Technology is transforming the restaurant space and is doing so at a rapid pace. Faster operations are growing in demand, yet the customer’s experience must be kept at the forefront. Rapid business growth along with scalable technology has enabled faster growth and more profitability for restaurants across the globe. If you don’t keep up with the latest technological trends, other influencers are likely to beat you to it. However, many restaurant owners are busy individuals that are deeply involved with the daily operations of their restaurant and simply don’t have the time to familiarize themselves with these complex issues.
With customer experience being of paramount importance, restaurants are investing in self-serving kiosks, advanced POS systems, sophisticated order-online platforms, insightful analytical tools, and so on. But, this often comes with a heavy price tag. Blindly investing in technology is not going to be beneficial for restaurant owners, and in some cases, could negatively impact their customer relations. For example, if an owner implements a new online ordering system but it malfunctions most of the time, this is likely to impede the likelihood of their customers ever ordering again.
Enter Food-Tech Bloggers & Influencers
Restaurant Influencers are individuals who have worked in the industry for a long period of time and have gained significant experience across the various functions of a restaurant. They are oftentimes well-versed in a medley of restaurant functions be it operations, food delivery, billing and finance, marketing, and practically any other area you can think of. Just like with any other form of influencer, there are varying levels of trusted individuals.
So, how do you go about becoming a trusted food tech influencer that individuals trust?
- Constantly publish new, up-to-date content.
- Use reliable sources such as Statista and Gartner to back up your points and avoid the inclusion of too many personal opinions.
- Be sure to provide value to your audience.
As a whole, food tech influencers’ primary duty is to provide insights about the industry in an easy-to-digest form that helps busy restaurant owners grow their business and solve their problems.
Getting Started as a Food Tech Influencer
Stay up to date with the latest trends and events in the food-tech industry
If you want to carve out your niche as a food-tech influencer, you must be up to date with all that’s cooking in the food-tech industry. This includes trends, news, events, recognitions, technology updates, and any other transformational changes taking place within the industry. Subscribe to all the leading blog sites. LimeTray is one such company which shares insights on the restaurant tech space and has gained a large subscription base over a short period of time.
Be active on forums and social communities
Restaurant staff/managers/owners throw up a lot of questions on forums and social media help groups and communities. Make sure to be active on those groups and address the queries of the restaurants - your goal is for more and more people to come to know of you on those platforms.
Reddit and Quora are excellent platforms for you to share your knowledge & become a go-to person for your restaurant technology queries. It’s important to note that you should not be sales-oriented in any of your posts. Not only do many of these communities have policies against self-promotion, it oftentimes comes off as needy and desperate.
Build a connection base
There are various places where you can meet people who are linked to the industry. You need to hear them, learn from them and connect with them and interact with them whenever you can. So if you wish to establish yourself, get started. Get chatting with them, find out platforms where you can meet more such influencers, and get cracking. An easy way to do this is by reaching out to other food tech influencers that you encounter on the forums and communities previously mentioned. More often than not, these individuals are hungry to learn more and always interested in helping others.
It might be intimidating to reach out to someone you’ve never spoken to before, but don’t overcomplicate it. An easy way to get started is by private messaging them and complimenting them on a recent article they’ve written. After acknowledging their work, take the next step to ask some additional questions about the topic. This will show that you’re genuinely interested in learning more about what they have to say.
Important Factors to Consider Before Becoming a Food Tech Influencer
Have a firm understanding of the restaurant tech industry
This is both the hardest yet most crucial component of being a food tech influencer. Without being well-versed in the latest of restaurant tech offerings, your insight is useless. Here you start with the basics. Read up on all of the content you possibly can. You should know all about the various restaurant POS machines and what pain-points they alleviate for restaurant owners. Take the time to learn about how applications have made the transition to operating on the cloud and why this triumphs over Legacy POS.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that online ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about what it takes to develop a reliable online ordering platform and how it works hand-in-hand with loyalty programs.
Having a sound base of all there is to know about the Food-Tech space is the first step. To learn fast, it’s helpful to join relevant groups on forums on Reddit, follow companies like TechRepublic, and browse established domains that exclusively discuss up-and-coming technological trends.
Understand the pain-points that restaurant owners have
Read up on the problems faced by restaurants and how technology can help solve these problems. Think like a restaurant owner and understand what concerns they have with their day-to-day operations and customer experience. Can technology be the answer to these questions? Is it really important to have a well-designed website? What benefits will this technology provide? Are they in-line with the pain points? If not, are the products you’re promoting relevant to them? The better understanding you have of common issues, the more likely you are to provide helpful insight in order to solve these problems.
Building a name for yourself
Congrats, you did the hardest part! You’ve familiarized yourself with the industry and now you’re ready to take the first steps to becoming a thought leader within the field.
The first matter of importance is to create a website. There are a variety of different platforms that you can choose to effortlessly launch your site, but two of the most popular options are Squarespace and WordPress. After you’ve bought your domain and designed the site to your liking, it’s time for the fun part: posting your insights.
Take a diverse set of topics across the various functions of a restaurant and create content that will appeal to a restaurant. For example, one common pain point for restaurant management is how to allocate resources between the two important pillars of marketing - acquiring new customers versus retaining old customers. Take this as an opportunity to create an article instructing restaurant owners about how they can accomplish both.
Craft your online brand
The next hurdle is driving traffic to your site. This can be done in a variety of different ways, but here are some tips to get you started:
- Create social media handles and get people to see glimpses of your content there and then direct them to your website. You’ve taken hours of time to develop quality articles, take a few extra minutes topromote your work. Rather than hitting the “publish” button and moving onto your next article, consider repurposing your content in other mediums such as infographics, Instagram posts, and ebooks.
- Leave your readers wanting to learn more. Consider including CTAs at the end of your articles encouraging readers to subscribe to your newsletter. This will allow you to build a mailing list where you can regularly contact them and continue to nurture these relationships.
- Regularly engage with other influencer’s content. No one likes someone that constantly talks about themselves. Leave thoughtful comments on other posts by asking questions and giving praise.
- Respond to any comments or questions that readers leave. Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative feedback, responding to each comment shows that you’re actively listening to your readers.
Diversify your content
Blogging is a great place to get started, but that isn’t the only kind of content that people enjoy consuming. A well-developed content strategy consists of a multitude of types. People like seeing compelling content that is both informative and entertaining.
As you plan your content strategy, keep in mind the importance of diverse content. Consider creating videos that coincide with your article and publish them on YouTube. Alternatively, once you’ve developed a large number of articles about a certain topic, consider compiling them into a well-designed ebook that your readers can download. Furthermore, this can be a great opportunity to grow your newsletter list by gating the content in exchange for readers to supply their email addresses.
Participate in collaborative events and festivals
Like any other industry, the food tech industry is filled with popular events, conferences, and festivals. These are great opportunities to meet other people within your industry and learn about upcoming trends. Take advantage of these events by connecting with other like-minded individuals that share similar interests.
If you make the decision to attend one of these events, be sure you go prepared. Practice your elevator speech and print out business cards to hand out to your newly-formed connections.
In order to establish yourself as a food-tech blogger, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the industry. Always be hungry to learn more about upcoming trends and technological advancements taking place. While it’s certainly helpful to read articles about the industry, don’t be afraid to actually go out and speak with different restaurant owners in your area. The best way to understand the various pain-points that your audience deals with is by talking with them directly. Who knows, one of these conversations could become a lead for you!
Following a disciplined and well-informed approach puts you in the ideal position to hit your goals. We wish you all the best in your journey to becoming a food-tech blogger.