Where foodservice operators go for ideas and inspiration

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      218 YouTube celebration final

YouTube has only been around for about 10 years yet has a larger audience than all TV networks combined — and dominates the trend of video being  watched on mobile devices.

Yet, most foodservice manufacturers barely have a video or two posted on their respective websites let alone actively maintain a YouTube channel (see earlier post about the opportunity).

This all struck me while watching CBS Sunday Morning this week when the venerable news show did a cover piece on YouTube which, in effect, is the mortal enemy of broadcast networks!

Why does any of this matter to foodservice?

Many foodservice operators I talk with mention YouTube and the Food Network as their go-to places for ideas and inspiration.  This is surprising considering the vast majority of content is aimed at consumers, not pros.  But operators tell me that even if the content isn’t directed at them, a consumer-oriented video can provide a small spark for an idea to solve a problem or develop a new dish.

It makes no sense to advertise on the Food Network to capture the relatively small number of pros that are watching.  But YouTube?  Where people can search on specific topics?  What’s the downside of aggressively producing video content that costs a fraction of traditional marketing?  Especially considering…

  • Millennials have driven a 280 percent increase in YouTube subscriptions to food-related channels in the last year or so. Now is the time to catch the wave of those who’ll soon be in charge of the food business by helping them with pro-level advice.
  • Pizza, chicken, cake, eggs and coffee (sorry burgers and beer!) are the perennial hot topics in food –related searches and YouTube videos.  Tacos are rising with a bullet!   Providing pro-level content for these topics should be a no-brainer if you offer products in these categories.
  • Food prep is a natural when it comes to the “visual.” Food Network has proven this over and over (how many cooking shows can there be?).   There’s nearly an unlimited appetite for “how-to” info — but relatively few resources on YouTube for the pros.  It’s a huge void just waiting to be filled.

May Planning Ideas

  • Child Health Day is Oct. 5, an excellent opportunity to help school foodservice directors, restaurants and others plan limited time offers to promote healthy food options.
  • Now is the time to develop ideas, promotions and recipes for football season. Grid-iron specials have become one of the largest restaurant drivers for any restaurant that has a TV!