Congratulations! You’ve opened your restaurant. It may be farm to table, Nordic-inspired, locavore, Thai street food, cucina povera or any of scores of other categories. Perhaps you’ve identified a culinary niche as yet unmined by anyone else. Business is growing: friends and family, curious locals and those obsessed with the “new” are all venturing into your restaurant — and many are returning.
Now you can focus on sourcing, preparing and serving the best meals possible. Well…not so fast. The restaurant category is unique in its size, in its competitiveness and in the number of new entries and sudden closings each year.
Even with a robust presence on social media, food festival participation, tasting dinners and favorable word of mouth, you run the risk of getting lost in the crowd. Public relations? You know it’s important but you may not have the funds to retain an agency.
Here’s where Spry can be your spécialité de la maison. The Spry Restaurant Publicity Kit is a simple, elegant and extremely cost-effective way of building awareness, trial and, ultimately, repeat visits among your target audience.
The Spry workforce, a carefully vetted group of accomplished writers, includes a dozens of individuals adept in restaurant publicity, whether through professional experience or personal passion. They understand the unique challenges in this category:
- Barriers to trial. The decision to visit a restaurant is very different than the decision to purchase a new brand of laundry detergent. It involves a commitment of time and, generally, a greater financial commitment: people select a new restaurant with the expectation that the food, service and ambiance will justify this commitment.
- High fixed costs. Consumer product production can be ramped up or slowed down depending upon demand. Not so with a restaurant where time — and fresh ingredients — wait for no one while real estate costs and salaries are a constant.
- Patron burnout. Many restaurants fall victim to the “too hot not to cool off” syndrome: initial favorable word of mouth among culinary influencers drives demand which eventually drops as folks with no real loyalty to any one restaurant drift off to the next sensation.
Spry’s writers have the uncanny ability to identify opportunities for editorial coverage that others might overlook and to present this information in an appealing manner. In a recent roundtable, a group of our restaurant writers suggested the following newsworthy topics:
- Seasonal menus and the arrival of seasonal ingredients, whether truffles, Vidalia onions, asparagus or any of a score of other delicacies;
- Peer recognition, whether a rave in a local blog with a discerning readership or inclusion in the “Bon Appetit” annual ranking of best new restaurants;
- New hires, whether executive chef, pastry chef or sommelier, and visits by guest chefs;
- Milestones, whether a first anniversary celebration or something more offbeat [“our thousandth Bellini this season;” “five hundred pounds of Parmigiano Reggiano grated over our pasta dishes this year”];
- Pro bono efforts, whether serving food to rescue workers after a natural disaster, offering food to the homeless or teaching children the basics of a healthy meal.
Even if there is no specific news, a restaurateur may have an opinion on culinary issues, whether perennial [“What’s the next big ingredient, regional cuisine or ethnic dish?”] or emerging [“What’s your view on GMO foods, hyperlocal ingredients v. imported, vegan v. vegetarian, foraging, etc.?”], and our writers can shape this opinion into an article or blog post.
So take a minute to download the Spry client app, order the Restaurant Publicity Kit and let us help you get the word out about your culinary passion.