How to use social media to increase your profit

A new generation of diners are flooding into the Australian foodservice scene, and they are nothing like the generations that have come before them. Unlike their parents, Generation Z’s and Millennials would prefer to book online (rather than talk to a real person over the phone) and are much more likely to engage with your venue on social media than in person.

But instead of lamenting the loss of old-fashioned face-to-face communication, you should be embracing the new generation of diners and harnessing their favourite platforms to increase patronage at your venue. 

Did you know?

  • 54% of Gen Z would try a new restaurant solely because of seeing a picture of the food posted on a friend’s social media page. 
  • 45% of Gen Z looks at their mobile device while eating. 
  • 61% of millennials have spent so long deciding where to eat they ended up not eating out at all. 
  • 32% of our waking hours are online – and almost 10% on social media. This is on average; Generation Z and Millennials would be much higher. 
  • 54% of Australian social media users say they are more likely to trust brands that interact positively with customers on social media. 

Restaurant and foodservice leaders must keep these statistics in mind when designing menus and venues. These generations provide huge opportunities for venues to increase their profit margins, with the right social media strategy. 

Here are our top tips for engaging with and attracting the younger generations with social media. 

  • Prioritise links to takeaway and delivery. If you’re promoting your most popular dishes, remember that Gen Z order take away more than any other generation (up to 4 times a week). Ensure you have links to your venue on UberEats of MenuLog – removing as many steps as possible in the ordering process. 
  • Make sure you take photos that show your ‘vibe’. Generation Z uses Instagram as a research tool. Does your venue have a beer garden? Booths for big groups? An awesome bar? Make sure these are in your Instagram feed. 
  • Publish your menu online (and update it!). The younger generation will often look up your menu and decide what they’re eating before they even walk in your front door. By publishing your menu, you can make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to wow potential customers with your food. Make it available on Facebook and Instagram and easy to navigate to by making it ‘sticky’ or a permanent story.   
  • Video your food. The most shareable content is video. Video the chocolate melting on your desserts, the cheese pulling off your pizza and the buns landing on your burgers.  
  • Encourage photos from customers. If you regularly share your customers’ shots of your food and venue, they in turn will be more likely to take and share more (in the hope you rocket them to Instagram fame). This is free and reciprocal advertising and you should take advantage. Add hashtags and handles to your menu and make sure staff are happy to take a happy snap of customers. 

Social media can often feel like a lot of work for not much return but by taking these small steps (and relying on the social media obsessed younger generations) your venue can thrive with online presence alone. The best bit is, it’s free to get started so have a go today and learn as you go! 

2017 IFMA Generation Z, Food and Dining Trends, National Study

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