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For restaurants on an average day, it can be quite tricky to get bloggers to write about your restaurant in the light you want to be shown. Yelp reviews will always be great so long as the positive reviews are flowing in (and bad when they’re not), but earning the appreciation of writer who say things like, “the gnocchi blossomed” on their “palate” or that the bacon “adds a smoky note” to your salad takes work.

Let’s face it, food bloggers can make grilled cheese look good and they often take better pictures of our food than you do, and they know the food trends for 2017 better than anyone else. So if you’re ready to give away some free food and be completely transparent for a little while, here are your best tips for getting food bloggers to write about your restaurant.

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1. Invite them in personally for a tasting menu.

It’s pretty standard to invite food bloggers in for a free meal, especially when you’ve introduced any types of new dishes or menu revisions. It’s also standard to allow them a +1 to dine with and who’s meal will also be on the house. Be sure to greet them personally when they come and ensure that service is top notch.

2. Invite them into the kitchen to meet the cooks and ask questions.

Bloggers want nothing more than something original to add to their blog, and the best way to grant them that is through an interview with you or your staff. If they want to bring along a video camera, let them — encourage it, actually.

3. Have a bloggers dinner to celebrate a redesign or menu change.

For maximum press, (and a very big tab to cover) you might consider a blogger appreciation dinner where you invite any blogger who has ever written about your business in the past.

Not so sure about bloggers and want to give blogging a try yourself? Learn more here.

As a bonus, you may offer a public deadline to local bloggers who haven’t written about you just yet.  Speaking of menu changes, check this out to learn how to optimize any restaurant menu. 

4. Have a “press” section on your website that shows where you’ve been featured.

Another thing that food bloggers like is getting inbound links to their websites. By creating a page on your website with links to all of the reviews that have been written about you, you’re putting your restaurant at the top of their list. With that said, be sure to provide contact details on that page for anyone who wants to email or call you for more info or to let you know that they wrote about you.

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5. Follow and start conversations with food bloggers on Twitter and other social networks.

Letting the bloggers know that you’re open to conversation is your first big key. Next, it gives you a way to announce news that they’ll see and may want to write about.

With all of this said, it’s not just bloggers that are getting people in your doors these days. Simply having a Twitter handle that influential Twitter folk can use to recommend you could send people trickling in your doors in bigger numbers.

The hardest part of this, unfortunately, is not getting bloggers in your door, but keeping them happy once they’ve arrived. Greet them when they arrive, make personal stops at their table (but not too frequently) and treat them as if they were a part of your own family.

Unsure about social media all together? We breakdown how to handle Instagram for your restaurant- click here.

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As part of Upserve’s family of more than 10,000 restaurants, The Chef is Restaurant Insider’s secret weapon in the kitchen. As a restaurant expert in all things marketing, menu building, management, training and more, restaurateurs trust The Chef and the award-winning Restaurant Insider to dish out the ingredients needed to make your business a sweet success.