Focused blog writing offers many benefits for restaurants and bars including publicity, increased authority and better SEO results. A blog can tell customers about events and menu changes while providing a human connection.
The first step is deciding who will write the blog. Managers can write posts, use guest bloggers or hire freelance writers to produce material on given topics. Assigning writing duties to a talented writer or chef from the staff is another possibility.
- Writing consistently and updating the blog regularly builds audiences.
- Creativity and attention to detail attract readers.
- Create a content strategy to brand the business.
- Invest in a digital SLR camera to add clear photographs to the blog.
- Double-check spelling and grammar to make a good impression on readers.
Building Brand Authority
Building brand authority for food and beverage businesses involves taking a stand on culinary and local issues, or engaging consumers who love to cook or dine. Offer insights into culinary trends, provide unique recipes or teach people how to cook.
Bloggers don’t need to write all the recipes but can hold contests or use crowdsourcing or social media networks to get submissions. Use a professional writing team to expand options.
Other methods of building authority for food blogs include linking to community events, local festivals, celebrity chefs, food writers and suppliers.
- Promote healthy recipes, organic products or ways to cut calories.
- Provide information on respected health and nutrition websites.
- Link blog posts to local events like parades, concerts, charitable events, trade shows and conferences.
- Produce a calendar of events, local guide or information on cooking classes.
- Partner with noncompetitive neighboring businesses, farms, wineries, breweries or suppliers.
- Interview a respected local or national food celebrity.
- Review local, regional and national food products.
- Post comments on other restaurant and food blogs.
- Complement the blog with professional site design and a recognizable graphic theme.
The basic rule of blogging is to write for people instead of search engines. Getting readers without authority is like cleaning a restaurant until it sparkles to attract customers but serving terrible food.
Supporting Community, Charitable and Political Causes
Writers can promote community causes, political issues that affect the food industry and local or national charities in a restaurant blog. Use the blog to discuss issues, solicit support or encourage actions. The blog can inform customers about special events at the restaurant to raise money for charity, celebrate holidays and promote topics of interest in the community.
Commenting on news stories that relate to the food and beverage industry can draw a larger audience. Tread carefully to avoid offending the customer base, but don’t be afraid to support worthwhile issues that most of the business’s customers endorse.
Engaging customers includes adding social media buttons, sponsoring contests and responding to questions. Sponsor a recipe contest, or get customer responses to restaurant menus and blog posts. Use social media networks to open communications with a wider audience, and welcome any feedback, bad or good.
Getting Ideas and Writing Effectively
Writing effectively depends on the operation’s culinary style, customer demographic profile and the company’s promotional goals. Casual and family diners tend to have different interests than urban singles or gourmet diners. Write for the bar or restaurant’s core customers. Possible ideas for blogs include:
- Recipes, Recipes, Recipes: Recipes draw customers, generate strong keywords and strengthen SEO. Complement posts with step-by-step photos or videos but only if they appear professional.
- New Menu Items: Post information about menu changes, or ask for food ideas from customers.
- Post Photos or Slideshows: Let photos do the talking occasionally.
- Compose Lists: Lists are among the most popular topics, so compile lists like “The Top Five Chili Recipes” or “Six Best Restaurant Entrées in the City.”
- Best Food and Drink for Occasions: Compile suggestions for food and beverages on holidays and special occasions.
- Use Current Events: Even the weather makes a practical topic for restaurant blogs. Discuss seasonal foods, outdoor dining venues or news that affects food prices.
- Special Diets: Explore paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.
- The Back Story: Posts about the company’s founder, chef, culinary philosophy or menu favorites charm readers and encourage sharing and media inquiries about feature stories.
- Asking Questions to Find Topics: Ask questions to let the audience suggest future blog topics, or prepare FAQs and answers about the restaurant, culinary style or company history.
Best Restaurant Blog Writing Practices
Always give customers a reason to return by giving them a hint of future posts. Ask questions to stimulate exchanges of ideas. Keeping the blog current, professional and entertaining are essential. Other best practices include:
- Never plagiarize, and check facts carefully.
- Write with personality and a point-of-view, but make sure that it resonates well with the company’s customers.
- Respect other people on the restaurant team, and acknowledge their efforts.
- Write strong headlines using emotional anchor words that grab attention.
Covering every issue in a blog post is impossible, but try to hit the high points in an organized, and easy-to-scan way. Break up long posts with lists, headlines and short paragraphs so that readers can get the gist of each post quickly.