complement to your overall marketing efforts.

8 Marketing Metrics for Website Performance

When analyzing performance at the end of the month, online marketers have a wide variety of metrics that they look at for digital marketing. With so many different reports and statistics available how do you know where to start?

Here are top eight marketing metrics that are used to measure the performance of a website:

  1. Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is an efficient way to measure the effectiveness of your website and its content. It tells you how many people visit your site and leave instantly. A low bounce rate is good as it means relevant traffic, high average time and good conversion rate.

  2. Return visitors Rate – This metric gives you the insight into your loyal customers. They are either your customers or you can easily convert them. A high Return visitor’s rate indicates that you have good engagement with audiences and they like your website.

  3. Average Time – it gives a clue to what kind of content your target customer likes. According to digital marketing experts, the more a visitor spends time on your website, the more he is likely to visit your business. 

  4. Average Page Views per visit – This metric shows how many pages of your website visitors go on average. It also indicates high-quality relevant traffic and popularity of your website.

  5. Cost per Lead – Success of a digital marketing campaign is measured by conversion of web traffic and the cost occurred to achieve the desired result. The main goal of the marketers is to get the maximum number of leads at the smallest cost. 

  6. Click Through Rate – It is the number of clicks on an advertisement divided by total impressions. CTR is measured in PPC ads and email marketing campaigns. Higher CTR leads to better quality score and lower advertising costs.

  7. Inbound Links – Also known as backlinks; incoming links are an important component of a website. It helps in driving traffic and improve the ranking of your website. Linking your site to high ranking and popular site is recommended.

  8. Referral Traffic – Referral traffic are visitors who come to your site through direct links from other websites. It is considered as a recommendation to the content of your website, so having more referral traffic is better.

Interested in learning more about how we can help with your marketing success? Contact us at 214 Eats!