How Recipe-Sharing Boosts a Restaurant Marketing Strategy
Posted: May. 21, 2018
Harness the power of recipe-sharing to give your restaurant’s marketing strategy a boost.
Recipes are more than just a simple list of ingredients. In fact, they can be the stuff of legends. They catapulted Julia Childs into stardom, giving Americans the confidence to substitute casserole dishes for French gastronomy. A recipe can be passed down through generations and sometimes they’re valued so highly they are kept secret. A great recipe might even have inspired your own restaurant concept.
Below we reveal several ways your restaurant can use recipe-sharing to boost your restaurant marketing. The long-term effects could be a game-changer. Through recipe-sharing, you can build a stronger sense of community with your customers and earn their trust.
Recipes Make for Excellent Restaurant Content Marketing
The food industry has had enormous success using recipes as content marketing strategies. Kraft Foods is an excellent example. Their successful content marketing relies almost exclusively on the sharing of recipes, and they even built a separate company website for the purpose of providing recipes their customers might like to try: kraftrecipes.com. More important than having a successful Facebook page, Kraft Foods created an identity for itself as a trusted food producer.
One of the more successful Kraft campaigns targeted Philadelphia Cream Cheese shoppers. By asking consumers to share their recipes using the beloved creamy product, a community of tens of thousands started to grow into a thriving online social group called the Real Women of Philadelphia. Kraft credits this one cooking group alone for boosting its cream cheese sales 5%.
Supermarket chains Whole Foods and Wegmans provide other examples of successful recipe-driven content marketing campaigns. Whole Foods’ strategy was designed to make the brand more than an organic grocery store; it would turn Whole Foods into a lifestyle brand. By offering advice for healthier eating habits and affordable shopping tips, the chain’s reputation grew.
Customer engagement began to skyrocket, though, when Whole Foods started to share its recipes. The popular organic foods shop now has a large Twitter following that Whole Foods regularly engages with by posting recipes and sharing recipes submitted by followers.
Wegmans publishes a quarterly magazine that includes helpful and reliable articles on seasonal products, as well as dozens of recipes that incorporate those seasonal ingredients. The online site even offers a segment called Wegmans Menu, which helps home cooks prepare holiday feasts from start to finish.
Through powerful content marketing centered on recipes, these already successful companies became trusted brand names.
How to Share Recipes
How you choose to share your recipes should depend entirely on your customer base. First, consider what your customers’ lifestyles are like and how they interact with others. For a younger crowd, social media might be the best avenue to share your recipes. If you have a loyal and older crowd, then developing a recipe book could result in a stronger reception. Here are some other publishing options:
- Magazines (free or for a small fee)
- Books (go the self-publishing route to publish a compilation of branded recipes, or reach out to publishers to offer your recipes for cookbooks)
- Video sharing on YouTube
- Instagram posts
- Printed-out recipes that are distributed with checks
- Websites and blogs (see, for instance, how Bon Appétit promoted 30 recipes from top US restaurants)
If you do decide to publish online with social media, look at where you have the largest following and start engaging there first.
Choosing the Right Recipes
Once you decide on a method for publishing and sharing recipes, choose recipes that people will not only love but that they can do at home. Stick within a basic level of cooking expertise to garner the highest level of engagement.
It’s also important to work with ingredients that customers will have in their pantry, or that can be found at a regular supermarket. For instance, odds are high that your clientele won’t have white truffles on hand to make your legendary fettuccine al Tartufo. By suggesting a substitution with easily accessible truffle oil, you open your recipe up to reinterpretation by chefs at home.
Offering recipes gives your restaurant a more positive reputation, but engaging with your customers is a surefire marketing tactic that can have incredible results. Get your customers involved by building a sharing community of recipes--like Kraft’s cream cheese initiative--or turn it into a friendly competition. Set up a campaign at your restaurant and through social media, asking customers to submit recipes. How you decide to award winners is up to you! Offer a free dinner, include the winning recipe as a special, or even add it to your menu.
Another great way to raise brand awareness is by retailing your most beloved menu items.
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Posted: May. 21, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois
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