San Diego Restaurant Week kicks off January 13th – 18th with over 180 participating restaurants in 12 unique regions across San Diego. It’s the perfect opportunity for guests to discover new restaurants around town and indulge in the art of dining with discounted prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner.
Now if you’re a restaurant owner that’s participating in the event, you are going to have a lot of competition that week and you will have to be on top of your marketing to break through the noise and get the attention of foodies all over San Diego. Fortunately, I have a few tips on how you could do just that. Please note that these tips are based on outside observations, I am not affiliated with San Diego Restaurant Week at all.
Let’s start with how you can optimize your listing on the San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW) website.
Tip #1: Feature your restaurant logo.
SDRW is a great way to attract new guests to your restaurant. Prove to them that you’re an established restaurant by putting your best foot forward and including a logo in your listing. This shows that the restaurant is buttoned up.
Tip #2: Tell us about your cuisine.
Every restaurant listed on the SDRW website can be sorted by Name, Price, Cuisine, Neighborhood, and Reservations. Of those categories, I would take a stab and say that the type of cuisine that a restaurant serves is important for diners. It’s easy to eliminate which restaurants a guest wants to try and which ones he or she would want to avoid. So make sure your listing is complete.
Tip #3: Upload your prix fixe menu.
Make your menu available for potential customers to view online. People want to know what you’ll be serving. I’ve already previewed a few restaurant listings and some have the dreaded, “Soon…” image. Don’t delay! SDRW has already ramped up their advertising and driving traffic to their website. Also, be sure to download the SDRW smartphone app to see how your menu appears.
Tip #4: Include a restaurant description.
Complete your listing by including a description about your restaurant. What makes your restaurant stand out from the rest (i.e. gluten-free, vegetarian, etc)? Will you have live entertainment? Free valet parking?
This is also a great opportunity to cross promote your social channels. Encourage guests to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. Also note, that you can also add the Facebook Like Box to your listing.
You get bonus points if you’ve established an email marketing campaign and encourage visitors to sign up for exclusive offers.
Tip #5: Put the spotlight on your menu.
In addition to adding your prix fixe menu online, upload photos. Show off what you’ll be serving to get people excited.
Tip #6: Monitor the “Menu Chatter.”
SDRW enables Facebook comments on the site so guests can share their experiences at a restaurant and provide feedback. Just as you would on Yelp, monitor conversations about your business. Are the reviews positive or negative? What can you do better the next day?
Tip #7: Direct OpenTable reservations to your listing.
Last but not least, request that the OpenTable link to make reservations points to your restaurant listing on SDRW where it has the OpenTable widget. Do not drive visitors to the OpenTable.com website to make reservations. Reservations made from the OpenTable widget on SDRW generally cost restaurant owners less than reservations made on an OpenTable domain. Of course, SDRW may have a deal with OpenTable and maybe you won’t have to pay a cover fee. I’ll let you follow up with your rep.
Alright restaurant owners,you have less than a week to get all of the above squared away. Good luck!
Have any suggestions you’d like to add to the list above? Or want to share which restaurant you’ll be visiting next week? Let me know in the comments section below.