We all know the story. Almost all new restaurants fail soon after opening. Not every chef can have his own kitchen.
But, you endeavored. Your doors are open, your first few patrons have straggled in. Maybe your Opening Week was even a huge success. There’s a long road to hoe, however, and your web presence, and perhaps more importantly what you UNDERSTAND about your web presence can help you come out profitable.
Using Social Media – And Really Measuring It
Location, location, location. Your restaurant depends on that. Hopefully, that includes a good neighborhood. And all of those neighbors are on Twitter and Facebook, so you should be too.
The restaurant in the above picture is the Village Inn in Caledonia, New York. It’s one of my favorites, and I think they do a nice job of utilizing Facebook to let us know about upcoming events, the nights specials, etc.
And my HOPE is that they are looking at their Facebook fan page stats to see who is paying attention. The image below is a fan page graph for a different site (I don’t work with the Village Inn folks, I just eat there).
We can see that this fan page picked up 14 new Likes in the past 30 days, and a total of 79 people Liked it at one point or another. Of interest though in particular is that 342 views were made of this Fan Page.
So an opportunity exists here to find even more fans. These folks either happened to see their friends do something on the Wall of the Fan Page, or found it through Facebook Search, or whatever.
There’s a million ways to improve your Facebook and Twitter presence, but that’s a discussion for a different post altogether. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss that.
Are Your Restaurant Goers on Your Website?
Hopefully, your restaurant has a website, and on it you provide a menu, perhaps some nutritional information, some pictures, and contact info/hours of operation. Also, since you’re a new restaurant, you hopefully added a FREE web analytics tool. Google Analytics to be exact.
Once installed, and once it has collected some data, you’ll be able to paint a very valuable picture of who your web visitors are, and whether or not they really have any value to you. For example, take a look at this map I pulled out of Google Analytics:
For those of you who live elsewhere, the two big orange dots represent Rochester, NY, and New York City. The darker the dots (and bigger) the more web traffic from those areas you received for the month.
For a generic information website (such as the one this image was taken from), this is a fine mix of geography for traffic. However, if my restaurant was located in Rochester, NY, I’d have to think long and hard about whether or not my website was doing its job.
In fact, I’d be on the phone with whoever was doing my social media marketing and search engine optimization this afternoon.
Because over half of those web visitors are VERY unlikely to ever come to my restaurant. They live too far away.
If your Facebook following (which hopefully you are trying to drive to your website) and your normal web visitors are geographically outside what you would think would be your territory, then you need to re-focus your customer acquisition strategy, and SEO efforts.
Feel free to Contact Me if you’d like to discuss methods for that.
On To Growing the Restaurant
Now that you have this information, you still need to take action on it. As I mentioned above, you should use it to talk to your website designer, social media strategist, and anyone that has a stake in the restaurant.
You never know who is going to come up with the great plan or idea that keeps your doors open, and makes your restaurant buck the trend of going out of business too soon.
Web analytics is not a “fire and forget” proposition either. It needs to be looked at weekly (at least!) to get a feel for how your local market is changing, growing, or shrinking.
One of the fun things to look for is how many Google searches you get locally for your restaurant name. If all is going well, that trendline should be pointing up!
Again, please feel free to Contact Me if you’d like to discuss any of this further.