All posts in restaurants

7 Trending topics for Restaurants in October


What should your restaurant be blogging about? Here are 6 options:

Having trouble with Twitter etiquette? 5 tips to help you decide what’s right and what’s wrong:

iPads for ordering becoming more popular at restaurants:

Brand extensions from TV chefs – watches, jewelry lines, cooking supplies, restaurants and more!

Resurrection of classic flavors – Brooklyn Gin from pre-prohibition is back:

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The Holy Trinity of Restaurant Social Media… and Yelp


Social media is essential in promoting businesses and engaging with customers and guests. At first glance, social media may seem like a waste of time. Below we’ve outlined the 3 most popular sites for restaurant goers –  Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. We’ve also included Yelp, because we’ve noticed that the site is a growing concern for owners and managers of restaurants. Restaurants-and-social-media2


What it’s used for: interaction and conversation, real-time taste of consumer attitude, promotion

Overview: Twitter is a great resource for real-time interaction. Correctly monitoring Twitter results in a better understanding of the marketplace. Twitter allows users to search for topics and see what trending topics are in a specific area. It is a great place to interact with guests and join conversations that relate to the type of food or drinks served. For example, a sushi restaurant might search for #sushi, and find someone that is craving sushi in the area. They can then invite them in, establishing a connection with the guest. Restaurants can also use Twitter to announce and promote specials.


What it’s used for: relationship building, loyalty rewards

Overview: Guests can use Foursquare to check-in to businesses. Businesses take advantage of this by setting up specials, like free chips and salsa for every check-in or a free drink for the mayor. Restaurants can take advantage of Foursquare by monitoring check-ins and welcoming guests that have checked-in. Making a guest feel welcome and special increases the likelihood of them coming back again and again.


What it’s used for: promotion; conversation, photos, events

Overview: Facebook for business is helpful in promoting specials, posting images, and conversing with guests. One major benefit of Facebook is that restaurants can post things that people can look back on for months, like photos and comments. Facebook also allows users to create events and invite guests who “like” the page.

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Purple drinks


It’s difficult to create a purple drink that has that “fresh, just squeezed” appeal because purple does not occur naturally.  Similar to how a painter mixes paints, purple can be made using the colors blue and red in drinks. You can easily create this color by mixing any red colored drink (fruit punch) with any blue colored drink (Blue Curacao) and then water it down with soda water to meet your shade preference. But beware, customers want fresh natural ingredients over purple food coloring any day! Purple is a difficult color to create in drinks, so we suggest saving the recipes for special occasions and promotions. Screen shot 2011-09-28 at 10.21.14 AM

Are you ready to add new drinks to your menu? Contact us, we’d love to work with you!

Where to promote your Skinny/Low-calorie Menus


Social Media:

Restaurants are using skinny and low-calorie menus to attract more women and social media’s largest user population is women so it seems like a match made in heaven to promote using social media. The goal of the social media campaign is to raise awareness to a large population of the new menu options.

It is important that the person managing your social media, whether outsourced or managed in-house, uses language that is consistent with the brand. Thinking of the brand as a character can illustrate this more clearly. For example, a brand that emulates George Clooney will have a completely different voice than a brand that is more in-tune with Bugs Bunny.

Social media can also be used to gain guest testimonials. When Kona Grill debuted the Skinny Cocktail menu, guests posted on their Facebook page things like, “Oh MY GOD thank you thank you thank you for the skinny cosmos! SO freakin’ excited to go to Kona tonight,” and “HEAVEN to a dietitian!” NF_SkinnyDrinks1

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Seasonal Branding for the first day of fall

fall-leaves-300x199.jpgToday is the first day of fall, and we are noticing seasonal changes in brands. Starbucks launched a campaign to offer their Pumpkin Spice Latte to one city before all others. In addition to special product offerings, Starbucks changes the cups they use on November 1st. Starbucks also creates a buzz around their seasonal changes, and encourages consumers to be excited about product offerings. The ad campaign,  and excitement that Starbucks generates in the fall creates brand momentum and leads to higher sales in the fall and winter months. buycard-banner-011015106-300x102.png

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Test stores and limited time offerings


When adding new offerings to the menu, we suggest testing first. Some brands test by adding items in specific stores first, while others engage in a company wide limited-time offering, and then permanently add the most popular and profitable items to the menu.

Many companies test using both of these methods, deciding which to use based on the product being tested. The major difference between the two is that when introducing items into specific stores first, items are usually added to the regular menu and promoted through traditional and new menu outlets. When a restaurant opts to offer a limited-time menu, the menu is actually a promotional item with new items, not a menu.

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The Skinny trend in menu items


Low-calorie drinks have been rising in popularity since 2008 when Bethenny Frankel debuted her “Skinnygirl Margarita” on her reality show. Since then, restaurants, grocery stores, and coffee shops have adopted sugar-free, fat-free, and low-calorie items.

Know your market

These skinny items are targeted towards women and an older target market and the items are proving very popular among both  demographic segments. Incorporating low-calorie options in a drink menu can encourage guests who wouldn’t normally order a cocktail to indulge, resulting in a higher tab and, if they drinks are priced correctly, higher profit.

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Restaurants and Orange


It takes more than a culinary arts degree to ensure success for any restaurant. Marketing and business schools offer necessary skills and practices, like the power color plays over the customer.

We started this week with an overview of orange color psychology. Today, we want to dive in to how orange can be used in restaurants.

The menu

Orange is a common color for seasonal fruits and vegetables, and signals to  the consumer that the food is fresh. Many orange foods are in season in the summer or fall, especially through the holiday season. The brighter the orange, the more likely the food is in season in summer – like oranges. Around Halloween, pumpkins and sweet potatoes become more popular.

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7 Trending Topics for restaurants

  1. It’s 2011, and most restaurant websites need to catch up. Here is an in-depth article on why restaurant websites are stuck in 1999:
  2. While you’ve (hopefully) jumped on to social media, remember to look past “likes” and “followers” and measure your influence on social media. Jill McFarland takes a deeper look at restaurant social media here:
  3. Find out how important color is to the success of your restaurant with this post on color psychology:
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Branded table tents


As we mentioned Wednesday, table tents must have the same look and feel as the rest of the marketing materials that a restaurant uses. Kona Grill uses their table tents for seasonal promotion, and continues the theme in their email campaigns. For example the table tent below is used to promote their “Slim Chance” menu which offers low calorie food and drinks for a limited time. Although the table tent insert uses different imagery than the email campaign (also below) they feature the same style of photography, and the same layout for the campaign name. The style of the [slim] chance is mirrored on the Kona Grill website, in the regular menus, and on the Facebook page.


Table Tent

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