Category Archives: Restaurant

The Path to Gourmet Street in Restaurant City

Everyone wants to be the best – at the top of the heap of the millions of different Restaurant City players out there who invest time and energy each day into creating the best possible restaurant they can. They spend hours a day trying to master the art of the island layout or making their restaurant look as good as possible. They want to be the best, but many people don’t know how to get there.

Where Do You Start?

Starting out on the route to being the best is hard, but if you know where to look and how to start playing, you can be on your way before you know it. To begin with, it’s good to not put your restaurant in the rating guide. You will likely have a very ugly, functional only restaurant until you reach Level 20. That means that people will rate you low for that functionality and that’s only going to hurt your ratings in the long run.

Instead, keep your restaurant away from the ratings for as long as possible until you can reach Level 20 and start buying some big, beautiful new decorations to make the space glimmer and shine. That is what the pros are doing and how they are getting those 5 star ratings.

There’s More

Additionally, you need to please your customers. Most raters take the rating process very seriously and will not award you with a 5 Star if you have unhappy customers or tired employees. So you need to keep everything clean, keep energy levels up as much as possible and be sure that the service remains top notch. Level up your dishes and get that popularity score up as high as you can. Those are both good tasks as well – ones that will help immensely in getting your game maxed out to the point where you can start getting 5 star ratings.

Gourmet Street, Here You Come

The key to Gourmet Street is creativity. You cannot get to the top with just a well made Italian restaurant. Try replicating a famous restaurant or recreating a famous landmark. A restaurateur recreated the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in the summer and was rewarded for it with outrageous ratings that took the game by storm. That kind of creativity will get the job done almost every time. Most of all, have fun and go to town. Only then will you be able to truly stand out among so many.

Restaurants and Social Media, No Reservations Required

Please excuse me for not titling this article “Restaurants and Social Media, a Recipe for Success.” I know the pun is the most beloved of all the writers’ crafts, but I simply couldn’t stomach the thought. Ahem.

Banter aside, an active social media presence truly provides restaurants of all cuisines and calibers the tremendous opportunity to stay engaged with their clientele. How easy is it to take elegant photos of your dishes and add them to your restaurant’s Facebook page? How much time does it take to Tweet your evening’s dinner specials? More importantly, how rewarding can these simple efforts be?

A 2011 study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that more than 51% of adults use the internet to guide them toward a restaurant, bar or club. The savvy chef, manager, or restaurateur will meet bring their business to their clients.

As a former chef, I know the value of customer feedback and communication first hand. There was never a managers meeting without an exhaustive discussion of comment cards and Yelp reviews. Feedback from our customers was always our most valuable asset, and we saw every criticism as an opportunity to fix our own errors, reach out to the guest, and create a lasting relationship built on mutual appreciation.
We wanted our customers to know that we cared, and we often turned to social media and community forums to demonstrate our commitments.

This all said, there are really six stand-out advantages that social media awards the socially active restaurant:

1. The chefs, restaurants, owners, managers, and PR execs of a restaurant are able to notify the public about evening specials. A well described meal usually wets the appetite: Tonight we are serving whole roasted halibut tail over braised lentils with a curried, lobster sauce.

2. Simply by reminding guests of their great experiences, the chances for their return visit become significantly improved.

3. The two-way communication between a restaurant’s chefs, owners, or managers and their clientele makes getting feedback easier and usually more genuine. An unsatisfied but embarrassed guest is more likely to forgo the complaints and the comment cards and go straight to web to voice their disappointment. Find them there and get them back.

4. Menus will frequently reference the farms and fisheries that produce their products, but it is not often that customers remember the name Eva’s Garden, or Verrill Farms, or even Niman Ranch. When a restaurant takes pride in what they serve, they can feature their sources online to everyone’s benefit.

5. By filming how dishes are made, chefs can demystify the culinary process and engage their clientele outside of the restaurant. The celebrity chef is a modern phenomenon, and today everybody seems to appreciate a skilled culinarian demonstrating their craft.

6. Effective social media marketing can help chefs, managers, and restaurant owners seem more familiar to their clients. Everybody likes to feel at home at a restaurant – in essence, this feeling of comfort and accommodation is precisely what the restaurant sells (more than even food and drink). By helping familiarize your guests with your team, you can help build that sense of belonging, of knowing and understanding, and strengthen that essential feeling of comfort that drives success in the service industry.

And oh yea, watching a chef skillfully filet a fish or deftly brunoise a shallot is super cool.