Video Marketing For Restaurants & Bars: Dead Simple & Effective Ideas

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There’s no doubt that video content production in general and video marketing, in particular, are the future of online marketing.

Just having a nice website and posting some cool looking photos of your restaurant, the menu, the kitchen, some dishes do not cut it anymore.

Video content is all the rage nowadays. Regardless of what business or niche you are in.

People spend a ton of time watching videos online.

More than half of the internet users watch online videos every single day.

Facebook gets 8 million video views each day.

And that numbers are going up as we speak. By 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will represent video traffic.

And you don’t need to take my word for it. The guys over at Forbes.com are saying it by citing studies made by world experts.

As per the findings of this study, people are more likely to buy things after watching a video about the product or service they are interested in purchasing.

So it makes perfect sense to have a few videos up on your website, right?

But what kind of video should you do for your restaurant?

What should you talk about the video?

What should you film?

How long should your restaurant video be?

How can you market these videos?

Getting started with video production and video marketing is a challenging task and can be overwhelming. But we are here to help.

By handling so many different video editing services, I know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to video marketing for businesses.

Read on and find out how you can make videos to promote your restaurant without breaking the bank.

Video content ideas for your restaurant & bar

I love the restaurant industry because there are literally tens of different type of videos you can do. And each one will look absolutely amazing if you implement it the right way.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

If you are also interested in creative ideas for making videos for your business (not necessarily restaurant related) without being on camera, check out this post.

Interview with the chef

The chef is the most important person in a restaurant, after the customer of course.

You don’t need to have a famous chef preparing food in your restaurant to make a video about him or her. Sure, it would help.

But if your chef has been with your restaurant for many years and you have a history together you can have him tell his story on camera, as well as his connection with the restaurant.

People love watching stories so this would definitely be something interesting to watch.

Here’s a nice example of a video done Joshua Davies about a head chef that works in Damson Restaurant, Media City UK.

The chef in this video is by no means famous, but he has an amazing story to tell and that makes this video so great.

I don’t know about you, but I’d want to go out and eat there just to get to meet the guy.

That’s something you can easily implement for your restaurant.

Here’s another great video example.

 

Client testimonials

Do you have regular clients that come to your restaurant for years?

Why not feature them in your video?

Client testimonial type of videos has always been a great way to make a business gain more credibility and build its trust.

On top of that, you will be featuring average people in your video which will make your viewers somehow relate to them.

Heck, if your restaurant is located in a small city or town, many of the viewers might even know the person you are interviewing.

Many marketers think that a restaurant is all about the food. Which it is if you think about it.  Sure a restaurant is about the food and drinks, but most importantly, is also about the people, neighborhood and the community.

So why not using the community or the neighborhood to promote your business?

The B-roll video

For those of you that don’t know what B-roll is, don’t get intimidated by it. It’s just a fancy term used by filmmakers to name the footage you use when you want to cut away from the main shot or scene.

The thing about the bar & restaurant business is that you can literally put together an entire video using just B-roll type of shoots.

So you can film the kitchen, the customers walking in, the front door of your place, the chef doing its thing, the food being cooked, the drinks being poured.

By doing this you end up with a video which showcases the overall atmosphere of the place. Even at first the shots might seem random, they will fall into their own place and look great.

Kind of like this video.

Behind the scenes

Another great type of video you could do is the behind the scenes film.

People are always interested in that type of videos regardless of the industry you are in.

So I bet that a video which gives them an insider’s view of the restaurant will do well. You could film the tables being prepared early in the morning before the restaurant opens or your kitchen gear, the chef at work or the waiters interacting with the cooks.

There are a variety of different things you can film and put in your final video montage.

Recipe videos

Recipe videos have been around forever but people still love watching them.

Especially if you come up with fresh and out of the box recipes which you don’t get to see or try too often. So that’s another quick idea for you.

Obviously don’t let all of your secrets out though.

Here’s an example which looks good.

Vlogs

Vlogs are kind of a big deal right now.

Find a way to put out video content on a regular basis. You could do something like a cooking show on your YouTube channel, or do interviews with industry experts each week.

Or simply film whatever you are doing on a daily basis and show people how a day from your life looks like. It could be about getting the ingredients, cooking the food or preparing the dishes.

Just make sure you have a set posting schedule and stick with it no matter what.

Consistency is really important if you want to do well on YouTube and grow your subscriber base.

Kind of like what this guy is doing.

 

Blend it with some music

First and foremost let me tell you that all video should have some sort of a musical background.

But if the music is a big part of your place and you always have a band or nice themed music playing in the background feature that in your video.

Here’s a good example of a video which does just that.

 

The corporate video

If you are after a more traditional kind of video that tells the story of how the business started, where you’ve been and what you’ve gone through, here’s a video to inspire you.

This was done by Wagamama in collaboration with Oracle and it blends bits and pieces of the restaurant business as well as the technical solution used by the restaurant to improve the customer experience.

These kinds of videos tend to work well when you are representing a bigger brand with more locations.

Besides just reviewing the solution offered by your supplier, you also want to give the viewer an overview of the dimension of your chain of restaurants as well as some interesting insights about your business.

So that should keep you busy putting out video content. These are just a handful of ideas, I bet you can come up with twice as much if you put your mind to it.

If this list is not enough for you here’s another one of 31 video content ideas for online businesses. And here’s another for creating intro videos for your brand.

Maybe you can borrow something from there as well.

Video marketing tips for your restaurant & bar

Ok, now that we’ve talked about video content ideas let’s look at some video marketing tips.

Tell a story

People love stories, and if you want your video to be engaging you need to focus on telling a story with it.

Something that is fun and emotional tends to have a bigger impact on viewers so try making your video either funny or emotional. Or both at the same time if you can.

Maybe you can find a topic that your viewers can relate to and touch a little bit on that in your video.

Make it really catchy

People have a really low attention span when they are online browsing on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.

You probably know this for yourself. We keep scrolling and scrolling and we rarely stop to watch a video, right? It has to be super interesting and catchy right from the first second.

So that’s what you got to do as well.

Skip the small talk or the into and get straight to the point. If people want to find out more about your restaurant such as your location, history and so on and so forth they will look for that information later.

But for now, simply focus on grabbing their attention. If you have them hooked in the first 5-10 seconds you already won.

Keep it short

Getting them hooked right from the start of the video is just a small part of the job though.

Once you’ve done that, you want to keep your video short and to the point.

The audience retention rates tend to drop as the video gets longer.

Just have a look at this graph.

audience loss retention rate video length graph

Source

Typically you want to keep your video within the 2-minute mark. Unless you are using in on Instagram which only allows videos that are under 60 seconds long.

This way more people will watch it until the end, where you will have you call to action message.

Speaking of the call to action…

Call to action

Each of your videos should have a purpose or a call to action as marketers call it.

What do you want to achieve with that video?

Most people will say that they want more sales, more customers and generate more revenue.

And I completely agree.

But you don’t want to make your video sound like a sales pitch. Not even the call to action.

So messages like “Call us now” or “Get your reservation now” are not exactly your best choice.

Instead, you should try doing something which is not as aggressive. You should be selling without selling.

So at the end of your video, you could tell your videos to go check out your website for the menu or have them watch another video, or collect their email address by giving away something for free, or a discount coupon.

That way people will be more likely to interact more with you and you can easily convert them into customers later on.

video marketing for restaurants

How to edit your restaurant videos

OK, I skipped the filming part because you will probably have someone with a nice camera do that for you anyway.

Or, if you are a smaller business and don’t have the budget for it, you can film some shots yourself using your iPhone or a consumer grade camera.

But what do you do with all that raw footage after that? How do you actually go about and put together a nice video montage that looks professional and it’s ready to go on social media?

Video editing software

First and foremost you want to get your hands on a video editing software.

The ones I recommend are VSDC or Lightworks if you want something free. If you want to step up the next level you can get Adobe’s Premiere Pro or Vegas Pro.

It doesn’t really matter that much what software you are going to use, is more about how you use it.

Organizing everything

The first thing you want to do is to organize all the different files you will work with.

You will have raw footage that maybe is coming from different cameras. Maybe you have some B-roll in there.

Then you will have the project files, the audio, and the renders.

I like to have different folders for each of those file types. It helps you organize everything better and find something when you need it.

It looks kind of like this.

Pick the soundtrack

It may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but I like to start all my edits by picking the background music first.

The reason I recommend doing this is because it will dictate the rhythm and the pace of the video. You want your video to match the beat or the style of the music and have everything somehow in sync.

Cutting & stitching

The next thing is to go through all the footage and start picking the scenes which will make it to the final cut.

Select shots that look good, where there’s no camera shake and no blur.

For restaurants, in particular, tight shots tend to work really well because you want to capture as many details as possible.

So first you need to make sure you or your camera guy captures plenty of tight, zoomed in shoots. This kind of shots create those mouthwatering videos that will have your viewers want to taste your food.

Transitions

Next, you need to put it all together.

Most of the times I simply cut away from one scene to another without actually applying a transition effect and I think this approach works really well for restaurants as well.

Alternatively, you can use a wide variety of transition effects that are built-in your software, as long as they don’t look too lame. Or you can do your own transition effects if you feel like experimenting.

Slow motion

As I said in a previous post, I love slow motion shots.

Slow-mo is an easy way to make your video look more professional.

And I think it works really well for restaurants videos because it allows you to kind of draw the viewers attention to particular scenes.

You may have a slow-mo scene with your chef seasoning the food, or while he is cooking with fire doing a “flambe”.

Keep in mind though that you will need to have those scenes filmed at a frame rate of at least 50 or 60 fps in order to slow them down.

color grading before and after

Color grade

One if the final touches you want to add to your video is color grading.

This is what makes your video have that look you are after.

With color grading, you basically play around with the colors in your video, with the saturation, brightness, and contrast to give it the feel you want.

It’s definitely a step you don’t want to skip.

 

Conclusions

So that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Pick an idea and start implementing. It may be a vlog, a B-roll type of video or maybe a series of interviews with your staff.

Remember to keep your video short and catchy.

Don’t try to make it sound like a sales pitch. People will smell that miles away and they will not convert into customers.

Once you have all the shots ready to go get your video edited. Do it yourself by following the steps outlined above or, if you don’t have the time to do it, send us the footage and we’ll do it for you.

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5 Comments

  • Miguel Escamilla

    I’m a videographer and photographer. And as I see though the video, you must keep an eye on the detail, the meat looks greasy and the container looks old and not fancy, the videographer should take care of those details while shooting.

    • Cristian

      That is a good point of view Miguel, but I think it all depends on the story that you are trying to tell through your video, right? Maybe you just want to show things as they are in real life. Yeah, it’s not your usual marketing video, I’ll give you that, but the old container may help you tell a different side of the story.

  • Felicity

    Can anyone recommend a video editing software that isn’t to expensive? That will be helping with cutting the scenes and adding music etc.

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