In recent years the Los Angeles food scene has been blowing up ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants consistently delivering amazing experiences to birria taco stands and Nashville hot chicken spots serving up epic dishes that have people waiting in line for hours.
And in looking at all ends of the spectrum, the question is: Why are restaurants in Los Angeles or throughout the world successful on social media? And ultimately, what’s the secret sauce?
Though I wish I could hit you with Emeril’s magical “Bam!” to instill superpowers, restaurant marketing really isn’t that complicated when you take a step back and think about the core principles: everyone has to eat, food makes people happy and sexy food content makes people buy.
The first lesson for all restaurants is to dish up not only good food, but also pretty plates – you’re only as good as the last plate out the window and each guest served can propel you into the future. You never know who’s going to post the next photo on social media that blows up (whether good or bad).
Secondly, you need to remove the idea from your head that simply posting content – the set it and forget it approach – will actually produce results. In reality, the acts of shooting content, coming up with good descriptions/hashtags then posting are a small fraction of the overall equation. Social media is about actually being social, and if you’re not doing that you’ll inevitably fall on your face.
After spending 10+ years guiding food-related businesses ranging from startups to top restaurants and food chains I’ve seen a lot, and operating successful restaurants in hot cities like Los Angeles, especially given the competition, is challenging.
In the end, it’s all about understanding human behaviors, consistently and strategically engaging others on social media, and having the best analytics tools in place to make sense of everything. Welcome to the future.