Restaurant business is buzzing in today’s world. A restaurant can never be a vanity project; it needs to make business sense to survive. You’ve developed a great menu and an attractive ambience, but now you need to get a word out about what you’re offering to attract first-timers. PR efforts will serve as free advertising, making members of the press as well as potential diners curious about eating at your restaurant. Here are the 5 key aspects to keep in mind while doing the PR of a restaurant:
- Know your Concept In and Out – Concept defines what you are offering to the end consumer and what you are pitching to the media to get the communication out in the world. The most important part of the concept of a restaurant is the “Menu”. Menu is the heart and soul of a restaurant. A menu conveys the restaurant’s overall impression to its guests and should express the passion and thoughtfulness that goes into the food it is serving. Getting down to specifics, it has a dual advantage of powering more information as well as enhancing a diner’s perception of the dish that they are eating. An ideal restaurant menu offers a balance of unique dishes as well as classic favourites.
- Define your Target Audience – This may be the most important question you can answer when designing a restaurant concept. It is definitely the most important question to answer when creating a PR and Marketing plan. When it comes to successfully running a restaurant, one of the most important things to consider isn’t the food, the drinks, the décor, the local or the service. It’s the guests.
If you want to run a successful restaurant, the guests are, without a doubt, one of the most important elements to take into consideration. After all, you rely on your guests for business, as their business brings in revenue; revenue that determines your success. Many restaurants try to appeal everyone, which is a huge mistake. Why? People have all different tastes and interests and the bottom line is that there is simply no way that you are going to be able to appeal to all of them. If you want to be successful in the restaurant industry, you have to define what demographic you are are targeting. The need is to understand who will enjoy your establishment- so try to marry your style with that of your target guests. Your target guest base is, without a doubt, one of the most important elements for your restaurant.
PR since ages has been defined as Public Relations. However Douglas Smith has very well quoted PR as “performance recognition” – and if you start believing in it you will start achieving it.
- Focused Approach – A Restaurant concept is defined by various aspects like food, ambience, cocktails, music/entertainment and many other detailed defined facets. Focus on strong areas and don’t MIX as it will dilute the focus from the communication pitched. The heart of any concept is the menu and it encompasses of lot of areas such as quality of ingredients, plating, service of the dish on the table of a diner and much more. It is difficult for one to get a detailed insight of the multiple layers that have gone into making a meal an experience for the diner. Diners today are more educated than ever – whether its food trends, preparation styles or ingredient sourcing. They are eager to interact with knowledgeable wait staff and culinary experts, learning how the dishes are prepared, where the ingredients originate, etc. This on-ground experience adds a lot of value – the more informed a guest is, the more at ease is the Media to define the Food Scene in town.
Once the above three points are defined well with you; you are all set to take off with the communication with the media for your restaurant based on the following:
- Tap the Best Mileage Sources– Every Industry has a bunch of leaders and influencers; with a huge number of followers behind them. The content released from them multiplies the communication down the line to numerous followers. It adds to the word of mouth, creates curiosity about the concept and drives traffic to the restaurant.
- PR and Marketing go hand-in-hand – Media takes the lead in content and Pictography takes a leap in capturing eyeballs. An amalgamation of both creates the most effective tool for any concept to create the buzz. Though traditional media still leads with a considerable margin, with the advent of technology and its resultant services like 3G and affordable smart-phones, the relevance & importance of social media marketing today cannot be disregarded. Today, social media marketing plays a pivotal role in not just promoting any business but also building a brand and its reputation. It is one of the most effective tools (scope and cost) available to today’s marketers. In the Indian context, though, it is still at a nascent stage and its impact, compared to traditional media, isn’t quite measurable yet. Hence investing in this form of marketing activity has been rather curtailed by most of the organizations in our country. However, it is the preferred mode of communication, taken up by companies for faster reach, especially for out-of-the-box communication plans, instantly creating a viral reach. Social media and campaigns have a stronger control on the tonality of the communication as well as deliver measurable revenue and build a strong brand presence. This has definitely helped elevate the position of the respective restaurant concepts in the industry, while creating brand value and recall. As a resultant impact, the Journalists and the Guests use various platforms to connect with PR of the restaurants pertaining to their queries on the cuisine, reservation, applauding for a remarkable experience, even putting any of their displeasure, or probably whole of their experience. In either of these situations, the feedback received help the PR personnel in taking immediate corrective steps to offer a higher quality dining experience to all their patrons.
There is no better or bigger means of communication in PR and Marketing than the guest who comes and dines at your restaurant. In a restaurant business, as a PR professional “Everything you do or say is PR.”