Differentiating Your Foodservices Business Online
By Dwayne Reno
If you want to be credible you must be visible.
Along with being responsible for staff, BOH, FOH, marketing and day to day business foodservice operators must also be accountable for online presence. With most of your possible customers active online, having an online presence is a key component for any restaurant, bar or café’s marketing strategy.
Why is online important to my foodservices business?
Your customers are online. Most people have given your website the virtual once-over before they stepped a foot inside your restaurant, bar or cafe itself. This is because potential customers are using search engines and customer review sites to find places to eat and spend their hard earn money. This is great for the customer, but has also helped to create a very competitive market place for foodservice operators.
You see, as potential customers view your business online they will also see your competitors. They will also see if your competitors are selling similar menu items as you, at what price point and even their hours of operations will be posted.
With these search tools and review sites helping customers locate potential places to spend their money, It is very important that customers can identify what makes your restaurant, bar or café different. This is called brand differentiation, and should be at the top of your online and in-house marketing strategies.
What is brand differentiation?
Brand differentiation is: What you offer that sets you apart from your competitors. Differentiation gives added value to your restaurant, bar or café, thus making you much more appealing to potential customers.
Brand differentiation is not: Telling customers that you “sell the best burger in town”. This will not help to differentiate you from your competitors, who may also have burgers on their menu; as this is based on taste and taste differ from person to person.
How to differentiate yourself online
First you must know what your competitors are offering, then offer something that will set you apart from your competitors. Need inspiration? Here.
For example if you are a coffee shop you should advertise where the coffee comes from, is it fair-trade? Maybe you import your coffee from a sustainable farm. If so let it be known online and the in-house marketing should highlight those key aspects.
Proudly voicing that each coffee purchase helps a community will look favourable to your customers as they will know that their coffee purchases aide in helping sustainable communities.
Also, does your café make is own baked goods and snacks onsite? What ingredients do you use and what are the benefits to your customers?
Where should I start my online campaign?
Firstly, a website is a great way to get your business seen by potential online customers. A website is also great for expressing the fine qualities of any restaurant, bar or cafe online. Below I have also listed a few sites I feel work the best for foodservice operators. They will never replace your own company website, but they will help you with SEO, and get you some visibility from your target audience.
Twitter: Great for posting menu specials, promotions and other creatives in your online marketing campaign.
Facebook: Great for gauging customers interaction as customers can report when they have checked in to your restaurant. It is also great for posting menu and other creatives as well.
Instagram: Another great site for posting menu and online marketing creative.
LinkedIn: A great platform if you are a chef and restaurateur.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
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