How can PR be used to help restaurants?

2021-03-30 by Jim Crickell
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What are the stats around restaurant industry success standards?

The restaurant industry is among the most cutthroat. Look into the industry statistics, and one will find that 60% of restaurants don’t make it past the first year of operating. Even more hauntingly, 80% are out of business within 5 years of opening doors.

What makes or breaks the difference between success and failure? It comes down to many things, such as quality of ingredients, location, and costs. But there is one tool that a restaurant business can use to survive—public relations.

How can an effective PR strategy help save a business?

One of the most influential parts of whether a restaurant business will sink or float is consumer beliefs around a brand. An effective PR campaign can bring media attention to an eatery organically. Hosting a local news segment in a restaurant on opening day can drum up noise in the area, drawing customers.

Positive reviews posted on Google or a brand webpage can give potential customers an idea of what made old first-time consumers into life-long patrons of a restaurant. Being featured in an article about the decades of high food and employee safety standards in a business can reassure customers that the food is made and kept in sanitary conditions.

What can I include in my restaurant PR and branding?

For many consumers today, the deciding factor between eating at place A or place B has become the brand’s story. A strong, moving personal story or message conveyed through branding to consumers gives the most potential to a business owner to connect with a customer.

Humans are, for the most part, emotionally motivated creatures. Everyone wants that warm moment of reminiscing over a slice of apple pie that tastes just like Grandma’s. If a brand’s story is that the pies are made using a generations-old recipe that Grandma gave the owner, that connection can easily be built into a consumer’s mind. “If I want Grandma’s pie, I go to Little Suzy Cream Cheese Bakery.” This is why the personal story of the owner and the brand can be so fundamental to influencing consumer behavior.

Tools to Boost PR and Branding Efforts

There are many tools a brand can use to maximize the impact of a PR campaign. Use the appropriate media outlets for the correct content. Long-form video content does not belong in the “About” section of the company Facebook page.

News articles and features are a great asset to focus attention on, so post good news and important updates when possible. Build strong bonds with influencers and affiliates that can be collaborated with. Influencers provide an entirely new stream of revenue if the followers are not consumers of the brand already. Building a relationship with a local grower and featuring them on a menu can highlight the use of organic or locally grown ingredients.