55 – 8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business – Part II

8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business – Part II

(This is the 2nd half of this is series on ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business. Please click here to listen to Secret Sauce episode  54 – 8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant Business – Part I )

We look at Just Eats latest profit results.  Orders growth is slowing and they are relying more for Revenue growth on top placement, which is where Restaurants pay for higher results in the Just Eat listings.  In Australia, Menulog has struggled with the entry of UberEats and Deliveroo and our Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system.

In this podcast, we look at how you can build a community in your Restaurant. Looking at a place like Nick’s Pizza and Pub, you can see the way Facebook represents the integrated, community-focused marketing plan that Nick Sarillo has at Nick’s. (See Secret Sauce episode 10: Purpose and Culture in your Restaurant with Nick Sarillo  )

5. Marketing with suppliers 

Telling the story of your suppliers can really help you to tell your story better.  Your suppliers are often struggling to get traction with their customers, so if you are marketing their great produce, you may be able to access marketing funds or resources like a wine maker from your local winery to help run a wine tasting via Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business. You can even run joint marketed events, engaging with not only your email marketing list, but possibly your suppliers.

6. Marketing to journalists 

There are a lot less journalists now, which means that journalists are very time-poor.  This means that you can start telling a story about your Restaurant that is newsworthy. (Hint: The best place to interact with journalists is on Twitter.) In dealing with bloggers and journos, have a think about the way that Danny Meyer in Setting the Table.  Every restaurant should have a PR plan, and Facebook can be a great way of driving your PR plan. You can use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business which will also attract journalists.

7. Email marketing with Facebook

You can upload your email list into Facebook (if you are happy to) to increase the conversion rate of campaigns by running an ad to people who have already received an email.

8. Facebook for market research

The eighth way of our 8 ways  to use Facebook to grow your restaurant is to use Facebook for market research. This means that you can have better dishes on the menu and you are creating connections and relationships with people as they help you to create the dishes that they want.  These customers will be more likely to come into your Restaurant to try that meal when they see that meal advertised.


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Podcast transcription on episode #55: 8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business – Part II

James Eling: Hey, it’s James from Marketing4Restaurants, and welcome to episode 55 of Secret Sauce the restaurant marketing podcast. 8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business, part 2.

(LISTEN: Episode 54: 8 ways to use Facebook Marketing to grow your restaurant business Part I)

Voiceover: Some restaurants are quiet, lose money, and the owner works 70 hours a week. Other restaurants are busy, profitable, and the owners work a few hours a day. What’s the difference? They have a secret sauce. Join James from Marketing4Restaurantsas he helps you come up with your recipe for restaurant success, your secret sauce.

James: Hey, everyone. Welcome back. Hopefully you’ve got a few ideas from part 1 of the 8 ways to use Facebook marketing to grow your restaurant business. Remembering that Facebook now is pay to play, you need to be running ads against the posts that you’re putting up. I think it’s very, very difficult to get organic traffic these days and your ads will go so much further, or your posts will go so much further if you put a little bit of money behind them. We talked about targeting, you know, looking at some of the demographic things that you can do: vegetarians, people who are interested in gluten-free diets. As well as using the Facebook database to be able to full people out of their database who have a birthday coming up in the next week, that might be useful to people.

We looked at retargeting. So, finding the people who have been to your website and targeting them again. You’ve gone in and got the person the first time around. So, they were a new customer, and then turning them into a repeat customer. And then lastly, we looked at recruiting. So, we’ve got a few more ways that we can do that today which are going to be really interesting for you. And some of the less conventional ways that people are doing their Facebook marketing. Before we get onto that, though, just a little bit of a chat about some of the interesting things that are happening in the restaurant industry. So, Just Eat released their results a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got around to sort of going through and dividing the numbers on that. And so, I’ve done a blog article about it where we look at some of those metrics.

Now, the interesting thing is that Just Eat share price fell 15% in the two weeks after their results came out. And I think that that is because of some fundamental things. So, the big concern is that revenue was up 44%, hey, you know, they would be pretty happy with that. But the scary think I think is that orders only grew by 24%. So, what’s happening is that their revenue is increasing through things like top placement, and top placement is where they charge restaurants more to be higher up in the search results on their app. Now, the big issue with that is that there’s only a certain amount that restaurants can pay. The hospitality industry notoriously pull profitability, I don’t need to tell you that. There’s only so much extra that they can, blood that they can extract out of the stone that is restaurant cash flow.

And so, when you look at it, those numbers aren’t up that high. And the other component of it is that restaurants, the number of restaurants in there was up 14%. So, when you strop out the actual increase in orders, it’s not actually that much at all. So, they’ve been priced as quite a strong growth stock, interestingly enough, they’re not growing that quickly. And, of course, you know, we’re very interested in what’s happening in the UK, because we see that as being a massive expansion opportunity for us.

In Australia, the situation was revenue was up 37%, but orders were only up 16%. And I know, from what we see in Australia, I haven’t been to the UK yet but we’re planning on going out there, you know, maybe this year if not first half of next year I think, to have a really good look at the restaurant industry. But in Australia, we know that Menulog has been slaughtered by Deliveroo and Uber Eats. We expect Foodora to probably leave Australia, they’re a long way third. But in the capital cities, Menulog’s getting slaughtered by the guys who are actually doing delivery.

Menulog has implicitly sort of given a nod to that, they’re actually focusing on the areas outside of the CBD, where Uber Eats and Deliveroo aren’t going to be available. And people say to me, “When do you think Uber Eats is going to be in our areas?” And I say, “Well, it might be a long time.” The difficulty that you’ve got is that they operate in a three-sided marketplace, so they need restaurants, they need customers for the restaurants, and they also need delivery drivers or riders. And it’s really hard to get all three at once, and particularly so when it’s very much a peak demand time driven business. So, most of their revenue will come on Friday and Saturday nights. You know, and it’d be interesting to know what those figures are, but I would have thought probably north of 50% on those two nights.

So, that’s really quite interesting, and then as we just finished our blog article, and then I received an email from Menulog. So, we’ve used Menulog in the past, so obviously we’re on their database and we get offers from them fairly frequently. The scary thing is that they’re dropping their loyalty discount. So, in the past, a restaurant could offer a “Buy seven, get one free” offer. Now, Menulog’s scrapping that and I think that this is because it’s decreasing the effectiveness of their top placement. What’s happening is that people are thinking, “I always order from these guys, I will order from them again.” Now, they’re saying that not a lot of people are using their loyalty discounts. I know that when we order Chinese, we’ve used our loyalty discount. So, these guys are one Free Restaurant OnLine Ordering system (FROLO), they’re using our online ordering system, and every email, every order that you place it says, “This is order number one of X number of orders, you’ve accrued this amount of discount. Which order number two of eight, three of eight…” You’ve accumulated a $20, $30, $40 discount depending on the economics, or you know, what it is that people are ordering. Each one of those reminds people, “Yeah, I’ve got a voucher there that’s growing, I should be ordering,” and this is the thing that increases loyalty.

And, you know, as people get closer to that free meal, they’re much more likely to order, and this is one of the big increases that we saw in order frequency for us, because this is one of the things that we’re really keen on is increasing the number of orders using FROLO.

Because, by definition, it means our restaurants are doing a lot better, we spend quite a bit of effort putting the loyalty discount in and, yeah, we’re definitely seeing that restaurants that are using that are getting a significant bump in traffic. What I’m thinking is that Menulog is actually trying to decrease the stickiness of customers, so that they can move them around more and charge more for the ability of putting different restaurants in front of people.

And I think, you know, we’re getting now to the point where they’re almost trying to really devalue the brands of the restaurants, which I think is really quite scary. So, enough gloom and doom, and you know if it is a bit doom and gloomy for you and you are struggling with profitability, check out our free restaurant online ordering system. We’ve got restaurants who are saving $1000 a month in commission and, you know, I think best practice, put $500 in your pocket and spend $500 on marketing. That $500 on marketing will come back, you know, bring in an extra $2,500 maybe an extra $5,000 worth of orders. You are well and truly ahead of the game if you’re bringing in an extra $5,000 in orders a month and that’s only going to get more and more and more, because of course you’re building your email database, as well, which is the easiest way to go out and get new orders when you need to.

So, let’s get on with the 8 ways that you can use Facebook marketing to grow your restaurant business.

Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business #5: Build a community

So, #5 is build a community. Now, I talk to restaurant owners and I say, you know, “How are you sort of building the community?” And I think one of the things that’s really good is that you’ve got someone like Nick Sorello from Nick’s Pizza and Pub. He does a lot of work, well, his team does a lot of work in reaching out with other groups. You know, groups who are going to want to eat at the pizza restaurant. They do a lot of charity work, they tell the story of their employees, they tell the stories of their customers. And they build a community on their Facebook page that is really quite vibrant and, at the end of the day, that’s worth a lot of money to you because those people are much more likely to come back to your restaurant.

There’s no hard sell, this is just, you know, “Hey, this is what we do. This is who we are. These are the people who work here. These are the people who eat here.” And they’ve got some clever ways of doing it. They run competitions where customers and staff can design a pizza, and that story plays out on Facebook. And so, you get this real sense of community, you know, the people who are loyal to the restaurant. And you see this when, you know, sometimes you’ll see a disgruntled customer write something on a restaurant’s page and then you’ll get the customer’s jumping in to defend them. So, they don’t actually need to jump in and try to manage that poor post. They’ll have their customers come in and say, “I know Bob, and he’s a really great guy and, you know the food has always been amazing there.” When you get the voice of customers, particularly when it’s an unreasonable customer, when you get other customers coming in to defend you, that’s priceless. That’s really how we see the benefit of community and, of course, you’ve got those customers who are much more likely to be a repeat customer, rather than just having to go out and find new customers all the time.

Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business #6: Marketing to suppliers

Now, # 6: marketing to suppliers. I think that this is a really interesting one and I’ve spoken about it before. People always look down the value chain at their customers and say, “How can I extract money out of them?” Well, look, it’s partially money, but it’s partially value, as well. Your suppliers have a story and yet no one will ever really tell their story but there’s value in telling that story. So, the local farmer who grows the cattle that provides the steaks. You know, if you can trace the supply chain back to the actual farmer and tell that farmer’s story on your Facebook page, there’s a couple of things that happen.

One, you’re creating value for someone who gets very little value, you know. He is a farmer, and people aren’t really that interested because his product becomes pretty much a commodity. Now, he doesn’t think it’s a commodity because he does a whole heap of things, you know, he worries about what the cows are eating, and he worries about which abattoir they go to, and how the meats cut up, and all of those sorts of things. He worries about that sort of stuff, but it becomes quite commoditized by the time it actually gets to the restaurant. If you’re going back up the value chain and taking the time and effort to go and talk to that farmer and work out what it is that he does, you can then augment your story by saying, “We use Farmer Brown’s cows, he’s got three different pastures that we rotates his cows through. Make sure that the meat is as juicy and as tender as possible and that’s why we use him. You can do the same thing with you know, where you get your vegetables, where you get your seafood. I mean, imagine if you’re getting your seafood from the exact same boat and you’ve been doing that for 10 years.

That’s really part of a story that can be quite powerful and worth quite a lot of money to you, because people want to share in that story. But it’s not just about creating that story. Imagine that you’ve gone out and you’ve gone to the effort of sourcing some local wine, you know, because this is the thing particularly in a tourist area. People are going to want to experience the local wine. So, you’ve got local wine and you’ve got a local vineyard. Now, what happens when you’re telling that story? You know, “We’ve got a new case of the local wine that’s just come in.” Are you able to get someone from the winery to come out and tell that story? Are you able to do a wine tasting with them? Can the wine maker come out? And he’ll tell the story about, “We pick the grapes from here, here and here, and then we put them in the barrels. And it was this kind of barrel, and I think that this tastes really good.

Now, it was a really great season, how about we open up a bottle of the wine from before when it was a lot drier, when we struggled. And you can taste the difference here. Or, “So, here’s our Syrah, let’s try a cabernet, you know. You can taste the difference.” You could do an education thing. So, once again, we’re creating an experience here from what so many people just say, “Yeah, we get some wine in, now we’ve got a wine list.” You could create an experience. Now, these are the kind of things that the wine maker is going to be really interested in, because maybe he comes along and sells wine on the night. Maybe the two of you market this event and, of course, what night is it going to be? It’s probably going to be on a Tuesday or a Wednesday night when you are probably going to be completely quiet. If you are quiet, this is the perfect kind of opportunity for you to run one of these events. Could you do it with me? I don’t know, possibly you could.

We’re going to try, particularly – now, imagine this and I’ve just made this up as I’m going along, imagine if you got someone to slaughter a cow from the farm, and he’s doing specifically for a night. So, you’re going to come in and so, we’ve got the same cow but we’ve got 10 different cuts from the cow. And we’re going to prepare it 10 different ways. Now, of course, look and I know what people say, you worry about events. You know, “What if no one turns up?” I worry about that a lot.

So, what if you go out and get the wine maker to pair some wines with the meat, and then all three of you do the marketing? So, the farmer is going to invite all of the people that he knows, and he may not have a lot of customers. But, you know, he’ll still be out there inviting people along. The winery, they’re definitely going have people on their mailing list. So, you’ve got your marketing through them, as well. And you could do a whole range of things. These events, they’re limited by your imagination. So, I think that by marketing to suppliers, when you think about the people that you choose from a supply point of view, this is going to change the way that you do business. Because, which supplier has got the better story? Which one is willing to participate in events with you? They’re the suppliers that you want to be looking at.

And you can see here, this is a part of the process where you want to be moving up the value chain. So many, unless you sit down from day one in your business plan and say, “That’s it we’re going to be low cost, we’re going to sell the cheapest burgers in this town, and we’re going to market that.” Too many people end up trying to make the cheapest burgers, just because of the fact that they can’t compete on anything else. “Well, we don’t actually have the cheapest burgers here, we have very expensive burgers here. And that’s because we use Angus beef, we use some of the best bread that you can get, and here are the seven reasons why our buns are better than everyone else’s buns. And, know, we might even do a bread baking thing with the guy who provides us with the buns, because everyone knows how good the buns are.

The vegetables that we have are fresh, they come from a local farm.” We are getting into an artisan type burger which is going to be so much easier to sell for an extra $1, $2, $3, $4, $5. You probably, the input costs might be an extra 10% or 20%. When you’re selling it for an extra 30% or 40%, those dollars can really add up. And you’ve got these people, also they want you to be successful because you’re the ones who’s championing the use of high quality products. So, hopefully you can start to see how these decision that you make at a business plan level, they start to tie in with the decisions you’re going to make at a marketing plan level.

Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business #7: Marketing to journalists

Now, the next thing is do you use Facebook to generate public relations for you, you’ll have a whole range of things on your menu that may or may not be interesting. You’ll have a whole heap of events that may or may not be interesting. Too many people don’t make any effort whatsoever to get any PR, so public relations. They’re not engaging with food bloggers, they’re not engaging with journalists and one of the interesting things about journalists is that their industry has been absolutely crucified by the internet. So, in the old days of print there was lots of journalists around and everyone made a river of gold out of the classified ads.

So, you know, the car ads and the real estate ads and the hob ads. It was just a truck load of money flowing into the newspapers every day. Now, that’s dried up. No one advertises there anymore. The only advertising that people are really interested in, by and large, is online. And it’s not worth as much as it was back in the day, because you’ve got all of these added competitors. Because of that, there are so many less journalists, and it’s either being freelanced out or you’ve got a journalist who’s probably trying to do the work of three or four journalists back in the day. Which means that there’s a huge opportunity for you to start telling a story about something that’s newsworthy, start interacting with them and I think the number one place to interact with journos is on Twitter.

So, you can use Twitter to create awareness for what it is that you’re doing. But if you’re doing a special event, is that the kind of thing that they want to come in? If you’ve got a new menu item, is that the kind of thing that they want to come in and try and say, you know what, “This restaurant has got a new menu item on it, and it’s proving to be really popular.” Because you’ve got to think what they want to be doing is they want people to read their articles. So, if you’re doing something that’s newsworthy, something that people are actually going to be interested in, because what they want to do is someone goes and reads through their review and go, “Wow, that sounds good. I might go there. This review has been useful to me.” That’s what it is that they’re looking for.

So, what are you doing in a menu preparation point of view, where you’re keeping it continually updated, your rolling out the new menu items and then you’re targeting people. Remember how we talked about targeting in the previous episode? This is where you can target people by job role. So, you can target journalists, you can target editors. And they’re going to say, “Wow, there’s a new restaurant that’s opened. We should go out there and write a review on it.” Or, “This restaurant has got a new item,” or, “They’re doing a new type of service,” or, “They’re creating a new experience. They’re doing something that’s new and noteworthy that should be written up in the paper.” They’re going to come and approach you, but they see it in Facebook first.

And far too many people think, “I hope some bloggers come in. I hope we get written up here, that would be interesting. Hope someone from one of the big websites come in.” The problem is that a lot of these guys are getting undermined by the people actually marketing their products. Now, you’re not obviously going to run an ad that says, “Hey journalists, come and write a review on our restaurant.” You’re just going to be telling them about the experience that you’re creating. But what you might do, is you might run an ad that is specifically targeting them. And it’s going to be super low budget because there’s not that many journos out there these days, it might only be a couple of dollars a day. And you might run it for a week and then, you know, you might not even know that they come in.

Food bloggers are actually pretty easy to target and, you know, if you give them a free feed they’re much more likely to write about you. Now, this is an interesting topic, we won’t go into it hugely in depth, but I always thought that you probably shouldn’t do that. And I know there’s so many restaurants out there that don’t like giving free food, but then the thing that sort of turned me around was reading Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. And he had a very aggressive program of catering for reviewers. Now, you know, the book’s been around for a while, so he was talking about print journos who were coming in and food writers.

The big issue with bloggers is that anyone, and I mean anyone, can be a blogger now, all they have to do is, you know, set up a free website and, all of a sudden, they’re a blogger. You want to be a little bit discrete in who you deal with, and you want to make sure that they can actually make an economic impact for you. So, they’ve got to have a decent readership. But I think that it can be really quite smart to be very aggressive in the way that you deal with those guys and, by the aggressive I mean look after them.

Make sure that they have a great feed, comp the meal for them, because they’re going to go and write about what the great food was that they had. And you’ve got to remember the interesting thing about bloggers is they’re much less likely to do a hatchet job, because if you see someone who’s done a lot of hatchet jobs you’re not going to comp their meal for them. So, they generally write really good articles about how good the food is, because they want to be invited back to other restaurants, as well. So, I think it’s really something that you want to think about having a plan to go out and engage with, you know, the bloggers and particularly the food writers.

The food writers are much more important than the bloggers, but the bloggers still have a role and some of them are getting quite large followings. So, they write an article and you might get 20, 30, 40 bookings out of it. If you get 20 bookings and your average booking size is three and a half seats, that’s 70 people coming in. You’ve comped one meal and you’ve got 70 seats, that’s not too bad a deal. And, once again, how many of those people are going to be new customers that you can turn into repeat customers? You’re going to be doing the retargeting, all of those things to do to turn them into a repeat customer, because you provide a great experience and that’s what they’re looking for. You can actually make quite good money out of comping one or two meals here and there, for food bloggers. But you can run Facebook ads targeting those guys, which means that you’re creating the awareness of your restaurant in the first place. That’s the role that Facebook has to play in that.

Facebook Marketing to grow your Restaurant business #8: Email marketing

Now, the next one is email marketing. And I know what you’re thinking, it’s like, “But we’re talking about Facebook here.” I know we’re talking about Facebook. So, you’ve got a database of 5,000 people. Hurray, that’s fantastic, you know, and you’ve probably been working fairly hard to generate that database over time. And, you know, you’ve probably been doing it from your booking system. So, our Free Online Restaurant Booking System or FORBS. Generating emails all the time. You send an email out because we’re big fans of email marketing, it’s the easiest way to, you know, bring in a large number of customers really quickly is if you’ve got the email addresses of 2,000 customers who’ve really had a great experience in your restaurant. Now, one of the things that you can do, you send your email out and that you sit back and you wait. Now, of course, remember we’re doing online marketing here so each one of those links is campaign tags so that you know how many people came in from your email. Wouldn’t you love to be able to send out a $10,000 email? An email that makes you, brings in $10,000 worth of revenue. You can do that, and you can get reports around that and I think that that’s really exciting.

But one of the things that you want to do is you want to increase the conversion rate with that. And so, for email marketing conversion rate works from the people who, everyone’s going to read the subject line and some people are going to go, “Not really interested.” So, they never get to find out what the offer is or what exciting news is in the email. Then you’re going to get people who are going to read it and go, “Eh.” So, they never click through. Then you’ve got people who click through but they never actually make a booking or make an online order. So, once again, remember we’re talking about a loose funnel here, or a leaky funnel. Some of them may walk in, or some of them may call up to place an order or make a booking.

But for those people who don’t actually take the desired action that you want, and so you might have gone and created a meat tasting event with a specially slaughtered cow. That might be the event that you’re driving people towards. What you can then do is upload your email list, and so caveat there you’ve got to be happy in uploading your emailing list to Facebook but, you know, we do it all the time. I think it’s pretty safe to do that. Upload your email list to Facebook and then Facebook will then create target custom audience. So, you can then target those people in Facebook. And then what happens is you will remind them. This has happened to me. I’ve seen an email, it’s like, “Yup, this looks awesome. I’m going to do this,” and then you forget. So, you don’t actually do it. Now, there was nothing wrong with the campaign, there was nothing wrong with the subject line, there was nothing wrong with the offer. It was all good, it’s just that I’m forgetful and they missed out on that because I’m forgetful.

Facebook is the opportunity to, for the people who want to make that economic transaction but forget about it, you can remind them. What about the people who would have liked the offer… so, let’s just say you haven’t done a good job of the subject line and I’ve ignored the subject line, but you’re having a whiskey tasting so you’ve got a whole heap of meals that are paired with a whole heap of whiskeys. That would have been epic, but I didn’t know about it, I didn’t open the email. This is the opportunity for you to go back and, “Don’t forget, we’ve got our whiskey tasting.” “What whiskey tasting? I didn’t see that.” It’s like, “Hang on a sec, I did see an email from them but I didn’t open it.” And there’s a whole heap of reasons, it might have gone into their spam, there’s a whole heap of things that may or may not work in an email marketing campaign that you need to think about. This is a way of dramatically increasing the conversion rates for those, and we’ve had really good success with taking email lists and loading them into a campaign. And you may not have that many. You’ll get a match rate, you know.

So, Facebook will say, “Okay, you’ve given us 5,000 emails, we were only able to find 3,000 email addresses linked to accounts.” Because what it does is it matches up with an account and then it targets those people. So, you might only have 500 or 1,000 people in there, you can just run a very low volume campaign, $2 a day, targeting people and then you’re going to dramatically increase your conversion rate. As long as you’ve got a good offer and people have had a great experience. And this is all underpinned by the fact that you’re providing a great experience, and great value, and great food.

If it’s crappy good, crappy experience, and crappy value, people are just going to be annoyed and they’re going to unsubscribe from it, and they’re going to tell Facebook that they don’t want to see any offers from you, as well. So, email marketing. Upload your email list, put it into Facebook, and dramatically increase your conversion rates. You don’t even need to send an email out, you might just run a campaign without an email if you wanted to, if you don’t have time to setup the email campaign. I know a lot of people worry about sending out emails. Just bit the bullet and do it, because from a profitability point of view, super epic. It costs you virtually nothing to send emails. Now, so we’ve covered 8 ways to use Facebook marketing to grow your business.

One of the things that we always like to do at Marketing4Restaurants is under-promise and over-deliver, so the ninth one, and this is one of my favourites, market research. This is a little bit tied into creativity and innovation in your restaurant, and it’s also tied into, you know, building a community. Now, you are at the market today and you’re going to pick up some duck. So, you take a photo of the duck and say, “I’ve got 10 ducks for tonight, I’m thinking of doing the duck this way or I’m thinking of doing it that way. What do people think?” Or, you might cook both of them and say, “We’re looking at the new winter menu, which one would you prefer?”

Now, the interesting thing is that when you ask this question – and I would run an ad to it. So, some people won’t, they’ll just say, “You know, we’re going to put it up and the people who see it, they’re going to interact with us.” You can do a whole market research thing here that really feeds into building the community. So, a lot of these things I find are kind of interrelated. “What’s your favourite way of having duck? Tell me your favourite chicken recipe? What three vegetables would your mother cook for you when you were a kid and you were having chicken?” Now, that, I quite like that question because that, I’m now thinking about my mum and I’m now thinking about the meals that my mother cooked for me when I was a kid.

So, before I was able to cook my own food, when I was just a kid unable to look after myself, your mother has a nurturing role and she is cooking a roast chicken for me, and I can now see the baked potatoes, the pumpkin, and probably peas. My mum was very traditional sort of, her mum was English, so we had meat and three veg. But automatically, you’ve just asked, “Tell me what vegetables your mother used to cook for you. We’re thinking of doing a roast chicken,” or, “We’re thinking about doing a chicken like this, we’d like to put some vegetables with it. What three vegetables did your mother cook for you?”

Now, if you’ve got a community where people are prepared to give you that answer and you run an ad to those people, you’re building a really, really strong relationship with that person’s mother. You are tapping in with memories from childhood. Now, this is what I say, “I don’t like selling food because food’s low margin.” I can go to McDonalds, I can, you know, go to Subway. I can do cheese on toast. But you’re the only person who’s talking about, you know, the vegetables the way that my mother cooked them. Now, that experience, that thinking process, that’s very special and you can use Facebook to illicit those memories. Because do you think that people are going to be interested?

So, we’re doing the market research now. In two weeks’ time when we say, “You know what, we went out and we found all of the vegetables that mothers have cooked. This is the way that we’re going to be doing our chicken dish, we’d love you to come in and try it.” Baked potatoes are there. This is going to be, now I feel like I’m a part of this process, of course I’m going to go in and try that meal, you know. You could go one step further, “How did she prepare them? What was her recipe?” Now, we’re just going down a little tiny rabbit hole around comfort food and childhood memories, but this is the thing that makes Facebook so powerful. Because people think it’s about putting up what today’s special is.

We’re taking a little tiny psychological journey of which there are hundreds that you can do. There are so many ways that you can skin this cat, so much messaging that you can do around this. And it’s not being tricky, it’s not being sly, it’s like you’re going out to each one of your customers when they’re eating and saying, “You know what, we’re thinking about doing a chicken dish, I’d really be keen to know when your mother cooked chicken for you, how did she prepare it? You know, if I was to try and cook something like your mother prepared chicken, what is it that you would like to see?” As a chef, you could do that. Now, it’s going to take you a long time and you should be in the kitchen doing that sort of stuff, Facebook is, it’s just word of mouth, it’s just the social.

And we come back to it, where we started, it’s social media this is the social part. You’ll find people are sharing their stories with you, and this is where you can find value. This is where you can take that information and then create an experience that is just so much more meaningful for your customers than just, “Yeah, so we’re doing a chicken dish and yeah, there’s some veggies on it.” How many people would actually talk about the veggies they’ve got on anyway? Now, people might get your chicken dish because baked potatoes and pumpkin, that’s the way that my mum used to prepare it. That’s what I want to come in and get. They’ve skipped the fact that it’s the chicken which you’ve gone to all of the effort of preparing and, you know, you’ve sourced it from the local chook farm. And you’ve done all of those things right, this guy wants that comfort food experience. What are the other market research type things that you can do?

And like, from a political point of view, it’s almost like push polling but you’re using Facebook to conduct really, really in-depth market research. Which can allow you to really create some powerful dishes that illicit those memories from people and vastly enhance the experience that people are going to have. So, there we have it. We’ve covered building a community, and I think that’s really important. Looking at all of the kind of things that go on in your business: customers, your staff, your suppliers, all of those sorts of things. And build a community around those, and Facebook is really, really good at doing that. Marketing to and for your suppliers. You want to market to your supplier as being, you know, “We run a really great restaurant here and we’re very proactive.

We want to tell your story about the way that you produce, the way that you farm your cattle, the way that you grow your vegetables, the way it is that you grow your chooks, whatever it is that you’re doing. We want to tell that story, and we’d like to really also involve you in our restaurant. Come on down and answer questions for our guests,” you know. Whatever the experience is that you want to create. I think there’s so much that can be done in education around food, and these are the people who can really tell that story, as well. Educate them. I think it’s a great idea to get a specially slaughtered animal and create 10 different dishes out of that one animal, and then tell that story. So, “We’re going to try this cut. Now, I’ve prepared it this way and we’ve paired it with this wine,” you know. That’d be a cracking event to attend, someone do that and invite me to it, it’d be epic. I’d love to come along.

PR, it’s just a free hit, whether it’s a food writer, a journo, or a blogger. Create that story, and do all the thinking and your marketing plan, then market that story to journos and that’s where you’ll get some really interesting public relations. We do it with marketing for restaurants and we do it for restaurants, as well. And it works really well. Email marketing. Upload your emailing list and retarget them, increase the conversion rates on your email campaigns. This works, we know it works, we do it ourselves. Yeah, and it’s a really good way of turning a great email marketing campaign into a really, really great marketing campaign.

And, lastly, market research, have a think about those things that you can do. It is such a powerful tool, and I think that that’s the take home message is just don’t try and sell stuff on Facebook. Really think about if you could talk to a thousand people, what is that conversation that you would have with them, because Facebook allows you to do that. You don’t just want to say, “Come in, because we’ve got cheap pizza tonight.” You can do so much better than that, and there are people who are doing so much better than that and they’re the ones who are running really profitable restaurants. And that’s the thing that we’re really passionate, is about helping you to build the restaurant that you always wanted to do.

So, that’s about it. Now, make sure that your website’s Facebook’s pixel, too. So many restaurants aren’t doing that, and if you’ve got problems with your website, of course, you know ping us an email, hit us up on Facebook. More and more people are hitting us up on LinkedIn which is great, we love to see that. And, of course, if you’ve got problems with your website, I’d like to think that we build some of the best websites in the world. Sales teams sold a website to India this week, which I think is epic. Because, you know, there’s a lot of very, very cost-effective website developers in India. And this restaurant had looked around, he needed all of the features that he wants to be able to build a successful restaurant business, find new customers, turn them repeat customers and he chose us. Which I think is really, really epic. We got our first customer coming onboard in Vietnam, as well. So, yeah, we’re really starting to spread our international wings, which is super exciting. That’s about it. So, you go out there, do some Facebook marketing, let us know how it goes. Send in the posts that you’ve got that are going really well, we love hearing about your success stories. If it’s not going well, hit us up with that as well and we’ll give you a bit of advice on how you can make it better. So, do all of that and hopefully you’re going to have a really busy day today. That’s about it. Bye.

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