The prevalence of food allergies has increased substantially in the US in recent years. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, food allergies among children have increased 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.
Eater.com recently posted a great article titled, “How Restaurant Pros Are Handling the Surge of Food Allergies” which details the efforts of a few restaurants that are committed to accommodating customers who are allergic to everything from seafood to tree nuts. If you are the proprietor of an establishment that takes the time to create customized menu options for allergy sufferers, bravo for you! Now, make sure the word gets out that you have a true commitment to providing a great culinary experience to everyone who crosses your threshold.
One way to do this is the strategic placement of allergy accommodation statements on all of your business social media pages. Hungry locals with food allergies can search Yelp for “gluten free restaurants” and if your delicious, gluten free treats are included in your business description, you’ve opened your doors to a new customer base who are likely to become loyal advocates for your business. Similar searches can also be performed on Foursquare and Facebook.
Next, honor your allergy friendly menu items with high resolution images that will be appealing all of your customers, not just the allergy sufferers. Customer images that are generated from a smart phone camera are fine but they do not take the place of professional images taken by a photographer who specializes in food shots.
For more ideas on how to celebrate your allergy friendly menu items, and on how to use these items to boost your social media marketing strategy plan, contact me at River City Social Media on Twitter @gorivercity, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you!