As well as great food, telling the story of your restaurant is essential for building a loyal and engaged customer base. Storytelling works because your customers love to know what makes brands and restaurants human and real.
The Story Behind Your Restaurant Is Everything
It might seem a strange thing to say for a restaurant, but your customers aren’t just interested in your food. They want to know your history, why you started your restaurant, what your values are and what your vision is. A great menu and a beautifully decorated restaurant are obviously important, but sharing your restaurant’s story is effective, adding some marketing magic to your mix. Your restaurant’s story is what makes you unique.
Storytelling creates an instant emotional and engaging connection with your customers. Customers resonate with a great story and having one makes it easier to develop strong marketing campaigns through social media channels so it’s important to get it right.
How to Find Your Restaurant’s Story
Here are some points to get started:
Begin at the Beginning. Your customers want to feel part of your journey, so start at the beginning. Share the key moment you knew you wanted to open your restaurant and why. Were you inspired by anyone in your life, or did you have a lightbulb moment? Sharing all these parts of your story, including highlights and any low points is important to create an authentic connection with your customers.
Share your values. Your motivation, passion and vision for your restaurant will make your brand stand out and give your customers something to connect and resonate with that's real. Whether you’re passionate about one specific cuisine or bringing a new and exciting dining experience to your town, make sure people know about it.
Know your audience. It’s basic marketing, but knowing just who your ideal customer is will help you tell a story in the way your customers will want to hear. You’ll create genuine engagement, connection and loyalty, so knowing who you’re speaking to is essential to make your storytelling as effective as possible.
Have real people in your story. Customers always want to know the real story and the real people that make a restaurant work. Humanize your restaurant. Share insights about your team, introduce them to your chef, bar staff and waiters. Go behind the scenes with your suppliers to share their (and your) passion for great ingredients.
Tell Your Story So it Stands Out
So you’ve written your unique and genuine story, including a great beginning and real people. Now it’s time to use that connection, authenticity and engagement to sell your restaurant and boost visibility.
Shout your story on social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs thrive on good stories. Using social media is a great way to connect your followers with your brand, constantly creating genuine content that engages and develops your values for your customer base. Use Instagram to share behind the scenes moments with your team, highlight any great moments in your story and create images.
Market yourself by pitching your story. Be proud of your story and pitch it everywhere you can. Make your story front and center on your website, share it to blogs, pitch it to newspapers and magazines.
Video is a great storytelling tool. Video on Facebook, your website or through Instagram Live or Stories is a great way to tell and develop strands of your story. Video instantly gives your story a real, human edge, so use it to continue to humanize your restaurant brand to your customer base. Share some throwback footage of when you started out, some video of your staff getting ready for service or some clips of your stand out menu or food passion. People will love it.
Understand your call to action. What do you want people to do after you’ve shared your story with them? Do you want to get more restaurant bookings, or increase connections and engagement on social media? Developing your story with clear call to actions each time you share it is vital for successful marketing, so take the time to think about what outcome you want each time you share your story.
Be clear on your story before you open. Being clear on your story before your restaurant opens is important. It will make sure you can create a consistent message and strengthen your marketing efforts.
Storytelling Will Work for Your Restaurant
Sharing a strong and genuine story is one key to successfully marketing your restaurant, so take time to tell your story well. Your unique story will give you an authentic connection to your customers, creating a loyal base which will drive your restaurant’s success.