MARKETING: How Restaurants Can Beat Slow Nights with Facebook Ads
Guests laughing and clinking glasses, servers rushing to and fro, the phone ringing off the hook – if only your restaurant could be busy all the time. The good news is it can. It just takes the right planning and the right marketing campaign efforts. In this post, we’ll delve into kicking the tried and true marketing methods up a notch with layered targeting on Facebook.
DID YOU KNOWS…
Where’s the Beef!?
A New York woman didn’t like it when Back Home Restaurant told her they had run out of hamburger patties. After arguing the fact with a staff member, the woman left and returned with a baseball bat where she promptly began breaking the restaurant’s front window. Yikes!
South Dominates News HIV Diagnoses
Last week, Trump said that "together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond." As well as assuring those at risk receive effective drugs, key to the plan is to target areas where new infections are occurring the most. As this Statista chart shows, these places are predominantly located in the South where 52% of all new diagnoses were made in 2017.
Proof is on the Bar Tab
An Upper West Side bartender didn’t believe one of her guests was former PayPal exec Jack Selby until he and his friend left a $5,000 tip on a $100 tab. This followed a conversation in which Selby asked the waitress knew what “Tips for Jesus” was. It seems as if Selby is hoping to rejuvenate the “Tips for Jesus” movement that was widespread from 2013-2015.
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT [Song]
Why it matters to you: Is there still room for entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry?
Boston is a great restaurant city. So, when the Boston Globe asks, “Why are so many Boston restaurants closing?”, it merits some attention. The Globe article specifically cites three successful restaurants that have closed recently -- L’Espalier, Durgin Park, and Erbaluce. According to the paper, each closed for different reasons, all of which point to trouble ahead for the restaurant industry. Of course, they report those closings happened amid continued sales growth for the industry as a whole. A key conclusion the Globe discusses asserts our business is no longer conducive to the entrepreneurs who are often identified as driving its success. Since the ‘70s, the average consumer restaurant spending has gone from $0.24 of each dining dollar to $0.52 cents today. So we know it’s not because there isn’t sufficient demand.
The article also asserts that today’s business parameters make it impossible for the entrepreneur to succeed like they used to in the restaurant industry. If this is true, that would be a tragedy. Fortunately, like most big city papers, they don’t think life exists outside their metropolitan market. Yes, expensive spaces can be outside the reach of individuals with aspirations, but that doesn’t mean our business is no longer open those willing to work hard enough. Yes, chain and group managed restaurants are now a bigger percentage of ownership than ever, but our business will always be a meritocracy. Yes, the obstacles are bigger, but our money is on the folks in our industry and their dreams.
[Source: Boston Globe]
YELP VS. INSTAGRAM, FOR ALL THE INFLUENCER MARBLES
Why it matters to you: It appears that Instagram has eclipsed Yelp and we are totally fine with it.
There is not a more ubiquitous bogey man in our industry than Yelp. They have maintained an outsized image in our industry, but that may have shifted over the past couple of years as Instagram restaurant-related posts have grown their influence in the industry. If you aren’t familiar, Yelp offers their Elite Yelper status to an undisclosed classification of reviewer. Yelp claims they have to be consistent, respectful, write well, and write often to be considered for Elite status. Many operators have tried to leverage that Elite group, only to learn that they are really looking for free stuff and hopelessly unprepared to actual help a restaurant with their marketing. Enter Instagram! They don’t confer status upon anyone unless you count their verification mark, the blue check.
Influencers on Instagram build their own audiences, create content other than direct marketing, and are generally better partners than their Yelp contemporaries. While both platforms can matter to your marketing, we would assert Instagram and its influencers are the better place to work for direct social outreach. They are more credible, interested in self-sustaining their Instagram presence, and are literally more professional. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t properly vet an Insta-influencer. For example, be sure their previous sponsored posts were from real companies and not them trying to look influence-y (nope, pretty sure that’s not a word). In the end, your operation and performance have to be great, but we assert that Instagram is still a better place to market than Yelp if you want an authentic approach to influencing guest behavior.