Restaurant blogs should these use specific restaurant blogging ideas to attract new audiences.
Mark my words: Restaurants will become major players in the blogging world soon.
Why? Because it’s fertile ground for promotion, it’s hip, and it’s potentially another revenue stream. At the very least, it’s a way to get more foot traffic. And best of all, most restaurants aren’t doing it.
If you want to take advantage of the lacking competition, try using some of the restaurant blogging ideas listed below in your online strategy.
A Dozen Restaurant Blogging Ideas to Chew On
If you’re reading this, you’re probably entrenched in the restaurant world. You’re likely an owner or a manager, someone who truly cares about the growth of your restaurant’s brand and audience.
Title: Restaurant News — Summer Extravaganza Every Friday Night in August
Suggested Call to Action: “This post showcases upcoming events, so you can stay connected with all the happens at your favorite restaurant. Come down every Friday in August for summer fun!”
Share what’s happening in your restaurant each week if you want to maximize your event attendance.
Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery in Providence, RI do a great job of this. The image below gives an example of a restaurant blog post that talks about their Bastille Day event. The post includes history of the event and the story of how they celebrated. What better way to attract more visitors to an event, and to give a history, and a tantalizing photo of some magical treat to go along with it?
Title: Restaurant Specials to Drool Over
Suggested Call to Action: “Want a meal with the freshest seasonal ingredients? Come experience our weekly restaurant specials and discover what fresh is all about”
What’s new on the menu this week? If it changes from week to week, then you likely have people coming to check in every week, too. By creating a blog post out of your new menus, it shows your effort to stay current and on the top of the minds of your guests.
A blog post about your menu also helps to promote something new being served in your restaurant, and you can add a backstory about the dish. Did a customer beg you to add it to the menu? Was it a special that went viral? Anecdotes like these that don’t make it on the menu, can make it on the blog!
The Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown, MA shared their Graduation 2015 Prix Fixe menu on their blog. The post included the full menu for this special event.
Title: When a Community Restaurant Cares About You
Suggested Call to Action: “Do you feel part of the community like we do? If not, join us in participating with these great community events. You’ll feel like family in no time.”
It’s great when restaurateurs support the local community of other eateries, giving props where deserved. Sharing the news of other great restaurants in your area is one way to share the local love. You can also discuss local events that aren’t restaurant related, but important to your community regardless.
This restaurant blogging idea, displayed below, comes from the restaurant blog of Alder New York, which performed a search for the best lobster roll in Brooklyn. You might be wondering how a post like this drives foot traffic to Alder, instead of their list of lobster roll places. Well, Alder could wrap it up with a lobster roll special to challenge all of their “bests,” but more likely, people in the community will see them as culinary experts who really know their food. And don’t you want to eat at a restaurant where you can witness a team that’s truly passionate about food?
Title: Great Recipes for Your Next Dinner Party
Suggested Call to Action: “This post will prepare you with great recipes for the next time you host a dinner party at your home.”
Customers see you as significant providers of great food. If they love your food, they certainly appreciate the knowledge you have of cooking. If you want to connect with your audience on another level, share your recipes with them so they can concoct your creations at home.
If you think adding recipes to your blog will keep customers at home, it won’t. Just don’t give away the simple ones. Give away the retired specials, and the ones that take a ton of elbow grease. They’ll happily fess up the cash to save time and have you, the expert, make it for them.
Forage LA provides a nice example in their restaurant blog post entitled “The making of today’s Jungle Fresca”.
Title: Local Farms Supply the Freshest Produce
Suggested Call to Action: “We serve only the freshest produce from local farms. Want a taste? Come in for one of our specials and experience the difference”
The general public is more savvy about food sources than ever before. People want to know where their food is coming from, and how it’s been treated in the growing and harvesting process.
MAD Greens in Colorado blogs about the local farms they get their ingredients from, and then educates their customers about the benefits of the ingredients themselves. The image below shows one of their blog posts on local collard greens.
Restaurant Blogging Idea #6: Promotions
Title: Restaurant Promotions for Any Day of the Week
Suggested Call to Action: “Experience our daily restaurant promotions at any of our locations and save!”
A great restaurant blogging idea includes promoting worthy news. This especially goes for interesting content that isn’t directly related to your menu.
The Shake Shack did this well in its restaurant blog when it promoted its partnership with Loomstate, which created a special limited-edition summer 2015 collection of eco-friendly Shake Shack teeshirts.
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Restaurant Blogging Idea #7: Education
Title: 5 Ways to Cook Lamb
Suggested Call to Action: “Learn from our decades of cooking experience when you read our Cooking Education series of blog posts.”
Showcasing your food knowledge is the best way to gain respect from your peers and audience. The more you can share, the better. If you’re an Italian restaurant, blogging about the regions of Italy your food comes from, or your favorite places to eat in Italy, sends home the message that you know Italian food. Like, really know it. And everyone wants authentic Italian.
Babbo NYC has a Biblioteca section of its website, operating as its restaurant blog. Each month this section of the website highlights a region of Italy and writes about its food, culture, and wine.
Title: Restaurant Staff Bios — Make Our Family Part of Yours
Suggested Call to Action: “Is it time to take the next step? Instead of just looking at us online, come in to say hello and share a meal with us.”
Some restaurants feature staff bios on their websites to add a personal touch. It’s a great way to literally show your audience who you are and who is a part of the restaurant family. And we think these bios belong on your blog, too!
When Creekside Wine added a new chef to their restaurant, they didn’t keep it to themselves, they blogged about it. It includes a full bio of the new chef, including quotes and the reasons behind pairing up. Naturally, anyone reading the blog wants to swing buy and see if he lives up to the hype!
Title: We Pick Our Favorite Dishes of the Month
Suggested Call to Action: “Come in all month long to try the meals that are so good, we’re confident in calling them our favorite of the month.”
Few people know your restaurant as well as your staff. As an avid restaurant enthusiast, I’ve certainly asked restaurant personnel for their recommendations on their favorite dishes.
This information can be shared on your restaurant blog as well as to person to the hungry guest who asks.
We couldn’t find any examples of this strategy, but we think it’d go a little something like this:
Alison’s favorite dish at Romano’s restaurant: The Arriabata Gnocci
This month we’re interviewing Alison, who has been a waitress at [restaurant name] for more than two years. Alison knows our menu like the back of her hand, but there’s one dish she always recommends to every table she serves.
“I love the gnocci,” says Alison. “Every time I work, I tell the guys in the back to schedule a bowl of gnocci for me on my lunch break. I’ve never had gnocci like the kind we make here. It’s soft and pillowy, and perfect. Not to mention, the sauce is paired perfectly. Authentic Italian sauce, slightly spicy on the Arriabata side, but not so hot it bites your nose. Then, it has these dollops of pesto that melt into the sauce. Oh, did I mention the drops of fresh mozzarella and basil? I can’t stop eating it, I’ll never get tired of it!”
It’s true, our gnocci is a house favorite. Line chef Luke told us to tell you that it’s his favorite too. Want to know the secret? Well, we can’t tell you exactly how it’s made because this recipe has been passed down in the Romano family for more than thirty years. It doesn’t exist on a piece of paper, and you definitely won’t find it on Pinterest, but we invite you to come down and try it!
Tell us Alison sent you, and get a free side order of garlic bread when you order the gnocci!
Title: Inspiring Restaurant Testimonials from Our Devout Guests
Suggested Call to Action: “You’ve read the testimonials. Now we want to get YOUR testimonial. Come in for a meal soon!”
Sometimes guests want to see what other people think of your restaurant before they decide to visit. Websites like Yelp and Open Table provide such reviews, but you can also create and publish them on your restaurant blog.
Below is an example from RJ’s Mexican Restaurant, who has published a few posts highlighting their best reviews. We think they could really add to blog posts like these by starting the post off with a thank-you for their reviews, and also following up on some of their comments. It would add that special touch that would encourage even more positive reviews.
Title: Cooking Education 101: How to Experience the Art of Cooking
Suggested Call to Action: “Follow our blog posts closely and you will receive a great cooking education.”
Want to help inspire your guests to get involved with the art of cooking, too? Try sharing your own cooking or prepping tips, you share those of other chefs who inspire you. You could easily do a series on how to pair wine with food, or how to chop onions without crying, but here’s a more specific example from Empellón Cocina in New York, which answers a question their customers have been dying to know: how do they make their deviled egg filling?
Title: Cooking Supplies All Do-It-Yourself Chefs Should Have
Suggested Call to Action: “Subscribe to our blog and get updates on all of the latest cooking supplies we recommend.”
Is there a specific brand of knife you prefer over all others? Are there other tools you’re very excited about that you can inform your audience on? You can do that important work in the cooking supplies section of your restaurant blog. You can even link to the websites of the products you love, and potentially create a profit share with the owners of the site.
In this example from Clover—which, again, has such a robust blog I probably could have used them for all of these examples—they talk about their favorite knives. And at the end, voila, a little advertorial for their knife classes. What better way to sell a class, right?
And the call to action is the point. Blogging is fun, but every blog post should have a goal, and a clear call to action at the end. You blog about recipes to demonstate your artistry and drive customers into your restaurant. You blog about your waitstaff’s favorite dishes, so that you can suggest people come in to try it. You blog about your favorite places to eat in Italy because you want to let everyone know, in a fun way, that you know your Italian food. You’ve been there, dude.
There you have it, a dozen restaurant blogging ideas that you can start using to build a stronger online community, attract more website traffic (with the help of great SEO, of course), and even have the chance to engage in affiliate marketing or the selling of your own products.
Do you engage in any of these restaurant blogging practices? Have any we didn’t mention? Please share your thoughts with us!