My affinity for the farm to table movement inspired Cast Iron Content’s first video project and ignited our ambition to break further into the restaurant industry. In pursuit of that ambition, we had to ask ourselves, “why would a restaurant need a blog?”
What we have increasingly found is a reluctance or apprehension on the part of some restaurateurs to tell their story…more than once. We’ve had the pleasure to visit some restaurants and bars that truly have amazing stories about humble beginnings that blossomed into big business. That’s great – and maybe it’s enough to tell that genesis story on the front of a menu or on the “About Page” of a website, assuming they even have one.
But, what we’ve found is that these stories unfold and evolve every day to the beat of the business. And sure, that’s not to say that every day should be shared and animated in a lively blog post, but a restaurant’s story seasons the daily operations, just the way a spice transforms ingredients into an unforgettable meal – one that you would eagerly order again.
So, what does this mean for a business competing in an industry as cutthroat as food and beverage? Why should a restaurateur invest in ongoing content, like a blog? After some research, here’s what we found:
Top 3 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs a Blog
As with any business, the size and scope of your restaurant or bar will determine which of these factors is most compelling for your bottom line and return on investment. After all, if you’re going to pay a writer or agency to maintain original, engaging content on your blog, you’re going to want results.
An original, updated, and ongoing blog for your restaurant will return results and we’ve got the proof that restaurant blogging really does work…
1. Extend Your Reach – Establish Your Own Authority Within the Industry
And it has worked for quite some time- at least, according to this 2013 Constant Contact survey, highlighting the findings from SinglePlatform, not the least of which shows that “restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers through both mobile applications and browsers.”
In fact, 92% of the 1,497 people surveyed reported searching for restaurants online, with 75% deciding where to eat after reviewing those results. The takeaway here is that people are clearly looking at your website. The problem is most restaurants neglect their sites and fail to update the information, resulting in a site that looks stale. No one wants to eat stale food and consumers have zero interest in consuming stale content.
But, an active blog for your restaurant, featuring posts written around SEO-driven industry keywords, will help boost your website (therefore, your business) closer to the top of a Google search page. The more often you post, the more pages you have that Google will index, increasing your restaurant’s appearance in search results.
How often should you post?
Look, you’re trying to run a business – you can’t be tasked with running your kitchen and your site. So, why not trust an expert to maintain your blog and publish posts about your restaurant on a routine, agreed upon schedule? This is where less really isn’t more. A business backed by hundreds of blog posts will show up on Google far ahead of one with only a dozen.
Want to see some examples of restaurants that are blogging and ramping up their ROI?
2. Connect with Your Customers – Who Doesn’t Love a Good Trailer?
Ever have one of those nights where you watch so many on-demand trailers that you ultimately skip watching a movie entirely? Like, you spent the length of a feature film trying to figure out which flick struck your fancy that particular night. Yeah, me neither. But, I hear it’s a thing and it turns out, so is scoping out restaurants before even stepping outside your home.
Other findings from the same survey show that a whopping 80% of consumers want to check out a restaurant’s menu before they decide to check it out in person – 70% of those want to do so on their phone, likely while en route to the restaurant. The opportunity here is to ensure that your website is responsive on all screens because the bad news comes from the 62% of people who will not choose a restaurant if the menu is unreadable on their phone.
By blogging regularly about topics that matter to consumers in your area, you can better connect with your current customers and introduce yourself to new ones. For example, is your restaurant taking the extra steps to ensure that it only sources from local vendors? Is farm-to-table your culinary philosophy? You’re in good company and need to take advantage of the momentum the movement is gaining, according to Menu trends to watch in 2017, which begs the question: “Local farm-to-table as the new normal?”
The point is, there are people out there looking for your restaurant – whether or not they know it, or know how to find it, is up to you – or your content marketers, to ensure that they do.
Check out the National Restaurant Association’s website to review What’s Hot: Top Food Trends for 2017. First on the list – “New cuts of meat,” later followed by “Heirloom fruits and vegetables.” Think about your menu and consider a blog post featuring one of these key phrases. Need some more inspiration? Take a moment to peruse “The 5 Types of Blog Posts Your Restaurant Should Be Writing,” and start drafting a list of the content your restaurant could create for each one. Establish a round robin-style schedule and post about recipes at the beginning of the week, special events mid-week, and deals or local-interest issues over the weekend. Connect to events in your area and highlight your support of or involvement with them.
3. Step Up Your Social Game – spread the word about your restaurant
A savvy social media strategy is crucial to just about every business across various industries. In fact, 80% of bars and restaurants in the U.S. use social media. But, again, running a restaurant is about as full as a full-time job can get. The demands of the daily tasks won’t leave you with any free time to maintain a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. A blog helps you get more bang for your buck because well-written blog posts provide fodder for social media, where the content can be easily liked and shared.
Can’t take the heat when it comes to content creation? You stay in your kitchen and trust us to spice up your brand with an original blog designed to satisfy the hunger of both loyal and new customers.