Whenever I meet with a new restaurant client the first question I usually get is what can you do for our business? The answer is a lot. There are so many ways public relations can help food businesses, much more than meets the eye. Here are just a handful:
You also need to MAKE SURE you add public relations into the mix. Why? Because PR is more important than ever. Social media and review websites are part of the reason. Word of mouth just isn’t enough to raise a restaurant’s profile anymore. You need active social media, positive reviews on the web and PR to build your business. They are all intertwined. Yet many restaurants still don’t want to invest in a public relations firm and still believe they don’t need to be on Facebook or Twitter. Wrong!
Bringing in Customers: These days there is so much competition out there. You need to make sure people find you, know who you are and that they know what makes you outstanding. How can you do this? You could go the advertising route, but let’s be honest that can be expensive and often overlooked by the public. These days consumers are mostly influenced by what they see on news programs, in the newspaper or on the web. Public relations can position you in all those outlets organically. I get my clients positioned in news stories. Whether it’s on Fox News, CBS, in Food and Wine magazine or on a website like The Daily Meal getting a restaurant’s name out there can translate into guests coming into the door. I recently had a client featured on a list of best veggie burgers. What happens after people read about that burger? Of course many came into the restaurant to try it, the first time there for many people.
Raising Your Profile: One of the biggest things you want to get in the restaurant world is name recognition. You want everyone to know your restaurant’s name. The only way to really get your name out there is through good word of mouth and through PR. You’ve probably heard the saying any publicity is good publicity and this is the reason why. Getting your name out there is always a good thing. Even if it’s just a one line mention in a story, that helps with name recognition.
Making You Credible: Often times the Chef of a certain restaurant is the star attraction, or perhaps it’s the owner of the restaurant. This is very calculated. To get credibility in a very crowded industry you often need a face to be associated with your business. If your Chef is well known, or in some cases a celebrity of sorts, this can raise a food business’s credibility. Through a series of public relations moves I try to make sure to make all my clients “stars” in their own field. A bonus? This is actually really fun for the client.
Social Media: Public relations and social media go hand and hand now. It can be hard generating new content for social media, but that’s not the case if your name is constantly in the media. When I get clients on TV, in web stories, you name it that content goes on their social media channels, their websites, etc. While seeing pictures of menu items can be fun that only takes you so far in the social media world. If you tweet something like “Our sandwich made the list of top 10 sandwiches in the city,” that’s something that will pique more interest on social media and possibly be shared.
All in all public relations is something all restaurants should be considering. If I can help feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org