How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Facebook Page

How To Maximize Your Restaurant’s Facebook Page

Facebook is the great gathering place. People spend a lot of time scrolling through their favorite pages and interacting with everyone on their feeds. This is a great opportunity for your restaurant to reach new customers and keep past customers. People are far more likely to eat somewhere that they feel a connection to, and it keeps your brand in people’s minds. The best part, from a marketing point of view, is that you can write one post and have it spread to millions of viewers. Your restaurant’s name can get out there for very cheap this way.

The trick is to make Facebook work for you. After all, no media platform will do you any good if no one reads your work. Here are the basics of getting your page on everyone’s ‘like’ list.

1. Post Frequently

A page that hasn’t had any activity for a long time will lose even dedicated followers. Plus, Facebook’s algorithm puts the pages of recently visited sites on readers’ feeds. If you want your customers to have your posts on their feed, you have to post something new at least once a week. What should you post?

  • Milestones, no matter how small. “We’ve had our 1000th customer today.” “We’ve been open a whole decade now.”
  • Deals that you offer exclusively through your Facebook page. This will get people to hit up your page regularly. You can give discounts to people who ‘like’ your page, or announce 2-for-1 drink deals only on your page.
  • Specials of The Days, with attention given to seasonal items in particular. If you have unusual specialties, post about them.
  • Back of the House photos such as your top chef posing with his knives. Just ask Hollywood how much people love behind-the-scene peeks.

2. Use Facebook Insights

Facebook provides a regular rundown, called Facebook Insights, of the people who are visiting your page. This gives you a lot of data about who you are reaching, which can let you refine your posts and advertisements. Read the demographics carefully and see where you can better match your clientele.

3. Link To Other Social Media

Do you have a Twitter account? Any other type of media account? You can boost the number of people reaching your page by having tabs for your other social media accounts on your Facebook page. It also gives customers a better sense of your corporate culture.

4. Link To Other Pages And Businesses

On a related note, post about and link to related content and businesses. For instance, if you do business with a local farm and the farm has a website, write a post about them and link to their website. Link to their Facebook page, while you are at it. This gives you a better chance of getting the attention of people in your target demographic.

5. Upload Videos

Videos show up well on people’s timelines, and they give you a lot of flexibility to showcase your restaurant. You can post videos of behind-the-scenes footage, talk up your Soup of The Day, or discuss your philosophy as portrayed in your menu.

6. Keep Your Information Updated

Perhaps this goes without saying, but while you post regularly, be sure that your business information is accurate. It’s easy to forget that your contact information, hours of operation, and other important points are listed on your Facebook page, but it can be one of the first ways customers get such information. Keep your business info the same across all outlets.

A good Facebook page can boost your marketing, and restaurants can use all the help they can get in this world. Use these tips to maximize the help you get out of Facebook.

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Need Extra Cash? Pick a Side Job That Complements Your Strengths

Need Extra Cash? Pick a Side Job That Complements Your Strengths

So, you’ve managed to land a position that will give you experience in the restaurant industry. Congrats! Of course starting out, you’re not going to get rich on the salary, but at least you’re getting a start on your resume. So, how can you make a little extra cash, get some broader experience and perhaps develop related skills that will make you stand out? Something that will give you an edge, maybe even expand your career options? Pick up a side job that complements your skills and career goals; here are few ideas to get you started.

Social Media Marketing

Many restaurateurs don’t make the time or have the skill for social media marketing, but no one should underestimate its power in promoting a restaurant and growing a loyal clientele. People like the immediacy of a relationship that social media allows, and there is no better way to get into the food conversation, gain some recognition and stay in customers’ minds on a daily basis.

Do you have a camera and a computer? Develop some basic social media skills, and then offer a package to restaurant owners starting with the one for whom you work. A good starting package includes a manageable number of posts per week on popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also include others like Google+ and Yelp.

This kind of social media setup is easy to maintain.

There are several tools out there with which you can schedule posts in advance and post to multiple social media networks simultaneously. Good ones to check out are Hootsuite and IFTTT.

This kind of social media setup is easy to maintain. All you have to do is let the right people know how important it is for them to engage with social media and show them you have the skills to do it for them. Start your client search with the place you work now, and make them shine!

Blogging

It’s a big deal in the content marketing world these days with 76% of U.S. businesses using it and 77% of those saying they will increase their content marketing in the coming year. Not everyone has writing skills or likes to write, but if you do, you’re in luck!

Help them connect to their customers in a personal and thoughtful way.

You can use your skill and familiarity with the industry to blog on behalf of restaurants in order to establish them in their industry and community and to keep them in the minds of their customers. Write for individual restaurant clients or operate your own restaurant blog library from which restaurant owners can draw for a fee. Help them connect to their customers in a personal and thoughtful way.

Promotional Models/Brand Ambassadors

Do you like to talk with people? Are you reliable, outgoing and energetic? As a brand ambassador, you’ll have an opportunity to really use and develop those people skills! Usually, brand ambassadors work through agencies that pair them up with companies needing representatives for their brand at an event. The agency provides training based on the company’s instructions.

A promotional model is a specialized version of a brand ambassador. Suppose a company requests all red heads 15-20 years old to represent them. If you fill the bill and are called up, you’ll probably make a little more money because you’re harder to find!

As either a brand ambassador or a promotional model, though, you’ll get to meet people and polish up your persuasion arts, always a good thing.

Develop some unique skills through side hustles that will make you indispensable.

So if you’re headed for the stars in the restaurant industry but need to make some extra money now, develop some unique skills through side hustles that will make you indispensable in your current environment right here on earth. And who knows? If things change, as they often do, you might just find another whole universe of stars in one of these side hustles. 

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Hotels: A Great Place to Start or Advance Your Career

Hotels: A Great Place to Start or Advance Your Career

If you’re interested in a career in the hospitality industry, a hotel is an excellent place to start. There is a very wide range of entry-level positions that can lead to mid/upper level professional positions. Let’s take a look at the general entry-level jobs available and the possible paths of advancement that each one offers.

Desk Clerk

A hotel desk clerk works a basic, fairly low-impact customer service position that isn’t difficult to get into. Some hotels may ask for prior related hospitality experience or a high school diploma. Very rarely do hotels require any higher education or formal training.

This is a very good position to advance into management as you’ll rapidly learn the hotel’s day-to-day operations. If you’re considering pursuing a career in accounting, another interesting branch is to work as a night auditor. This overnight job retains the functions of the front desk clerk, but with less incoming traffic during the shift, the rest of the time is spent preparing the daily revenue and room occupancy reports.

Hotels have a wide variety of departments…

Administrative Assistant

Hotels have a wide variety of departments in which they require administrative assistants; accounting, development, human resources, legal, marketing, etc. This is yet another area that enables you to quickly learn about day-to-day operations and has room for advancement to a variety of other departments.

Depending on the complexity of the job, the educational requirement for an administrative assistant may be anything from a high school diploma to a related bachelor’s degree. It is a job that can potentially be obtained without prior experience.

Accounting

Accounting work doesn’t differ much in a hotel from what is done pretty much everywhere else; hotel accountants will process financial data, prepare regular reports, manage payroll and conduct audits among other duties. Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well. Duties can expand to working with investments, strategic initiatives and business case recommendations.

Opportunities exist not just at individual hotels, but at the corporate offices of chains as well…

Areas to potentially move up include real estate, the supply chain and management of individual hotel locations or regions. These positions will usually require a degree, but there are plenty of entry-level opportunities for new graduates.

Marketing

Marketing is another area in which jobs are available both at the independent and corporate level. Opportunities are particularly rich for those who speak another language and have a deep understanding of cultures that a hotel brand is expanding into.

This position requires a degree, but a wide range of communications, psychology or social studies bachelor’s degrees are often sufficient to secure an entry-level position.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel.

Food Service

Most of the world’s top chefs pass through a hotel or resort at one point or another in their careers. This is a great breeding ground for chefs looking to learn traditional cooking techniques.

There are plenty of opportunities to advance in a hotel kitchen and often all it takes is a little luck and timing. Craft your trade, learn from those around you, play your cards right and you may become the next executive chef.

A lot of people do not always look to hotels as having a plethora of professional opportunities. Hopefully, this blog has opened your eyes to some of the paths forward as you look to develop professionally. Regardless of what career path calls out to you, a series of hotel positions always looks great on a resume.

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18 Marketing Ideas to Bring More Customers to Your Restaurant

18 Marketing Ideas to Bring More Customers to Your Restaurant

With sales on the rise, restaurants are expecting to see an influx in business. To make sure some of those customers visit your restaurant, you’ll need to hone your marketing skills. Advertising isn’t always cheap, so here are some inexpensive marketing ideas to use instead.

1. Sponsor a local team

There’s a lot you can do on the local level to get word out about your restaurant. To start, consider sponsoring a local team, whether it’s adult volleyball or kid’s hockey. The team could be named after your business or, if they’re already established, your logo could be added to their uniforms and equipment.

Not only will this increase exposure, but you’ll also be supporting your community. And if you’re really crafty, make sure to offer drink specials or happy hour on the day of the week they play so they’ll celebrate their wins with you after the game.

2. Join the local Chamber of Commerce

Pretty much every community has a chamber of commerce that promotes local businesses. Joining it will expand your network as well as open the doors for catering or hosting chamber events.

If your restaurant has just opened its doors, a grand opening is a great way to generate publicity.

3. Donate to charities

With a little searching, you’ll find local charities that might be willing to team up with your restaurant. You could provide food for the organization’s events or schedule your employees to volunteer. If that’s too big of a commitment, donating to smaller fundraisers accomplishes the same end.

4. Have a grand opening

If your restaurant has just opened its doors, a grand opening is a great way to generate publicity. You might offer some sort of special, like a deal on a sampler dish, to encourage visitors to try several foods.

5. Host a holiday party

Make plans to decorate and host a dinner party during an upcoming holiday or event. You can even create a theme centered on local culture or a popular television show just for the fun of it.

Occasionally bringing in local musical talent is a surefire way to entertain your customers.

6. Hold a customer appreciation dinner

This will get the message across that you appreciate the support of your guests. Again, try offering deals on various foods and drinks.

7. Offer live music

Everyone loves dinner and a show. Occasionally bringing in local musical talent is a surefire way to entertain your customers. Include the community by asking them to vote for the next performer on your social media pages.

8. Twitter

Twitter is a good platform for those who are new to social media advertising. It offers ad options that are simple to understand, and users can select a target audience and budget that works for them.

9. Facebook

Facebook ads also allow users to set a target audience and budget, but they can seem a bit more complicated because there are more options to choose from. So designate someone who understands social media marketing to put together some ads for a particular demographic.

Write up a press release and send it to local media whenever you’re hosting an event or teaming up with another organization.

10. Email marketing

You may feel like you’d be spamming your customers this way, but don’t underestimate its reach. Collect emails wherever you can on a sign-up sheet or through your website. The emails can be discounts on specific items and holiday deals, and they can also include invitations to events where you’ll be catering or hosting.

11. Yelp

This is a popular online directory for restaurants because of its review system. It provides potential customers with business information as well as offer a venue to leave reviews and feedback.

12. Restavista

Restavista is a directory that allows customers to find restaurants in the area based on their specific needs, whether its dietary or they just have a craving for a specific food.

13. Foursquare

This is kind of like the “check-in” option on Facebook. By having an account, your guests can check-in while they eat. This info is shared with their connections and extends exposure to those who otherwise would be unaware of your establishment.

By establishing your social media presence on social media channels, you help your business get a better online exposition and spread the word about your restaurant among users.

14. Whitepages

Yes, these still exist. Having a Whitepages account offers information about your restaurant, but there’s no rating or review option. Think of it as an electronic phone book listing that people can access it from their mobile devices.

15. Write a press release

Write up a press release and send it to local media whenever you’re hosting an event or teaming up with another organization. Make sure it’s sent directly to the reporter or their assignment editor so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

16. Sign up for HARO

“Help a Reporter Out” is a way to get media attention outside your community. Those who sign up receive daily emails on upcoming news stories that need sources. When one pops up that’s relevant to your restaurant, contact the reporter. It may lead to an interview that will increase exposure for your business.

17. Contact reporters with your opinions

Reporters often search for local angles on a story. If, for example, the city is changing liquor license requirements and you have an opinion about its impact on the restaurant sector, reach out to local media and tell them what you think. Who knows – you just might land the lead story.

18. Get found on Google

Last, but not least, make sure your business address is set up correctly on Google. You will need to create or claim your Google for Business Page. Make sure ALL the information is filled out wherever you can, including phone number and website. Test to make sure your restaurant shows up by searching for it in Google Maps or Waze on your phone.

Happy Marketing!

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Lessons from Las Vegas

Lessons from Las Vegas

In the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s important to refresh yourself and your staff on the best practices that have been in place for many years.

read more

Experience Sirvo for yourself

Sign up now to find hospitality jobs and hire top industry talent.