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How restaurants and takeaways can sell more food using video

How restaurants and takeaways can sell more food using videoIn 2015, 70% of all internet traffic was video. Around the world, billions of hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and on websites each day. Hundreds of millions of hours of video is watched each day too.

Restaurants and takeaways are looking to tap into the video craze to help their businesses. But much of the time they are going about it wrong. You probably are too.

What are you doing wrong? Well, you’re focusing on you, your business. If you’re not, then pat yourself on the back and move on to read something else. But if you are, or if you want to know how to do it better, keep reading.

In traditional advertising, even video for TV ads, you generally talk about your business. But online video is different, or at least most of it is.

You can create video ads that run in front of other content just like you’d see on TV. But you’d be missing most of the market and the potential sales if you do just that type of video.

What should you do instead? You want to entertain, and educate your future customer while secretly selling to them at the same time.

Educate would be customers

“How-to” videos are one of the most popular categories of videos on YouTube and on company websites. Your restaurant can take advantage of that by creating your own how-to videos.

“About what?” you’re probably thinking. Well, in your business you have a lot of expertise. You know how to make amazing food. Why do your customers keep coming back to you? Because of that amazing food.

It’s so good, people might want to know how you make it. And you can show them in videos.

Now, before you get all defensive and protective of your secret recipes, rest assured I’m not talking about revealing anything you don’t want to. But often people, and businesses, can forget that not everyone knows their way around a kitchen – or even food. Take a look at this example:

In the UK, 6,600 people Google “how to make pizza” each month. If you run a pizzeria and can create a video on how to make a pizza, you’re meeting a need by providing an answer. Some portion of those 6,600 people will like your video, like you, and may decide to order a pizza from you rather than go through the trouble to make one.

Now obviously, that’s a generic search across the UK and someone from Wales isn’t going to order a pizza from London, even if they love your video. But they might stop by if they travel to London. Or share your video with friends who live there.

To generate ideas for videos, stand back a bit and look at what you do in the kitchen and in your restaurant. What do people always ask about, or comment on how well you do it? Start there, but don’t forget you could also be more general. For example, you can show in 30 seconds how to perfectly caramelise onions. Add more videos on your techniques for making a burger, or buttery toasted rolls – you get the idea I hope. When you have many of these short videos, you may become a go-to source for that type of cooking information. Some viewers may even become regular customers.

How to sell more food

So you plan, and then create a bunch of videos to showcase your expertise and your unique flavours or style. The videos are great, but you have no increase in sales. That may be because of the next thing many businesses get wrong: they forget the call to action.

Decide what you want viewers to do after each video (and it may be different depending on the video). For example:

  • Do you want to send them from your YouTube channel to your website (and what do you want them to do when they get there)?
  • Do you want to send them from one video on your website to different videos on your website?
  • Do you want to send them to your online menu, or order form?
  • Do you want to send them to your blog where you review kitchen equipment and have links to buy that equipment on Amazon?
  • Do you want to send them to your email sign up form to get weekly updates, coupons, or a free list of recipes?

Whatever it is you want them to do, be sure the end of the video tells them clearly. There should be a visual clue about what to do. Even if your chef ends the video with “Click the link below to see more recipes…”, make sure there’s text to match. Tell them which link to click, and make the text of the link descriptive too.

The goal is to remember that every video sells you as a business, even if you are just showing them how to make a classic Caesar salad. The video should stand on its own, and let the call to action do its work at the end. The two together will help generate interest in your business and food, ultimately driving up sales.


Oliver Burt

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