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Own a Restaurant? See How Video Can Help You

14 Min Read

You run a restaurant and you might be wondering what you can do to spice up your marketing (pun intended). You’ve seen short food and recipe videos take the internet by storm and, though you’re intrigued by what video can do for you, you also don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to a project as complex as strategizing and shooting your own marketing videos.

This year, more and more people are going out to casual, fast casual, and fine dining restaurants, and you’ve got to use every tool in your toolbox to make sure you’re attracting as many of those restaurant sales as possible. Big chains, like Chipotle and Chili’s, have big budgets to spend on television commercials, online ads, social media spots, and more, and it pays off. But we’re guessing you don’t have that kind of budget, that kind of time, or those kind of resources available – you’re still scheduling wait staff and ordering ingredients from your suppliers yourself!

We get it – it’s a big undertaking. But with the right help, creating videos that’ll boost your restaurant’s recognition will not only be easy, but a fun way to grow your online (and in-person) presence.

Today, we’re showing you how you can do just that and how video can transform the way you interact with your potential customers, helping you reach a ton more hungry bellies quickly and efficiently.

Why Video?

Google recently published findings on recent food trends and found that, in what they call “what-do-I-eat” and “how-to-add-it” moments, people are overwhelmingly on their mobile devices. That means the information you provide to your target audience should not only be mobile-friendly, but easy to watch and easy to digest (pun definitely intended).

That’s where video comes in. By 2021, a million minutes of video content will be uploaded to the internet every second. If someone is hungry, they’ll be shown hyper-localized restaurant ads, beautiful, craving-inducing videos, and content that’ll quickly show them exactly what they’re missing if they don’t hop across the street to the closest burger place.

That’s the power of video in the digital age. It’s visual, it’s appetizing, and since 2014, millennials have eaten up food videos of all sorts, watching 30 percent more food video content on average than any other demographic.

If you want to reach this group of people, you need to use video. And reaching them is smart, because these mobile-first users are loyal, passionate, and highly engaged – meaning they won’t just watch one video, but stick around and watch more and convert at a higher rate.

6 Types of Restaurant Videos Your Business Needs

So you might not want to necessarily create restaurant videos à la Tasty all day long, but they’ve definitely cracked the viral food video code and learned how to create various types of videos to satisfy every user who finds them. This is a strategy you’ll want to emulate, creating various videos to meet the needs of those who either seek you out or stumble on your content.

How do you do that? Here are just a few of the types of videos you can make to promote your restaurant, food truck, or food service company.

Brand Video

Your restaurant isn’t just a restaurant – it’s a brand. Your company name and storefront should illicit something deep in your customers and potential customers, whether it’s a feeling of happiness, community, warmth, or revelry. The feeling you illicit is up to you, but the best way to communicate that feeling is through a brand video.

Your brand video should give a pretty wide overview of what your restaurant is all about. What inspired you? Where did your favorite dishes come from? What do your customers think about the food and service you provide? How can you sum up your restaurant experience in less than two minutes?

These videos are typically a bit longer than their other digital counterparts (videos that are usually well under a minute long), but this makes them great for retargeting users who have already had some interaction with you. You can use your brand videos to provide more information and leave a lasting impression.

Social Video

Social videos are the polar opposite of brand videos. You want to leave a lasting brand impression, yes, but you have a tiny, tiny window to do that in. You can’t share nearly as much information because on social media, people are browsing and aren’t giving you much of their time. Whatever message you’re trying to tell on social has got to be fast.

In general, social videos have to be attention grabbing. Use bright, bold, colorful graphics, beautiful footage, and constant movement to get your audience to stop scrolling and actually watch your video. Because you’ve got such a narrow window, usually less than 15 seconds, you want to use that time wisely.

That’s why these videos shouldn’t focus on telling a story, but instead show off the best your restaurant has to offer: your best dishes, your best drinks, your happy customers, your logo, your happy staff, and more.

Product Video

These are a great and often under-utilized type of video in the restaurant industry. Because restaurants can have dozens, even hundreds of menu items and offerings, picking which to focus on can feel a little overwhelming. But picking a single item can highlight your expertise, your quality ingredients, and the cooking process that makes your restaurant unique.

You can pick your favorite menu item, your most popular dish, one that is defining for your restaurant, or something totally different – it’s really up to you! But whatever you pick, you want to make sure it’ll stop a viewer in their tracks and be enticing enough to draw them in. Visually appetizing drinks or dishes are a great product to shoot, and anything that’ll highlight a beautiful action sequence, for instance flames exploding from a skillet or a beautiful cheese pull from a sandwich cut in half, are also great because of how captivating they are.

Your full-length video makes a great addition to your restaurant’s website or Yelp page. These videos also make excellent ad content. Though ads are usually shorter than your average product video (which can be up to a minute and a half long), you can repurpose this product video footage and turn it into a short and punchy 15-second ad.

Training Video

These videos should never be seen by your paying customers. Training videos are a special tool for restaurants with many locations or restaurants that hire many of the same positions often. They make tedious training simple, communicate directives and processes in a clear way to new hires, and ensure your employees are all starting off with the same, accurate information.

Realistically, you probably won’t know the difference a training video can make until you have one at your disposal. Training new employees or implementing a new restaurant system can lead to errors, frustration, and time wasted. Not to mention if you’re busy, you can feel stressed at the addition of yet another thing to do. But with a video, you automate the teaching, which means resources aren’t wasted, errors aren’t passed from employee to employee, and scaling is made easier than ever.

The best part is you can make training videos for almost any restaurant task, like prepping and cooking, dealing with to-go orders, filling out timecards, using the register, and more.

Commercial

Commercials are similar to brand videos: they give the viewer a synopsis of your restaurant and why they should check it out. But, commercials are shorter; while brand videos can be up to two minutes long, commercials are usually just 30 seconds. They’re less narrative in nature and more top-level, a crucial piece of content if your goal is to attract new visitors, not re-engage past visitors.

Commercials also are great if you want to get a little creative with your video’s messaging. You can tell your brand’s story, of course, but commercials allow you to leave more to the viewer’s imagination, sparking their curiosity and leaving them asking more questions.

For that reason, you’ll want to use high-quality footage with beautiful, epic shots. Make your commercial feel alive – make your food look drool-worthy, show off the passion of those on camera, and use camera tricks, like slow-mos and graphics, to draw your viewer’s eye.

Explainer Video

Does something about your restaurant, type of cuisine, or cooking processes need explaining? Explainer videos do just that, providing details about what you do in an informative and educational way.

It’s an uncommon video type for the restaurant industry, but these videos are an untapped resource that can make your restaurant stand out from the crowd. There might be another million restaurants on your block, but are any of them explaining the history of the ingredients and flavors they use?

Use your explainer video to show off your expertise and why your food is the best in town. Your knowledge will back your cooking chops, so pick a topic that’s close to your heart and start sharing. You’ll get the added bonus of an SEO boost if you transcribe the video and post it online.

Conclusion

If you own a restaurant, don’t feel like your marketing capabilities are limited to Yelp pages and menu mailers. Video is an excellent way to reach your customers and engage them, giving them a taste of what you have to offer (last pun, we swear) and igniting their appetite.

And, most important, video is the preferred method of content consumption for the majority of people. Whether it’s because of dwindling attention spans or just the plain ease of watching, video is growing quickly. Luckily, few restaurants have put much thought into their video marketing, giving you the opportunity to make a bigger impact in what’s otherwise a crowded industry.

Get started! If you need help mapping out your video strategy or just need some filming ideas, our experts are ready to have a chat. Talk to them with no commitment and see what ideas they can share – you might be surprised at what they have to say!

How can video help your restaurant?

Find out. Let our Executive Producer tell you more.

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