Trend and innovation

How to draw tourists into your restaurant

  • 5 November 2018
  • 8min

Have a multi-lingual website

Tourists looking for a restaurant in their next holiday destination or for their next business trip will look out for a good website that showcases the establishment. In the absence of being able to ask questions directly, they will want to have the task made easy for them which includes finding their way around a website in a language that they understand. If only a partial translation is available, restaurant owners should choose the menu that best represents their establishment. This will help to reference them in many foreign search engines. The menu should also be displayed in several languages at the restaurant entrance and should also be offered to customers when they are making their choice.

Have booking management system at your disposal

Time differences often make it difficult for travellers to make reservations by telephone. Communication may also prove problematic for those taking reservations by phone in another language. This may result in misunderstandings on both sides which could have been avoided. Having an email contact may limit mistakes but customers cannot always be sure of a fast reply. The answer ? An online reservation system indicating the time slots and number of covers available on the selected date. The person making the reservation can also notify the restaurant of dietary requirements, allergies or special needs (child’s high chair or wheelchair access etc.) or say where they would prefer to be seated.

Work with international influencers

Today, restaurants and their reputations are often spoken about on the social networks by those we fondly term as foodies. They really do hold all the cards ! Thanks to the photos they post of the dishes, their tasting stories, videos of the kitchens and other visual edits that need no translating, they can turn a restaurant with signature dishes into THE place to go and eat. It is in the best interests of all restaurant owners to attract the sharp eye and honed palates of these international influencers so that they will share their dining experience with their community. A good way to reach out to those who follow these online celebrities is to offer partnerships (often in the form of payment according to the numbers of followers) via competitions to find the secret ingredient in a recipe for example, or voting for the best dish on a menu or even offering promotional codes for off-peak reservations.

Contacter restaurant guides in the countries you wish to target

Think about featuring in the Michelin, Zagat, Gault&Millau, Lebey and the 50Best listing guides as well as the columns of good local newspapers. Contact the food critics, journalists and culinary professionals who work for these and other well-read titles. It is essential to work with a local public and press relations agency to reach out to another category of influencer and invite them to sample the restaurant’s signature dishes. Be very careful when choosing your publicist. Make sure you check they have all the right contacts when it comes to the press and gastronomic guides.

Manage customer reviews left on the web

Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc…Keep a close eye on the public platforms referencing your restaurant and the comments left there and complete or alter information if necessary. In some countries, the comments are taken literally and could provide a real argument for people to make or not make the decision to eat there. The majority of customers will trust the comments of people from their own country who have paid a visit to the restaurant in question. If the feedback is negative, the restaurant owner or chef should take the opportunity to apologise and explain the reason for any poor dining experience sustained.

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