This year is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone, right? If you haven’t harnessed TikTok to promote your brand yet, it may be worth your while. Restaurant Business says TikTok is among the most downloaded mobile apps in the world, with about 800 million active users around the world. It can be especially effective at targeting Gen Z consumers and the simple, quirky videos it allows users to make can help a brand create the kind of content that goes viral. Case in point: Chipotle’s recent TikTok video showing a montage of people mispronouncing the brand’s name has generated millions of views.
“More reviews equal more success.” That’s what restaurant consultant and coach Ryan Gromfin told FSR Magazine recently, adding that operators need some kind of well thought-out system for generating reviews – whether it’s a simple reminder on a guest check, or better yet, a text or email reminder that is automatically sent after a visit. What kind of structure do you have in place? At a time when consumers are heavily researching their dining options online, ironing out any weak spots in your feedback loop can give your business a much-needed boost. First, make sure your business has an updated profile on the main review sites including Yelp, Google and OpenTable. Next, ask and you shall receive: Post a request for reviews on your website, social media channels and on table cards if you have a dining room. If you can, use an automated system for requesting reviews electronically – if a guest receives a prompt on their phone that includes a link to where they can post a review, you make it easy and quick for them to help. (If you offer them loyalty points or another incentive for taking the time to share their thoughts about you, all the better.) If you get a less-than-positive review, make sure you respond professionally and helpfully – a quality response to a negative review can neutralize it. Promote your positive reviews as testimonials on your website and social media.
A recent Kantar survey of 25,000 consumers in 30 markets found that as the pandemic has persisted, web browsing has increased 70 percent and social media engagement has increased 61 percent over normal rates of usage. As a result, you should consider your primary storefront to be your website and the other channels that comprise your online presence – including social media networks, online business directories and review sites. If you have longtime, loyal customers, how seamless is it for them to place a takeout order with you online? Do you have readily accessible information about their past orders – and are they earning rewards for their repeat business? If they recommend you to a friend and that friend searches for you online, will the person find accurate information about your hours and menu? Are there quality images of your food on your website and social media accounts? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never visited your restaurant and discovers you online – or better yet, ask a new acquaintance to research your restaurant online and provide feedback. What impression do you give them?