By Jess Dale.

With a growing nation of foodies, the restaurant business has never been so prominent, with a predicted growth rate of 2.5% over the next two years according to the UK Restaurant Market 2014 Report. As a result, not only have our taste buds developed our appetite for new and exciting concepts has as well. So with all of this change and hunger for new experiences, how do restaurants keep a float in such an environment?

Like with any business, opening a new restaurant takes meticulous researching, planning and organising. Understanding your area, sizing up the competition and understanding the gaps in the market are essential.

PR professionals are experts in locating opportunities with a wealth of who to call, where to go and how to get it done. From launches, to rebranding, a PR agency can translate to the audience in a way that mirrors your perception of the kind of establishment you’re trying to create.

We’ve put together five tips and ideas of how a good PR strategy can help your brand.

Enter your very own Public Relations agency

food industry Public Relations using Instagram

Use social media to help build buzz. Picture sharing services such as Instagram and Pinterest are especially effective for the Food industry.

1. First things first, establish the goals and guidelines as a way of measuring the success of your PR campaign. For example, you might be wanting to:

  • Raise awareness within the local community;
  • Engage with key influencers such as local food writers, journalists and bloggers;
  • Increase footfall to restaurant.

With these goals established it encourages fluidity within the campaign and a transparent approach to the relationship between the PR person/agency and the company in question.

2. Be Sociable. Connect with your customers from the get-go. Without a flurry of praise and good word-of-mouth, all that hard work and planning is worthless. Social media accounts, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should be up and running prior to launch and used ongoing. Engage with foodies and other local businesses. Create a buzz of excitement.

3. ‘Read all about it!’ Local press, bloggers and the general public all want to know what’s happening before you’ve officially opened. Setting up an interview with your local newspaper is one way to make an entrance. Use it as an opportunity to introduce the brains behind the launch – the restaurant owner or even the head chef.

Restaurant PR food industry public relations

Inviting key influencers to a tasting preview is a great way to gain coverage and create positive stories about your business.

4. Blogger’s brunch. Inviting key influencers to a preview tasting experience prior to launch is an excellent way to meet the folk that can do the talking for you. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to trial your menu on a select group of foodies, all of whom have an eye and a taste for good quality dishes! Bloggers tend to be great across social media platforms so be prepared to engage with them before and after such an event.

5. Keep up the momentum once launch day has been and gone with the opportunity of winning something special. Who doesn’t want the chance to win an exclusive dining experience? Use your website and social media platforms such as twitter, Instagram and Facebook to do the talking. Simply by getting the audience to answer a question and fill in a short form that requires their name and email address enables you to capture data for ongoing marketing purposes and is quick and easy to do.

To find out more useful tips for managing your digital marketing activity then head over to Purple Rose Digital and take note from ‘Recipe for Success: Creating a digital marketing strategy for the food industry’ for useful tips of Social Media management.