It's scientifically proven that we think food tastes better when we're in the company of loved ones and a fun environment. Even the ambiance of the restaurant affects our food choice and opinion. It's also why we don't have issues with recommending that “little hole in the wall' place that has great food but maybe not the greatest ambiance.
Placing a stronger focus on the restaurant's ambiance may do more for your business than relying on just highlighting the food. What better way to do so than with the help of technology via virtual tours? Read on to learn the five ways virtual tours can help you today.
How Virtual Tours are Created for Restaurant Marketing
The thought of how virtual tours are made must have passed your mind when first reading the title, right? We'll get to the benefits they bring to your restaurant marketing but first let's take a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes with how these tours are made.
- Space is measured to determine the number of photos needed to make the 360-degree view
- Equipment is gathered which typically includes a fish eye lens and a panoramic head for the tripod
- Shots are taken in increments allowing for small overlap
- Software is used to stitch the images together and outputs a file that's usable on Google and other 360/VR platforms
Knowing how the tours are done should spark a few, creative ideas of what you could experiment with during the shoot. Let's use those ideas as a launching point and dive into ways to use these tours in marketing.
Five Ways of Using Virtual Tours for Restaurant Marketing
A restaurant without patrons will go belly-up. This is business 101. Restaurants fail at their marketing because they're unable to deliver on the perceived experience one received when viewing the advertising and campaigns. There is an immediate disconnect (one which is difficult to correct even with great food).
Here are five ways virtual tours improve upon restaurant marketing and remove this disconnect between campaign and experience:
1. Setting the Ambiance
This notion of a negatively perceived ambiance is destroyed when the lively action of the restaurant is viewable through media. Photos of patrons enjoying their meals and company create a desire for inclusion.
People want to experience what they see and project into the scenario.
If you can create this projection and story then you'll have them hooked. They're convinced they want to experience the ambiance. This is driven home by sending them to a reservation form. Match their imagination with the real thing and it increases the likelihood they'll refer others and come back.
2. Creating a Buzz on Social Media
What would you do to promote the restaurant when:
- Adding new deco and designs
- Holding a massive party
- Showing off new menu items
You'd take it to social media of course. Social media is the go-to channel for restaurant marketing because everything moves so fast. This speed creates instant buzz for die-hard followers and makes others want to join in since others are having a great time!
The virtual tour can aid in social media discovery and buzz, too. It gives people a way to share their experience (which works as referrals).
Previous patrons can relive the moment (via tour) and keep the lively discussion going on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. Other individuals taking the tour can see pictures on social media of these fun times and temporarily live that moment which gets them excited to make a reservation.
3. Double Dipping
The virtual tour and photos are usable in a variety of ways:
- Available within street view and Google My Business
- Placed on the website or included in restaurant marketing campaigns
- Divided into separate media for advertising imagery
- Used in storytelling to share the history and evolution of the brand
The photos are now your assets. Use these assets to create a powerful, visual impact — let media do the talking — across all channels. Explore your creativity in marketing campaigns through the use of this new vehicle for promotion.
4. A Peek Behind the Brand
A lot of people name drop restaurants and dishes to impress others. It's a “look where I was able to score a table” attitude. This boasting is a subtle form of referral restaurant marketing and brand building.
A virtual tour lets people get a peek at the brand. It allows people to understand why others are buzzing about the restaurant. The tour displays the professionals, setting, and food. It creates a twinge of jealousy and has others clamoring to be a part of the experience.
The tour gives you a chance to build authenticity. Why would you want this? Consider that 91% of consumers who want the brands they follow to be authentic in their posts (content) and because of this, they're more likely to buy.
5. Better Benefits from Google
The guidelines of Google My Business streamlines the information that's used to display search results. It's a win/win for both parties because it makes this data manageable. This results in a standardization across the platform and an opportunity for those that put in the extra effort to include extras.
A virtual tour is a way to provide extra information for Google My Business. It's a restaurant marketing search factor for Google. This inclusion of additional information and media that are interlinked across a variety of channels aids in link building campaigns and user experience. The increase in links and buzz helps the site rank higher in search engines for their relevant terms!
Let Us Increase Your Reservations
What do we do when we're getting hungry or want to make an impression when taking someone out to eat? We hop online and browse the results, using reviews, and recommendations.
One of them stands out: the one with a virtual tour. The place is an immediate “yes” because it has the matching ambiance to the tone and mood you're seeking. You're able to project what it would be like to enjoy a meal at the restaurant through an actual representation versus taking a guess at the ambiance.
This connection is what you're aiming for with your restaurant marketing.
We, at Montreal 360 Virtual Tour, have found that when people used ‘business view' they made reservations 50% of the time. We're the ones that can make that possible (and we have already)!
We are Google Street View certified and have worked with the best. Let's add you to that list and show you the power of virtual tours. Give us a call today (514-500-7372) and start attracting more patrons tomorrow.