With more and more people using the internet to research places to eat and drink in their local area, it’s no longer an option to just have a static website for your restaurant. You have to stand out and a great way to do that is with a regularly updated blog/news section, where you can keep your visitors up to date with the latest goings on.
Before we go any further, it’s important to know that having a blog really is all or nothing, there’s nothing worse than loading up a website and seeing that the news feed hasn’t been updated in over a year. So it’s imperative that if you start a blog (which you should) that you update it regularly.
Ok you like the blogging idea but what is there to blog about for a restaurant? Let’s take a look:
We’ll start with the most obvious one but strangely one that often gets overlooked – general restaurant news. Things happen at restaurants all the time – charity nights, themed events, new menus and awards to name but a few. So make sure you include them on the blog!
Most news items actually have 2 blog posts within them – for example lets imagine you’re running an American themed steak night, you can blog prior to the event talking about the details and what’s going to be on offer. Then you can also blog after it with a recap and pictures of everyone having a good time. That way you let everyone who didn’t make it know what they missed out on and chances are they’ll be at the next one!
Photo Credit: NS Newslfash
Your staff are the key to a successful restaurant, if your chef makes great food and your waiting staff deliver first class customer service then people keep coming back time and time again, so why not give them a profile on your blog?
A monthly blog post about a member of staff is a great way to open up your restaurant to people who have never visited before. It allows them to get a feel for the place before they’ve even entered the building. You can introduce the chefs, their training and their specialties which is a great way to let potential customers know they are going to be eating food cooked by an expert who cares about the food he produces.
Let’s look at an example, you’re looking for a Chinese restaurant and have shortlisted it to two based on their Trip Advisor reviews. You visit the websites for each, one has a blog filled with staff profiles, so before you’ve even closed the browser on your iPad you know how professional the waiting staff look in their uniforms and you know that the Head Chef has worked at the restaurant for over 10 years prior to which he was trained at a top restaurant in the Chinese Province of Sichuan. The other restaurant has a website but no blog, just the menus for you to look at. Assuming everything else is the same, then really there’s only one winner.
If your restaurant does weekly, monthly or even seasonal specials on a chalk board then why not replicate that on your blog?
This is such a quick and easy update yet the returns could be huge. All you have to do is knock together a quick post stating what the specials are and if you are able to incorporate where you source the ingredients from and some photography, even better!
Photo Credit: eschipul
Every restaurant has a signature dish or one that’s always just that bit more popular with diners, this is yet another great blogging opportunity. Showcase the dish, talk about how it’s made, what wine goes with it, why it’s popular. Combine 2 paragraphs with a photograph and hey presto you have an interesting article ready to go live for people to enjoy.
Don’t just stop after the you have covered the popular dishes on the menu though, chances are there’s items that don’t get the sales they deserve, perhaps it doesn’t sound as appealing as the rest, or has an ingredient people are unsure of but in reality it’s one of the tastiest things on there – write about it and let people know they’re missing out on that hidden gem.
This type of post can easily turn into a monthly series which provides a steady stream of interesting content and allows both existing and potential diners to learn something about the food they’re eating.
Hopefully your restaurant sources ingredients from local suppliers, so if you’re a restaurant based in Yorkshire and you get all your meats from Lishman’s in Ilkley then talk about it on your blog!
Again, this is a great way to open up your restaurant and shows that you’re sourcing high quality ingredients from local suppliers which in turn surely speaks volumes about the quality of your food.
Not only that, your suppliers might return the favour and mention you on their site too which could help generate new business!
Photo taken from Lishman’s of Ilkley Website.
No, we’re not asking you to give away your families secret Lasagne recipe to the whole world but giving away a few cooking tips on your blog is a great way to create interaction with your customers.
Perhaps you’re one of the few Sushi restaurants in the area, providing a step by step guide on how your customers can create Sashimi in their own kitchen is a great idea to create some buzz, not only that if it proves popular you could even put on a ‘how to class’ at the restaurant one evening.
If you’re looking for a good example of recipe use on a blog then this is something that Lishman’s, who we mentioned above, do really well. Their blog is full of recipes and information on various types of meat which is very interesting to read. They’ve even incorporated a sausage making video which has racked up an impressive 30,000 views.
Photo Credit: Bill HR
Hopefully the items above have given you some good ideas on how you can quite easily produce content for your restaurants website without stupid amounts of effort. A lot of the things are already there to use, you can simply repurpose them into blog content and you will have more than enough content to drip feed out for both monthly or fortnightly updates.
The best thing you can do is sit down and brainstorm some ideas, once you’ve done that produce a blogging schedule with the content and the date you plan to publish it on. By creating a schedule/plan your blog becomes more of a routine and not an afterthought that’s only ever updated on an ad hoc basis.
The hardest part is often starting, but once you get into the swing of things blogging for your restaurant can not only be rewarding from a revenue standpoint but can actually be quite fun!
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