Here are a few considerations to fine tune your activity and get the most out of your technology investment.
The key with social media is to have an ongoing objective, and a plan to reach it. We’ll assume your goal is to increase awareness of your business while communicating with your existing customers. Social media manager and founder of @bluemtns_eats, Justin Hunter, gives his advanced tips:
- The biggest thing is consistency. You may have smashed it for the first few weeks posting like a boss, but you really need to keep the momentum, stick to a schedule and find that balance between silence and over-saturation.
- Aim to make every post educational in some way. Tell the story of a new dish, life BoH or some facts about your local suppliers. Take a look at @threeblueducks Insta game for inspiration.
- Don’t forget to engage with all responses to your posts. Thank any positive comments and try not to reply rashly to anything negative. If things get nasty, just block the user.
- The best way to grow your following is to follow heaps of pages that are related to what you’re doing: other venues, chefs, suppliers, customers, food blogs, etc. The more you engage with other pages, the more they engage with you, and the more word will spread.
Home delivery apps
As home delivery continues to grow, the impact is being felt by smaller operators. To keep up with extra demands, some changes may be needed to the way you do things.
Chef Shane Delia says UberEats and other delivery services such as Deliveroo have forced restaurants to change the way they offer food, even the food they offer.
After making his name with Middle Eastern fine diner Maha in Melbourne’s CBD, Delia moved into casual dining with kebab store Biggie Smalls. “Fifty per cent of your revenue goes out the back door, we have had to be flexible and have had to be forward thinking otherwise we will go the way of the taxi driver,” he told Fairfax.
He operates two brick and mortar Biggie Small stores and two other dark kitchens, which are online only. It’s where Delia wants to build his business with another seven dark kitchens planned.
Questions to ask yourself
For those Chefs who can’t afford to invest in a ‘dark kitchen’ to handle online orders, here are the questions you need to ask before making a splash on home delivery technology:
- Is there real local demand for your food?
- Are your customers asking for it and how often would they use it?
- How will you package your food and will it travel well?
- Look at your menu and decide what dishes will travel well and remove any from your home delivery menu that don’t.
- Consider investing in a POS system that will consolidate your existing table orders with an online ordering system and make sure it’s accurate. A customer sending back a wrong home delivery is not going to happen.
- How far away do your customers live and will you set boundaries on the delivery options?
- Will you also take into account the delivery time between kitchen and table?
Before diving in, it’s a good idea to see clearly what the tangible benefits are at the bottom of the technology pool and what it can do for your bottom line before dipping your toe in!