To many people think that Facebook is just selling stuff, but there is a lot more that you can do with it.
In Restaurant Autopsy, we talk about a Restaurant that looks like it is entering the Groupon Death Spiral :(. There are a lot of things that you can do that are free or don't take a lot of time, or are free and don't take a lot of time, and yet they still don't get done and this is how Restaurants end up using Groupon out of desperation to try and keep the doors open.
We look at the Lobster Cave's Groupon strategy. They are one of the few Restaurants that have a decent discounting strategy.
We look at how to run very cheap and cost effective Facebook campaigns and often the budget is just $3 per day.
1. Sell stuff. Have a think about what it is that you are selling and how you are reaching out to customers and prospects. You can drive people to make an order and/or booking. You can then make your marketing accountable. Our FROLO and FORBS system will tell you where your bookings come from and this can make a big difference in understanding how effective your marketing is. You don't need a discount, it may just remind people about your great food. Don't forget to drive people to call for take out or book, or even as a walk in.
2. Targeting. We show you how targeting can dramatically increase the response rate from your campaigns. There is a huge range of options in the Facebook demographics section of the ad setup. This creates a simple way to run a birthday campaign. If yu don't have a database, you can use Facebook's database with targeting.
3. Retargeting. This is how to target people who have been on your website, you can even target based on individual pages that they have visited.
4. Recruiting. We use Facebook to recruit staff. We have found it to work so much better than using Job Boards. On Facebook, it is a lot easier for prospective employees to see what kind of Restaurant you run and you are more likely to attract the right kind of people. You can target people in the job role that you want. It often works out a lot cheaper to advertise on Facebook than on a Job Board and best of all, the talent pool is so much better.
Stay tuned for the next Episode with the other 4 ways that we work to build Restaurant businesses!
Kyle Welter works at Tock, an ethical online booking and restaurant management software company.
We look at how Google Adwords works for Restaurants. Not many Restaurants use Google Adwords, but companies like OpenTable and Dimmi use it very aggressively to come between their 'Restaurant partners' and the restaurant customers.
We look at Arbitrage. This is the process where you buy something in one market and sell it in another market at a higher price.
Companies like Dimmi and OpenTable use Adwords Arbitrage to steal your customers contact details (and sometimes they don't share them with you!) and as well as creating the impression that it is their marketing that is bringing customers to you, when in fact it is often your existing, regular customers that OpenTable is charging you a higher price to take that booking.
The email address is the easiest way to communicate with your customers and Adwords Arbitrage allows Dimmi and OpenTable to get between your customers
Online Ordering has very similar practices. Restaurants are paying 13% commission and not getting the customers email address, so they can't remarket to the customer, they have to rely on JustEat, Menulog or GrubHub to provide them their next customer. This is how Online Ordering aggregators build dependence on their platforms and extract such high fees for doing it.
The impact for Restaurants can be crippling. We see Restaurants paying over $1,000 a month in commissions, and some high traffic restaurants can be a lot higher, which for some restaurants can be the difference from staying in business and bankruptcy, or being not profitable and profitable, so the choice of booking or ordering partner is a crucial part of your marketing plan and even your business plan.
We talk about dynamic pricing. This as an area that Tock specialises in. Charge more for your peak times, and drive demand out into the shoulder times. Airlines drive yield utilisation with dynamic pricing and popular restaurants should be looking at charging different prices for different tables, different days and different hours to dine in their restaurant. Dynamic pricing with pre paid bookings significantly decreases no shows as well.
We also talk about the Google knowledge panel and how restaurants can better manage it.
The best advice is to open a chrome browser in incognito mode and search for your Restaurant. Look at who is running ads and look at the information in the Google Search Panel. You may want to try different times of the day. This will give you a really good idea of what your customers are seeing when they Google for your Restaurant.
If you need access to free tools to help your grow your email database without paying commissions and without sharing your customers contact details, check out:
We discuss some of the retargetting methods for Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels. One of the Restaurants featured in the Cheap Eats guide 2017 for Melbourne only had a Menulog website. It had Google Analytics tag manager and the Facebook Pixel on the website they provided to the restaurant. Menulog makes a lot of money out of these marketing techniques. They aren't too hard to set up and every restaurant should have it set up for them.
Chef Shaun Quade's night on Masterchef required a lot of preparation. We built a website for Restaurant Lume that had the pixel installed, had Google Analytics installed. It was designed to scale, with a lot of visitors at once and it was designed to show the Restaurant of in the best way. Chef Quade has some amazing photos of the food and we needed to display them in the best possible way.
The first mistake people make is not having a website.
The Website had 10 people on the website at once before the show. The traffic jumped to 50, then to 300 in the space of minutes. That is 300 people at one time! It then climbed to 450, 700 and topped out at 1,148 people at once. The website was serving 25 pages per second. 90% of that traffic was from mobile phones. This was because people were sitting down watching Masterchef and had their phones with them.
We used an Amazon AWS server to be able to scale so that everyone hitting the server at once would be able to see the website. Chef Quade had 4 friends appear on Masterchef and all 4 had their websites crash. It doesn't need to be like that.
Check out the Show Notes to see the video of the traffic that they generated on the night.
Make sure that you have Facebook pixel installed.
Make sure you take bookings online. Restaurant Lume uses Tock and was able to take $15,000 of bookings in the first 30 minutes of being on Masterchef. If their website was down, many of those customers would not have come back and so those bookings would have been lost.
The last mistake is using the wrong booking or ordering system. If you are using Menulog, Just Eat, Delivery Hero, OpenTable, Dimmi or Quandoo, you are sharing or losing your customer contact details AND you are being charged per seat or per order. This places you at a massive disadvantage compared to those using different systems, like the Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering System or the Free Online Restaurant Booking System.
Hopefully you've got some ideas about how to generate your own Masterchef effect and you will be really well prepared with an online marketing strategy for your Restaurant to make sure you capture all of the benefits that you can for your Restaurant.
We talk about the Masterchef Effect. The Masterchef Effect occurs when your Restaurant gets a huge amount of publicity. It could be from getting a great review on a popular website, winning an award, have a meal or event go viral or being featured on national TV, like Masterchef. Too many restaurants aren't prepared for the Masterchef Effect and as such they miss out on the ongoing benefits of their huge Public Relations win. In this two part podcast, we examine the preparations 20 restaurants have taken after being featured in The Age Top 20 Cheap Eats for 2017 list and what happened to Restaurant Lume when Chef Shaun Quade was featured on Masterchef.
The Age has released the Melbourne's Top 20 Cheap Eats for 2017 list in Melbourne. Here are 20 restaurants that have done a great job of bringing together a team, the ingredients, the menu, the FOH experience and the marketing. (No point in having the best restaurant that no one has ever heard of!)
The Cheap Eats guide has just 3 lines of text about each Restaurant, so people are looking for more information about your Restaurant to make a buying decision. Without a website, you aren't able to tell the story of your Restaurant that you have put so much work into in any way that does it justice.
You goal doesn't need to be on Masterchef, but you need to have an attitude that sets you apart. Chan Hon Meng from Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle won a Michelin star and he said that everyone should cook like a Michelin judge is eating in their restaurant everyday. If you thought like that, how much better would you run your Restaurant?
How can you capitalise on the public relations when you get the Masterchef Effect?
In the Good Food Cheap Eats guide
These are some of the critical things that you need to prepare for your next great Public Relations success.
The next episode will cover off the technical procedures to prepare for the Restaurant Lume being featured on Masterchef, including how much traffic was served up over the length of the episode (a lot!!!)