3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Online Reviews

There is no doubt that public opinion of your restaurant can play a major role in traffic and, ultimately, the bottom line! With so many people jumping accessing your website via mobile, it’s more imperative than ever to ensure you’re doing everything you can to drive a positive online presence. Having plenty of verified reviews published online is an effective and organic way to grow your online presence. 

Leverage Social Media 

Consider every positive review to be an opportunity to highlight a positive facet of your restaurant. Sharing your positive reviews on social media is not only a great way to cross promote organic content, it’s been shown to aid in establishing and building credibility. Be sure to include a link to the review site you’re referring you and encourage your loyal customers to leave a review themselves! 

Prioritize Responsiveness  

Being responsive to customer interactions is essential to building trust with your customers. A commitment to responsiveness doesn’t just apply to positive feedback, it’s especially pertinent when responding to negative reviews. Rather than taking offense, process the feedback and do what you can to reframe the exchange in a positive light. 

Incentivize Your Customers 

Developing a compelling incentive can certainly help encourage customers to leave you an honest review. Offer a complimentary special cocktail or a discount on their next meal for every customer that leaves a review of your restaurant.  

Managing a growing business while staying on top of customer interactions with your brand is no simple feat. Lean on the software we have at 214 Eats to ensure that the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build isn’t shattered by a bad review that’s slipped through the cracks and left unaddressed. Getting started is as simple as requesting a reputation management demo. Request a demo today. 

Making the Case for an Online Food Ordering System

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Introducing an online ordering solution can considerably expand the footprint of a restaurant. No longer will your guests be limited to committing to a sit down dinner if scheduling does allow for it. If your guests dream of enjoying their favorite meal in bed while watching Netflix, who are you to stand in their way? 

Enhancing Efficiency 

By leaning into the vast possibilities technology has presented in the food and beverage space, you can enhance efficiency and reduce order completion times. You’ll free up some staff time from spending precious time manually taking food orders. By opening up the door to this level of self-servicing, your restaurant should also cut down on order errors. Naturally, your restaurant will still have to have team members in place to monitor order completion and manage customer relations throughout the process. 

Improved Customer Experience

From a customers perspective, many online systems have the capability to save their profile, and their preferred payment method, to even further streamlining the ordering process at their favorite restaurants. Rather than having to take the time to contact your restaurant directly, a customer can jump on their phone or computer and complete an order in record timing, especially if you land on investing in a system with account creation capabilities.  

While rolling out an online food ordering system is certainly not necessary for the operation of your restaurant, its potential to considerably streamline the process and introduce added efficiencies makes it certainly worth exploring. Ultimately, as mobile use continues to grow across generations, so too will demand for convenient online ordering options. 

If you’re ready to take the leap today, check in with your existing point of sale system, it may already have an existing solution you can negotiate. 

The Case for Investing in Professional Photography

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Imagery is powerful. 

An extraordinary photograph of a well-plated dish can have you watering at the mouth, wishing you could reach through the screen and take a bite. The same can be said of wanting to take a sip of a carefully crafted cocktail you see a picture of. Hiring a professional photographer is a great way to connect with your patrons and present a polished representation of your business. 

Leveraging Expertise 

Professional photographers are just that, professional. Taking the perfect photo extends far beyond the portrait setting on your iPhone. When you hire a photographer, you’re not just paying for the end product, you’re paying for their expertise and creative direction. When they enter your space they’ll be able to make recommendations on facets you may not have considered. An experienced commercial photographer will have a deep understanding of the complexities of photography, and will leverage light, color, and texture to get a photo that’s just right

Brand Consistency 

When you receive your photos back from your photographer, you will now have a ton of content to work to choose from that is both cohesive and consistent with your brand. Having a bank of photographs you can pull from will make it easier to post on social media regularly and send emails to your distribution list. You’ll be empowered to spend less time framing the perfect shot, fiddling with sending it to your email and editing it, and more time nurturing your growing business. Don’t forget to update your website with your new imagery!

Remember, any imagery is a reflection of your business. Carving out some room in your budget for professional photographs will go a long way in differentiating you from the competition while presenting photos that have an emotional and memorable appeal that brings patrons to your restaurant. 

4 Essentials of Restaurant Social Media Marketing

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Every loyal patron was once a first-time diner. Leveraging the power of social media marketing is an effective way to drive new visitors to your restaurant. Here we’ve outlined four essentials you can introduce to grow your followers and engagement levels.  

Post Regularly 

Creating a profile on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter can be done in mere minutes. What takes up a considerable chunk of time is posting on your various channels regularly (and strategically). Consider carving out some time on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to sit down and think through what you’d like to promote in the weeks ahead. Not only will that ensure you don’t accidently let weeks slip past without posting, but it’ll make it considerably easier to tell a cohesive story. 

Stay Engaged 

Effective marketing of your restaurant on social media doesn’t end when you hit post, it continues well after your content is published. Stay engaged with your audience by responding timely to any and all feedback, answering any questions, and thanking followers for their engagement. Even something as simple as liking a followers positive note is a step towards nurturing a relationship. 

Drive Value 

One of the best ways to build relationships with your social media followers is to offer value. Keep them in the know of any special offers, events, or newly released dishes by posting regularly. Offer your followers an exclusive discount if they like and comment on your post!

Capture Contact Information 

You’ll find that consistently driving value for your social media audience will boost not only follower numbers but it can help your build up your email distribution list. By reaching out to your followers across a number of platforms, your restaurant will gain more visibility and welcome more new visitors.

Did you know that the team here at 214 Eats manages growing social media profiles for our clients? If you’re looking to boost your visibility and increase your following on social media, contact us!

FreshSites: The Solution for Stale Websites

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There are plenty of buzzwords and suggestions floating around that help nominally enhance an existing website. For businesses that recognize their stale website leaves much to be desired, we present the solution – FreshSites. Our solution to stale websites brings multi-level updates that aim to bring your business’s digital presence to life.   

Custom Design 

Long gone are the days of bland websites, each one hard to differentiate from the next. A custom designed website crafted with mobile-responsiveness top of mind has the flexibility needed to adapt to a range of devices prospects will be using to visit your website.  

Up-to-Date Content 

Having an up-to-date website extends far beyond merely drafting new content, posting it, and sitting back hoping for increased visibility. A website should be updated on an ongoing basis and considered an open-ended project. With FreshSites in your toolkit, ongoing blog content and website updates will be included. You can rest assured knowing that a commitment to Search Engine Optimization remains at the forefront of all of the content our team generates. Beyond merely keeping your website copy up-to-date, our team does extensive due diligence to ensure that your website also remains relevant and secure. 

Bi-Directional Social Pushing

The FreshSites solutions includes integration of your social media platforms, helping to appropriately direct new visitors to your platforms and create oportunities for meaningful engagement. Additionally, the inclusion of bi-directional social media pushing ensures that channels for two-way communication are operating effectively while supporting high-responsiveness. 

The pricing we offer for FreshSites is all-inclusive and set up as a monthly subscription. In addition to custom design, content updates, and social engagement pushing, FreshSites also includes valuable reporting. The insights driven by our reporting capabilities can be leveraged to inform user experience, content creation, and more. 

To learn more about how FreshSites is the perfect solution to your stale website, contact the 214Eats team at 866-466-2144 or info@214interactive.com. 

Best Practices for an SEO-Friendly Website

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When search engines crawl through each landing page on you website, they’re on the hunt for content that is relevant and most valuable to the user. There are a number of best practices you can incorporate into your website development and design strategy to make it as SEO-friendly as possible. Ultimately, intentionality behind your SEO strategy promises to boost your position on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Enhance UX

One of the most effective tools to improving engagement rates is to commit to continually enhancing user experience (UX) of your website. While you don’t need to make all of your enhancements in one fell swoop, an update to your call-to-action buttons can in and of itself make a huge impact on UX. Making your website easy to navigate and visually appealing are two additional considerations to dive into when considering enhancements to UX.

Boost Website Security

If you haven’t already transitioned to HTTPS, know that this may hurt your rankings, especially for users using the Chrome browser. By flagging your website as “not secure,” it’s likely that your search engine ranking will take a hit.

Content Continues to Reign

Creating content that is valuable to your prospects remains an effective strategy to not only lowering bounce rate and increasing the time prospects spend on each page, it builds credibility for your business. When crafting content, give consideration to what users are searching for, include keywords, and focus on creating value. Do you have a new dish or cocktail you’re promoting? Consider posting an interview with the chef or bartender? In short, think creatively when developing a robust content strategy for your restaurant.

With so many businesses in pursuit of the elusive first page ranking status, integrating the best practices we’ve outlined above into your website design (or enhancement) process will help ensure that you’re being intentional about boosting the SEO-friendliness of your website.

214EATS Joins the Texas Craft Brewers Guild

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As a Texas-based company with craft brewery website design as part of its repertoire, 214Eats is thrilled to become an Allied Trade member of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. As such, we’re recognized as an organization specializing in the craft beer industry and committed to helping drive brewery growth. Established to promote Texas craft beer through public education initiatives, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild represents the interests of craft breweries across the state. From small, self-distributed craft breweries to large craft breweries, operations of all sizes are represented. Guild membership reaches the hundreds, serving as an indicator of just how robust the craft beer industry is in the Lone Star State.

Annual Member Meeting

This weekend, we’re excited to be heading to Austin, Texas to participate in the annual Texas Craft Brewers Guild members meeting. Kicking off with happy hour at Austin Beerworks, the weekend promises to be a jam-packed opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics impacting the craft beer industry in Texas. The keynote presentation will be delivered by Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association, and will be followed by speakers delving into topics such as:

  • Fans, Hands, and Brands: Strategies and Tactics for Being Inclusive and Building Diversity in Craft Beer

  • Tasting Room Operations

  • Avoiding Common Marketing Practices Violations

Following the annual meeting, members are invited to attend Texas Craft Brewers Day at the Capitol. Meetings with elected representatives will be followed by a program in the Legislative Conference Center during which members will address legislators on a range of craft brewery industry related advocacy initiatives.

Craft Brewery Websites

214EATS designs craft brewery websites that are mobile-responsive, SEO-friendly, and socially integrated. Just recently, we rolled out a new website for our client, Diamond Knot Brewing Company. If you’re interested in learning more about a website for your craft brewery, let’s connect.   

 
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3 Key Elements of an Effective Restaurant Website

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Creating a new website for your restaurant is no small feat. Before you get bogged down in nuanced details and branding considerations, ensure that your website development process keeps the three key elements for effective restaurant website development and design at its core.

Mobile-Responsive

With users utilizing a range of devices to visit your website, not having a mobile-responsive website is a sure-fire way of encouraging prospective visitors to look elsewhere. A mobile-responsive design will adapt to the screen size of the device the content is being viewed on in an effort to create as positive of a user-experience as possible. Not optimizing the layout or content displayed makes it more challenging for a new visitor to your website to navigate to the information they’re looking for with ease.

SEO-Friendly

“SEO-friendly” is a buzz word that refers to website development and design that enables search engines to crawl and interpret every landing page on your website efficiently. The more SEO-friendly your website it, the higher it will rank in database indexing. A search engine aims to index the most relevant content it can find based on the copy that a user has keyed in to the search. Creating valuable content, incorporating mobile-responsive website design, and embedding varying types of media are all strategies for boosting how SEO-friendly your website is.

Socially Integrated

Providing visitors the opportunity to share exciting content to and from your website only serves to broaden the reach of your network. By integrating your social media channels into your website, you are building new channels of communication to build relationships prospective customers you might not otherwise reach.

Keeping the three key elements we’ve outlined at the forefront of the website design and development process will ensure that you’re well on your way to creating an effective website.

The Answer to Boosting Online Sales? A Progressive Web App.

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Before you keep scrolling while lamenting that your restaurant already has an existing mobile app, let’s get one thing out of the way - a progressive web app (PWA) is not the same as a native app. Whether mobile marketing is an existing focus of your efforts or not, developing a PWA can result in boosting your visibility and online sales for your restaurant.

What is a PWA?

Often referred to as a hybrid web app or an installable app, a PWA is launched from a user’s home-screen and loads almost instantly, without accessing an app. Engagement is immediately boosted since guests won’t have to take the troublesome step of downloading your specific app. Once loaded, an immersive full screen experience lends to a more modernized user experience that is hyper-responsive to user interaction and offers seamless functionality. By creating a more direct avenue of access to your website, one that doesn’t require your guests to access a separate app, not only are you capturing users who don’t want to put in the extra effort but you’re making it easier for them to interact with you time and again. A PWA allows your restaurant to be saved to a user’s home screen, so that you can remain top-of-mind. You’ll be able to streamline all of your functions, making it easier than ever for people to make a reservation, complete an online order, and log their loyalty number, to name a few functions.  

Why a PWA?

Apart from creating a more mobile-friendly experience, and boosting conversions long-term, there is no doubt that PWA is a solution worth exploring for those that have experienced abysmal ROI from their existing mobile app(s). Enhance your restaurant’s digital footprint by giving some consideration to this key to successful mobile marketing for restaurants.

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.