Formitable’s CEO Raymond Wilders will take us through the journey restaurants took in the online world, from 1989 until now. From hijackers of restaurants data to a more colorful future.
RISE UP was live in 26 different countries with 6 different local pop-ups in Stockholm, Kopenhagen, Utrecht, Antwerp, Berlin, and Paris with a lot of great local restaurateurs and chefs. More than 1600 restaurateurs and restaurant marketers signed up to RISE UP.
I’ll take you through the online journey of restaurants from 1989 until now. Of course, the in-house experience will always be a crucial part of restaurants. But nowadays there’s more to it. It’s not enough to ‘just’ perform well offline. Online has become an essential part of the experience. Restaurants have become brands and it’s important to know how to execute onto those brands as well.
We asked everyone who signed up for the event what they’d like to see more of, from 1 to 5:
- improve online branding
- increase online visibility
- building an online community
- quick and easy marketing
At Formitable we’ve built a product around marketing and the idea of a restaurant being more than just a physical entity. We hire and train our sales staff with this in mind, we write inspirational and educational pieces on our blog, and we have an amazing support team servicing our clients every day. With RISE UP we’re adding an extra element to that suite; an inspirational event.
Restaurants have become brands over the years, but how did we get there?
1989 – OpenTable was the first to list multiple restaurants on a website, where you could book a restaurant. And meanwhile, you could earn points for their platform. This was the first restaurant consumer platform.
2004 – Yelp emerged in the States and IENS in the Netherlands, on these platforms you could read restaurant reviews online. People started writing reviews about restaurants online. The reviews were added to the booking platforms, so now you had; availability, loyalty, and reviews.
2008 – Then it became shady. A time of deals and discounts started with Groupon and restaurateurs were with their backs against the wall.
2010 – The consumer platforms started to advertise the restaurant’s name (their own paying customers), hijacking the restaurant’s clients in Google Search. Which is their number one source of guests, always. The consumer platforms that once helped restaurants (at least a little bit) were now stealing their traffic and competing directly with restaurants, and the odds were against them.
2020 – A moment of self-realization. We had guests and we didn’t have data and we didn’t know how to use the marketing channels. We had to think about: who are our guests and how can we reach them?
So we built a software suite;
Sell: sell as much as we can. Like takeaway, gift vouchers, or a special evening in your restaurant.
Manage: in 1 single system, where you own all the data yourself.
Grow: the marketing part, where you grow your entire business.
We believe the future will be much brighter for restaurateurs, we are now at a better point than we ever were.