We’re honored to guest blog again for Lendio! It’s flattering when your online hosts invite you back — perhaps because we don’t double dip at parties?Speaking of food, we know a big, ahem, slice of small business PR goes to the restaurant industry. Particularly in big cities, it’s extremely hard for a new restaurant to generate and sustain enough chatter to drive more business through the doors. To overcome these hurdles, here are some quick small business PR tips to get the word out to hungry diners:
You do the cooking, the city does the party planning
In other words, every city has some sort of festival, parade, expo, “big time of year” or other similar event. As the restaurant owner or chef, ask yourself what your business is doing to capitalize on this firm publicity foundation? Tie in a special menu, item, or other specific promotion to ride the coattails of existing media narratives.
Don’t get lost in the mix
To add to the above point, don’t get lulled into thinking that any one event is going to generate sufficient ongoing buzz. For example, here in Washington we have Restaurant Week, a great way for establishments to pick up foot traffic and perhaps get profiled for their unique offerings. Well, guess what? You ain’t the only one offering specials (in DC there are over 200 participants), so remember not to get lazy or complacent in media outreach efforts.
It’s not all about the food
Learn to embrace tech trends, such as Square’s new payment technology specifically geared for restaurants. Of course it’s great if it makes business sense to evolve your payment system, but the fact that your new eatery adopts this new technology is newsworthy itself. Always promote every unique aspect of your restaurant — not just what’s in the kitchen.
Listen to the masses
It’s hard enough to drive traffic to your Facebook page, even harder to get meaningful participation from page fans. A great way to interact would be using Facebook polls to have input on menus, dishes, hours, or just about any other aspect of your business. A sprinkle of social media savvy goes a long way to making diners happy.
About the author
Bobby Zafarnia is president of Praecere, and a seasoned communications specialist and attorney who has counseled Fortune 100 companies, Members of Congress, heads of state, global nonprofits, and small businesses. He has advised clients in global telecommunications; international trade; international defense; corporate and finance; political elections; and advised on widely-known brand products/services. Praecere provides professional services in branding, social media, public relations, and crisis management. You may reach him at [email protected], and follow Praecere at twitter.com/praecere.