The old saying, “show, don’t tell,” is relevant in marketing, too.

Most guests determine which restaurants to dine in based on word of mouth. As a matter of fact, research conducted by TouchBistro demonstrates that 91 percent of diners select restaurants based on recommendations from friends. On the other hand, about three-quarters of potential customers will avoid eating at restaurants when they’ve received negative feedback from acquaintances.

The Various Forms of Word of Mouth

Thanks to our connected culture, word of mouth now presents itself in a variety of forms. With online interactions dominating many aspects of their lives, restaurant-goers have made a habit of sharing their opinions of restaurants through social media platforms.

Simultaneously, diners have become wary about traditional online reviews. With a rise of social media savviness, they’ve realized these platforms allow for trolling and the spread of inaccurate information.

From a glowing Yelp endorsement to a disgruntled TripAdvisor rant, most potential clients dismiss reviews coming from these traditional formats. Whether they’re good, bad or just indifferent, they believe that these reviews may be due to hidden agendas or perhaps because the author of the post was simply having an exceptionally good or bad day.

Frequent diners also acknowledge that Google or other online accounts are easily accessible so anybody can set up and post anything that comes to mind. Without verification, they even have the ability to post reviews without ever walking through the doors of your restaurant. Why would people want to do something like that? No one knows, but it’s a possibility on social media!

Untrustworthy reviews aren’t always intended to be so malicious; columnist Marty Rubin expressed that “some people have such good taste they can’t enjoy anything,” while others can be so agreeable that they deem establishment as five stars regardless of their treatment during service.

Differences in Background and Experiences

Our backgrounds and experiences shape our preferences and our expectations. In the food service industry, this variation is what creates the opportunity for differentiation.

A challenge that many restaurant owners and marketers face is to find ways that add that personal touch to “word-of-mouth” promotion online. This must be done in a credible manner in order to avoid complications with today’s online cynicism

Enabling restaurant-goers to post video-based recommendations resolves this dilemma. Video is the ultimate medium for potential customers; it provides them the opportunity to get an intimate yet accurate impression of the look and feel of your staff and venue.

Viewers of these video recommendations will get to see and hear what your dining experience is like directly from other previous customers. Based on these video reviews, they’re able to make decisions after they’ve had a chance to preview your atmosphere, and not based simply on others’ subjective impressions.

Monotonous text-based restaurant reviews are easy to come by with today’s information overload and in combination with limited credibility, they can be easy to skim past, overlook or ignore. Video experiences will help your location stand out in that dull landscape, giving you the opportunity to be memorable for customers.

Allow Judgment to Come from Your Restaurant’s Real Atmosphere

With video experiences, you get to stand your ground as an entrepreneur. You’re not a victim to the caprice of a random customer’s skewed notions. The judgment for your business will come from the real-life atmosphere and recognition for all the effort put into its creation.

Every business transaction is built on trust and video-based reviews allow shrewd diners who know what they like share real-life experiences with others.

Video reviews allow trusted friends and engaged restaurant-goers with similar tastes to keep up to date with each other’s dining experiences; this organically spreads the word around and helps potential customers looking for a place to try new cuisine, share some drinks and enjoy their time.

The old saying, “show, don’t tell,” is relevant in marketing, and video experiences are the best medium to prioritize storytelling and genuine experience to promote your restaurant.

You’ve devoted endless hours, effort and infinite commitment to creating your business, and have been rewarded with offering an outstanding dining experience. Why not use video reviews to help you display your achievement not only in your neighborhood but globally?

Leveraging over 30 years leadership experience as a leader in major media and consumer goods companies across both B2B and D2C industry sectors in multinational (Nestle) and AXS listed (PBL) and private equity owned (Nine Entertainment) companies, Eugene Varricchio, CEO of franki, brings a wealth of business success and practical experience across a diverse range of business functions, including scaling Australia’s largest online magazine subscription site, and launching Australia’s first mobile loyalty card for Magazines—Reader Rewards. In his recent role as Director of Operations at Bauer Media, he successfully led the business transformation effort across the group to move it from a traditional print operating model to a digital media powerhouse, and was the Executive Director of Bauers Content marketing Agency—BauerWorks.

Expert Takes, Feature, Marketing & Promotions