Who would have thought we would be adding “create engaging Facebook content” to our already long list of weekly responsibilities in running our restaurant?
Today, using Facebook to generate a following and bookings for your restaurant is smart – it costs a bit of your time but can yield excellent results. Over 60% of people in Australia are now active Facebook users and around 50% log into Facebook once a day.
There are three rules to making your Facebook page work for your restaurant:
- Post great mouth-watering images of food – that you can take on your Smartphone
- Keep your posting consistent – if you post 3 times per week, stick to this
- Share some “behind the scenes” stories – people like to know the story behind the food.
With a few tips, you can make creating great content part of your working week so that it just becomes part of your daily gig.
Even if your budget allows you to outsource your Facebook page management to a third party, you still need to be providing relevant and interesting images and stories for your restaurant’s Facebook page.
Here are 7 simple tips for the busy restaurant owner that you can incorporate into your daily activities to create great content for your restaurant’s Facebook page.
1. Get up close and personal with your customers and share stories “behind the scenes”
Don’t be shy about telling your customers a little about the inner workings of your restaurant. Eating is quite a personal experience, so we like to know more about the people behind the scenes creating these delectable dishes that make us want to recommend your restaurant to all our friends.
- Share stories about your staff – their favourite dishes and recipes and anything interesting they may have to share like weddings, announcements, special holidays.
- Talk about the events in the kitchen or what happened leading up to opening time that people will find interesting.
Example: “Tony returned from Spain this week and brought back with him two new ingredient ideas for our paella – come and try it out”.
2. Find your customers’ comments about your restaurant on other social media platforms and share them on your Facebook page
Look for content that has been generated by your customers on other social media platforms. You can find customer content by searching for your restaurant name with a Hashtag (#) in front or looking for posts that you have been tagged in.
When you find them, respond to the comment and request permission to share on your page. This will have the double effect of acknowledging your customer’s post which is good customer service, and it is content written by someone else that you can repurpose for your Facebook page, saving you time.
3. Share your most popular menu items and recipes
You don’t have to give away your trade secrets but you can share some special ingredients that you might tell your customers anyway.
Share stories about how you found the freshest snapper and mussels that just came off the boat that morning, or how a grower had a special organic baby beets that you could only get enough of to serve for that evening.
These types of posts show your customers that you want to share the joys of food with them and how your dishes came about, making the dining experience more intimate.
4. Theme your posts for a season or an event
If it’s winter time, create content about winter-warming comfort food. If there is a hint of summer in the air, focus on salads and seafood. If special events are on in your town or city, share menu items that may be of interest. It shows you are in touch with the local vibe.
For example: “Pop in for our winter warming hearty lentil soup after the Guitar Festival tonight”.
5. Great images win every time – don’t compromise
When it comes to your food posts, your images are very important. Take good photos, and you can do it all with your smart phone. Learn a few tricks to position a glass of wine along with a couple of dishes, try a few different angles. You’ll get the knack of it quickly.
We all want mouth-watering photos to make us want to hit the “book now” button.
Here’s a blog with a few good ideas: 9 Super Handy iPhone Tips For Taking Droolworthy Food Photos https://www.buzzfeed.com/annamendoza/forget-hunger-take-a-good-picture
6. Whatever is unique about your restaurant, keep this alive and well on Facebook
Every restaurant has something unique to offer. It might be your location, it might be that you have great venue for families, that your ingredients come from local growers only, or that you have an extensive wine list.
Keep that unique difference alive and well on social media, with a post every now and again to your Facebook fans reminding them of this unique difference.
7. Keep your posts regular
Once you commit to a social media strategy, don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see an increase in bookings or engagement. If you have not been active for a while, your audience will need to see your regular commitment before they begin to respond.
Stick with your content plan and keep developing your Facebook content – the more you do it the better you will get and the less time it will take.
Vary your posts on Facebook so that you showcase your dishes, behind the scenes and some general community information as well from time to time.
H&L’s BooKBooK allows customers to make a booking directly from your Facebook page
BooKBooK https://hlaustralia.com.au/our-solutions/pos-solutions/70-booking-solutions is an advanced electronic booking system that seamlessly integrates to the H&L POS system and your restaurant’s Facebook page.
Your Facebook’s “Book Now” button links directly to your online booking system, so that as your Facebook audience is getting excited about your food posts, it is easy for them to make a direct booking from here!
For more information about H&L’s electronic booking systems, visit our website https://hlaustralia.com.au/ or call us on 1800 778 340.