The Internet has revolutionized our way of life by making access to information easier. Now, every bit of information is literally just a click away. With the internet being an integral part of our everyday life, consumers increasingly go online to research for options before making decisions, like deciding where to eat.
With this fact in mind, food businesses are now taking advantage of what the web can do for them. Today, the food industry is investing time and effort in creating and sustaining their digital visibility to promote their services and goods online. And because these avenues have wider reach, promotion has never been easier, faster, and more effective.
According to Zomato, an online and mobile restaurant search and discovery service, having websites and social media accounts allows restaurants to create more buzz in the online space.
“If you are visible online, especially on Zomato, the searcher will eventually find you, out of a great number of restaurants within an area,” says Anton Ojeda, Zomato Philippines country manager. “By the time you’re shortlisted, it will just depend on the food preference of the searcher to choose you.”
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Being visible in the digital space is like hitting two birds with one stone for the food industry. Ojeda adds that having digital presence does not only promote a brand, it also opens the communication line between restaurants and their patrons. “Being present in the digital space is not just about letting people know about your brand. It is about reaching out to them,” Ojeda said.
Through comments and feedbacks, restaurants are informed of how consumers find their services and food. Today, because of social media, consumers can freely say what they think about a particular restaurant, both positive and negative. Zomato found out that reviews by food bloggers as well as everyday diners play an important part when picking out a place to eat. “Filipinos have the habit of researching about a restaurant before actually eating there, and they rely on reviews they find in the Internet,” states Ojeda.
On the other hand, consumers can also give negative feedback through social media, which, as Ojeda says, restaurants take seriously. “In Zomato, restaurant owners can reply to bad reviews,” shares Ojeda. “You’d be surprised how seriously they take these reviews and how quickly they would take actions to address them. And even those with a lot of good reviews would reassess their operations after just one negative feedback from a user.”
Generally, having digital visibility plays an important part in the success of the food industry. It can either make or break the business. One just really needs to be wise enough to take advantage of its benefits, and use any negativity as a catalyst to make the venture grow.
Building a restaurant’s online presence and promoting brands in the digital age will be one of the topics in the first local Zomato Restaurant Summit to be held on May 19. The event, which has the theme Conquering the Digital Age, will bring together restaurateurs and foodies to talk about how restaurants can level up their games in the digital stage. Other topics include the evolution of Philippine restaurants and food tourism. For more information about the Summit, visit https://www.facebook.com/ZomatoSummit.
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