4 Reasons a Social Media Strategy is Vital to Your Restaurant

4 Reasons a Social Media Strategy is Vital to Your Restaurant

When marketing your restaurant, you may treat social media as an afterthought. After all, does having a Facebook page or Pinterest account really matter when it comes to attracting new guests?

In short, the answer is a clear yes. Social media, when done correctly, can play a significant part in helping you grow awareness of your restaurant in the area. The key, of course, is to take a strategic approach to marketing. Here are 4 reasons a social media strategy is vital to the success of your restaurant.

1. Reach your audience where they spend their time

Social media has long moved beyond a fad that only a defined audience uses. Today, 78% of the United States population has a social media profile. More than 200 million people hop on Facebook or other networks for almost two hours every day to engage and interact with friends and family.

Through a strategic social media presence, you can become a part of that conversation. By creating relevant content for your target audience, you begin to establish yourself as a resource worth following. Sooner or later, your restaurant becomes a natural part of your guests’ social media feeds anytime they log in.

Through your social media presence, you can share visuals and attract guests to your restaurant.

2. Create a visual presence of your restaurant online

We’re visual beings. Research has long shown that if we have the choice between reading content and viewing the same content in a visual format, we will choose the latter every time. Through social media, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this tendency.

Restaurants have plenty of content to share on a regular basis. Pictures of meals, full dining rooms, desert tables, and outside space on a summer day all lend themselves to making your restaurant look attractive. Through your social media presence, you can share these visuals and attract guests to your restaurant.

3. Allow guests to share their experiences 

A major benefit of social media is in its name. Rather than being limited to a one-way communication channel, Twitter, Instagram, and other networks allow your guests to have a voice and share their thoughts about their experience at your restaurant.

Through a social media presence (and a social listening strategy), you can jump into these conversations and further broaden your reach. Not everything your guests share about your restaurant will be positive. But even for the occasional negative comment, wouldn’t you prefer to know about it and be able to address it?

By their nature, social media networks are more intimate and personal than print ads or other traditional promotions would be.

4. Offer a glimpse behind the scenes

Finally, don’t underestimate another benefit of a social media strategy for your restaurant: it’s ability to go beyond the types of messages that other marketing channels have to offer. By their nature, social media networks are more intimate and personal than print ads or other traditional promotions would be. If you approach social media strategically, you can take advantage of that expectation.

Find out how Sirvo can help your business utilize social media to hire top industry talent.

The most natural way to endear yourself to your audience on social media is to share content that offers a glimpse behind the scenes of your restaurant. Who are your chefs? What’s their favorite meal to cook, and how do they cook it? What does your kitchen actually look like? If your social presence can answer these types of questions, you’re well on your way to executing a strategy that promotes both first-time and return visits to your restaurant.

In short, social media can and should be a core part of your digital efforts. The above-mentioned points are just some of the benefits it offers. As long as you understand both your audience and the medium in which you operate, you can take advantage of its benefits to strategically reach out to potential visitors and grow your restaurant.

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The Potential Positive Impact of Rising Wages in the Hospitality Industry

The Potential Positive Impact of Rising Wages in the Hospitality Industry

With Colorado and other states requiring an increase in wages for hospitality workers and tipped employees, many hospitality workers and managers are worried about the potential ramifications. Will it lead to fewer hires, less staff on hand to take care of customer demands, and fewer hours for existing workers, or will it lead to growth and prosperity within the hospitality industry? Here’s the good news: rising wages in the hospitality industry could turn out to be a good thing.

The Potential Impact of Rising Wages

Rising wages in the hospitality industry isn’t just an issue that impacts hotels and restaurants. It’s an issue that could potentially have a huge economic impact. The growth in wages leads to a number of things:

  • More people who are able to afford luxuries on their current salary
  • Overall economic growth for the United States
  • Fewer people who are unemployed across the United States

Staff wages may make up approximately 44% of the operating budget of many hotels and other hospitality businesses, but that doesn’t mean that an increase in the base wages of their workers will automatically lead to budget problems. Instead, far-sighted hotels and hospitality businesses will embrace the coming change and use it to advance their businesses.

Historically, when wages have increased, the hospitality industry has experienced a greater increase in income than it has lost income due to rising wages.

How to Make the Most of Rising Wages: Short-Term

For many hospitality businesses, a low increase in the price of their services or goods may be sufficient to offset the temporary shortfall that comes from raising employee wages. This can take several forms:

  • Raising the price of rooms across a hotel by a relatively minimal amount.
  • Decreasing the number of services that are covered by a room rental: for example, the on-site gym might require a daily fee.
  • Raising the price of entrees by a small enough amount that it doesn’t impact customer interest, but it does impact the bottom line.

How to Make the Most of Rising Wages: Long-Term

Rising wages in the hospitality industry mean that hospitality workers across the United States now have disposable income. As other industries raise their rates to match, those workers will be spending their money on luxuries that they couldn’t previously afford. This means that they’ll be spending more money in places like hotels and restaurants. Families who previously couldn’t afford to eat out may be able to fit a weekly or monthly trip to a restaurant into their budget, increasing the income of a restaurant. Families who have put off travel or who have been unable to afford regular trips will be able to get out on the road more regularly, which means that hotels will benefit.

Instead, far-sighted hotels and hospitality businesses will embrace the coming change and use it to advance their businesses.

Historically, when wages have increased, the hospitality industry has experienced a greater increase in income than it has lost income due to rising wages. In order to take advantage of this, the hospitality industry can take several key steps:

  • Create packages geared toward individuals who don’t often get to take advantage of vacations and hotel rooms. Offer small luxuries that will make them appreciate your business.
  • Base pricing on what your target market will be able to afford without straining their budget to help them turn to you instead of your competitors.
  • Look for ways to market to your preferred buyer personas to help bring them into your business.

As other states step up to the plate and increase the wages received by hospitality workers, it’s important to note states like California, where they passed similar laws but have experienced growth and prosperity as a result. The increase in wages for hospitality workers doesn’t have to be a headache. Instead, find ways to embrace this key shift in the industry in order to help your business grow and thrive.

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Why Your Restaurant Should Focus on Kids (Hint: To Increase Profits)

Why Your Restaurant Should Focus on Kids (Hint: To Increase Profits)

Want to increase your restaurant’s bottom line?  Consider making your eatery kid-friendly. According to Bloomberg, Americans’ spending on dining out has outpaced their spending on groceries for the first time. This includes parents taking their children out to eat in restaurants. With dining out becoming more popular, catering to families makes financial sense. Kids might not eat as much as adults, but making your restaurant kid-friendly can increase your overall volume.  

Include a Variety of Kids’ Options on the Menu

Recent surveys by the American Culinary Federation show that healthy, locally grown menu items are a top choice when eating in a restaurant. This applies to parents as much as anyone else, particularly when they read news stories about the dangers of childhood obesity. Offering healthy menu items for children does not mean that you have to ditch the hot dogs, French fries and macaroni and cheese, but it does mean that adding items like sliced fruit, whole grain bread, low-fat milk and lean meats are a good idea. Parents are more likely to return to a restaurant where they know that they can feed their kids a delicious healthy meal.

With dining out becoming more popular, catering to families makes financial sense.

Pay Attention to Service

Remember that kids are customers, too. They should not just be an afterthought. Respect all customers, regardless of age. Warmly greet parents with children in tow and give them a larger table so that they have room to store all of their gear. A larger table also gives parents room to move items out of kids’ reach if necessary. If appropriate, ask the parents if their kids would like a high chair or booster seat.

Children, depending on age, want to be treated like adults and appreciate being asked directly what they would like to order. Serve kids’ meals quickly, even if the adult food is not ready. Parents very much appreciate speedy service. Show flexibility when it comes to food items, since many children these days have food allergies. Be ready to offer substitutions and give information about food ingredients if needed.

  • Make sure every bathroom has a changing station. Put a short stool under the sink so that children can stand on it when they wash their hands.
  • Offer an online menu. Parents appreciate knowing what options are available for their kids ahead of time.
  • Have kids-eat-free days. Offer a free child meal for every adult meal purchased. This is a simple way to attract more families.

Ensure that Children Have Plenty to Do 

Children become bored easily and quickly. Ensure that they have plenty to do while waiting for their food to keep them from acting out. Provide child-friendly appetizers, paper tablecloths, coloring books and crayons. Make the menus colorful, entertaining and even interactive. They might have a word search game, a crossword puzzle or a fun worksheet on the back. You can also hand these out to kids and their parents while they wait for a table.

Remember that kids are customers, too.

Consider creating a kids’ corner. It should be a place that is visible from every angle in the restaurant so that parents can see their kids at all times. Add pillows, coloring books, drawing papers, Lego blocks, reading books and other kid favorites to give children a place to play while waiting for their meal. While these areas can often be tedious to manage, they serve as great ways for parents to offer their kids distractions when patience runs short. Rotate the toys out to avoid old ones getting grimy.

Making your restaurant a child-friendly place takes a little work but is worth the effort.  Parents will appreciate it, and children will, too. They might even become lifelong customers.

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Modern Day Job Listing Advice for Hospitality Employers

Modern Day Job Listing Advice for Hospitality Employers

One of the main ideas we emphasize when training new restaurant and hospitality employees is the importance of making a great first impression with guests, but are we living by that same rule when it comes to our hiring practices? Are we making an effort to provide job seekers with that same great first impression?

Most job listings read the same way and it’s hard for job seekers to differentiate one group from the next. With an influx of a new generation of workers, newly arrived residents, and an expanding restaurant market, we need a renewed focus on how we brand and market ourselves to this vast amount of applicants. Here are a few key points that will help make your open listings as attractive as possible.

Be specific about the position

Posting a job for “All Positions” will do you more harm than good. It scares off a lot of potential applicants who see through the guise of posts like these. You may have a need to fill several positions at once, but your typical applicant may fear being pushed into a position in which they will not be happy nor successful.

Stop trying to hire for today and start hiring for tomorrow.

Why is this important? Because you don’t want to invest in a “maybe”, you will be wasting time and money trying to pawn off less attractive positions to applicants who are not interested. Need a Dishwasher? Then create a listing for that specific position, there is someone out there looking for that type of work who has the background you need.

Emphasize your culture

What makes you different than everyone else? Do you throw employee parties a few times a year? Are you a “green” restaurant that that has a good sustainability program? Then say so because job applicants not only want to know these things but these are the aspects that make one job more attractive than the next. You have invested a lot of time creating and fostering that culture, so tell your story and engage the type of individuals you want to work for you.

Learn more about Sirvo’s tools to increase your candidate reach and engagement.

We need to come to one realization above all else, WE ARE COMPETING FOR TALENT. While you may know that your group is the best to work for, job seekers will have no clue unless you market yourself that way.

Focus on compensation & upward mobility

We understand that compensation isn’t always something a company wishes to reveal. No one wants to write an open check to an unknown entity in fear that it may be exploited. However, you should be confident in the incentives that your group offers.

If there are opportunities for advancement and higher pay, advertise that within the job listing. Do you have employees who started as support staff and are now in management? Tell those stories! Paint that picture in your listing and show job seekers that there are ways to move up within your company.

Often times most job listings read the same way and its hard for job seekers to differentiate one group from the next.

Need-based hiring vs. effective hiring

We need to stop trying to put a band-aid on our hiring issues and instead put a long-term plan together. Everyone keeps looking for that quick-fix, meanwhile, labor costs are rising and our turnover rate is through the roof! We need to reevaluate our hiring practices and plan for the future. Stop trying to hire for today and start hiring for tomorrow. It will pay dividends in the future and ultimately save you a lot of headaches and money.

The days of simply saying “Now Hiring Line Cooks” and watching applicants pour in are over. Now it’s time to modernize hiring efforts so that the focus is on retention, and Sirvo can help.

While you may not have taken advantage just yet, online hiring platforms like Sirvo offer employers the tools and reach they need to effectively recruit in this day and age. That said, job listings must speak for themselves and sell job seekers on your company. Need some help? Use our job listing templates to get started. Your new hires are waiting for you, so post your open jobs today! 

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Developing Your HR Strategies for 2017

Developing Your HR Strategies for 2017

With the new year just around the corner, it’s time to review the numbers from the last 12 months, identify where to improve and set goals and expectations for 2017. As you look at this past year, metrics relating to human resources, including hiring, scheduling and the like, will most certainly be under the microscope, as they should be. The hospitality industry as a whole suffered from a 72% turnover rate in 2015 and while numbers haven’t been compiled yet for 2016, we anticipate an increase for a sixth year in a row.

With this in mind, your HR strategies moving forward need to be optimized and that’s why we’re laying out a few of the best digital solutions to help you make this next year a great one for business.

RSI’s goal is to free operators from behind-the-scenes activities, such as payroll and inventory, so that they can focus on their guests and employees. RSI has a variety of digital solutions, HR and otherwise, that can help ensure the success and financial wealth of their clients.

Their HR-related software includes payroll and taxes as well as staff performance and knowledge, which ranges from onboarding and training to HR compliance. RSI’s tools can optimize your staff-related programs so that your customers are satisfied and your cash register full! Check out their restaurant solutions here.

As the name suggests, ZUUS’s software is focused on staff scheduling with the main goal of reducing your customer wait times and driving profit. ZUUS not only provides restaurant and hospitality employers with a staff scheduling tool but does so by incorporating customer and sales demand forecasts for ultimate precision.

ZUUS also includes performance management reporting so you can optimize regardless of business changes. ZUUS can help improve staff morale, reduce staff turnover and maximize revenue. Learn more about their platform here.

HyprLoco is all about personalizing the customer experience by understanding who is in your store in real-time, then providing staff with intelligence so everyone is treated as a regular, whether it’s their first or hundredth visit. HyprLoco’s software analyzes customer data and integrates with your POS systems, mobile apps and digital menu boards enabling team members to provide personalized service from upsell items to promotions.

This not only delivers an exceptional guest experience but also sets your staff up for success and successful employees are happy employees! Find out how HyprLoco can help your HR strategies here.

While RSI, ZUUS and HyprLoco provide solutions for current employee strategies, Sirvo focuses on securing your future employees. With the goal of increasing employee retention and reducing cost per hire, Sirvo provides hospitality-related businesses with intuitive and robust recruitment services.

On the Sirvo platform, hiring teams can post open positions to their media-rich company pages, which are automatically distributed across Sirvo’s partner networks including Indeed, Glassdoor and Zip Recruiter, ensuring your jobs have high visibility. In addition, employers are able to source potential hires by utilizing the search candidates feature, maintain a streamlined process with the applicant tracking system and speed up candidate communication via the messaging hub.

Beyond the app, Sirvo can also turn your website and Facebook page into recruitment tools with a custom career page and Facebook jobs tab add-on. See what Sirvo’s hiring services can do for your restaurant, retail or hospitality business.

Regardless of your specific HR goals for the year ahead, utilizing these software solutions can help your business achieve its bottom line. From hiring and onboarding to scheduling and performance, there is always room for improvement so why not make this upcoming year one in which you optimize your strategies and grow your company!

Learn how Sirvo can help you!

Cut costs and increase employee retention with Sirvo’s tools and services.

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