social media

The Impact of Social Media

We live in a digital world where Americans can access almost anything on their phone. Ordering delivery? Order through the app. Forgot your credit card? Pay through the phone. Lost and need directions? Phone maps will get you to your destination. Americans love their phones, so businesses must adopt to digital advertising methods. People communicate electronically now more than ever and this trend will only increase, especially through social media. While print and electronic marketing is effective, consider using social media to increase your brand awareness.

First, sign up for an account and create a business page. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great tools to connect on social media. In addition, these accounts can update customers on new menu items, special promotions and various events happening at the restaurant. Customers can also review a business on Facebook. This is a great way to receive insights on your restaurant while keeping the customer engaged. Twitter and Instagram both have trending topics and use will likely increase the probability of visibility to the post. Replying to customers is important as well; this shows you care about their thoughts and will increase their likelihood of return to the restaurant.

Buying Ads on Social Media

Ads are also available for purchase on social media. Customers will see your page on the side of Facebook, or while scrolling through their news feed on Instagram. Wondering about connecting with customers immediately? Buy a filter on Snapchat. Through the filter, customers will engage themselves with the restaurant by incorporating their face with your logo or image. When the customer chooses to share it on their story, Snapchat users can view that picture (or “Snap”) and your advertisement for 24 hours. Click here to read about Taco Bell’s phenomenal Snapchat success story on Cinco de Mayo.

Other social media options include Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn and YouTube. Play around and see what option will meet the needs of your restaurant and brand. Knowing your customers will be the best way to customize your use of social media. Just remember, when the public rarely looks up from their phones, maybe that is the best way to reach them.

Van Eerden Fall Food Show 2016

Every year, Van Eerden hosts an assortment of food shows across the state. This year’s Fall Food Show brought in hundreds of customers as a last hurrah of the food show season. We held this year’s food show at Soaring Eagle Casino on October 11th and featured new items, promotions and a Holiday Party the night prior. A total of 179 vendors in took the booths and hundreds of customers attended. With so much action the casino walls buzzed with excitement during the entire the two-day event.

VE School Show

Van Eerden School Show 2016

As a foodservice distributor, Van Eerden has a wide range of customers across Michigan. These include several independent restaurants, local chains, schools and more. While the majority our customers include chains and restaurants, we also service K-12 school districts. In fact, service to the school business is so large; our company has a department dedicated solely to providing the greatest service to schools. Schools even have their own show featuring issues, products and services that are important to them.

Food Trends 2016

To gain business, restaurants must stay on top of “what’s hot” in the food industry. Food trends can be enacted through various diets , allergies and sensitivities, and seasons. For example, most restaurants will not serve a pumpkin soup in the middle of May. How do restaurant owners plan ahead and prepare for the top food trends throughout the year? Not serving pumpkin soup in May seems obvious, but when does a restaurant know the appropriate time to remove a kale salad from the menu? Likewise, how do they know consumers no longer consider kale salad a “hot” item? Similar to fashion, entertainment and music trends, food trends take time to develop and disintegrate. Various chefs and restaurant owners also research and forecast these trends all over the world.

Every year, the National Restaurant Association (the NRA) meets to put forth a list of food trends within the restaurant industry. While consumers may believe these trends are based solely on the chef’s appetites, lots of time and research occurs before the NRA makes their projections. The NRA surveys over 1,600 professional chefs from around the country to make their predictions on future trends. Curious as to what topped the list? Locally sourced meat and seafood.

Food Trends at Van Eerden

At Van Eerden, we can ensure that restaurants stay on top of the year’s food trends. We provide our customers with knowledgeable sales reps willing go above and beyond. These sales reps provide businesses with trending food options and ideas on how to serve these items. We also offer our customers products that top this year’s food trends. When a customer orders fresh seafood, we provide products from our partners at Fortune Fish and Gourmet in Chicago. Byron Center Meats, located just 12 miles down the road from our office is our partner in providing fresh cut meats. Customers of Van Eerden order meat and seafood with the satisfaction knowing they ordered fresh food that will top the list of the year’s food trends. Delicious and trendy food will sell itself in a restaurant and we gladly make that possible.

You can find the full list of top food trends on the National Restaurant Association’s website.