David Hayden is a decades-long bar & restaurant industry vet. He started off as a server way back when (a job he got by wearing a suit and tie to his interview for a line cook position), and since then has done just about everything you could do in the industry, including writing a book called Tips2: Tips for Improving your Tips.
But starting 15 years ago or so he settled into a niche: helping bars and restaurants with their digital presences, specifically their websites (he's designed hundreds), branding, SEO, and social media. In this conversation we mined his vast knowledge of social media for tips on how bars and restaurants can successfully run their social media accounts.
His Kansas City-based company, Hospitality Formula, helps clients across the country, but the client he works most closely with is an arcade bar called Up - Down, which has locations throughout the midwest: Des Moines, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, St. Louis, and Oklahoma City. He runs the social media presences for each and every location, and does so to great success.
Below you'll find his insights about social media and branding, tactical advice on how, when, and what bars and restaurants should post, as well as some philosophical musings about branding: who is your brand? What kind of music would your brand like? (Hint—if you don't know the answer to that question, it's time to do some branding work.)