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7 Tips To Make Your Hospitality Venue Stand Out From The Crowd

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Getting your restaurant, bar or cafe to stand out from the crowd is hard going these days, but it is imperative and can have a dramatic effect on your business. Social media attention – including professional photography and a high-profile Instagram account, and even from food bloggers – can do a lot for your venue, including increasing patronage, esteem and more importantly ongoing top of mind awareness.

1. Make Your Dishes Insta Worthy

While Facebook still has the higher percentage of users in Australia, Instagram is better for engagement and given it is such a visual platform, is definitely the go-to for consumers when researching a new hospitality venue. Therefore professional photography is key to showcase your venue and dishes. You can hire a professional photographer and do an all-day shoot, with enough content to last you a year if managed well.

Making your food “Insta-worthy” is an important first step. Not only will you be able to market your food better on your venue’s official Instagram, but it will also make diners want to Instagram it – perfect free advertising. It is common now to see a large percentage of diners photograph their dish and Instagram it with your venue tagged.

2. Manage your Platforms and Engage on other People’s Content

It is one thing to post regularly (once a day is optimum), but the other crucial element of managing your social media accounts is to like, comment and share other people’s content. Social media has a like for like element to it, so the more love you give, the more you will receive.

Hashtags are key for Insta so when people are researching a specific element, whether it be venue or cuisine, your venue will be sure to stand out. Managing an Instagram account well takes time and might be worth paying a staff member with a flair for social media a little extra to take ownership and pride in the account.

3. Reach out to Prominent Food Bloggers

Be proactive and reach out to food bloggers, invite them in for a free meal in exchange for exposure on their blogs and pages. While you may have a thousand followers, some high-profile bloggers can have tens of thousands providing extensive reach for little cost.

Blogs allow for richer content like interviews with the owners/head chefs, allowing customers to hear their background story and history behind what has got them to where they are today.

4. Excel in What You Do

It goes without saying, but if you want to draw in reviewers and food bloggers without the legwork, it’s important you are creating a must-visit environment with these 3 key elements;

  • The food and its presentation
  • The atmosphere and ’vibe’ of the venue
  • Most importantly, the service.

5. Invest in paid Instagram Media

Organic content is one thing (posts at no cost), but paid Instagram ads are a cost-effective way to really stand out from the crowd. Instagram has over 1 billion active users worldwide with diverse demographics, behaviours, interests, and habits – making it prime territory for effective advertising.

While Facebook has more users, Instagram is known for its high engagement rates—organically and through paid ads. Images on Instagram receive an average of 23% more engagement than when shared on Facebook. When it comes to organic engagement, brands on Instagram say that they have about 4% of their followers seeing their content compared to the nearly non-existent organic reach that Facebook has today.

While it is better, it’s still wise to pay to play in order to expand your reach and visibility with paid ads. While any form of visual content can perform well, brands typically see more engagement on video ads—about 38% more. As a visual platform, images and videos are powerful in driving more engagement than on other more text-based social platforms.

6. Always Stay On Brand

It is important your Insta feed has consistency with the look and feel of your venue and customers. Every venue has a different design and feel to it, a particular colour palette and brand. Consumers when visiting your Insta feed, will scroll through past pics so it is important to provide a holistic view of your venue, cuisine, and customers.

While consistency is vital, we recommend you mix up the style of your photographs to keep people interested day after day. The photos posted need to look aesthetically pleasing collectively, however perspectives need to vary. For example, birds eye views, flat lay, and differing angles. Don’t be afraid to post comedic memes, but again ensure they remain true to the brand.

Consistency also needs to be achieved by posting regularly, to keep followers engaged. Reposts from well recognised foodies is also a great idea, to increase your credibility and aid in further sharing od content and increased awareness and reach.

7. Remain Current and Keep up with Tech

Hospitality has changed dramatically over the years. While a superior point of sale system will always be the heartbeat of any successful hospitality venue, nowadays it is crucial to keep up with technology and the endless apps available to streamline your business.

Usage of online ordering platforms like Cinch have increased dramatically throughout COVID-19 as venues were forced to pivot quickly to takeaway menus. Order at table functionality like JOMO are also on the rise, allowing venues to increase sales while reduce on waitstaff costs.

If you’re looking for more helpful tips and advice about using social media for your business, check out our epic Marketing Guide for everything you need to know about marketing your hospitality business.