Video Marketing Menu: Behind-the-Scenes, Tutorials, and Trends for Restaurants
Video content has become an increasingly popular marketing tool for restaurants in recent years. More and more diners are turning to social media and YouTube to get a glimpse inside their favorite eateries. Videos allow restaurants to showcase dishes, ambiance, and staff in an engaging and visual format.
Being a decade-old provider and expert of restaurant SEO agency, we’ll discuss four of the top trends in video marketing for restaurants: behind-the-scenes videos, cooking tutorials, live streaming, and influencer collaborations. We’ll provide examples and tips for creating compelling videos that resonate with restaurant audiences.
One highly effective video format for restaurants is behind-the-scenes footage. These videos give customers an authentic inside look at what goes on in the kitchen, how favorite menu items are prepared, and the processes that contribute to a positive dining experience.
Seeing the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen can build trust and connection with audiences. It satisfies curiosity and makes them feel like insiders. Watching chefs and cooks at work also provides inspiration for home cooks.
Behind-the-scenes videos are a chance to showcase culinary skills at work. Restaurants can feature their talented chefs, highlight use of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, and demonstrate special cooking techniques.
Fun interview segments with the head chef or owner also make great behind-the-scenes content. They can share their vision, culinary philosophy, and passion for the restaurant business. Adding a bit of personality and storyline draws viewers in even more.
Example concepts for behind-the-scenes videos include:
- An interview with the head chef about their background and cooking style. The chef could provide a kitchen tour and chat with cooks during a busy dinner service.
- A day in the life video following kitchen staff. Show their food prep work from deliveries and unloading orders to chopping, cooking, and plating dishes.
- A closer look at signature dishes. Capture all the meticulous steps used to create them from scratch.
- Food sourcing footage like visits to farms that supply local produce or fish markets. This shows the care that goes into procuring ingredients.
Behind-the-scenes videos should have an authentic DIY aesthetic. Simple clips filmed on an iPhone or DSLR camera can be highly engaging when done thoughtfully. The key is capturing passion for food and giving customers a real glimpse into the restaurant’s character.
In addition to behind-the-scenes footage, cooking tutorial videos are another smart marketing play for restaurants. These can teach home cooks how to prepare some of the restaurant’s most popular signature dishes and menu items.
The appeal of cooking tutorials is two-fold. They provide helpful instruction that adds value for viewers. Learning recipes, tips and techniques from a professional restaurant chef can really level up someone’s home cooking game.
At the same time, tutorial videos showcase the skills of the restaurant’s culinary team. They demonstrate exactly how the pros get such delicious flavors and beautifully plated presentations. This can inspire confidence in the quality of the restaurant’s food overall.
Some savvy ways for restaurants to produce cooking tutorial content include:
- Step-by-step instructional videos on how to make dishes like pizza dough, signature sauces, curries, sandwiches and more. Provide details on ingredients, tools, cooking steps and serving suggestions.
- Quick recipe videos focused on individual menu items. Dedicate a video to the perfect seared steak, gooey mac and cheese or classic Bolognese sauce.
- Technique tutorials like knife skills, food presentation tips, making the ideal omelette etc. These teach basic skills home cooks can apply to many dishes.
- Ingredient spotlight videos on how to select, prepare and cook items like seafood, seasonal produce, cuts of meat and more.
- A beginner cooking series tackling different meals and courses. Cover breakfast, sandwiches, salads, mains, desserts and more with easy approachable tutorials.
- Kid-friendly cooking videos that teach simple recipes to make with children. Engage a younger audience while positioning the restaurant as family-friendly.
The presentation style of cooking tutorials can also provide valuable branding. Showcasing the chef’s personality and conveying the restaurant’s vibe through the video’s tone and visuals makes an impact. Use logos, menu photos and atmospheric b-roll to remind viewers of the restaurant with subtlety.
Live streaming represents yet another impactful video marketing opportunity for restaurants. Going live on social media provides an instant behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant kitchen in action. Viewers can tune in and interact in real time.
The sense of urgency and excitement around a live broadcast compels social media followers to watch and participate. They can ask questions and leave comments that the restaurant team can respond to on the spot. It creates a conversational, personal experience even through the screen.
There are endlessly creative concepts restaurants can implement for live streams:
- Host Q&A sessions where the head chef answers common questions about their dishes, cooking techniques, background and more. Make it conversational and fun.
- Spotlight new menu items by streaming the preparation process live. Viewers get the VIP experience of watching a dish come together from start to finish.
- Offer live virtual food tours of the restaurant space. Take viewers behind-the-scenes to the kitchen, freezer, pantry, dining area, bar, exterior and more.
- Share quick cooking tip videos like how to shuck oysters or breakdown a whole chicken. These fast demos make great live stream content.
- Stream plating and garnishing sessions. Show how dishes are given those beautiful finishing touches before heading to tables.
- On slower days, go live from the kitchen for an extended time like during prep work. This gives a complete behind-the-scenes look at restaurant operations.
The live, unedited nature of streaming makes it feel candid and transparent. Keep streams relaxed and conversational with room for some spontaneity and humor. Save broadcasts to repost as regular videos later as well.
Collaborating with food influencers represents an enormous opportunity for amplified video marketing reach. The right influencer partnerships can spotlight a restaurant in front of wide, engaged followings.
Food bloggers and vloggers with specialist content focused on recipes, restaurants, travel, baking and more have built loyal audiences hungry for recommendations. Getting featured in their content gives restaurants coveted endorsements.
Savvy restaurants can leverage influencers in creative ways:
- Gift influencers free meals in exchange for reviews and social media features. A favorite dish pictured on their Instagram is worth its weight in gold.
- Invite influencers to help create sponsored video recipes featuring signature dishes. Their unique spin and presentation expands the content’s appeal.
- Ask influencers to contribute their skills for co-created video collaborations like a cocktail tutorial, mocktails for kids or plating techniques.
- Sponsor influencer’s food challenges like trying to eat giant burgers, monster milkshakes or super spicy dishes. This spins a fun storyline around menu items.
- Host influencers for Instagram takeovers during special events or dinner services. Let them give their followers an insider experience.
- Have influencers contribute reviews, testimonials and recommendations for the restaurant’s website. Their stamp of approval boosts credibility.
The essential thing when involving influencers is giving them creative license to shape content in their own style. Their audiences are there for the influencer’s personality and lens on food. Let them work their magic while showcasing the restaurant favorably.
Video offers amazing potential for restaurants to show off their offerings in an engaging, shareable format. From the behind-the-scenes peek to cooking tutorials, live streaming, and influencer collaborations, options abound for creative video marketing campaigns.
A few key tips for success include using high quality equipment within budget constraints, developing novel video concepts, maintaining authenticity and consistency, and tracking video analytics. Most importantly, focus on highlighting the passion and people that bring the restaurant to life. Let videos bring out the energy and flavors that make diners keep coming back.
The popularity of social video continues rising across all industries. For restaurants, it represents an invaluable chance to connect with foodie fans in an interactive, visual medium. By embracing video marketing, eateries can create compelling stories, share expertise, and complement in-person dining experiences. Let these trends inspire you to get started with videos that make mouths water!