Investing in a catering venture is large, with a capital ‘L’, in relative terms. No matter what the establishment; events wagon, high street café, restaurant, gastro pub and beyond. Whatever, savings have been eaten up, budgets long surpassed, the bank’s on your back. You desperately need to market your strengths: quality not quantity. Promote what you’ve blown your money on, your treasured investment. Your product; the bricks and mortar that the bank is keeping an unnervingly close eye on. This includes, possibly, the personnel you’ve committed to. Chefs don’t come cheap, as you’ve probably realized. Sell it all, you’ve paid for them.
If you believe that photography of a meal, how fantastic it is to eat, is the utopia of restaurant marketing, then, please, with respect, we are not for you. Photos, a massive yes, loads of them if relevant. Meal though? Your buildings, your product, your investment; now they are worth telling the world about.
Let’s start with kerb appeal; first impressions. You’ve spent money, loads of it on making your establishment look fantastic; signage, paintwork, a patio, the carpark. Endless expensive items. You’ve signed off the bills. You know where you’ve invested your hard-earned dollar. Flaunt it, flog it, no one else will. Get a pro photographer in (sorry very few amateurs can produce the same and what is the incremental cost?), night, day whatever works best and sells. That image that has caused sleepless nights, now sell it to your public.
It’s the same story with the interior. Along with the architect and the builder, the interior designer (if you’ve been fortunate enough) are off sunning themselves on the beach on the back of your invoices. Milk what they’ve achieved and what you have paid for. Again, pro photos of all the aspects that you have spent the months up to opening agonizing over; those features that came close to breaking the bank. As we said, the reasonable budget long gone. Flaunt it, flog it, you’ve paid for it; sell it!…
A plate of food, well it doesn’t do it for me in Blackpool or Cyprus, so I suggest that it will not whet the appetite of your discerning customer. Locally sourced ingredients, yes, show them off; not what could be interpreted as a microwave ‘ding’ meal, even if it’s not. If you’ve recruited a chef, use his image rights to the full. A shot with your chef and the products, with a statement of how he is going to please the clientele with a menu to suit them will strike the right note. He’s an investment after all. Their fantastic culinary skills will woo the market, not a picture of what he has produced (when did a plate of food ever look the same each time?). A busy clean kitchen is another positive image.
Focus on your investment, nobody else will.
Menus. Yes, on websites. But, keep them up-to-date. Nothing worse than preparing yourself and then being given a swerve ball by a menu that doesn’t resemble what you’ve looked at earlier.
Staff photo? Yes, the Executive Chef as mentioned, but staff move on. Generic shots of smartly dressed staff at popular tables with customers that meet your demographic can be a plus if professionally shot. They don’t need to be real staff or customers. Shots of booze are far better than food; bubblier the better.
This follows with a gallery. Great, if all photos are of great quality and appropriate; we are not having a look at the holiday snaps! By using a photographer on a briefed assignment, you will maximise their fee. Plus, they are likely to include you in their portfolio…extra ‘free’ publicity.
At Verve, we will then take you onto the world of Facebook, Twitter and the myriad of social media. Plus, on line booking and the technology the exists to maximise incremental sales. The fundamental though, from our point of view, is to provide you with a platform to achieve the most important two criteria:
- Bums on seats; appropriate ones.
- Satisfied customers, spending (this also tends to please the bank manager).
Your web page and all connected should sell a consistent message; contact us and you will not be disappointed. The word of mouth that follows a successful product launches a thousand ships.
We look forward to hearing from you here at Verve to discuss your fabulous product further.