You want your restaurant content marketing to convert.
The bad news? Dozens of your competitors want the same: They fight for clients, armed with creative content writing for restaurants in all possible channels. Consumers drown in marketing messages, facing countless decisions daily.
The good news? While some think those decisions are rational, studies say 95% are subconscious. The human brain responds to external stimuli with emotions first, followed by logic afterward. So, the truth is that emotions shape thoughts and influence decision-making.
The best news? Triggering particular emotions using restaurant content writing can influence users’ behavior. Let’s see how to do that with some emotional writing tactics.
7 Tactics to Consider in Content Writing for Restaurants
Emotional writing is a technique of building your marketing messages with specific words, writing structures, and visual hooks that evoke desired emotions and, therefore, willingness to respond.
Below are the top three emotions to trigger from consumers so they will choose your restaurant among the others:
- Curiosity: It gets users to click through your menu, social media, and other content to explore your brand.
- Confidence: This emotion encourages users to purchase from you and keep coming back.
- Loyalty: It helps to build trust in your brand faster and convinces customers to spend more time in your restaurant or order from you online.
And now, to practice. Here go seven emotional writing tactics you can use to trigger the above emotions from potential and regular clients.
1. Tasty words
Tasty words are lip-smacking. As a restaurant, you’re lucky to have many options for menu writing or marketing content. They are descriptive adjectives that help users “taste” your words when reading them.
Examples: juicy, sweet, bitter, spicy, yummy, zesty, fresh, tender.
Many blogs, even those unrelated to the restaurant industry, use this tactic when writing headlines or choosing visuals for their publications.
“Yummy” words work so well because they appeal to self-preservation, a basic human instinct responsible for physical health and safety. No wonder people will respond to everything that helps achieve it.
Another weapon to satisfy this instinct and appeal to emotions is mouth-watering visuals of your dishes. Use them in menus and for restaurant Instagram marketing campaigns to make consumers hungry.
2. Sensory words and linking phrases
Tasty words belong to a broader range of sensory words, lexical items able to turn your content writing for restaurants into emotionally powerful narratives.
They are memorable because they make your customers hear, see, taste, smell, or feel your words.
Visual words make users “picture” your content. The terms of smell and taste are perfect for the restaurant niche as they turn writing into lip-smacking content. Motion-based and tactile lexical items are also helpful, especially if you practice brand storytelling.
Here are some examples of sensory words for a restaurant owner to use:
- Visual: sparkling, airy, round, crystalline, colorful, exotic.
- Taste and smell: fragrant, juicy, bitter, yummy, lip-smacking, mouth-watering, sweet, spicy, bittersweet.
- Motion and tactile: tender, ice-cold, soft.
They help you stick to the “Show, not tell” principle: Users will “feel” and “move” with your stories in blogs or social media accounts. To guide readers through your narrative and make the connection between ideas, consider linking words.
They are transitional phrases serving as hooks, engaging users to keep reading your content. SEO writers use them to increase a web page’s dwell time and thus influence its ranking on search engines.
3. DIY and interactive content
Basic human instinct is social, responsible for the feeling of personal value, approval, and accomplishments.
We all crave success subconsciously, so we’ll respond to content proving we are incredible. It’s the reason why DIY (do it yourself) content is so engaging.
Each person wants to believe they are unique and different from others, looking for easy ways to prove it. Appeal to their “I can do it!” mantra in your restaurant content; show them that the sky’s the limit.
As a restaurant, you have a secret weapon for this: recipes. Publish DIY posts, craft step-by-step instructions on social media, share how-to guides on third-party resources to promote your brand, etc.
Enhance your recipe content by incorporating text-to-speech functionality, allowing users to listen to the instructions while following along, providing an additional engaging and accessible experience that promotes your brand across various channels.
To satisfy users’ need for action, create the illusion of presence. Make readers feel involved by publishing interactive content assets whenever appropriate.
Quizzes, slides, polls, and tests help here. Ensure they are relevant and they benefit your overall content strategy.
4. Neuro writing tactics
According to legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman, particular words and sounds psychologically affect the human brain. When a writer uses them in a definite place and order, those words serve as mental hooks for readers.
This tactic’s name is neuro writing, and here’s how to use it in your content writing for restaurants:
- Say no to weak (redundant) adverbs. Say “saccharine” instead of “very sweet,” write that a client “beamed,” not “smiled happily,” etc. Weak adverbs are usually -ly words such as extremely, really, very, terribly, and so on.
- Use active voice and active verbs only. Also known as dynamic verbs, these words describe actions, thus making your texts more “alive.” Examples of action verbs for the restaurant industry: eat, drink, bring, try, give, bake, cook, wash, turn on, smell, shake, etc.
- Add beneficial adjectives to headings and subheads: They explain to users why your content is worth checking. What benefits will they get? Examples of such adjectives: free, new, cost-effective, unique, exclusive, etc.
- Use stylistic devices like contrast, metaphors, and repetition to emphasize your message. Example: “Bitter chocolate, sweeter memories.“
- Use odd numbers: They get a better response than even ones. Plus, the human brain is wired for numbers and lists. They provide order to chaos, make the content easier to digest and trick the brain into assuming it has reached the end goal after consuming the list. For example, 15 Recipes You Can Impress Your Guests with This Thanksgiving.
- Ask questions: It’s about the social instinct again, sparking curiosity and a desire to keep reading for answers to ensure you haven’t missed anything. Write questions in headings, subheadings, and throughout the content. Also, you can ask questions in social media posts to engage users in a discussion. Example: What is your favorite drink in November?
- Use quotes: They signal expertise and authoritativeness. Add quotes from happy clients to your social media posts, use them as testimonials on your restaurant landing page, or mention quotes from restaurant experts in your blog posts.
Try the Socratic method in content writing. Ask questions in introductions to stimulate curiosity, confidence, and critical thinking. Ideally, there should be three questions because the brain grasps this number best.
Remember the introduction of this article, by the way?
The human brain retains 70% of information through stories and only 10% — from data. That happens because a story activates the brain area responsible for experiences: When reading or listening to it, we feel as if it does happen and, thus, emotionally respond to it.
Since users evaluate your content by feelings, make them “feel” your writing: Tell them a story like how you decided to open a restaurant or the story behind your most popular recipe.
You can use different storytelling formats: a blog post, a video ad, something ephemeral on social media like Instagram Stories, a photo, etc. But ensure it’s sincere and relevant to your brand’s values.
A wow-word is a tiny detail that makes users remember your content and respond. It’s something that catches them while they are scrolling your post or social media feed. Your task here is to make them stop, think, “Wait, what?” and stay with you to find out what’s in there.
It can be an attention-grabbing word, a shocking fact, a controversial yet relevant emoticon, some extraordinary insight, etc. Think of a wow effect that would help your content stand out and go viral.
Example: “Zarzac or Zarc: Which is the better name for our new dish?” or “349% better! Our latte beats records.”
Before publishing it, ask yourself, “What’s the eye-catching element here? What will my audience remember about this content asset?”
Wow-words are effective because they hook a user’s emotion “at the moment,” inspiring immediate action.
As well as words, particular phonemes can trigger desirable emotions and associations from readers. It’s about phonosemantics, the theory that meanings come from sounds.
It says every phoneme (sound) carries a specific association and psychological impression. For example, /gl/ is responsible for brightness, /r/ signals about movement and activity, and so on.
To make it work in your content writing for restaurants, you can try the following tricks:
- Repetitions and alliterations in headings, intros, and conclusions. Example: “GIRL GANG GIVEAWAY! Tag your gal pal below for a chance to win a glorious Spritz cocktail each.” (The alliteration of /g/ and /l/.)
- Conversational bucket brigades like “Look,” “Here’s the deal,” “In other words,” etc. for educational content and landing pages.
- Sound bites, aka short, poetic phrases, to better communicate your core message. Example: “Wait less. Order more.” or “Eat less. Enjoy it more.“
Emotional writing is a powerful instrument to engage more online users and turn them into restaurant clients. Our purchasing decisions are 95% emotion-based, so why not appeal to them in your content writing for restaurants? Apply the above tactics when appropriate, and you’ll see a boost in engagement and sales.
Author: Lesley Vos
Lesley is a text author, blogging at Bid4Papers and specializing in content creation and self-criticism. In love with words, coffee, and foxes. In the hope of mastering the art of proofreading before she hits “send.”