restaurant window
Content should always be tailored to the business. It is your voice in the outside world.

An important part of that content is, naturally, sales content. It is the nub of all business. You want to sell, whether that is your new gadget, a fruit juice or charity.

This is why I am also so surprised when businesses fail to do this in the real world and the virtual world. I’m looking at you food and drinks businesses. And I am particularly thinking of restaurants and cafés.

Yes, this is a particular bugbear of mine.

If you are Starbucks or Costa, you probably don’t need to put an extensive menu on your window. We know that you sell coffee, cakes and the odd sandwich. There is probably something for everyone. That is why people go there. It is safe. So you can just advertise your latest oat milk latte offer and be done with it.

But when you run a small food business – whether that is a sandwich shop, hipster vegan street food joint or fine-dining restaurant – there is never any excuse to not offer at least a rudimentary menu in the window. It is the most simple (and often most effective) piece of marketing, and one that is so often missing.

If I look at your sign then it may give me an idea of what sort of food you offer. But I can’t tell what you have and how much it costs from that. Can I grab a pasty? Do you do vegetarian options? Can I get lunch and a Coke for under £10 (or ’10’ if you’re the hipster restaurant). Are you doing a Sunday roast? Do you have a decent salad? Do you serve alcohol? Is it BYO?

But everyone is online now, right? People can check on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and your own website. In my experience, this can be even worse.

Businesses who spend a great deal of time on Facebook or Instagram are often the worst culprits when it comes to not utilising the real estate of their window. And they are often the same on social media. I have lost count the number of times I have seen a great looking place online, only to have to visit Yelp or Zomato to find out what is actually on offer.

Yes, these people who hire content and social media managers miss the most important content opportunity of all. Sure, your window doesn’t count towards your search visibility or your SEO status. But all the while it is empty I will keep on walking by.