How to Turn Your Restaurant Employees Into Brand Advocates

The restaurant industry is hectic and laden with cut throat competition, which is why standing out in the crowd is so important to the success and longevity of any restaurateur’s business.

One marketing channel that may have flown under your nose is a simple one that lies within your very own walls—your employees.

Turning employees into brand advocates for your restaurant and having them share positive, authentic messages can help you gain more exposure and customers. By prioritizing employee advocacy, you can form the narrative for your restaurant that shows it in the best possible light and grow your reputation in the industry.

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Benefits of Employee Brand Advocacy

While you may run your own social media channels, having your employees become brand advocates has several benefits.

Your employees offer a wealth of networks that can help you reach a more diverse and expansive audience. Research by PostBeyond, an employee advocacy company, and Golfdale Consulting showed that messages sent by employees rather than the restaurant’s social channels reached 561% more eyes.

Content shared by employees also will come across as more authentic and natural, rather than promotional, which will increase trust and engagement. PostBeyond’s research found that messages related to your brand from restaurant employees were reshared 24 times more than those shared by the restaurant.

That extended reach and engagement when employees advocate for your brand can ultimately benefit sales. SocialChorus, an employee communications software company, found that a 12% increase in brand advocacy can double revenue growth.

Plus, brand advocacy doesn’t cost anything, making it a low investment, high reward option for marketing.

How to Increase Employee Brand Advocacy

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Employee brand advocacy has many rewards, but how does one achieve it? Here are the steps any restaurant can take to leverage evangelism marketing with staff.

1. Have a clear brand to advocate

The first step to creating brand advocacy is to have a brand for employees to advocate. Take time to set values and a clear mission for your restaurant, which will give your employees something they can believe in and want to advocate themselves.

When you set your mission and goals, it helps create a cohesive company culture that your employees can feel like a part of.

2. Get employees involved

The next step is to set this culture into motion and get your employees involved.

Start on the right foot with your employees with excellent onboarding and training. After you hire a new employee, don’t kill the energy from the interview process by first handing them a huge handbook. Instead, bring them into the fold with a fun onboarding process.

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This could include showing a funny or engaging video that makes your place look special, cross-training your new hires so they have a chance to meet all the staff and gain in depth knowledge of your restaurant’s inner workings, and providing a meal on-the-house at the end of their first day—including a few free drinks.

Onboarding sets the tone for your employees’ whole experience, so don’t skimp—your generosity will pay dividends later.

3. Treat your employees like the rockstars they are

Once an employee has entered your company culture, then it is up to you to treat them like a rockstar to increase their work engagement. Offer rewards for when they do a good job, have regular meetings and checkups to make sure no anger is brewing in the background, and try to really get to know your staff and their dreams so you can help them along the way. Show that you care about their goals by offering mentorship and opportunities for career advancement.

4. Use tech to improve employee satisfaction

Use scheduling software such as 7shifts so employees can easily trade shifts and have a central place for work communication to also aid your employee satisfaction at your restaurant.

When your employees are proud of where they work, and have good relationships with restaurant leadership, then they will be more willing to share that enthusiasm in authentic social media posts. Creating positive employee relationships by leveraging technology and strategies to streamline restaurant staff communication between your managers and team members is a good place to start!

How to Promote Brand Advocacy

Now that your employees are happy working at your restaurant and actually want to share the love with others, the next step is to encourage brand advocacy on social media.

Here’s how to make your business social media-worthy:

1. Employee Events

Consider throwing a few events each year for your employees to be able to mingle and have some fun. Hosting a company-sponsored event for the staff’s benefit will make employees want to whip out their phones and start sharing. Event ideas can include bringing a mascot or special guest, or hosting a themed gathering, like go-karting or karaoke.

2. Restaurant Design

full restaurant view from outside of window

Social media-friendly attractions in your restaurant are also a good way to get employees sharing. Instagram-worthy photo op areas have been popular for some time now, and don’t show any signs of going out of style.

Assets to incorporate into your overall design may include a neon sign with a unique message, a photo booth, or food competitions at your establishment.

3. Branded Hashtags

Even if your staff members are posting about your restaurant, it won’t mean much if they don’t include the right hashtags. Bring your staff into the social media fold by encouraging not just posts, but including certain hashtags and tagging your restaurant’s handle. Ask employees to follow the restaurant’s social accounts so they can share any news they find exciting. If you have a social media manager, make them the point person for staff to ask questions.

4. Menu Links

When your staff posts about the food at your establishment, make sure they know about an online menu, which can easily be set up with SinglePlatform. They can then include a link to the menu in their posts.

It might not be necessary to have an enforced social media policy, but a little guidance can help you get the most from your staff’s posts.

Conclusion & Takeaways

waiter in an empty restaurant carrying a tray

Employee brand advocacy has a lot of benefits, but it is not something that can be too heavily directed. It must come naturally from an inviting company culture and a mission your staff feels part of. From there, providing ample opportunities for them to get great content, and a slight nudge on social media best practices will allow you to get the most out of their shares. You’ll soon find you won’t have to do much for them to spread the message of your restaurant – and all for free!

If you focus on building a great company culture, and give your staff the right channels to share it, then the results will flow in!

5 Kinds of Apps to Consider for Your Bar or Restaurant

Whether you’re looking to switch things up for your restaurant or you’re looking to take your workflow to the next level, using an apps can only be an assistance in your operations.

There are a number of uses for apps in today’s food service industry. But finding the correct apps can make for a tough time.

When it comes to really improving your restaurant’s workflow, your operations management, and your customer service, there are some apps that really come in handy, like:

  1. Social Media/Website Apps
  2. Messaging Apps
  3. POS Apps
  4. Event Management Apps
  5. Dining and Nutrition Apps

So let’s get started on seeing how these apps can add some extra spice to your restaurant’s daily management and operations.

1. Social Media/Website Apps

group of freinds on social media

Using social media and other online tools to your advantage will improve your management abilities significantly, from both a marketing and an operations perspective.

If using social media/website apps is what you’re interested in for your restaurant, you should take the opportunity to:

  • Film videos. Using social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook to take videos of your restaurant and its environment is an effective marketing technique that brings more customers to your business. Make sure to film your restaurant at peak hours or to film during promotional events to convey the excitement and vibe of your restaurant correctly to your viewers.
  • Pick the right social media platforms. Sometimes Twitter might be useful for your restaurant, and sometimes Instagram might be the right way to go. Consider what your restaurant needs at that particular time and make the decision based on your thoughtful assessment. A platform like Instagram might be more useful for taking videos and photographs while a platform like Twitter might help more in informing your customers on the day-to-day happenings in your restaurant.
  • Use WordPress plugins. Using the right WordPress plugins and apps means you can manage your restaurant’s website. This can be especially helpful for restaurants that conduct staff and order management through their website, as some apps can improve functionality through those platforms .Even using wordpress ecommerce plugins can help your restaurant’s management capabilities.

Using social media or other website apps like this can be extremely effective when trying to improve your restaurant’s marketing. Don’t wait to use them!

Communication between customers and staff plays a major part in your restaurant’s operations, including booking and management.

2. Messaging Apps

woman on smartphone texting

Messaging apps not only make the booking process more efficient, they also do wonders to increase customer satisfaction.

While messaging apps can’t necessarily be integrated with a bar pos system or a restaurant point-of-sale system, they work very well when they’re both a part of the same workflow.

There are a number of problems and activities that a messaging app can help your restaurant with. For example, it can help you:

  • Retain your customers. Messaging apps are fun and convenient for customers to use and take away a lot of the headaches involved in booking a table. This means that having a messaging app as a part of your restaurant’s workflow and booking process will be greatly appreciated by both customers and staff alike. Plus there are plenty of messaging apps that are easy to use.
  • Promote your restaurant’s deals. Once your customers have decided to use the messaging app, you can promote your restaurant’s deals with the app itself. Most customers enjoy being informed of great deals and promotion nights from their favorite nights.
  • Manage booking and reservations. The prime purpose of messaging apps is to make the booking and reservation process easier. Nothing is more frustrating for a restaurant manager than an error made during the booking process. Messaging apps eliminate the possibility for these kinds of mistakes by opening up a clearer path of communication between the management, the host, and the customer.

A messaging app can help your restaurant out with any of these major tasks. Give it a shot, and watch your restaurant’s workflow and efficiency improve in no time.

3. POS (Point-of-Sale) Apps

crowded coffee shop with employees and customers

POS systems and the apps they use can be a big help when it comes to restaurant management, especially when looking at ways to run your restaurant’s operations more effectively.

Curious about how a POS system and its app can help out your bar or restaurant? Remember that with a point-of-sale system and its app, you can:

  • Employ mobile POS management. Modern point-of-sale systems can be used from mobile locations for on-the-go restaurant management. POS systems with mobile kiosks, especially, are helpful in this situation and can accommodate a variety of unique food service situations. Food trucks and smaller food stands will value this kind of flexibility in their highly mobile service environments.
  • Track customer and restaurant data. Point-of-sale systems can keep great track of customer trends and restaurant management statistics, allowing you to spend time on your day-to-day operations while your POS system collects data that can improve your management and marketing strategies. Information like this can improve customer service and restaurant workflow in one pass.

Try out these ideas when you’re looking for ways to expand your POS usage. They can be a great help to any restaurant in need.

4. Event Management Apps

waitress setting up a table for a party

While underestimated in the restaurant industry, event management apps can come in handy if your restaurant is a pinch for organizing promotions or special-themed nights.

In case you’re at a loss about how event management apps can help your restaurant management, keep in mind that you can:

  • Work with local organizations. There are always local organizations that would love to hold their fundraiser or team-building night at your restaurant. Whether it’s a local sports team or a friendly charity, these organizations usually are in need of sponsors and hosts, and that means more customers for your restaurant.  Having an event-management app on hand means you can organize these situations easily and not have to change around your restaurant’s workflow too much.
  • Find alternatives to Eventbrite. While Eventbrite is a popular tool for organizing events, there are a number of software and app-based alternatives to eventbrite that could more directly address your restaurant’s needs. Maybe your event has tickets or is with a specialized nonprofit organization, and eventbrite won’t cut it. If that’s the case, check out Fonteva’s article on eventbrite alternatives to get started.

Follow suggestions to combine your event management and restaurant management skills into one great strategy, and you should be having no problem throwing great events at your restaurant.

5. Dining and Nutrition Apps

person on smartphone looking at a nutrition app while eating cake

Dieting and nutrition apps are constantly being developed that could help put your restaurant on the map.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a pizza restaurant or serving gourmet french food, you can work with these apps to improve your restaurant marketing and your management skills.

If you need some ways to use these dining and nutrition apps, don’t forget that you can always:

  • Advertise your dietary specialties. Some restaurant and nutrition apps keep track of the dietary restrictions or specialities found in each restaurant. If your restaurant offers vegan food or follows kosher restrictions, these apps can be a great aid in attracting specialty customers to your restaurant, especially if those customers are few and far between sometimes.
  • Get customer feedback. Some of these nutrition and dining apps allow for customers reviews and feedback to given. You can use this feedback to improve your restaurant’s service and workflow, and if the review is especially positive you could even ask to publish it on your restaurant’s website.
  • Spot special marketing opportunities for diets. With keto and paleo diets becoming mainstays in the nutritional world, some restaurants are taking this opportunity to adjust to the trends and offer meals specifically oriented towards these diets. If your restaurant is one of those, then you can indicate that on dieting and dining apps to make sure that your customers are well-informed.

Use these tips whenever you’re looking to expand your restaurant’s online presence into the wonderful world of dining and nutrition apps.

In Closing

flat lay of people eating dinner burgers and fries

The world of apps and restaurant management might make an unlikely pairing, but when you choose the right apps for your restaurant operations, it can make all the difference.

All of these apps can be instrumental in upgrading your restaurant management skills or in changing up your restaurant’s service style. Take advantage of them and watch the results happen in no time.

9 Tips to Write Engaging Restaurant Blog Posts that Increase Sales

Blogs can be a powerful marketing tool for a restaurant. We talk about them in our Content Marketing 101 blog as well. When people are looking for a new restaurant to try out, they turn to the internet. Blogs are great for showing off what your restaurant does best, whether that is featuring fun events, new items, great photos of your food, or stories from staff and customers.

Here are nine tips to write engaging restaurant blog posts that increase sales.

Plan It Out and Post Consistently

“You should have a plan before you begin posting. Don’t just write about what you feel like, do some research and see what keywords and phrases your customers are using online. Once you’ve got some ideas and are ready to begin posting, be sure to post at a pace you can maintain consistently,” recommends David Behling, food blogger at EliteAssignmentHelp.

Once a week is a sensible starting place for a restaurant blog. Don’t worry if you feel like you have more things to say, you can always write posts and then have them set live later on your schedule.

Talk About Recipes

People are always searching online for new recipes and having yours available can be a great way to get some buzz and some new patrons. Not only does this give you a chance to brag about your amazing cuisine, you’ll also get to help out a potential customer. Give them a taste of what you’ve got to offer and then just wait for them to come in and try out the real deal.

Consider Local Interests

“Blogging about local-specific interests can be a great way to make your restaurant stand out. Think about some local foods and traditions and integrate them into your menu,” writes Jane Smith, content marketer at BigAssignments. People love an establishment that takes pride in its community, and they also love unique takes on local niche foods.

Write About Special Events You’re Opening

People are always looking for a fun new event to attend, and it’s not always easy to find one. Plan out some fun events at your restaurant and then write about them in your blog. Not only will your regulars love it, but you’ll get some new fans once the event is over. One good way to approach this is to write a blog post with the top five things to do in your town, and then have your event as one of those ideas.

Feature Your Employees

It never hurts to ask your employees for ideas on what to blog about. Spend a few minutes picking their brain and you’ll probably get some new ideas and perspectives. If they’re open to it, ask them what they like best about the restaurant or even just what they like to do for fun. Most important of all, ask them what their favourite dish you offer is. Your customers will love getting to know the people that make and serve them their food, and your employees should have fun too.

Answer Common Customer Questions

Keep track of the most common questions you receive from customers, or better yet, ask for some feedback on your social media. Make a post or two in which you answer these questions. Ask your staff for their input as well, they are the ones who interact with your customers and have their finger on the pulse. For every person who asks a question in person, there are many who are wondering about it, or asking online, so these kinds of posts can be very helpful.

Feature New Menu Items

People get excited whenever there is something new, especially when one of their favorite restaurants has something new on the menu. If you have a new menu item, be sure to share it on your blog and create some buzz.

Write about the process and inspiration that went into creating the new dish. A blog about a new item is also a great way to remind old customers why they loved your restaurant in the first place and will inspire them to pay an overdue visit.

Make Your Blog Visually Appealing

The way your blog looks matters. It’s best to go with a clean, simple design that doesn’t distract from your writing. If you have an established look then try and keep your blog consistent with that.

One of the most important aspects of a restaurant blog is having quality visuals. Don’t just describe your food, post appealing photographs of the dishes you’re talking about. Did you just host a really fun event? Put up some photos and prove it. Don’t forget to include photos of your restaurant full of people enjoying themselves.

Use Some Online Resources to Help Write Your Blog

Before you get cracking on those restaurant blog posts, you need to make sure your writing is as good as it can be. These online writing tools can help you improve the quality of your writing:

  1. ViaWriting, WritingPopulist, and Grammarly – If you find grammar a difficult thing to grasp, you’re not alone. These grammar resources can help make sure you’re not leaving any grammatical mistakes in your posts.

  2. Essay Writer and UKWritings – These online proofreading tools, suggested by UKWritings review, will make your editing process a whole lot smoother and easier.

  3. AcademAdvisor and StateofWriting – Check out these blogs and read through their useful writing suggestions. It never hurts to mix things up and try out a new strategy.

  4. EssayRoo and BoomEssays – Try out these editing tools and see how much better your blog posts are as a result. They are dependable and have been reviewed at AustralianReviewer.

  5. MyWritingWay and LetsGoandLearn – Use these writing guides and make sure you are following a complete, well-rounded writing process. Good writing takes time and effort, so it’s good to use a guide.

Conclusion

Blogs are an amazing way for restaurants to inform people about what they have to offer, as well as build buzz and excitement. They provide a great platform to do things such as answer FAQs, announce new menu items and events, share recipes, and post photos of your venue and dishes. Follow these nine tips to write engaging restaurant blog posts that increase sales.