This is part of Nation’s Restaurant News' special coverage of the 2019 MUFSO conference, taking place Oct. 14-16 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. Follow coverage of the event on NRN.com and tweet with us using #MUFSO. Stay connected on the go by downloading the MUFSO app.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the bestselling author, venture capitalist and digital media vanguard, loves the restaurant industry. But he had some tough love for us during his keynote speech at MUFSO.
Restaurants have to start thinking about themselves as brands, he said. It's not enough to serve great food with excellent service; customers want to know their restaurants in a more profound way. And a large part of becoming a brand is telling your story online. Unfortunately, he said, restaurants have been severely underestimating the internet.
To reach customers online, restaurants need to create precisely targeted content. A lot of it. 50 to 100 pieces a day, he suggested. And it needs to be great.
“It's the creator that is the variable of success," he said. “It is easy to contextualize the creative.” Simple changing a word or a picture to speak directly to a targeted audience can make all the difference.
This content has to brand-driven, but Vaynerchuk argues, most content restaurants are creating is sales driven. “Marketing and branding always gets destroyed by CFOs and short-term operators,” he said. “Nobody has the patience to let marketing play out.”
But marketing will only become more important as a brand becomes paramount to a restaurant's success.
“I promise you that in a decade, 15 years max, your brand is going to be the only thing that matters,” he said.
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