7 Facebook Tricks Your Agency Won’t Tell You!

You might have tried every trick in the book, but if you’re still not gaining new followers on Facebook, you’ve really got to rethink your current strategy. Showcasing your dishes, restaurant interiors and broadcasting events are some of the most common tactics, but you really need to go beyond these basic practices to stand out.

Share 360 Degree Photos & Videos

Showcasing your restaurant through interior shots is now passé. The new trend is to put up short videos of your restaurant as the cover image or to have a 360 degree image of the restaurant. All you need to do is; use a 360-degree camera to capture a panorama photo and then upload it as a regular image. Facebook’s algorithm would automatically convert your image into an interactive one.

Get Table Reservations Straight From Your Page!

It’s time to upgrade your “Call Now” button on your Facebook page to a “Book Now” one! Some reservation management systems, like inResto, can now put a Booking widget on your Facebook page, through which your followers can reserve their tables. All those reservations can then be tracked and managed through the inResto app. If the bookings reflecting on inResto are unattended, we’ve have our concierge team to take care of them too. As of now, we’ve powered Facebook booking widgets for over 400 restaurants.

Go Live!

Whether you’re sharing a sneak peak of your kitchen or your chef talking about your signature dish, live videos on Facebook get a much larger viewership as compared to normal photos and videos. In case of live videos you can add tailor-made filters, get live reactions from viewers, share it in a group or event besides much more. It’s a really good medium to share your brand’s personality. You can also make a very professional live video using Facebook API.

Ride the Trend

Recently, the liquid nitrogen fiasco in Sector 29, Gurgaon, India, was all over the news, and anybody who talked about the matter would get noticed. So, major news in the F&B industry or even simple topics like National Egg Day or National Whiskey Day could get you eyeballs if you tried a small engaging activity around it. It could be something as simple as a post, sharing a recipe or promoting a special dish available at your restaurant.

Share A Recipe

Offering an interesting cooking tip or an easy recipe could also hook your followers to your page. You needn’t spill the beans on your signature dish, but even if your chef gives a recipe of “How to make pancakes in 5 minutes” or DIY tacos, it would keep the ball rolling. All you need to do is give them something distinct, delightful and useful. Pro tip: The more decadent the food, the better.

Go Behind The Scenes

Flaunt your staff and chef to your audience through Facebook in different ways. You can shoot a short video of your signature dish being prepared or give a snippet of your daily kitchen regime. It portrays that you’re transparent and have a dedicated team behind your restaurant’s success.

Target & Retarget Diners Through Ads

Running facebook ads won’t be any good until you’re targeting the right audience. Facebook allows you to create your very own custom audience based on locations, age groups, interests, etc. You can also run special campaigns to retarget users who’ve visited your page. This is a great way of creating recall and if your offer or creative is catchy enough, users who’ve shown interest before would definitely pay you a visit!

If you’re apprehensive about what will work, let us tell you how Dineout achieved 6X increase in bookings, 80% lower cost per conversion, 3X increase in return on ad spend and 5X growth in overall diner base. The secret behind our growth was personalization and more importantly understanding at what point customers were turning away. After closely looking at the roadblock and segregating the audience, it was just a matter of conveying a different message to custom audiences as per their needs.

Since Facebook included Dineout’s growth through ads as one of its success stories, we’re proud to say we know what worked for us and how!

Apart from these hacks, if you post interesting content, engage your followers via quizzes and giveaways, and respond to all comments, you’re already on top of the basic tactics!

6 Important Lessons All New Restauranteurs Must Learn

Exploring business opportunities in the restaurant industry is a big challenge for every entrepreneur or, as we like to call them, restauranteurs. With increasing competition in the food and beverages industry, opening a restaurant can be a roller-coaster ride unless you are well prepared. It’s no surprise that a number of restaurant start-ups close down after the first few months. Why, then, would anyone even dare to start a restaurant?  

In this blog, we will look at some of the factors that can save an entrepreneur from facing an early closure of his restaurant business. There are various factors that are not in control of the owner, but by avoiding these common mistakes one can increase their chances of success!

Accurately estimating funding and start-up costs

It’s a real struggle to get traditional bank financing for a restaurant start-up. It has forced entrepreneurs to look for other funding sources. A proper financial analysis to budget the initial capital and operating costs is a must. It’s best to overestimate the initial costs and be prepared for higher costs than originally planned. According to Strategic Hospitality Advisor, Rifaquat Ali Khan Mirza, restaurant owners “need to have a realistic expectation of expenses and profits over time. They need to plan out their finances more specifically.”

Location!

If the real estate dealer’s mantra is “Location, location, location”, so it must be for restaurateurs as well! A restaurant’s visibility and its ability to attract the target audience highly depends on its location. Many restaurant owners settle for a location that’s slightly off the beaten path just because of lower rent and end up losing their potential customers. “Make sure your location is the ideal balance of cost effectiveness and great visibility for your target audience”, says Rifaquat.

Investing in social media

The internet is one of the most influential tools for businesses to use, especially restaurants. Research says restaurants are one of the most searched industries online. Hence, the reason to start creating a powerful online presence is quite obvious  –  that’s where your customers are! Running paid promotions and campaigns, addressing complaints and having conversations on social media are all tremendously important to build enduring relationships with your customers.

Keep an updated menu system

Many restaurant start-ups go through stagnant or dwindling sales in the first few months. That’s when it’s essential to check your menu for outdated dishes and understanding what’s driving your customers’ taste buds. Having a robust feedback system from the beginning will go a long way at this stage. In times like these, it’s wise to consider investing in a POS system having integrated management features to help you update your menus and inventory on a regular basis efficiently.

Focus on proper employee training

Unprofessional behaviour and questionable skills of staff members often lead to the loss of many customers and untold revenue. According to Rifaquat “giving top-notch training to all employees minimizes the chances of such problems at the very beginning. Also, give the staff a certain level of autonomy to make decisions that enhance diner experiences, like offering a free drink with compliments of the house or some other value add towards service recovery, without you having to be around.”

Keep track of your inventory and accounts

A majority of restaurant start-ups usually lack a well-organized accounting system that results in mismanagement of resources and wastage of funds. To implement a system that performs with maximum efficiency, you need to track and categorize revenues and expenses of the restaurants accurately. It’s essential to integrate all of these with your inventory and POS systems to have meaningful financial reporting mechanisms to be on top of your numbers at all times.

We all make mistakes, but it’s important to learn from them. If you are planning to open a restaurant or already have one, it’s time to consider these points as a checklist to increase your chances of success. There are a lot more points to be discussed on this topic, so watch this space for future articles.