Picturing The Advantages of Equipment Videos
More and more in the foodservice industry, marketing and customer communication is becoming about visual imagery. In Florida, the Carmel Café chain is utilizing iPad-based “MenuPads” to enable customers to view high-resolution photos of current menu items, as well as send their own orders instantaneously to restaurant kitchens. Other restaurant chains are also looking at adopting this display technology and it wouldn’t surprise us if this form of menu promotion soon becomes the norm in a variety of foodservice concepts.
The surging popularity of cooking demonstrations and competitions on several television networks is also adding a new dimension to the aphorism “We eat first with our eyes.” Watching chefs prepare signature dishes and impromptu new recipes has become a spectator sport, inspiring consumers to try new foods and flavors, and encouraging cooks throughout the industry to try out different equipment and preparation techniques. Adding impetus to this trend is the growing number of equipment manufacturers who are posting videos of their products on YouTube (now the world’s second most popular search engine, after only Google), both to promote features and benefits and to show chefs preparing menu selections with their models.
The ubiquity of smart tablets and phones indicates that mobile apps with embedded videos is likely to become the next arena for foodservice industry marketing. The key for equipment suppliers is to learn from restaurant and foodservice operators how to tell a brand and product story that engages with customers’ interests and needs, rather than to use the medium simply to sell products. Using videos of equipment in action to reach operators who are shopping for products online can create a powerful new sales tool, if manufacturers post them beyond their own web sites.
E-mail newsletters, for example, can be a productive vehicle for distribution of video-based product information, providing equipment education both to supply chain partners and operator-customers. Hospitality industry professionals are just beginning their exploration of video marketing’s capabilities, but early adopters are sure to gain competitive advantages.