Though they may not reveal all their tricks, with a working blog, restaurant cooks can teach novices the craft of cutlery and the skill of cooking. In fact, in today’s digital world, blogging is the most powerful form of marketing for any restaurant. Just consider these statistics:
- Blogging increases web traffic by 55% for brands.
- Each month, 329 million people read blogs.
- 34% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain active blogs.
Including blog articles on your restaurant’s website can bring more traffic to your site and to your door. It allows you to create a connection with your customers and increase their loyalty. With a blog, you want your clientele to eat with their eyes. So, here are some ways to make your blog more savory.
1. Blog from Your Passion for Food
For cooks and restaurant owners, blogging should always mean writing from the inside-out, from one’s passion for food. Don’t worry if your writing is not on the same par as the New Yorker. You’re not Hemingway. You’re not Steinbeck. You probably won’t blog the next American classic. So what? You still have something to say.
If you’re not the best writer, who cares. You’re the expert on food. Write from your passion, and customers will find something valuable in it.
2. Review Kitchen Utensils
Chefs know their tools – everything from the best squash-cutting-cleaver to the strongest crab cracker to the safest mandoline.
So why not ask your chef to review kitchen utensils for your blog? You could easily video your chef as he uses the utensils. After, you can interview him, ask him how expensive the utensil is, where it can be bought, what its other uses are.
3. Add High Quality Photos of Your Food
You don’t always have to write blog articles. In fact, with a restaurant’s blog, you shouldn’t just write. As Newscred’s studies show, articles with images get 94% more views than those without. So, as the creator of fine foods, you should always make articles with side photos.
And not just ordinary photos. Not blurry photos taken from a hurried hand. You want photos that celebrate the colors, the shapes, the textures the depth of each of your dishes.
You don’t have to own a $3,000 DSLR to take professional photos. You just need to know a few rules of composition. For instance, always be mindful of natural light. Too much natural light overpowers the photo, making the food less desirable. The right amount of natural light can be found one hour before the sun rises and sets. We call this “the golden hour.” Using the golden hour light over artificial lighting is best, unless you have a lighting studio.
How you compose your food also matters. Think of the colors that surround your dish. Everything from the utensils to the tablecloth to the herbs, toppings and condiments can make a boring photo into a dramatic one.
Photographing food can be hard, mostly due to the absence of other sense stimuli. In person, you don’t just look at food: you smell it, taste it, touch it. But with dramatic lighting, with the right angle, you can trick the senses into believing the food is real.
4. Practice SEO Tactics
SEO is not a scam. Sure, you won’t be at the top of Google in one week. But with the right SEO tactics, with patience, you will see an increase in website traffic.
For restaurant blogs, the most important tactic is keyword research. Through keyword research (with programs such as Google Adwords Keyword Tool), you will learn what people are searching for. Then, once you know this, create articles that satisfy people’s inquiries.
For instance, in Google Adwords, enter 6-10 words that could be used to find your restaurant. They could be:
[Your City] [Restaurant Name]
[Food Category #1] [Your City]
[Food Category #2] [Your City]
A short list like this will show you which keyword is more valuable. For example, let’s say you opened a restaurant in Macon, Georgia, and you’re serving gluten-free and vegetarian breakfasts. You just moved from Portland, Oregon, where everyone wants gluten-free food. But, after doing some keyword research, you discover that unlike Portland, people in Macon search for more vegetarian recipes. For your blog, then, you would be wise to focus on vegetarian recipes.
This is a simple example. But it shows you the power of SEO: to discover what people want.
5. Invite Guest (Food) Bloggers
Is there a food blogger in your area? Does your local newspaper have a food critic? Surely there is someone who loves food and can write well. Invite food critics to your restaurant. Ask them to write honest reviews on your restaurant in exchange for free meals and drinks.
6. Profile Your Employees
In a time when much is done by a mechanical hand, when we spend more time with machines and digital technologies than with humans, showing off your restaurant’s human element could be a wise decision. On your blog, you could share photos of your staff, videos of your cook, or, for more depth, profiles of your employees.
A profile tells a story. It may contain a chronology. But the best profiles breathe life into chronology, allowing the profiled person to speak through the writing. Furthermore, profiles of people humanize your brand, especially when, after reading the profile, a customer meets the employee. We like to buy from people we know and trust.
Profiles don’t have to be written. They can be videos. But no matter the medium, their intention is clear: to tell the lives and stories of your chefs, waiters, dishwashers, general managers, and janitors.
7. Blog for your Community
You don’t have to be the next top chef on the Food Network. You don’t have to create a global network with your blog. Start small. Start in your local area. Start in your community. Ask customers what they’d like to know about your restaurant. Then, write about their interests. Ideally, their interests are your interests, too, so the writing pleases both parties.