How Can You Enhance Customer Engagement with Menu Item Stories

Really use your menu item descriptions to drive customer engagement at your restaurant.

Did you know that telling stories about your restaurant is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to drive customer engagement? 

Not only can you share stories on your restaurant website, but you can share them on social media, too.

Most likely, you built your restaurant around your menu. As a result, you spent a lot of time thinking about each dish you would add to your menu. Some items may be family traditions, while others are ones you’ve perfected over the years. And others might be something you concocted recently. 

The important thing is to think about each of your menu items as part of your restaurant marketing. You want to make them captivating. Then, you can use your menu to gain new customers and build relationships with others. 

Your customers want to know the real stories behind your restaurant and your menu items. This creates customer engagement and builds loyalty.

Let’s take a look at how you can enhance customer engagement with menu item stories. 

Use an Authentic Voice

When using stories for your menu items, make sure to use an authentic voice. This is your story, and you want it to sound like it. (tweet this)

To increase customer engagement, you need to sound like a real person, not a marketing person trying to “sell” your menu items.

When telling stories, you bring your menu items to life for those who read them online or in your restaurant. 

Make sure to consider what tone makes you unique. This is what elevates you over the competition. 

For example, a family restaurant may have a different voice and tone than a high-end, generally adults-only restaurant. You can also look at the personality of your restaurant. When writing your stories, stay true to your personality.

Be Descriptive and Creative

If you want to improve customer engagement, you must drag your customers along with you on a journey. 

It should be easy to write 250 words about your dish (not that you need to). If you can’t, you may want to ask yourself why it’s on your menu. Make sure that all of your dishes are really important to your restaurant’s brand.

Make it your goal to tell the best menu story. This is where you need to really dig in and get creative and descriptive. 

Consider that many people are seeing your menu items online first. They don’t have the luxury of sitting in your restaurant and listening to a server tell them the history of a dish. So, it’s incumbent on you to put out the most creative story of your menu items. 

You want to think about why the dish is on your menu and then use that to craft the story. Tell your website and social media visitors why they should crave your dish. Is it something you ate “back home,” does it have a childhood memory for you, or is it something you ate on your first date with your first love? 

Your goal is to create an emotional reaction to a dish to really describe it. And, of course, don’t forget to tell people what’s in the dish!

Use Emotion

On the subject of emotions, if you really want to engage your customers, you need to tell a story that means something. (tweet this)

You do this by using some of the following in your menu item stories.

Use adjectives to help you convey a strong, vivid story.
Insert a little humor to engage people. 
Add exciting facts. For example, tell people if you source all of your beef locally from your high school best friend who has a sustainable farm. 
Use a quote from friends or family to make your story credible.

While you definitely want to highlight each menu item’s flavor, ingredients, and technique, you also want to add a more emotional piece to it as well to really engage your customers. 

Stories about your menu items bring people together and increase engagement.

Get Specific

Do you have stories that are specific to a particular dish? For example, you might use seasonal ingredients, buy from local farmers, or your beloved sister created the dish when you were younger. 

With recipe-specific stories, you also enhance customer engagement because you are sharing some personal with your customers. You also may be sharing something they care about, too, like sustainability. 

If this is the case, do be sure to include that info with the menu item description. If your menus are online, you have more space than you generally would on a paper menu. 

Use Social Media

In addition to your website, your social media platforms are a great way to share your menu item stories and improve customer engagement.

Here, you might share behind-the-scenes content – for example, you might showcase your chef making one of your menu items. 

In addition, you can use regular posts, stories, and even reels to describe your menu items and drive up engagement while building relationships with your customers.

When appropriate, you can also link to your website so people can see the full descriptions.

To Conclude

With menu item stories, your restaurant becomes more than a dine-in location or takeaway spot. You humanize your restaurant, giving your target audience a genuine and captivating reason to eat your food.

Now it’s time to create a compelling narrative for your menu items. Start jotting down your stories to see how they can connect and engage your customers. 

You’ll find that doing this sets you apart from your local competition. For example, you both may sell pizza, but you sell pizza that you created with your kids late one night, and there’s a story behind every ingredient. So now, you can see how much more intriguing it is to buy your pizza and why storytelling gives you a clear advantage.

Your storytelling helps you build your brand, increase loyalty, and enhance customer engagement. With your stories, you grab your audience in and create an emotional connection. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started working on your menu item stories so you can use them in-house, on your website, and on your social media platforms. 

At Restaurant Engine, we create websites that tell your story. You can count on us to create a website that engages customers through brand storytelling. Let us help you make the perfect site that draws customers in, improves customer engagement and your conversion rate, and enables you to grow your business! Ready to take the plunge and create a new website?  Get your free website consultation today!

Images: charlesdeluvio and Spencer Davis on Unsplash

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