We all come across the news of shutting down of the various restaurants from time to time. The businessmen open up their food courts, bars and cafes with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm; investing a huge sum of money in them, and employing the staff to work. But in a short duration of time, they are unable to pay the rent and/or EMI due to various factors, and so, many restaurants are closed down due to the lack of business. At times, the rent is so high that it creates difficulty for the owner(s) to reach up to the break-even point. I personally love to visit new restaurants frequently, and am also friends with several local restaurant owners. My months of critical observation on the business of restaurants made me deduce the argument that most of the restaurants gradually fail in making money because they somewhere lack in active promotions of their place, especially on Social Media platform, Facebook.
It is important to know that Social Media has now become an important thing in the world. The virtual life is no less that the real life- one just cannot survive without Internet in the present times. Since many restaurants do not realize the importance of Facebook and consider it ineffective and time-consuming, they suffer, and towards the end, are shut down. This article aims at providing a few important points to such restaurant owners (or the aspiring ones) who want to attract more customers for the smooth running of their business.
Being the most crowded Social Media platform, Facebook is a must for your restaurant promotion and ads. If your restaurant doesn’t have a Facebook page in 2018, you are already lacking in this competition. Personally, I believe that the following steps are a must in order to up your Facebook game:
- Make a Facebook page and also a ‘closed group’ for promoting your restaurant. Keep the Facebook page to run ads and promotions, and add your team/staff, and loyal/regular customers in the ‘closed group’. Why? Because you have to treat your restaurant like it is your baby or a pet. Understand it like this: When you give your regular customers valuable treatment by adding them in the group, asking their opinion on the various dishes served in the restaurant, and inviting them to try the new food items, it will give them a sense of attachment to your place. The warmth of your part, and the sense of ownership on theirs will result in the generation of ‘word of mouth’ amongst their friends and family. Hence, more customers!
- Run ads through hit and trial method, and not by using someone else’s target audience data. Basically, do it yourself. Why? Because you are the one who opened up this place; your personal feel and attachment to it cannot be equaled by anyone else. Giving it to some Social Media agency will not give you the result you are aiming for because no agency would engage in promoting your business as passionately as would do it yourself. Remember: It is your baby and you will only have to nurture it.
Note: Do not make complicated text-heavy ads. Simplicity is the key to attract the customers.
- Hack into conversations of other people: Since you have a personal profile, you can easily comment on the posts of other people engaged in conversations related to the search for cool places to check-out on weekends. For instance, become a member of a Facebook group that has to do with the members looking out for cool places to hangout in your city. If someone in that group ask for suggestion of a cool place to part, comment warmly by offering them the link to your location, contact details, and good deals and offers that they can get if they choose to visit you. This will help in building up your image as a generous and humble restaurant that provides an aura of positivity. Understand this: Politeness is the key to attract customers. But remember that you do not spam and/or push anybody unnecessarily. Do not come across as desperate or needy. Do not bother customer more than once or twice. If you do that, they will feel annoyed and might blacklist you. Be very careful with your words!
- Be humourous and witty in your posts. Use pun and wordplay while posting the image of some drink or dish. Upload small videos of staff members having fun in the kitchen, for instance, the cook copying the still of Salt Bae while preparing certain dish. People on Social Media highly appreciate wit.
- Keep yourself informed about the Social Media trends from time to time, and use them to your advantage. You can also introduce new drinks by keeping their names based on certain famous trends. For example, if you choose to put the name of your new cocktail Covfefe, post its picture along with the image of the current US President, Donald Trump holding your drink while making an arrogant face. Personal advice: Learn basic photoshop. People love memes to the core!
- As an owner of the restaurant, be open to the world of Social Media. Do not try to hide yourself. Put in your picture, your location, your contact details, and email address on the Facebook page. This will give you validation from the people, and they will trust you enough to visit your place to check it out.
These are a few points that you must adopt if you want to prevent your restaurant from shutting down. They guarantee the unhindered growth of your business. Apart from Facebook, you can also use Instagram and Twitter to your aid as these two are no less useful. Link all these sites by sharing their URL on each other, and repeat the same ideas as mentioned above on them as well. Last but not the least- Stay positive in your overall personality. Good luck!