Ordering from a menu is the norm at most restaurants – but not necessarily at Georgian restaurant Bevri, which has locations in downtown Los Altos and Palo Alto. Co-owner Pavel Sirotin said it’s becoming more common for customers to order dishes they’ve seen on social media. “They come to the restaurant, and they open the video or the photo, and they say, ‘I want exactly that meal,’” said Sirotin, who runs Bevri’s social media accounts. Sirotin’s background is in information technology, and before opening Bevri with his brother and sister-in-law in 2018, he didn’t have any experience in the restaurant business or in social media. Now, he says social media plays an essential role in the restaurant’s marketing.
“Georgian food just looks amazing,” he said. “It’s beautiful, it’s colorful, and it was one of the reasons we decided to open the restaurant. So, to let people know that we are open and know what we’re serving, we started (posting on social media).” Sirotin eventually learned he could harness the power of social media influencers to promote his business. Typically, social media influencers post photos and videos about a specific topic to share with their followers who also have an interest in that topic. By inviting social media influencers to enjoy a complimentary meal at Bevri in exchange for the influencer to post about the restaurant, Sirotin realized he could capture the attention of Bay Area foodies. “Every time an influencer arrives, we see an uptick in reservations,” he said. “It’s not marketing where we control the narrative. It’s actually a story, an experience shared by somebody else in their own words. And the reach is incredible.” One benefit social media marketing has over some other marketing techniques, according to Sirotin, is real-time analytics and tracking. More traditional advertising techniques, on the other hand, don’t have tangible metrics to determine effectiveness.
“With the influencers, it’s somewhat measurable because we see the likes, the shares, the bookmarks on Instagram,” he said. “It’s an indirect signal that it’s effective.” Now, the family-owned Georgian restaurant has more than 7,000 followers on Instagram, with a recent Instagram Reel created by influencer @siliconvalley.foodies boasting nearly 70,000 views and over 1,600 shares. “The more exposure we get, the more people see our food, the more likely they will come to Bevri and downtown Los Altos,” Sirotin said. Recently, the restaurant introduced new lunch menu items, combining Georgian flavors with American classics such as hot dogs, wraps and burgers. And customers may soon see new Georgian dishes offered on the Bevri menu. “We’ll be working on a few new dishes, like proper Georgian dishes,” Sirotin revealed to the Town Crier. Bevri is located at 325 Main St. For more information, visit bevri.com.