Copywriting has a valuable role in restaurant marketing. Whether it is your website copy, the wording on your menu or your voice on social media. It should be consistent, it should be informative/entertaining and it should be an extension of your brand. Let’s indulge:
1. A Great Headline: Like in editorial, a great headline still applies. It catches the viewer’s attention and makes them keep reading. Your restaurant name, items on your menu, a blog whatever it is, a good headline should align with your brand objectives. Whether it be bold, cheeky or even all around controversial, make sure it stands out.
2. Storytelling: This has become a leading asset in a brand positioning over the past few years. A story is summed up with an opening, conflict, dialogue then closing or solution. You can even form a story based on the history of your restaurant or the journey you took to open your doors. Creating a plot that is historic, exciting or passionate can help form your brand and give people insight to your background.
3. Be Descriptive & Imaginative: Even when it comes down to the text on your menu, make people literally dream of what it is your describing. Being bold with your adjectives is an important element to setting a tone, flavour or mood. When you describe a scenery or even a taste well enough, people act on desire to try it. Seize an opportunity to make a great description that people will regret not trying.
4. Be Frank: And I don’t mean wieners. Honesty and transparency is sometimes the best route in marketing and when you tell the pros and cons in your marketing this may have you come out on top. This means your not trying to be the big guys which can gain empathy and trust, after all your just being honest about your weaknesses. And showing this in advertising or marketing may help drive more sales to your restaurant. Ever watch Chef?
5. Be Social: Start the conversation. Be interesting and engaging while still keeping the voice of your brand in tact (and within 140 characters if your using Twitter), no pressure. It is an art; engaging users on social media without sounding like your trying too hard, boring or selling people something. Look at hashtags or trending topics to help. Attention is the name of the game, so be sure to write to win it. Let’s be honest, most of restaurant marketing is done on social media now a days, but that is a blog post on it’s own.
6. Wordplay: Puns or linguistic play can be fun although this can be overdone. If used well, it can give a boost to your content. Be clear in your wordplay if there is something that may not be precise or clear, then don’t use it. A common use; bars will have a black chalk board sign outside of their restaurant and write something engaging, current or entertaining on it. Be clever.
7. Educate: With a rise in millennial target markets, you want to be able to educate and inform them as this is what they are looking for. Make sure to not have long winded copy and be entertaining while you educate. Focus on the big idea of what your saying. Just be sure to do your research and do not start claiming facts because you think you can. Be sure what you say has big data and authenticity to it.
8. Scanning: Since our brains see so much everyday, (especially copy or text) we have a tendency to subconsciously scan instead of read and absorb. Using words or characters that stand out, like ‘NEW’ or ‘WIN” can be a great advantage of getting attention. In body copy, do not use ALL CAPS as our brains cannot register it easily, in comparison to upper and lower case. Overall, use ‘call out words or symbols’ within text sparingly as it can get washed out if someone uses it excessively.
9. Be Emotional: Some of the greatest advertisers of all time know how to grab peoples emotions with great copy. ‘Invite only’ for example is a huge attention getter as it plays on the exclusivity of a product or event, establishing status. Other emotions like desire, need, curiosity or even belief and gluttony can provoke compelling marketing copy and with great results. “Sell me this Pen!”
10. Simplify: According to FastCo. new trends for 2016, ‘Macro moments will be mighty’. Why? Because they are quick, and begin exposed to so much per day our attention spans are becoming more so shorter than ever. Simplify making short quick sentences that can engage the consumer, turn heads and give you a marketing advantage. He said whaaaaattt?!? and not just on twitter. Manifestos resonate well with audiences, making them an advocate of your brand with short snippets of your brands voice. Break it down and sum it up. — Ironically this was the longest paragraph in this post.
The key to a successful restaurant was not location, great food, or low prices —
it was the presence of a starving crowd that needed and wanted what your restaurant had to offer.
— Notorious copywriting genius Gary Halbert Source
Using a combination of what is on this list can make your copywriting work well for you and your brand. You can even test out samples on social media to see what works and what doesn’t.
I am no copywriter but I love sharing what I know with restaurateurs and hospitality professionals. Hope this post was helpful and let me know any thoughts on Twitter or Facebook if I missed (or misspelled) anything! Oh, last note: don’t forget to put your call to action whether a website, logo or name so they can interact and get involved in your marketing plans.
Lastly; A great resource for copywriting is Copyblogger.com for additional tips.
Avid Creative is a graphic design studio specializing in creative services for restaurateurs and businesses in F&B and Hospitality. If you would like a quote or have questions please get in touch today! Read the stories that inspired Avid Creative. Or keep in touch through the Avid Creative Newsletter.