If you’re reading this article, you’re probably well aware that running a restaurant business in London is pretty hardcore. In addition to the day-to-day challenges of serving great food, providing fast and friendly service and balancing the books, you need to convince customers to choose you in the first place.
And when you’re in a capital city that’s home to tens of thousands of competitors, that’s no easy task.
Brand awareness is a hugely important aspect of running a food business – especially nowadays when customers are increasingly online. But let’s face it, most restaurant owners are more concerned with their dishes than their press relations.
This is where restaurant PR agencies can help. These agencies specialise in public relations for restaurants, and they can help you create a winning PR strategy that will increase trust, bring in bookings and boost your bottom line. So, what exactly do restaurant PR agencies do? And how could this type of agency benefit your business?
The difference between PR and marketing
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the difference between restaurant marketing and restaurant PR. Marketing is all about creating paid-for advertising that promotes your restaurant to potential customers. This might include paid-for online ads, TV commercials or print ads in newspapers and magazines.
PR, on the other hand, is about generating positive media coverage for your restaurant in the form of articles, features or even just mentions in the press. This type of coverage can be incredibly valuable, as it’s seen as more trustworthy and credible than paid-for advertising.
To put it simply, the goal of marketing is to drive sales, whereas PR aims to boost a brand’s reputation. While PR and marketing can overlap, they are two distinct disciplines – and agencies will usually specialise in one or the other.
What restaurant PR agencies can do for you
1. Social media strategy
A PR agency that specialises in food and drink will know exactly how to position your business on social media and use it to your advantage. From commissioning the right style of photography, to developing a super-Instagrammable dish, a good PR agency will find creative ways to generate social media buzz.
An effective social media strategy will increase brand awareness, drive restaurant bookings and build trust with potential customers. And with Londoners spending an average of two hours a day on social media, it’s more important than ever to make sure your restaurant is visible on these platforms.
2. Working with influencers
Restaurant PR companies have great relationships with food bloggers, Instagram influencers and other social media personalities. These ‘influencers’ can be a powerful tool in promoting your restaurant to a wider audience.
A good PR agency will be able to identify the right influencers for your business and work with them to create content that will reach your target customers. This might include organising an influencer dinner, commissioning social media posts or even providing free meals in exchange for a positive review.
Influencer marketing is an incredibly effective way to reach potential customers, and it’s a strategy that restaurant PR agencies are well-placed to execute.
3. Media and editorial coverage
One of the most important things a restaurant PR agency can do is secure press coverage in high-profile publications. This could be anything from a mention in Time Out London or the Evening Standard to a full-page feature in The Sunday Times Magazine.
Not only will this help to raise your restaurant’s profile, it will also increase bookings and build trust with potential customers. And with London’s restaurant scene being so competitive, media coverage can give you a real edge over your rivals.
4. Events and launches
Putting on events takes a lot of work, but they can be a really effective way to generate positive press coverage and attract new customers. PR agencies have the experience and expertise to plan and execute successful events, from launch parties to pop-ups.
A well-planned event will create a buzz around your restaurant, and it’s an excellent opportunity to get media attention. It’s also an opportunity to show off your food and drinks to potential customers, so it’s worth doing right.
Food PR in the capital
If you’re based in London, you’ll know that the restaurant scene here is incredibly vibrant and fast-paced – as well as competitive. Even though standing out from the crown presents a significant challenge, there is also a huge opportunity in the density of the market.
London is home to some of the most influential people in the restaurant industry, from food critics and bloggers to restaurant buyers and journalists. And of course, there are more foodies with money to spend here than anywhere else. This means that getting press coverage in London can have a much bigger impact than in other parts of the country.
When choosing a PR agency, it always pays to look locally. London PR firms will have their finger on the pulse of the restaurant scene here, and they should have the contacts and know-how to secure local media coverage fast.
Do you have a London-based food and drinks business you want to take to the next level? Our team of experts loves nothing better than seeing other foodies flourish.
Schedule a chat with us today to see how we can help.
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