Picture This… Drive More Traffic To Your Restaurant | Brand Education

All restaurants want to drive more traffic to their restaurant. Picture sharing is where the social media action is this year. So sharing your food and encouraging your customers to share food should be part of your marketing plan to drive traffic. Create the craving with images.

Espresso at The Four Season's Atlanta Georgia

Sure this is not a professionally taken photo that was art directed, stylized or retouched but it sure looks inviting. Doesn’t it?

Why do you think TV works better than radio for restaurants? Because we like to see the food we are going to eat. Until someone comes up with a way for you to smell food across media outlets, restaurants have to create food cravings visually. If you can’t afford TV or you want to mix up your media, consider using social media to share your images. Let’s be honest, your customers are doing it already.

While I certainly value the importance of professional looking food pictures for your website and for advertising purposes, today the timing is more important then the quality. For a restaurant the easiest content to share is pictures of food.

With the increase of mobile and geo-target influenced impulse purchases, social networks with effective mobile apps such as Foursquare, Instagram and Twitter you now have an easier way to fill the empty seats in your restaurant. Those additional tables can be the difference of having an ok week and having a great week. Low cost and high ceiling is a no brainer.

The old saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, since pictures can tell a story about your brand you better start taking and sharing some photos. Here are examples of 4 Businesses Leveraging Storytelling with Images.

How to Drive Traffic? Create the Craving.

Beer and Wings

Someone has been looking for you. What are you waiting for?

Traffic Driver Idea Starters:

  1. Take Pictures of Today’s Special.
  2. Take Pictures of your Chef preparing one of your signature dishes.
  3. Keep It Fresh. Show pictures of fresh ingredients you use in preparation of your meals, drinks and desserts.
  4. Be sure to include a Call-To-Action – “It’s cold outside, stop in for our hot, homemade Tortilla Soup.”
  5. Run an image driven promotion. Advertise the promotion in-store, on your social networks, your website and even use traditional media to spread the word. Be sure to award a prize to the winner, it could be as little as a free appetizer or dessert.

Remember when one of your customers share a picture or “checks-in” to your establishment they are giving an implied endorsement of your product.  So why not encourage them to document the occasion? From pictures of food to drinks, it’s all about being social. Oh, and be sure to respond with a thank you or a follow-up question because social media is about creating relationships.

Where should I place and share my images?

Sushi Rainbow Roll, Spicy Tuna with Wasabi and Ginger garnish

I took this picture in a dark restaurant, sitting at the sushi bar with an iPhone 4. Not the most ideal, or is it?

Be sure you include images in your listings on networks such Urbanspoon, Foursquare, Google+, Yelp, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Be sure to share them with followers as well.

What do you think Facebook’s new Open Graph Search is trying to do? Helping people explore the world through photos, by using simple phrases such as “Photos my friends took of food at Japanese Restaurants” to find out where you should go to satisfy your sushi craving.

Facebook and Starbuck Coffee – A picture perfect relationship is outlined in this post by Kimberly Bordonaro of Brandspiration that she wrote for Steamfeed – The Starbucks Guide To Caffeinating Facebook Content.

135 Million Instagram users account for 45 Million photos shared a day. Yes, those are millions of users and images shared. With a recent partnership as of August 2013, Brands can now share with users specific sales, promotions and events for consumers to take photos of via SnapMyAd. Yup, that means pretty soon restaurant brands might be able to reward fans for sharing photos through a 3rd party app.

How are you using pictures to help drive traffic?

13 Responses to Picture This… Drive More Traffic To Your Restaurant | Brand Education
  1. Lynn Rosenberg

    Nicely written, and well said message.

    • David Schwartz

      Thanks Lynn. Pictures are an easy way to share content.

  2. Lisa Garza

    TV!? Why not post photos of potential menu items, snacks or beverages on a digital or regular billboard. I’m not going to get out of my comfy home or apartment to take action. I think a majority of people decide what they’re going to eat or snack on while they are out of their homes. A digital billboard (which by the way is kind of like outdoor television) would be more my choice. Plus, you can interface a digital billboard with your Facebook or Twitter account and change your ad in minutes. I’m willing to bet the production of a billboard ad is much more cost effective than a television spot…just sayin’.

    • David Schwartz

      I will certainly agree that TV can be costly but for multi-unit concepts with hundreds of location it is still a viable medium. I like your idea about digital boards, my concern with digital boards has and will be the quality of the image. This is same concern I have with newsprint, the variables are too many to control the quality all the time. Until all electronic billboards are calibrated the same way and display on hi-def boards you take the risk that your food will reproduce poorly. The goal is to drive a craving and not to turn off a prospect because the food doesn’t look appetizing. I do like digital boards to drive messaging, especially the ability to rotate and day-part call to actions. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts Lisa.

  3. Lisa Garza

    David, I think you would be pleasantly surprised about a digital billboard display. If the ad design that is provided is high resolution, crisp, clean and clear, the image on the digital will come close enough to entice those hungry, thirsty customers already on the road looking for a place to satisfy them. Thanks for the blog. I’m quite intrigued!

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