Competition is fierce in restaurant area in China. Whether it’s Chinese cooking or even a western one, the environment is extremely competitive. For what reasons? Chinese have experienced significant period of starving during communist period. This has changed the relation Chinese towards food. First of all one of the main spending of Chinese is dedicated to food and most Chinese love going out to eat with their colleagues, friends or families. The meal is an important moment describing well the Chinese culture as a whole:
- The value of share: most of the time it is not individual but collective food dishes to share with at least some vegetables, meat, and sometimes soup.
- Enjoying the generosity: the food waste is kind of normal for Chinese, if you have finished your plate, it means that you didn’t eat enough. The meal is merriment and happy time to share with colleagues were Chinese like to talk and laugh loudly.
5 best ways to promote your restaurant in China
So if you want to be a significant player in this environment, you need to take in consideration some essential tools to successfully promote your restaurant.
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1) Get your customer live the experience
The idea is to bring your customer in your own world. How to do it?
- First, by offering a quality website with photos that makes people come to the restaurant. You have to communicate about the universe of your restaurant to your customers. Take, for example, the Villa Lebecc website that highlights the idea of French bistro and all in a friendly and family atmosphere. You may find the history of the founder which adds a surplus value to the authenticity of the dishes:
- Second, you must build storytelling around your restaurant. For example, the New Heights Restaurant in Shanghai has succeeded to combine the flavors of the East (China) with those of the West (France) but not only. Many restaurants strive to combine these two cultures, but the difference here is about the restaurant’s identity by focusing on seafood.
You can also build storytelling with the video tool in order to engage your audience. Below a video of the Four Season Hotel Chef, here the idea is interesting because it combines both the message of the restaurant with a mixture of Chinese and French flavors but also learn and engage the audience to cook a recipe at home.
2) IWOM through social networks
The best way for you to promote your restaurant in China is to pay particular attention to word of mouth. If customers have enjoyed eating at your restaurant, they will come back and bring back their friends. How? You must ensure the quality of your service and that the menu dishes are suitable for all tastes and all client types. Remember that word of mouth is passing mainly by social networks such as WeChat, Weibo, QQ … etc. Why? Sharing photos and especially with the localization tool allows users to share photos of the dishes or restaurants to their contacts. This may seem trivial but it’s a gold mine for restaurants because the comments made by users can be positive or negative and can have a huge influence on customer’s behaviors. Most Chinese users use social networks as their primary source of information in order to determine their final choice.
3) The social media tool
Dynamize your content on social networks to inspire visitors to come to eat at your restaurant, organize tasting sessions, special evenings on a specific theme, cooking classes and contests … etc. This is not only to broadcast commercial content but also to interact with the user. WeChat offers interesting features for restaurants that want to promote their business. There is an interesting feature that allows you to customize your online menu, which allows the Chinese to see what you offer before going to your restaurant. Highlight your best-known dishes with quality photos. There are two other websites that are classified as class social platforms and on which you must be present if you want to successfully promote your restaurant in China. Meituan often compared to “Groupon” is one of China’s largest social platforms. The idea was to offer “deals” of high quality at bottom prices. Meituan expands its scope by not being limited to only the restaurant but also to “deals” on spa, cinemas … etc. Dianping is also a social platform for restaurants, karaoke, hotels … etc. On this platform, the Chinese give comments about the places they visited, based on several criteria such as quality of service, price/quality ratio … etc.
4) SEO: rank high on Baidu on Strategic keywords
You better optimize your online SEO strategy to be recognized in this sector among the multitude of restaurants. How? By maximizing your presence on influential websites and by diversifying the publication of articles. This will allow you to optimize your ranking on Baidu. Take for example the New Heights in Shanghai restaurant below which multiplied articles on different kinds of websites. Example French Restaurant Baidu
5) The marketing BUZZ
Several restaurants have made the bet to suggest topics, concept ideas as original than creative. I will share with you some unusual ideas about Chinese restaurants. A restaurant in Jiangsu province offers dishes cooked and served by robots. These robots keep a human side by having integrated basics sentences and understanding about forty sentences and questions from customers. This innovative concept has attracted Chinese customers. We will conclude by sharing with you the incredible idea of chef Paul Pairet with Ultraviolet restaurant by offering you a unique experience in its places and in its concept. The idea is to invite 10 guests at a specific time and in a particular background with a meal up to this event. I let you live the experience through this video.
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