Gary Vaynerchuk is a global business guru, and widely respected for his work in digital marketing and social media. He is the author of multiple bestselling business books and the current CEO of New York-based VaynerMedia. 

We at Crisp have been asking a considerable amount of questions as to how we can further help our restaurant partners come out stronger on the other end of this storm.

I recently heard a digital interview Gary had with a POS salesman. The man posed a question. One that I, myself, have been asking these past several days. I transcribed the interview and felt it would be valuable to pass Gary’s answers on to you.

The POS salesman:

I sell restaurant point-of-sale software so I help restaurant owners make their businesses more efficient and help them run their business, grow their sales and so forth… with this shutdown man, it’s just affecting all of them and I’m just curious as to what ideas you might have for them to help them through it.”

Gary Vaynerchuk:

I mean for them, they’ve got to re-engineering their infrastructure to be able to do local delivery… You know for restaurants, they could be be looking at ¾ of a year before we open back up. I think there’s going to be hesitation… it’s going to be a little while for public places to get all the way back because even if we open up in 3 months…I know like my mom and other people that are going to be a little scared to go out. There will be another whole group that can’t wait to go out. But it could be a little while before it gets even…

I think there are two things. 

  1. They’ve got to innovate and they’ve got to innovate in two ways; from a branding standpoint and from an operational standpoint.

Either they build out significant delivery infrastructure. So it’s not only the ability to have Doordash or Ubereats or, you know, seamless pickups from them. It’s also the ability to have the capabilities of prepping those meals and things of that nature… but it’s also building up awareness in marketing so that people choose their restaurant versus a different one.

  1. Number two I think you need to make content. If I owned a restaurant right now, I would be in my restaurant, by myself, and I would literally make a video of every single thing we have on the menu. I would show how I make it, why invented it… [or] how we think about it. Here’s the stove I chose and why…

Example: I’m big on tomatoes and I get my tomatoes from Cal. Shoutout to Cal! I know you are struggling out there too, I love you brother… I think people have to tell their story. Then I would go to the bar and play a mixologist and show you how we make every drink.

THIS IS THE TIME TO TELL YOUR STORY.

I would make 50 to 100 videos of why we started the restaurant, how long we’ve been here, how I negotiated the lease, my favorite customers, war stories, classic stories, every dish etc…

This is the time to TELL THE WORLD YOUR STORY.

I think of it right now as this:

The Coronavirus has caused us all to be into one big virtual campfire like in the 1300s, which is what we used to do. Pre-television, Pre-everything. Radio – we used to all sit around and tell stories from the heart and the brain. I think every small business right now needs to tell their story.”

Give it a try. It’s FREE to post on social media!

I’ve personally seen how effective transparency and storytelling can be. If your stores continue to struggle (we all are) A quick, easy, FREE thing to do is to simply open up and explain how you got started, why you got started, the good stories, the bad… just get out and create engaging content to build empathy with your customers and prospective customers. 

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be raw and real. 50 to 100 videos. Down and dirty, touring your restaurant. 

“Storytelling matters and is a key element in building a brand and everyone who sees this post needs to understand they are in “building a brand mode” at all times whether they understand and see it or not! Listen carefully to this tip because whether you’re a celebrity, influencers, small business owner, beginner or anything in between the theme here matters” – Gary Vaynerchuk