Tourism is bigger than ever in the UK and that means there’s an additional market of consumers that restaurant owners can market themselves to in their cities. According to the Tourism Alliance, a UK-based lobbying firm, the UK is the 8th largest international tourism destination in the world. Add to that the fact that the group estimates that visitors to the UK spend an average of £609 per visit and it’s clear that appealing to travellers is crucial for restaurant owners. Knowing how to market your restaurant to this group can have a big impact on your bottom line.
OpenTable surveyed 14 thousand users to get an idea of what travellers are looking for when deciding where to eat while they’re out of town. Below, are four ways that you can use the information from the survey to appeal to this group of diners and examples of restaurants that do a great job with each aspect.
Make Sure Photos of Your Food are Readily Available
Travellers use photos to decide where to go out to eat so making sure that yours are up to date is crucial. Survey respondents said that they use photos to decide where to go out to eat and what to order.
Grow40 in Brighton does an excellent job with including photos and includes them on the homepage. There’s also a clearly marked ‘Gallery’ tab on the top of the page so potential diners can see pictures of the restaurant’s rooftop garden and the dining room. Add pictures of your food or dining room to your front page that way potential travellers can get a sense of what the dining experience at your restaurant will be like.
Highlight local dishes
Travellers don’t want a taste of home when they go abroad, they want to experience the culture and food of the place where they’re travelling. In the OpenTable Global Travellers survey, respondents said that they prefer to be adventurous and try specialties from the country where they’re travelling instead of dishes that they may be familiar with.
Dean Street Townhouse Restaurant offers an all-day menu of British fare at their trendy Soho hotel. The restaurant also offers Sunday Roast and Afternoon Tea menus to guests to give them a taste of Britain’s culture. Is there a dish or a special menu that speaks to the culture of your city or country? Highlight it on the menu or do a social media post about it.
Keep an Eye on Review Aggregator Sites
Review aggregator sites like TripAdvisor give potential diners their first impression of your restaurant so make sure it’s good. If someone has left a negative review, have management leave a response so that guests know that customer concerns are dealt with.
Gastronhome in South London highlights their excellent reviews using widgets on the bottom of their site. Add widgets to aggregated review sites so potential diners can click through and see positive reviews for your restaurant.
Play Up Your Neighbourhood
Travelling foodies want to feel like they’ve found a secret gem when they go out to eat and OpenTable survey respondents said that they prefer local restaurants over tourist traps. This may seem counterintuitive but travellers mostly prefer to feel like they’re dining at the same restaurant as the locals are instead of with fellow travellers.
Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick plays up the neighborhood vibe with low lighting and booths and a cozy bar that travellers can have a drink at. Make sure your dining room feels like a part of the neighborhood and not like it’s specifically catering to tourists.
Does your restaurant attract travellers? Let us know how in the comments below!