Reputaige is Restaurant Reputation management

Reputation marketing specialists – Reputiage Reputation Marketing-  announces that reputation management is no longer just another option to restaurant businesses.

        In fact, in the world of modern marketing this kind of brand reinforcement has become an absolute necessity.

Reputiage marketing company was born out of the growing need for local Restauteurs to not only manage their reputation but market their business through better Social Media venue communications with customers: past, present and future.

A great online reputation can have a huge impact on a company’s revenue. When researchers at the Harvard Business School analyzed restaurant reviews and revenue in Seattle they found that a one-star increase on the popular review site Yelp meant a five to nine per cent increase in revenue for independent restaurants. And it’s not just restaurants that are affected it’s just about every business that deals directly with the public.

One thing that has been made clear is that reputation management no longer optional for restaurants that deal directly with the public. The internet has empowered consumers today in a way that has never been seen before enabling them to reach out to your potential customers in real time and on gathering passions making it impossible for businesses to succeed without some form of reputation management and comprehensive sustained marketing efforts.

Now-a-days you have to operate and encourage customers to post their opinions and complaints on business-review and social media sites. Your company’s success or failure in large part hinges on the effect that your current online management of your reputation to encourage others to buy your product or indulge in your specialty services. Shoppers today want to know that you have a good business reputation according to what others say about you to ensure they are making a wise purchase decision….this is why the word managed reputation is a segment of any mangers daily repertoire. Technology has empowered the consumer to review your performance and blast it in front of the entire world and, only the use of technology will insure you respond appropriately.

You should suggest to your favorite customers to leave positive reviews. This is only a small part of what is required for a restaurant business to succeed today. You need to monitor reviews and respond quickly to those that are negative. In order to do this you need a system to monitor review sites and make you aware of claims for or against your reputation. You need to make sure the good reviews outweighs the bad on all review sites. The way to do that is to promote the publication of positive reviews across all the reviewing blogs and websites for our industry.


Reputiage makes a similarly impossible task less tiresome with the use of the right technology.


The Social Changes in Dining Habits

Chef Michael Bennett tells what we should expect for the future of our Food Business The Social Changes in Dining Habits

When you think about it, we will never dine again like we did a decade ago.

  • With the generational gap between the 70’s counter culture people – the Boomers – that demanded uber-chic foods from their restaurants in the 1980’s – to today’s diners – the Y-generation that has lived through multiple economic down-turns and a social revolution over the past two decades; our current dining clientele have no idea what opulent dining should be.


The dining populace today is looking for dwindling prices and bold flavors. They are not looking for superior products that are well thought-out in rich visual appeal; it has to be instantaneous and scrumptious without drawn-out service attributes. The dining public that insisted on a 2½ hour dining experience is long gone. Those people are now investing their disposable income on supporting their aging parents, instead of treating themselves to an evening of culinary bliss.

There is one avenue in culinary field that is growing in affluence and totality: the gourmet food market segment. Companies such as Wild Oats, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market continue to grow, and are more popular today than anyone could have imagined in the beginning of the 1990s.

It’s the result of the Boomers treating themselves to superlative foods at home, rather than going out for fine dining. Their teen-age kids are being brought up expecting that this the norm. This procurement practice learned before they leave to go to college seems like it will transverse to the next generation unlike, fine dining of the 1980’s.


Gourmet markets flaunting the highest quality cheeses from Europe, olive oils from around the Mediterranean, prime-aged meats and fresh locally harvested seafood abound in and around South Florida. Home-grown gourmet markets budded from long-standing family-owned local food markets. These markets over the decades saw that as their clientele gained esteem through their occupations, so did their need to live prodigiously at home. Coupled with the lack of formal dining out of the home and the need to still treat oneself, metropolitan gourmet markets flourish.

Look across the Southern United States, where retiring Boomers are now settling for a quite retirement from the rat race and you can see there is an increasing demand for gourmet and time-saving prepared food markets. Looking across Florida, Arizona and Texas, gourmet markets like: Epicure, Norman Brother’s, Gardener’s (all in Miami), Fernanda’s and Doris markets in Fort Lauderdale and Carmine’s of Palm Beach, Rice Epicurean and Eatzies in Houston and Dallas, Central Market in San Antonio, Texas, AJ’s fine foods in Phoenix, have been blossoming in popularity and scope.

I can remember going shopping downtown to the only place in Fort Lauderdale that sells deCecco pasta, Fernando’s, with my grandmother in the 1970’s. This is the way it starts for generational cooking at home. The Boomers have already indoctrinated their college aged kids to expect these markets to fulfill their needs for their future.


It has been a long journey for the family markets but, this segment is expanding faster than most other segment of the food service spectrum.

“We have seen the growth in sales rise ever since the Boomers started to retire”, a gourmet store manager told me. In the Tampa and Sarasota area of the Florida’s West Coast, there is up and coming places like Morton’s that have broken away from the mom and pop attitude to roasted-in-house gourmet coffee beans, supply in-house prepared entire Home Meal Replacements, dedicate a major part of the floor space to European cheeses and charcuteire that until recently unattainable in most of the United States.


A newly unexpected social scene for Boomers occur at these gourmet markets. Not only do people linger long at their favorite markets, purchasing specialty foods for dinner, shopping has become a see-and-be-seen sport. It has become universal rationale to go to your favorite gourmet market to spend the afternoon socializing with friends. Today’s Boomer social customs have changed from the “Me generation” to the “We generation”.

The Internet and these markets are now the new siscos for the We Generation. We all want to be interconnected with others, it’s a social thing. The We society as a whole went through many stages.

First it was TV, then cable and i’s broadcasting of specific aspects of the social realm. Cable news brought us together as a country. Thanks to CNN, we know as much of what is happening in California and New York as around the city in which we live. MTV quickly spread to young Americans the urban sounds that they never would have heard locally in their own rural part of the country.

The rapid spread of cable’s cooking shows have led us to become food voyeurs, watching shows and their hosts that we would have previously would only have known from reading their cookbooks. No one has to look far for lessons on any food subject.

Now, the Internet has become the No. 1 outlet for information and our new interconnect-ability.

In the digital world, everyone can be a star as long as they can reach a dedicated viewership. Our Boomer community feels this immediacy brings more inter-connectivity on a personal basis while scanning their favorite sites. By opting-in to blogs and YouTube videos specific to our own wants, the social inter-connection is growing stronger. We can choose to interact with other cooks online, or watch favorites from our computers now sitting on our kitchen counters.

It’s a new age in dining – and where will the next generation get its food information? Time will tell.

* * *

Chef Michael Bennett is chef at the Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and is the author of In the Land of Misfits, Pirates and Cooks, Underneath a Cloudless Sky and Culture of Cuisine.

The digital marketing aspect of Restaurants

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The digital marketing aspect of promoting a restaurant can often be a secondary thought. But creating the same intimate, casual or fine dining experience on social media that can be expected at a restaurant is essential to standing out in an industry of numerous options, typically searched for with little lead time and often sought out by location and via mobile device.

If resources are limited, and they almost always are, the two areas restaurateurs should concentrate on are social media channels and responding to reviews.


Social Media Presence:
Accounts on large social sites including Facebook and Twitter may seem obvious, but less obvious platforms can also assist in raising awareness of a restaurant. Consider image-centric platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to showcase quality images of dishes or share recipes as well as video-based channels like YouTube and Vine to offer a “behind the scenes” look.

Establishing these accounts is just one piece of the pie. Regularly scheduled postings that share specials and discounts as well as local write-ups and upcoming events will help to gain the following restaurants desire for long-term success. A restaurant’s following is found by posting information on social media, but it is maintained and flourishes by posting quality content that does not always sell.

Not only will followers be given a glimpse of a restaurant’s style, cuisine and philosophy on social, but it also provides a platform for your customers to post quality content on a restaurant’s behalf. Encourage diners to share their experience and they’ll quickly become social media champions. Considering that 49% of people use Facebook when searching for restaurants, the positive buzz on social media can be more influential than your most strategically placed, thoughtfully targeted ads.

Restaurant Reviews & Online Reputation:
Social media lets patrons informally share their take on a restaurant with their followers, with Facebook reviews going a step further by putting this feedback directly on a restaurant’s page. Review sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon are resources for diners searching for where to eat, when to eat or even a particular cuisine. They provide information like price point, menu and location, details that are essential to the decision-making process for the mobile user, 95% of which conduct restaurant searches. These sites are also home to positive and negative feedback from guests that is considered just as trustworthy as a personal recommendation by 79% of consumers. Reviews, however, have the potential to be far more impactful based on their considerably greater reach than traditional word of mouth.

Consider these statistics:
53% of 18- to 34-year-olds report that online reviews factor into their dining decisions.
58% of consumers searched restaurant ratings online in 2014, making it the top-searched industry.
A one-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5 to 9% increase in revenue.

Managing these reviews should be a priority. Negative reviews are opportunities to reach out and connect not only to the reviewer, but the greater audience of readers. Address positive and negative feedback and monitor business listings for reviews that violate site guidelines. Restaurateurs need to be aware of what is being said about their business online and have a process in place to look into reviewers’ comments and respond accordingly.

Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle for Restaurants can create and execute an innovative social media and reputation management strategy customized for your restaurant. The experienced digital marketing strategists that provide solutions for hotels will cultivate your restaurant’s online presence.

Through its CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Agency operating division, the company offers hospitality focused and fully managed outsourced hotel social media marketing customized solutions. In addition the company offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 day a year Social Customer Care service (

HOW TO: Get Journalists to Tell Your Story

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum.

Any press may be good press, but good press is even better. Yet, how do you stand out among your competitors and catch the attention of journalists? The traditional route is to pitch your story directly to reporters and hope it’s compelling enough that they’ll bite, or to offer your expertise around breaking news topics with your fingers crossed that the reporter is even working on a story about whatever that might be. Another option, however, is to respond to requests on sites that connect reporters with sources.
The most well-known of those is probably Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Started by Peter Shankman in 2008, it now connects over 100,000 sources with nearly 30,000 journalists. There are others, too — Media Kitty, FlackList, ProfNet, NewsBasis and Reporter Connection, are among the most active. These communities have grown so popular, that it’s now difficult for sources to stand out on these platforms, as well.

We spoke with Heather Kirk, the founder of Media Kitty, and Jennifer Nichols, CEO of FlackList, to get some tips on how sources can improve their chances of being noticed when responding to queries from journalists.

1. Be Fast
Speed matters when it comes to catching the eye of a busy journalist for two reasons. First, he is probably operating on deadline, so getting connected to a solid source quickly is important. Second, there are a huge number of other qualified sources trying to catch his eye at the same time. The last time I used one of these sites to find interviewees for a story, I received more than 100 email responses in the first six hours. That’s a lot to sort through, and the further out from my query, the more likely it was that I had already found the sources I needed to complete my piece.

“Respond as soon as you see the query and well before the deadline,” advises Nichols. “Once a reporter has what he/she needs, he doesn’t usually continue sifting through query responses.”

2. Be On Target

One thing all journalists universally hate is having their time wasted. Make sure when responding to a query on any of the aforementioned sites that your pitch is on target. Journalists are looking for sources that match their needs, not people who maybe, sort of, might have some expertise in a kind of, semi-related area.

“Don’t respond to a query unless what you are offering is truly a fit,” says Nichols, who advises that responses be kept to the point and devoid of fluff, but still full of relevant information. “The trick here is to still keep it short while including the pertinent info.”

Kirk also advises keeping the clutter out of your pitch and finding a unique — but still germane — angle to set yourself apart. “Relevant, researched and realistic replies score best. Attaching their hook to your material is key — colorful examples, links to fitting images, engaging background briefs and on-target experts with clout, character and ready accessibility all help set you apart,” she says.

3. Be Honest
“Don’t bait and switch,” says Nichols. “If you offer an executive for an interview, make sure you can deliver. Reporters don’t have the time or patience for your CEO to somehow now be on a plane to Rome and have only an assistant VP able to chat.”

Coming off as dishonest is the best way to sour what could have been a long-term relationship with a reporter. If a journalist doesn’t think he can trust you, there’s very little incentive to ever quote you (or your client) as an expert in the future.

“Many sources see every journalist lead as an opportunity to finagale their way into publicity, jazz up their client reports or nurture new contacts. Leads can offer all of these, but only if you tackle replies with transparency and sincerity,” notes Kirk.

4. Be Personal

Remember that when using these types of source-matching sites, yours is likely one of hundreds of responses that the reporter has received. Sometimes a personal touch goes a long way toward making you stand out from the crowd.

“A well-written, personalized and targeted response where there is a clear fit will get you noticed,” says Kirk.
Similarly, Nichols advises Googling journalists before pitching them to familiarize yourself with what they write. “Check out the style of their stories and how they typically present info and mimic that in your pitch,” she says.

5. Be Precise
Make sure your responses are accessible. No reporter has time to sift through a wordy or poorly composed pitch to try to find that nugget of expertise or the unique perspective that you might be able to offer. Craft a response that is straightforward and to the point and you’ll increase your chances of being tapped as a source.

“Make your reply easy to scan with bullet points and rich context. Rather than bulk up an email with attachments that call for an extra step to open and review, links are handier. Keep your response lean yet workable, colorful yet specific. Look for niche services that tailor to specific beats to up your odds even more,” says Kirk.

How to P.R. Your Restaurant

As a colleague once told me, “Publicity plants the seed, promotion fertilizes the seed, advertising ripens the crops and personal selling harvests the crop.”

Like most restaurant owners, you likely have developed a marketing plan involving promotion, advertising, and selling. Yet you shouldn’t leave out planting the all-important seed of publicity.

Publicity, or the act of capturing the interest of the public through media channels, can keep Your operation on the minds of customers and industry leaders. It can create a new brand, build on past branding efforts, or boost sales. If your goal is to develop a restaurant chain or to sell your small chain to a large corporation, publicity can help you gain the attention of potential franchisees or buyers.

If you are too busy to undertake an extensive media relations program, the answer might be to hire a public relations firm that specializes in publicity. But hiring a PR agency can be uncharted territory for many executives and entrepreneurs. How do you find the right firm? As many of your colleagues probably can tell you, working with a publicist or public relations firm can be a dream come true or a nightmare. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

The success of your media relations program hinges on finding an agency you trust, feel comfortable working with, and will get you results. Here how to get the best PR experience.

Be clear about how publicity works and how it differs from other marketing strategies. The messages you communicate through advertising and promotions tend to be direct and simple, in order to reach consumers quickly and effectively.

Publicity, on the other hand, is a more subtle approach. You want to gain the attention of the media, so you have to tailor your messages to their needs. The reward is that a mention in the press legitimizes your business far more than advertising. After all, in the eyes of the consumer, anyone can buy ad space, but not every business is so successful that it is newsworthy.

Stories about your restaurant or franchise operation will center on angles that make you different from your competitors, not your basic marketing messages. If you expect articles to simply praise your business or tout the ingredients in your food, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Nothing turns off reporters and editors more than a hard sell. A publicist should be able to help you identify story angles that will hook the media.

With publicity, you’re building public awareness and credibility, and that takes time. You might want that Wall Street Journal feature story right now, but it can be years in the making. Just because your operation is doing well doesn’t mean you’ll be splashed on the cover of Business Week; many entrepreneurs are doing well and have interesting stories to tell. To gain credibility nationally, you first have to build a foundation of stories locally, regionally, and in the trades.

For instance, one client of ours, a large regional pizza restaurant franchise, wanted a higher profile on a national level. We landed a Wall Street Journal feature after two years of hard work. That sounds like a long time, but in the interim, we placed powerful stories in major newspapers and in the trades, which helped the client gain experience in media relations and get comfortable with interviews. When the WSJ reporter called, the client was ready.

Realistically, you can expect local coverage within six weeks, in the trades within four to six months, and in national publications in about 16 to 32 months. Remember, PR is an investment, not a guarantee.

Interview the candidates. You have to know what you want the firm to accomplish -—and telling them that you want them “to get us some ink” isn’t enough. You have to know who you want to reach, which means you must know your audience. If its industry leaders, then ask the firm how it stories in trade publications or about its track record with national business magazines. If it’s local publicity you’re after, talk with the firm about its relationships with either the city’s restaurant reporters or business editors. Tell them which regional publications your customers read, and gauge their reaction to see if they’re comfortable working with those publications.

As a restaurateur, you may be interested in promoting either yourself or one of your chefs as a television personality. But on-air cooking is not necessarily a natural talent; it’s more like singing, dancing, and selling, all at the same time while paying attention camera placement.

If you have such aspirations, ask firm if they have experience in spokesperson training. You may even want see a tape of performances they have coached. Like other kinds of publicity, becoming a celebrity chef takes time. Before you start swapping jokes and trading recipes with Katie Couric and Al Roker, you’ll have to develop a reel of performances on local television programs. Find out if the agency can help you.

Let’s see some proof. You’ll want to see the firm’s successes for past and current clients in the way of newspapers clips and printed feature articles from trade publications. Also, don’t hesitate to ask to review samples of press releases, fact sheets, and other written materials. Remember to check for clear writing and creative approaches that were used to generate press coverage.

And here’s a secret to be sure the firm really has those wonderful relationships with the media that it brags about. Request a list of reporters and producers the firm works with on a regular basis. Call them and ask what they think about the firm.

“Who will be working on my account?” Many larger agencies will bring in senior staff—the “big guns” — with years of impressive experience to close the business, and then turn your work over to a struggling junior associate.

An inexperienced account executive might be a real go-getter and a quick study, and you could be launching an impressive career. On the other hand, some neophytes are intimidated by making cold calls to producers, editors, and reporters. The campaign could be compromised, and you may find yourself doing your own media relations work.

Look for an agency that promises senior-level involvement at the beginning and throughout the life of your working relationship. At the very least, make sure the junior associates have a safety net, and that the firm’s principals are always there to guide them if difficulties and problems arise.

Find out how many accounts your account executive is responsible for and how long he or she has been with the firm. From the response, you often can gauge how important your business will be to the agency.

Be sure the chemistry is good between you and your contact. If you’re going to be irritating each other, it will be a painful experience for both. Depending upon the intensity of the publicity campaign, you may have frequent contact with the account executive, and you’ll talk to him or her at least once a week.

And after you hire the firm, keep in mind the following. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

It’s a partnership. Working with a PR firm or publicist is not like working with other consulting firms or consultants, because you’re a participant in the activities, not just an observer. You will need to be available to provide interviews to reporters that your publicist has arranged, as well as be accessible to your publicist when the media is on deadline.

It will be your responsibility to keep the process from coming to a screeching halt by giving approval press materials in a timely manner, and well within the firm’s deadline for getting them distributed. Take a more active interest in the media and news organizations, and think about what will spur their interest and what’s important to them. You will be able to give ideas to the PR firm, who will turn them into publicity.

How do you know they’re doing a good job? The simplest way is to count the clips. Are you getting more news stories and TV appearances than you were getting before you hired the agency? Are you getting more hits on your Web site than before campaign? Are reporters and producers calling? If so, the firm is doing its job.

At this stage, you may be looking for return on your investment, but putting a dollar amount on it will be difficult. To gauge how publicity has affected your business, you can compare sales from last year, but you can judge success only if you have changed nothing else during that time. In other words, promotions, advertising, menu changes, and the like all have an effect on sales. If you’ve kept everything else consistent, you’ll be able to track the efficacy of your publicity campaign.

How to pump up your PR

There was a time when a good reputation and word of mouth alone were sufficient to create and maintain a successful restaurant. But those days are long gone. More than ever, positive public awareness is vital to a restaurant’s success. The best way to achieve that awareness is through a public relations campaign.

Effective restaurant public relations efforts that generate favorable exposure through newspapers, magazines, TV stations, radio stations and the Internet promise a wider reach than word of mouth alone. And the public often puts more stock in articles about your restaurant than in advertisements. A carefully crafted restaurant public relations campaign will raise both media and consumer awareness of your business. Simply put, working with the media can help start and sustain a buzz about your restaurant.

So what exactly is restaurant public relations, and why is it the best route for to create positive awareness? People often confuse PR with advertising, but two are dramatically different. Simply put, advertising involves ads while involves news. Both are designed elevate interest in a product or service. Both use the same media: print, radio, television, billboards and the Internet. You may have heard the saying, “Advertising you pay for, but public relations you pray for.” Though the adage is old, the sentiment is especially true today. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

PR Builds Credibility

Public relations helps form a favorable public opinion through the implied endorsement of unbiased industry authorities (namely print and broadcast media outlets). Which holds more weight: an advertisement about a new restaurant opening or a positive article about the hottest new eatery in town?

The late entertainer Will Rogers once said, “All I know is just what I read in the papers.” PR generates news coverage, and news coverage builds credibility. People believe what they read in newspapers and magazines, what they hear on the radio and what they see on television. But people often are skeptical of what they see in an advertisement, because everyone knows it’s easy to toot your own horn.

Because they are so costly, advertisements also do not give you ample room to personalize the story of your restaurant. A public relations campaign does. By generating multiple story angles designed to reach different media outlets—such as business journals, foodservice and hospitality trade publications, daily and weekly newspapers, city and regional magazines, regional dining and entertainment publications and major national magazines—you increase the chances of having stories about your restaurant published and aired. Each of these stories tells the public what your restaurant is all about.

Take, for example, a high-end Middle Eastern restaurant, Leila, that was opening in West Palm Beach, FL. To encourage a broad base of media coverage, Leila’s public relations firm wrote and distributed a series of press releases focusing on such story angles as the integral role the restaurant is playing in the revitalization of the surrounding historic district, the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine and a profile of Leila’s owner.

The PR firm also created story angles detailing the cultural elements of the restaurant, including the true and often-misunderstood art of belly dancing, the Arabic tradition of smoking the arguileh (water pipe) and the Middle Eastern custom of mezze (which involves sharing generous portions of appetizers among family and friends).

The press releases helped generate stories in local and regional newspapers and magazines, creating a buzz leading up to the grand opening and beyond. In fact, a month before the restaurant even opened, it was booked solid with private parties because meeting planners had read about it.

Cost-Effective Marketing

While advertising is an important part of any marketing program, a strategic PR plan has the potential to make a subtle yet profound impact. A positive mention in a prominent publication, for example, builds credibility, positions the company as an industry leader and generates awareness. Furthermore, a well-placed story can reap benefits for an extended period using a fundamental PR strategy: placing a story in one publication and moving it up the ladder to another magazine or newspaper, or transferring it to another medium such as radio or television.

Consumers often clip articles they read about a restaurant they would like to try or a destination they would like to visit. Also, a copy of the publication containing your article can be distributed to customers and other contacts. This is another way to “touch” customers and prospects and keep them informed about special accomplishments and up-to-date on both you and your company.

If a newspaper or magazine in your area is noteworthy, you can cite “as seen in” on all printed advertising, e-mail signatures and point-of-purchase marketing when an article mentions your restaurant. “As seen in the Boston Globe” can give you tremendous credibility and set you apart from your competition in a significant way.

Of course, one PR opportunity often leads to another. For example, assignment editors and reporters at TV and radio stations read the local and regional newspapers and magazines and sometimes get story ideas from published articles they read. Similarly, editors and reporters at newspapers and magazines sometimes get ideas from stories they hear on the radio or see on TV. The ultimate goal of a restaurant public relations campaign is to get you noticed and to attract guests into your location. A flattering article in the local newspaper or regional magazine creates a celebrity status for the person or place profiled. This truely seperates you from your competition. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

Why Hire an Expert?

Some people think they can write a press release, send it to the media and watch the publicity from published and broadcast stories pour in. If that were true, then public relations firms wouldn’t exist. Effective PR is an art that involves writing well-crafted press releases with story angles that interest the media, not self-serving marketing verbiage. There is nothing more irritating to reporters than receiving poorly written press releases with no newsworthy angles.

A restaurant public relations firm, you by creating targeted publicity materials and allowing you to focus on your core business.

When choosing a public relations firm, you should seek an agency that understands your business well and is connected with the media that are important to you. To find such a firm, you can conduct an Internet search, ask for referrals and loof for companies that are generating favorable press for their clients. Chances are great that the restaurant companies that you read about in trade publications are represented by an effective restaurant public relations firm.

It’s also extremely important to make sure any firm has a genuine interest in your background and future potential. they can’t get excited about you do, it will be harder for them to get the media excited enough to write about you.

Remember, the goal of a restaurant public relations campaign is to create and maintain a buzz about your restaurant, build your credibility, position you in the marketplace and stretch your marketing dollars. Lots of media outlets are within your reach if you have a well-crafted plan and the right restaurant public relations partner to execute it.

Are your web pages designed to look good on a smart phone or tablet?

New visitors land on your home page in a variety of ways, such as a Google search, or through your Yelp profile. Perhaps a friend mentioned your restaurant on Facebook or your Groupon promotion included a link to your website. No matter where they come from, the bottom line is this: Visitors who land at your website are qualified prospects, ready to decide whether they will try your restaurant. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

Is your restaurant website ready to convert visitors to customers? The following are four ways to improve your chances.

1. Optimize your website for mobile users.

We’ve officially entered the era of smart phones and tablets. These mobile devices are being used for browsing the web more than ever before.

Restaurant owners should pay particularly close attention to their mobile website because it’s more likely than ever that potential guests are out and about and checking their smart phones for places to eat. Your restaurant website needs to be ready to catch them.

Start by ensuring your website doesn’t depend on Flash, since it isn’t supported on the most popular devices like iPhones and iPads. HTML is the standard for web design and it’s accessible on all mobile devices.

Ideally, your website design will scale and adapt to fit any mobile device. All of the information should be easily accessible in the smaller touch-screen format. The goal is to ensure that all of your pages, online menus and even photos can be easily viewed on a smart phone or tablet. Web designers use techniques like “Responsive Web Design” to achieve this.

2. Provide online food menus, not PDFs.

A lot of restaurant websites provide menus that are only available as a PDF download. This is a mistake for several reasons.

First, your menu should be the core element of your restaurant website. Asking visitors to download a file to their computers only serves as a roadblock, not an easy pathway to what they want (a quick glance at your menu).

PDF files can be bulky and slow to download. This can be especially problematic for any mobile users who are on slow connections.

Showcase your online menu as part of your restaurant website itself. Visitors should be able to click and instantly browse your menu just as they would any other page on your website.

Like your print menus, your online menus should include short descriptions and pricing. But you can take your online menus to the next level by adding photos and social sharing buttons, which would allow visitors to share links to their favorite items on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

3. Don’t forget to include contact info.

This sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many restaurant websites fail to do this. Display your contact information prominently on your restaurant website.

No matter which page your visitor is reading, your contact info should be waiting for them when they’re ready to make that call to book a reservation. So make sure your contact info is visible near the top of all pages on your website.

It’s also a good idea to include your operating hours and an embedded Google map of your location. Both make it that much easier for new visitors to find you.

Bonus tip: Be sure to include your phone number and street address in plain text—in other words, not as part of an image. Most mobile devices will automatically convert your phone number to a link, allowing visitors on smart phones to instantly call you. They’ll do the same for maps, linking them to the maps app on the mobile device. Pretty cool, huh?

4. Curate your best reviews.

Reviews from Yelp, Citysearch, Zagat and Urbanspoon can make or break a restaurant. Luckily, you have a tool to help you capitalize on good reviews: your website!

Clip the best quotes from the positive comments you receive on those sites and showcase them. Remember, visitors to your website are qualified prospects to become customers. A little positive social proof could provide the push they need to get them into your restaurant.

You can devote a special section of your website to your reviews. This might include quotes from positive writeups in newspapers and magazines as well.

Another idea is to include a blog on your website. This is your “voice” as the restaurant owner, where you can express your own opinions (be nice!), stories, inspiration and more. Your blog serves as another place new visitors can get to know you and establish a connection on a personal level, which adds even more incentive for them to become your customers.

The web is yours to win. Your next customers are already online and searching for new places to eat out. By optimizing your website design to attract customers, your restaurant can thrive both online and off. only publishes Cookbooks. We help you look good. We will take your words and ideals and create a cookbook you will be proud to say you wrote.

How to Get Great PR

Garnering great press for your business is a powerful marketing strategy and as such, journalists should be on your radar as a target market. Now, instead of abusing them with buy (press releases) messages, how about starting by building some know, like and trust before you ever ask for the order – that’s just good marketing.

The absolute best way to do this is to become a resource to a select group of journalists that report on your industry or businesses in your community. As a resource your primary job is to help them do their job better by sending along industry information, adding to stories they write and commenting on potential resources and angles they might consider – nothing to do with selling your business or story.

If you do this I can almost guarantee you will start getting calls to provide quotes in stories as a reliable source.

Here’s how to make the job of journalist relationship building easier.

Use Google Alerts and Google Reader to track every story, blog post and mention your target list of journalists create and scan them in five minutes from one location (or, even have them sent to your email inbox as they happen in real time.)

Then you can visit your Reader page, see if anything from one of your journalists pops up and go make a relevant comment on their blog, drop an industry study in mail or suggest a follow-up angle to their story through a hand-written note. This entire process should take just minutes a day and can even be delegated once it’s up and running.

Some tech notes:

* Google AlertsUse quotes around full names to get best results – “bill smith”
* Check the RSS version to have it sent to Google Reader

* Google ReaderCreate a folder in Google Reader just for your PR efforts so that you can store the results of your RSS alerts in one handy place
* Get in the habit of checking and responding at least several times a week.