What is Keeping You from Restaurant Blogging?
I love food. I love eating at local restaurants both at home and when visiting other cities. There is little that is more enjoyable than tasting a local specialty or a dish that is thoughtfully created and prepared with attention and dedication. I also love to write about food, and even with years of experience in the service industry, I find that restaurant blogging continues to fascinate me with discoveries of new ingredients or cooking techniques.
While I love to discover new treats and share the joy of old favorites, there is a difficulty in writing about something so familiar that often surprises me. If you are starting a blog for your restaurant there can be some unexpected challenges. Sometimes it is hard to convey in words what is meant to be experienced in person. You also don’t want to sound like an infomercial, so how do you promote yourself without promoting yourself?
The Common Excuses for Not Restaurant Blogging Are…
- It’s gotta be neat.
Restaurant blogging is a great way to share what you do with your guests and future guests. It is also a representation of your business personality. What does this mean? It means that when people read your blog, they learn about the quality of your work. Is your blog full of grammatical errors and poor spelling? Did you use there, they’re, and their correctly? Are your photos blurry? Did you just serve that wine in a glass with a lipstick stain? Anyone who blogs regularly will occasionally misspell words or use a phrase incorrectly, but a messy blog gives the impression that your restaurant is also messy. In general, though, your blog needs to be clean and tidy, with a heavy dash of personality.
- Things are always changing.
Things are always changing in the restaurant industry. Menus change. Staff changes. Specials change. Your seasonal offerings change. You get the point, and if you work in the industry, this is not news to you. While this might seem like a challenge for writing a blog, it is actually a great source of material. Is there a new bartender you can highlight? Where did that great new Chef’s knife come from? What did your staff do last weekend? Mad Greens, with several locations in Colorado, raised money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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- I am really, really busy.
The difficulty in frequent changes among staff or vendors is the time it takes to train someone, determine the cost of a new menu item, or any number of administrative tasks that take away from your blogging time. Lucky for you, all these changes that take time also give you new material to write about (see problem #2). Of course, you could just hire us to write for you, and then you can spend more time deciding if you want to split the bill for the nine-top.
- I don’t want to write about myself all the time.
Even with all this material to work with, we all know that working in the restaurant industry is a partnership. Beyond the people we work with directly, there is a lot of community in running a successful restaurant. What better way to thank your colleagues than to highlight them in your blog? Maverick Southern Kitchens, based in Charleston, SC does a great job of recognizing—and linking to—some of the businesses they partner with for community events. This is a great way to build an audience, and also a great way to show your customers that you are part of the community beyond just a pretty kale salad.
- I don’t have the time.
It’s been said repeatedly by others, and it bears repeating here: a neglected blog is just bad. I think we both know what would happen to a host who gives only one menu to a table of four. Oh, and that waitress that took the entrée to the table, but didn’t take the drink order – she doesn’t work for you anymore does she? Again, this is about follow through. You don’t need to post a blog update every day, but finding a neglected restaurant blog with three posts from eight months ago is like finding your walk-in refrigerator door was open all night and the thermometer is reading 78 degrees.
This restaurant blogging thing doesn’t seem so hard after all.
The caveat to all of this is that more frequent blog posting – at least two or three times per week – will increase your readership, which can, in turn, increase your customer base. Consistency is key, though. It would probably be hard for customers to catch on if Taco Tuesday was Taco Every Tenth Tuesday. The same goes for your blog. Even if you only post once per week, make sure you stick to a schedule.
[Tweet “It would be hard for your customers to catch on if Taco Tuesday was Taco Every Tenth Tuesday.”]
Just remember that your blog should receive the same kind of care and attention that your menu does. Consider it part of your marketing plan. And if you truly don’t have the time or energy to devote to blogging for your restaurant, you can hire us. You will get your very own managing editor who will work to bring virtual traffic to your website, and foot traffic to your door. We’re sort of like the blogging version of Rachel Ray, if we may flatter ourselves.