I’ve covered some reasons why content is essential for restaurant & food marketing in this post. Today though, I’m sharing some specific content marketing ideas for restaurants.
These are pieces of content you can create and publish on your site, and share to social media. Cntent that will interest your fans, give them something to share, and keep your place top-of-mind the next time someone asks ‘what’s for dinner?’
These content ideas could be executed & published in a number of formats. I’m a big fan of ‘atomising’ content – pushing one content idea to multiple formats and platforms, so you reach as many people as possible. A single topic can become:
- A blog post
- A short video
- A piece of audio
- Multiple tweets
- A longform Insta caption
- A series of Instagram and/or SnapChat Stories
- The opening of a debate on facebook
- A Twitter or IG stories poll
- An infographic or inspirational quote to share on Pinterest
Of course, every content idea doesn’t have to take every format – use the platforms that are right for your business (the ones that your fans are already using and engaging with), and that are right for the tone and topic of the content. Here are five ideas for the kind of content restaurants and other food businesses can create and share:
5 content marketing ideas for restaurants
1. Menus & specials
Lets start with an obvious one. As a basic, you should really have an up-to-date copy of your menu available on your website. Bonus points if its interactive – many restaurant websites now have a widget that will let diners select allergens so they only view the dishes on the menu that they want to see.
Posting about your specials is a really good way to regularly get relevant & useful content on your site. Include appetising photos, a story behind the dish (Where did you get inspiration for the recipe? Where are the ingredients sourced from? Why is it a particularly apt dish for this time of year?). Then, share those specials in different formats across social media.
Another seemingly obvious one, share the details of upcoming events that you host. This could be anything from a regular open mic or quiz night to an annual charity dinner. Events can also include offers, or broader holidays. Things like 2-4-1 #TacoTuesday, or have a special date night menu for Valentines are great to build content around – both on your site and on social media.
Don’t just share your own events though. Content about other local events or attractions is a great way to be recognised as a go-to helpful resource for people in your city, as well as giving you a natural way to add local keyword terms to your site. Paricularly for bricks-and-mortar small businesses, like restaurants, a local fanbase is really essential.
Writing lists promoting other events and venues in your area is a great way to build local contacts. As well as being timely content to share on social media, tagging the venues or organisers of the events you list means they’ll see the post and probably re-share it with their audience. Include your own events amongst lists like:
- Unmissable events in [city] this month
- The best supper clubs in [city]
- [City]’s prettiest cafes
How-to content is generally instructional – content that starts with “How to ___”. ‘How to’ instructions or guides are a really easy to create content that fans of your business will actually find helpful & relevant. How-to content often aligns with search intent, as well as being very shareable.
You don’t have to give away any trade secrets, but teaching your audience how you do the things they recognise you for can make them feel like they’re in on the secret. Everyone loves to pull back the curtain and get an ‘exclusive’ behind-the-scenes view of what you do . This kind of content also gives an impression of you and your team as an authority. It gives people a glimpse of the hard work and expertise that goes into your business. How-to content could include things like:
Recipes. Now, I’m not suggesting you give away your secret ingredients, but things like:
- A simplified ‘make at home’ version of a popular dish
- The recipe for a special that was eally popular but won’t be added to the regular menu
- A component or side dish, like the sauce or the potatoes
If food is your main offer, instructional content about drinks could be a good way to create how-to posts without giving up your secrets (and the same goes the other way around – if you are primarily a bar that also serves some food):
- The recipe for your popular cokctails
- How to pour the perfect pint or mix the perfect G&T
- How to pair wine or beer with you most popular dishes
You don’t even have to focus on consumables at all. What else do you do really well, that other people might want to know how to do as well? Things like how you organise your events or decorate your venue might be of interest.
This doesn’t have to be a dry ‘meet the team’ page with posed photos and boring bios. Basic meet-the-team ages can be hard to keep up-to-date in an industry with typically high turnover, like hospitality.
Instead, include your team in your other content. Leverage their expertise in how-to content. This not only ensures that the actual expert is the one instructing your audients, but also gives people a positive glance into the company culture. You’re showing the world (and your team) that you actually value the people in your business – that they’re individuals with specific skills that make them an important part of your operation, not just a body to do a job. You can also include the team’s input in other content – what are their favourite local events, or their go-to dish on your menu?
Include everyone in your content: chefs, waitstaff, barstaff, cleaners & kitchen porters, right up to the management or owner. As they’re sharing knowledge and information (and not just their name and role within the business), the content will still be relevant, even as your team grows and people move on.
You could even include contractors, suppliers and partners in the ‘team’. How about a short interview with the brewery who supply your beer or with the artist who created the prints on your walls?
5. Involve your customers
Turn the spotlight on your restaurant’s biggest fans: Tell their story, share their favourite way to enjoy your food. Let them speak for themselves and tell your audience how much they love your place, in their own words.
This is great for sharing the word about your restaurant – the star of the show (and their frineds and family) will likely share this far & wide, and it also builds authentic authority
Share content that focuses on what you’re good at, what you are known for, and what you can offer to customers. A craft-beer bar probably won’t attract the audience they’re looking for by posting cake recipes, a quaint bakery probably won’t find their fans with posts about the latest food trends, and an upscale restaurant probably won’t captivate their ideal customers with a blog post about local beer festivals.