Thursday, 20 October 2016

How Can Online Marketing Fill Your Restaurant

Here at Vira International we have a special relationship with our clients and candidates. As a recruitment company in the hospitality sector we are unique in the way that we help our clients recruit great Chefs and in many cases bring them in from abroad on a sponsorship visa.

This results in a really close working relationship. So much so last week one of the restaurant owners asked me about online marketing. As a recruiter he knows that this is a skill we have to master.

So here are some suggestions I gave him that I see working for the many restaurants and hospitality businesses we work with

Have a plan

This might sound boring and yet all successful restaurants have a plan on how they will capture market share and how this will be achieved. This might include:

• Minimum daily covers; empty seats-lost revenue
• Seasonal promotions
• Special events e.g. Weddings, Birthdays, Family Parties

Once you know your plan it is now about attracting customers from the various online media channels.

Target your market

Who is your market? Everyone seems to be on social media and they are; we will come onto Facebook and the like later. As a first step let’s look at your website

Your website

The popularity of eating out is growing and many people decide on the last minute. Picture the scene your just about to leave work and can’t be bothered cooking. You decide to meet some friends at a local favourite Curry House. So you use your mobile to Google the restaurant and find the number; sound familiar it is. So what can you do?

Responsive websites


Make sure your website is responsive. That means it can be seen on any device. If not you could be losing out to those last minute bookings.

Make it enticing

Food is a visual experience. Make sure you have plenty of pictures of food and people enjoying themselves. Have your phone number easily found on every page. And if functionality allows have an online booking form for those times when you can’t get to the phone.



Facebook is popular for restaurants and is a great way of interacting with your audience. One restaurant we know has free WI-Fi and encourages people to share their photos on Facebook and at the end of each week offers a meal voucher; two for one to the best photograph.

Pinterest and Instagram


These particular social media platforms speak into any market where images play a huge part in marketing. Here you can set up accounts and post images of your food, happy customers etc. The benefit is your account will also appear on Google which gives you another way to get food.



We all love Twitter and potentially so do your customers. Make sure you are sending out regular Tweets and encourage dialogue. For instance post your dish of the day and ask for feedback

Collect emails


This is big! As customers leave ask for their email and then send them a special offer. These are the emails people love getting! It is so easy to do.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain status (ILR) also known as Permanent Residency or (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right to stay in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been issued a temporary visa with a time limit to reside and have the permission to work or study with certain restrictions. Persons who have legally stayed in the UK can apply for PR, once they have completed the qualifying period. This status although termed Permanent Residency lapses if the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years.

Categories qualifying for UK PR, having stayed in the UK for a specific period of time, usually 5 years, may apply for an ILR which entitles them to live in UK as long as they wish and eventually even apply for naturalization. The processing time and requirements for the ILR vary depending on the visa class that an applicant has immiditly prior to their application.

Visa Class
Below is a table for the visa status/class with the corresponding required length of stay in the United Kingdom as one of the requirements to qualify for an ILR application.
Current Visa Status/ ClassRequired Years of Stay
Unmarried Partner5
EEA Family Permit5
Work Permit5
HSMP (closed)5
People establishing business5
Writers, Composers, Artists5
Legal stay on any basis10
Illegal stay on any basis14
Language and Awareness Requirements

Aside from the visa class, in order to be eligible ILR applicants require proficiency in the English language as well as have knowledge of living in the United Kingdom. Applicants who are under 18 years of age or above 65 are exempted from this requirement.

Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

Effective the 6th of April 2016, the application fees have been raised from £1500 to £1875 per person. Dependents also pay the same fees. The premium application fee (meaning there is an in-person appointment) has been raised from £1900 to £2375.

Advantages of having an Indefinite Leave to Remain status

Being an ILR status holder, an individual enjoys the following advantages:

  • Acquisition of British Citizenship not only for themselves but also for their children, if applicable under certain conditions and requirements.

  • The holder will also have the right to access public funds. Unlike those of the Limited to Remain (LTR) visa in the United Kingdom, the wording” no recourse to public funds” is not written in an ILR holders’ visa. As a result they are able to claim job seekers allowances and other benefits which are usually available only to British, EU and EEA citizens.

  • Have the advantage of paying the same tuition fees as those of British, EU and EEA citizens (also known as Home Student Status) whilst studying at institutions of higher education in the UK, as opposed to paying substantially higher tuition fees like International Students with a LTR.

  • ILR citizens are UK residents and enjoy the right to vote and stand for election to a public office.

Conditions of Indefinite Leave to Remain

An important reminder: Once an individual has been granted an ILR, ensure that you do not spend 2 years or more outside the United Kingdom, as this can lead to the ILR being revoked. In order to surmount this challenge, migrants are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident or after 1 year of being granted an ILR status.

Vira International provides end to end immigration services for ILR application. Our service starts from the initial phone or email enquiry right until your visa approval. For further information please email or