“None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.” Businessman Harvey Mackay brilliantly sums up a lot of what this article is about. In our informative How Amateur Competitive Eaters Can #FeedTheMovement article, we mention that there would be no food challenges or eating contests if smaller restaurants were not hosting them, so we need to thank those restaurants by promoting their businesses so that they can keep their doors open and continue offering the challenges and contests that they do host. If you get on YouTube and other social media platforms, people are constantly creating personal challenges involving big name fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Pizza Hut. These corporate restaurants will never see those videos or care that people are making them. More importantly, they will not be sponsoring any big competitive eating related events any time soon. If you really want to make a difference, you need to help the local smaller businesses and restaurants around you hosting eating challenges and contests.

Especially in the United States, restaurants are all about customer service, because they know that you have plenty of options to choose from. If they don’t provide customers with a very pleasant and memorable dining experience, those people will go try other restaurants and not come back any time soon. Whether you are dealing with the servers, chefs, hostesses, busboys, managers, or even the owner, you will more than likely receive outstanding customer service. Especially at smaller non-chain restaurants, owners typically like to be involved and be there when people are attempting their food challenge. That is one of the reasons that many restaurants require you to call ahead and schedule your challenge. Then the owner can know when he or she needs to be there. Some owners even require that you speak with them to set everything up. More often than not, the owner takes pride in their challenge and cares a lot about the people who attempt it. I have met many restaurant owners that are very passionate about both their restaurant and challenge. They made sure my food was prepared correctly, made sure everything else was taken care of, and they even cheered and celebrated after I finished the challenge, knowing that I no longer had to pay for the meal. That is the type of owner that I enjoy helping, and you should help restaurant owners that provide you with a great challenge experience too.

Most small business restaurants do not fail because their menu selection, customer service, or prices are out of whack. Location is a factor, but that issue can be overcome too. For most restaurants that fail, they could not stay open because of poor marketing. People are not going to come if they don’t even know the restaurant exists. We as consumers constantly see or hear ads for the big restaurant chains around us because they have the power to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising. It is nearly impossible for small restaurants and businesses to compete with these big companies using typical advertising methods. That is why many of these small businesses choose to host a food challenge!! An eating challenge can be a great tool to help with a restaurant’s marketing campaign. It gives their restaurant “that something else” that people are sometimes looking for. To really be successful, a restaurant with a food challenge needs help promoting the challenge from the people initially attempting it themselves, YOU!! Here are ways to promote the restaurants and challenges:

How To Help Promote Restaurants With Food Challenges

1. Social Media – The quickest and most simple way to spread the restaurant and challenge is through posting about it via social media. If you use any of the mainstream social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, use them to help promote the particular business. “Check-in” on Facebook to let your family and friends know you are there. Post pictures of your challenge, especially a “before photo” so that people can visually see the challenge. Most importantly, post the results so that friends and family can see how you did!! Use your social media accounts to actively promote the restaurant and challenge you want to help. Let everyone else know about the restaurant and challenge so that they too can decide whether they want to go attempt it.

2. Produce A Video – If you really want to help the restaurant, produce a video of your challenge and post it on YouTube. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts can all be searched for by using #hashtags, but YouTube videos actually do come up via Google searches!! If somebody searches for the particular restaurant, your video has a high chance of quickly showing up on their first page of results. The video will still be searchable long after you post it, unlike with other social media posts. Your video will allow people to see how big the challenge is, what all components are involved, and any other details you include. A properly edited and produced video is more helpful than poorly filmed raw footage, but something is more helpful than nothing. Feel free to be creative!!

3. Online Reviews – When searching for new restaurants to try, an increasingly large amount of people are now turning to Google, Yelp, Urbanspoon, and TripAdvisor to read online reviews from previous customers about that particular restaurant. Regardless of whether you bring up the challenge or not, it would be very helpful to the restaurant if you gave them a great review on some of the listed review sites, esp. GoogleYelp, & TripAdvisor.

4. Word Of Mouth – Since the concept of “marketing” began, the #1 most proven source has always been word of mouth and referrals. If you have friends and family that live around the particular restaurant, call or text them and let them know how great it is. Don’t just hope they saw your Facebook post. If you know somebody that may be interested in trying the food challenge, contact them and let them know they should try it. A referral is much more likely than a social media post to lead to something meaningful. If you won the challenge and received gift cards as a prize, bring your friends (potential new customers) along with you next time to visit the restaurant to use them. This will be the #1 and most influential way you can help all the restaurants that take care of you.

The four main options listed above are great ways to help the passionate, caring restaurant owners in your local community. Without help from caring customers, small businesses have low chance of survival against larger competitors, especially in today’s fierce market and economy. After completing your challenge, whether you win or lose, do what you can to help promote the restaurant and get more people in their doors to sample the menu and atmosphere. Doing this will definitely help #FeedTheMovement and help encourage more small restaurants to host eating challenges and competitions. That will just help you and other eaters in the community have more events to participate in. Never forget that to receive help from others, sometimes you have to GIVE help first. Verbally thanking a restaurant is appreciated, but thanking them in ways listed above will be more meaningful.

Thanks for reading how to help promote restaurants that take care of you & using FoodChallenges.com!!

To go back and view other After The Challenge articles, click here.