Restaurants can easily spend thousands of dollars a month in various print directories and magazines (especially the hotel-room travel variety), though consumers are rapidly moving to using online resources to find, evaluate and select their dining options.
Food and beverage establishments can not only raise their online “footprint” but gain operational efficiencies and save on costs by taking advantage of online ways to post jobs, events, news and coupons/discounts compared to traditional ways of promotion. These features are all free with your FoundLocally directory listing.While many restaurants operate as chains or franchises, many are owner-operated with just one location. Their biggest challenge is how to stand out without massive advertising budgets and how to look as professionally-run as the “big boys”. FoundLocally can help you get noticed, stand out, and get that consumer to try you the first time, and help them to pass the word to their friends, family and colleagues.
Unlike a lot of restaurant sites that only focus on high-end restaurants, or include only advertisers (like the in-hotel travel magazine), FoundLocally’s database is free for all food serving establishments and is more complete than other restaurant listings.
Because YOU, the restaurant owner or manager can post and update your listing, you control the message. You can link your FoundLocally listing to your website, your menu, your reservation system, or your catering/delivery service to optimize your results.
Also, unlike other restaurants sites, your FoundLocally listing also lets you post jobs (front of house, back of house, or restaurant management), news, events, and savings (coupons, sales or discounts). Each of these features might cost you hundreds of dollars a year using some other publication, media or online venue. All included for free with your FoundLocally.com restaurant listing.
Wineries, Craft Breweries, and BrewPubs
FoundLocally is adding a special focus on Wineries, Craft Breweries, and Brew-Pubs, because in addition to serving of beverages (and often food), they are a new tourism focus.
Use the templates shown, when adding a new listing, to ensure that appropriate DINING-food & beverage, and TRAVEL-attraction categories are selected. This could, for the appropriate establishment increase your guest traffic with out-of-town visitors to your community.
Please be sure, if serving food, to review the DINING-Cuisine categories to reflect your typical food selection & range.
And for the record, restaurants, bars, and others that are NOT in this specific segment MAY NOT set themselves up as a travel-attraction (we consider that a “tourist trap”, when locals avoid an establishment, or its price points, and only tourists are targetted). This is clearly not the case for wineries, craft brewers, and brew-pubs.
Tip For Chains and Franchises
- Chain and franchise organizations can quickly see which of their locations are already on FoundLocally at http://www.FoundLocally.com/StoreSearch/. We can help add and update any changes required working from an Excel spreadsheet. Each location can link to its website/web page with its reservation page.
- FoundLocally has an Excel Template format that can quickly set up new or missing locations, as well as the Registered Contact information for location managers to update the descriptions, categories, and details of food & beverage operations on their property.
FoundLocally has handy “cloning” tools for quickly creating standardized Job descriptions or Job postings to be copied to all location’s JOBS tab so they can be turned on & off at will.
- Chain-wide promotions and savings can likewise be “cloned” to all locations participating in the program.
See specific tips for multi-location, chain or franchise organizations
Make the Most of Your PROFILE
- Use the Name field for your restaurant name, and you can use the Name2 field (searchable but not displayed) to post nicknames, alternate spellings, or corporate holding company names.
- Use the Address2 field to mention cross-streets, give driving directions, or best parkinglocation.
- If your restaurant is in a hotel, office tower, or shopping mall use one Address field for the building name, and one Address field for your actual street/mailing address.
- Use the Products/Brands to mention your unique features, services, feature dishes, or banquet facilities. You can also mention nearby features, malls and attractions in this field.
TIP#1: Create additional listings for each of your food & beverage facilities, especially if they have their own name, so you can use another 250 characters of description for each, and select categories appropriate to each facility. There’s nothing wrong with one listing for your restaurant and a separate one for your bar, especially if they are very different in terms of service, cuisine, business hours, and clientelle (also see comment in CATEGORIES, below)
- Select all appropriate Categories in the DINING categories, including the cuisines you serve, establishment features, and clientelle you typically attract.
- You can select as many cuisine types and features as reasonably apply, so you don’t have to be pigeon-holed
Multiple CONTACTS may Update Listing(s)
- Set up multiple contacts per listing so different functional roles can login and update their appropriate listings.
- Each location can have one or more managers assigned as Registered Contacts for each listing (on for marketing, one for HR, one for food and beverage operations, and a GM) so each can focus on the areas related to their role in the organization.
TIP FOR CHAINS: Use the POWER USER tab to copy existing Contacts over to your various listings, or to set up regional managers for chain restaurants
Post NEWS and Announcements
- Use the NEWS tab to post any announcements that get sent out to the other community media. Post announcements about management changes, menu changes, and facility upgrades
- Dramatically improve your findability by using strong keywords in the news story with your web site and your name.
- Announcements stay posted until you take them down. On FoundLocally, news has a long shelf life. FoundLocally news is not thrown out or recycled the next day, like with a newspaper!
Post EVENTS to build Traffic
- Use the EVENTS tab to post any special events, like conventions, parties, launches. You probably should not post events for private/closed bookings, where the event is not open to the public.
- For Regular events, like sports nights, use the CLONE feature, after creating one event with a nice description, links and categories, and quickly add similar events for other sports nights. You can post as far ahead as you plan!
- If you have weekly events, like Ladies Night, or a live band(or DJ) on certain evenings, use the “Days of the Week” event type to quickly post up to six months worth of events on a single screen. If you change bands or DJs every week, go in and update that week’s event details, as you confirm the entertainment.
Post your JOBS
- Post JOB openings as part of your listing, using JOBS and then Add New, and these items are automatically posted to the FoundLocally Jobs Board where job hunters typically look for opportunities.
- You can post front of house, back of house or management positions on our site. All postings are free with your business listing. You can set a variety of job types including full time, part time and contract, as well as the level of desired experience.
- When positions are filled, login, go to the JOBS and de-activate that posting. That way you can go back and re-activate the posting later when another vacancy appears, whether in a month or in a few years.
- De-activated JOBS postings are not deleted unless you choose to. But if it saves you typing, looking up a job description from a file, remembering what you said the last time, and didn’t have to pay the local newspaper for another Help Wanted or Careers ad posting, why not use this functionality
Use SAVINGS to attract new customers
- Many restaurants offer coupons or discounts, either as part of a “coupon book” or a neighbourhood promotion. You can replicate those using the SAVINGS tab of your FoundLocally listing
- Set appropriate conditions, limitations, and expiry dates for your offers. The SAVINGS form has links to sample text you can use
- Coupons are numbered, to track the number of coupons and redemptions
Invite RATINGS and Reviews
- We do not permit owners and staff to write reviews of their own restaurant. You are most welcome to review other places where you dine or imbibe, though.
- You can invite your regulars and your best clients to post their own ratings and reviews. This way others will discover why your establishment is worth visiting.
- Only those using Facebook Login can post reviews, to avoid review fraud, abuse, or spam (and their real name is displayed)
- Ratings are permitted 1000 characters of description, much longer than we permit for a business listing, and generally long enough for most reviews (other than the pretentious self-pontificating ones, which on online readers take the time to read, anyway)
- All Registered Contacts for your restaurant get copies of reviews as soon as they are activated.
- FoundLocally will remove reviews that we consider libelous (ie untrue cases of food poisoning). You can notify us using the Feedback button on the page with the offending review.
- We generally don’t remove negative reviews, since they are a matter of opinion, not fact. The best response is to get your regulars to balance the opinions by posting favourable reviews.
Add your LOCAL Free Listing to FoundLocally.com
Don’t forget to also post any News, Events, Jobs, and Savings to promote all aspects of your business and operations, (using the respective tabs in your listing).