4 Restaurants with Delicious Content
In my previous post, Content Marketing and Restaurants: How it's Different, I detail why WHY restaurants should be using content marketing. Here I'll show you some examples of restaurants doing the right things regarding their content strategy.
Despite your thoughts on the fried chicken empire that is Chick-Fil-A, there is no way to deny that they have one of the best content marketing (and overall marketing) strategies out there.
Content marketing is all about telling the story of a company and its values. Chick-Fil-A does an excellent job of this in all aspects of their business, especially their website. It has all the things you come to expect from a restaurant's website, along with some things you might not.
The lifestyle section has a massive amount of content. Some of it features products, and some subtly tie their food into other topics.
Chick-Fil-A does a fantastic job of featuring its employees at various locations around the nation and telling their stories of how they give back to their communities. The website has a great mix of video, image, and written content platforms. And their social media presence is immense.
Like many other restaurants with a strong online presence, it offers customer membership instead of a newsletter. It's the same idea, but it's a great way to reward customer loyalty and send out news, content, and promotions. Customer memberships can easily be tied into smartphone apps, making them much more mobile-friendly, and can also be used with email.
The drawback to these membership programs is that they are costly and need a management team, especially if apps are involved. Chick-Fil-A obviously has the money for this, but it could be a challenge for smaller restaurants.
We move from the fried chicken kings to the burger and shake giant. I'll also through the gauntlet here and say that Shake Shack's fried chicken sandwich is superior to Chick-Fil-A. Bring on the arguments in the comments.
There's not a lot going on at the Shake Shack site that Chick-Fil-A isn't doing. One thing that I thought was pretty original is the Shake 10 portion of the site. It allows you to listen to the same music they're playing in their stores, so during the COVID lockdown, people can relive being in a shake shack while they eat their Grubhub order. It also features curated playlists from some of their favorite bands.
Sugarfish sushi is an example of how content marketing can work for smaller, fine dining establishments, as well as large, fast-casual chains.
Visitors to the site can enjoy a video about the founder, Nozawa's story, and the dedication he has put into his craft. There is also a lot of informational content about sustainability, health, food safety, and sushi's common mislabeling.
One page that I found interesting was the condiments guide. It's an interactive guide that shows all the different types of sushi they serve and the traditional condiments that pair with the fish.
Instead of a newsletter or the standard customer membership option, they have a birthday club. It requires you to register, then have at least two dining check-ins between birthdays to receive your free birthday meal.
If your restaurant is incapable or refuses to go the newsletter/membership route, this is a creative way to encourage customer loyalty without putting in a lot of work.
Nothing says family-friendly like ice cream. Cold stone does an excellent job of communicating its family values through content. Despite the fact the content hasn't been updated in three years. A content update every three years or more is definitely not a good look for your site.
Nonetheless, I did like the downloadable extras that they have for kids on their site. Fun things like free coloring books, bingo game cards, and flowchart quizzes are nice free extras to make your customer like you even more.
Things to remember
It's no coincidence that these companies with great content marketing strategies always have lines out the door/drive-thru. They understand that producing great food will keep you open, but a great marketing strategy will make you successful.
If you didn't already notice it on your own, there are five stand-out things that all of these restaurants do when it come to their online presence.
They have original site design.
They highlight their employees and customers along with their food.
They offer free, original content.
They portray their company values through their free content.
They have a method of staying connected with the customer.
When developing the content marketing strategy, have fun with it and get creative. Originality always stands out and makes an impression.
If you're having a hard time or just don't have the time to develop your restaurant's content strategy, please contact us. We'd love to help.