Food is an important culture, to everyone and all over the world — in fact, food is integral to most social, business and family events. It is also seen as sometimes a lucrative industry to be part of – after all a secret recipe can’t go wrong right. Many go into the F&B business to fulfill a passion or think it is a good industry to make money in. As a result, the F&B industry has become highly competitive – it is a tough, fast-paced, and constantly evolving. As such, all business and restaurant owners around the world have become very keen on their marketing and public relations strategy.
If you are starting your own journey into the ever-arduous food and beverage industry, you need to spend some time making sure that your PR strategy for your outlet is carefully thought through.
With a dedicated public relations agency in Singapore like Affluence PR, you can be sure that from planning strategy to the implementation of your digital PR ideas and the measurement of the success of the campaign is taken care of. At Affluence PR, we give our clients a comprehensive end-to-end solution, and a range of complete and integrated public relations services that will help your business be up to date with the latest digital PR trends to reach your customers effectively and efficiently. With us as your dedicated PR team, you can always do what you do best – give customers a world-class dining experience – while you let us do the rest.
To kick things off here are a few pointers to think about:
Be an expert of your brand
Since you formulated and conceptualised your brand, you are the best person to know everything about it. Surprisingly, though, this is not always the scenario. There are restaurant owners who kick the process off in the wrong manner because they think running a restaurant/F&B outlet is just about making good food and serving it to customers. They only know what they want their brand to focus on—the menu, the presentation, and the restaurant ambiance.
They need to realise they are their brand’s best ambassadors. If you conceptualise a brand, you should be prepared to market it out in a 360-degrees manner. Feature its strengths, weaknesses, the promise, and the setbacks. This will project your brand as a genuine and customer centric business instead of looking like a business owner who wants to make a quick buck.
Treat the media generously
In PR the members of the press are either an advocate of your brand or an adversary. Generally you are unlikely to get two journalists having the same reaction towards your business. You have to remember that the media always focus on different facets of a subject. One media practitioner may commend your restaurant’s decor and ambience while the other might like your menu better. These would both work for you but on different levels and would, therefore, reach out to different types of customers.
This means that you need to understand how to host media and give them the relevant information. Give them discounts, invite them for tastings when you launch new dishes, and always be forthcoming with information. You need to be transparent with them because that is how trust is built you. Remember that if the media trusts you, they will be more receptive to writing about your outlet.
Your customers are also members of the press
There is a new trend emerging in the different industries in terms of media marketing. These days, your customers also become a part of the media because of their easy access to the Internet. You get one visit in your restaurant and you would very easily find your place and your food in Facebook. You will get immediate feedback over Twitter and your dishes would soon find their way all over Instagram. Very quickly even, the world would see a “snap” of your customers’ time in your restaurant via Snapchat.
Consequently, the need for quality customer service has never been more pertinent. Social media is a very potent tool—it can either make or break you, as cliché as it may sound. A rant post on Facebook is all it takes for potential customers to form an impression, question your brand and your business values. That is something you want to tread carefully and avoid altogether as you are trying to market food – especially when customers these days have no shortage of restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
#Foodporn is today’s game to beat
Following item number 3 up there is this new keyword in social media. Hashtag (#) “food porn” is what the tech-savvy use when they talk about Instagram- and blog-worthy dishes. These days, when a food plate is served to a customer, a photo of it is immediately shot. If the dish registers well on camera, it gets posted on social media (Instagram usually). Of course, being Instagram worthy is not the ONLY criteria. There is a caption that accompanies the photo when posted on social media. This means that with a photo of the dish goes a brief mention on whether it tastes as good as it looks (or otherwise). So pay careful attention to presentation – you want to make sure that whatever you serve will get into the good books of your social media savvy customers.
Serve the culture
Before getting into the food and beverage industry in any country, you will need to understand and observe the culture of the people living there. You need to be able to know how many locals, migrants, and tourists are likely to visit your restaurant. Then, you can decide on what you can offer at your restaurant or how you might need to adapt your menu to fit the local culture. There should be different offers to these groups. For example, you are not likely to offer the locals a menu that deviates from the usual tastes they have. Locals will feel strongly about their own food and can be unforgiving if others try to deviate from it. Migrants and tourists, on the other hand, are more adventurous because they consider varying menus are a great opportunity to enjoy the different experience. You can be bold in the choices you give them and they would likely take on the challenge. It would be best to observe the culture first before you whip up recipes, then. It always pays to know first.
Positive or negative it is still PR
Many would consider public relations to make things better for their brand. Sometimes, though, you have to understand that there is an immensely thin borderline between wanting PR and trying to avoid bad PR. A lot of companies usually try to prevent giving people a cause to say negative comments. Others, however, bravely venture into giving what they can and expect a reaction. As long as there is cause to actually talk about the brand, it is workable. This is not that bad, really. If you know how to turn things to work out for you, then it does not matter if there are negative comments about your brand. After all, you only get to improve when you get feedback that you are doing something wrong, right?
Get to know your competitors
Preparing your business for the industry requires you investing lots of time on it. However you should never forget that you must also study the other end of the competition. You have to make sure you know who you are up against, what they do to gain following, and how you can put up a fight against them. Often, business owners become so engrossed in making their business a good one that you forget others are doing the same too. You should avoid this common mistake. If need be, you attend functions where you are likely to meet your competitors. This would give you a glimpse at the ideals they uphold, which can give you an idea on how to be better than them.
There they are. Hopefully, you get to bring out the Iron Chef in you while paving your own way towards making a name for yourself in the food and beverage industry. Talk to us today and let our team at Affluence PR, your one-stop PR agency in Singapore, help you with your current and succeeding online and offline PR campaigns. Let us do what we do best so you can focus on servicing your clients and building your profits for your business.