Social Media for Restaurants - Social Media Explorer
Social Media for Restaurants
Social Media for Restaurants
by
David Finch
David Finch

Let’s face it, it takes more for a restaurant to succeed then just knowing how to prepare the perfect Beef Wellington or serve the most trendy cocktail. It takes creativity not only in the kitchen, but also in knowing how to market your brand and connect with the customer.

I will admit that I am constantly intrigued by how restaurants can engage their customers by using social media. I often find myself thinking about how their owners can generate more buzz and create more loyal customers. These ideas have been scratched on napkins as well as dominated many conversations on the way home.

Personally, when I go to a restaurant, if I have great food, great service and I’m surrounded by memorable atmosphere, I usually become a repeat customer. Something changes though with my level of loyalty when I make a connection with a general manager or the owner. I now feel like I want to be a part and because of that there’s something that makes me want to help promote their business. If I feel connected, I often make a point to refer their establishment or brag about my incredible experience. I’m also prone to take someone with me the next time I visit. By feeling connected, I want to connect their restaurant to others.

As more brands are embracing the possibilities that can take place by using social media, you are beginning to see locally owned eateries begin to use social media as one of their main marketing tactics. Usually they are motivated by the opportunity to opt in at a fairly cost effective manner, and also the ability to bring them the closest to their customer. What you are seeing is a vast array of social media approaches that are being used to converse and to connect.

Often times, like in many small businesses you’ll find individuals that are good at their craft, but lack the expertise to market themselves or their brand. Once they realize who their customer is, what makes them tick, what they like and dislike, using social media can be that missing component that takes a casual customer and helps them evolve into a brand ambassador.

social media for restaurants
Image via: shaaz

Here is a list of tools that any restaurant owner could use to connect with their customer that in return could produce a brand evangelist.

Social Media Tools for Restaurants

  • Make sure your restaurant can be searched and reviewed through local business guides such as Yelp.com, Urbanspoon.com, and TripAdvisor.com
  • Suggest that positive feedback from patrons be shared on these social business guide sites.
  • Twitter – sign up for a Twitter account. Publish your Twitter profile on all documents. Promote giveaways, specials and announcements via your Twitter  profile. Use it also as a tool to listen and converse with your customers.
  • E-Newsletter – Email a monthly newsletter with the latest happenings, new menu items, entertainment news, recipe of the month etc. This is also a great tool to collect email addresses for future opportunities to connect with the customer.
  • Blog – Blogging is a great way to bring the customer into the kitchen. It’s a great way bring them behind the scenes and make them feel a part. Sharing a recipe, employee profiles, and kitchen tips and tricks are just a few options to break down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Customers want to be part of something more then just a meal, they want to feel like they belong. A blog can be that tool.
  • Google Alerts – This is a great tool to use to listen to what is being said about your business, website or even your chef. Setting up a Google alert with just the name of your restaurant can bring priceless insight to both positive and negative talk that’s being said online about your business.
  • Facebook – Set up a Facebook fan page to connect with your customers on Facebook. Keep it updated with fresh content and always make sure you’re involved with the conversations that are taking place on “the wall.”
  • MySpace – If your clientele is more likely to be found using MySpace, create a profile page and updated it with fresh content as well. Like Facebook engage in conversations and comments.
  • YouTube – Incorporate video into your social media strategy. Like your blog, take your customer behind the scene and give them a pass to a part of the restaurant that only insiders are allowed to go. Provide a few quick tips and how-tos from the house chef. Share these videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites, as well as your blog. Use video to even show where you buy your produce and meats. This is also serves a dual role because it promotes your local farmers.
  • Mobile – Have customers provide their mobile phone number for coupons, specials and latest news via an SMS message.
  • Events – Host Tweetups for your Twitter community and Meetups for those that gather around topics via meetup.com.
  • The Business Card – Provide a business card or note-card to each customer that maps out where they can continue their dining experience online.
  • Social Calendars – Use sites such as upcoming.org and eventful.com to promote the latest happenings and events.
  • Flickr – Use photo sharing sites to show images of events, behind the scenes and market days. Let your customer see from the eyes of the chef rather then just the brand.
  • Email – Use email not only for your e-newsletter, but also to give away FREE stuff to your customers and continue to build your email list.

Remember, that the effectiveness of social media isn’t the tool; its listening, answering questions and connecting with others. These tools are just opportunities to connect your customers to your brand and by connecting with them they’ll tell others about you.

Here are a few examples of how dining establishments are using social media to connect with their customers.

1.    Social Media for Small Business – Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse
2.    How one Coffee Shop Used Twitter to Double its Clientele
3.    Restaurant Entrepreneur Turns to Social Media and On-site Tasting Events for Help

What types of social media are you using to converse with your customers? What has worked and what hasn’t? What would you recommend to your local restaurant owner?

I want to hear your thoughts. The comments are yours!

About the Author

David Finch
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  • Phillius Thomas

    I hope these guys have great business insurance in Calgary, because someones going to be bagging them all down.

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    I think the content covered in the blog is quiet impressive and brilliantly conveyed. Good job and great efforts. Keep it up.great work on your blog on social media.

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  • Many areas also have independent directories that can be a great way to market, as well.  They’re typically low cost and focused on driving residents to local businesses.  A few go beyond standard print ads and offer websites and social media outlets as well.  Here’s a great example: La Jolla Restaurants: Guide to Dining in La Jolla, CA.

  • Thanks For sharing the helpful info. I like This Tips…..

  • Thanks For sharing the helpful info. I like This Tips…..

  • I just wanted to add to this article with a blog post I wrote last week about interesting ways some restaurants are marketing their restaurant! Check it out here: http://www.mysmn.com/put-it-in-the-fans-hands/

  • Alessandra

     Great post! Really informative, and all GREAT ways to market you restaurant. I recently wrote a blog post about creative social media campaigns for restaurants if you would like to check it out, you can find it here: http://www.mysmn.com/social-media-for-restaurants-get-creative/

  • Derek S.

    All great tips, I just wanted to add one more, Ghost Post. This company updates your social media accounts for you. Unlike a bunch of marketing agencies that charge a few thousand per month, these guys have monthly subscriptions starting at $40 bucks. We own 3 restaurants and work with them weekly, sometimes even daily, http://www.ghostpost.com.

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    This was good as I have been commenting if Twitter and Facebook are worth my time. I have both, and actively participate in them with valuable content, but am having difficulty monetizing or building my business with it. I will plug on and hope to create some more connections and relationships.
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  • Social media marketing can be use in any kind of business and using it as a tool in promoting your business will be a great help to be successful in your business.

  • Wjingleong

    A very insightful write up, and i find it absolutely useful and i would like to quote and reference this in my dissertation topic “social media and its impact on the reputation of the food and beverage establishments in Singapore”

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  • Great Ideas… Thanks for the information. I just started a social media company called Golden Lumpia Internet & Social Media Marketing

  • Thanks for the point. I'll probably follow up to learn more!

  • Wiley Cerilli

    You should checkout SinglePlatform (http://www.singleplatform.com). We are a social media and marketing platform specifically for restaurants and bars, and we are already working with thousands of restaurants across the country.

  • Thanks for the point. I'll probably follow up to learn more!

  • Wiley Cerilli

    You should checkout SinglePlatform (http://www.singleplatform.com). We are a social media and marketing platform specifically for restaurants and bars, and we are already working with thousands of restaurants across the country.

    • Thanks for the point. I'll probably follow up to learn more!

  • Wiley Cerilli

    You should checkout SinglePlatform (http://www.singleplatform.com). We are a social media and marketing platform specifically for restaurants and bars, and we are already working with thousands of restaurants across the country.

  • roncallari

    What other restaurants have integrated Social Media into the daily marketing and operation of their restaurants or chains like 4Food–> http://inventorspot.com/articles/hold_pickle_ho… This novel approach is one of the first – but have to believe others are gravitating toward this approach?

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  • Jessica

    Well put, David. You've clearly listed all of the tools necessary for effective social marketing. Unfortunately, restaurant owners/managers are busy and generally don't have the time to carry them out. YourAreaCode has created a way to combine the restaurateur's website (menu, event listings, etc), facebook, myspace, twitter and texting capibilities – so that they can all be updated at once. Hope this helps. – http://www.yourareacode.com

  • Hi David, have a look at this video on Social Media Marketing services in the restaurant sector…

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  • We can add FourSquare to this list now – thanks for sharing

  • Having spent 20+ years in the F&B industry in pretty much every capacity there is, I am very passionate about this topic. So much in fact that I have an entire section of my company devoted to helping folks in F&B build social media into their marketing plan. There are so many positives for this industry by doing so and not too many other industries can boast being able to see an almost immediate ROI by adding these tools. We all know that for every 1 customer that complains, 26 just don't return.. why in the world would you NOT want to be aware of what people were saying?

    I have a tavern client that made a great statement to me.. she remarked how much she hated the coupon mailers because they always brought in *that* kind of “run your staff around for nothing” customer. By using Twitter and Facebook to send out coupons and promotions, she was sending them to people who already had a VESTED interest in her tavern.

    I think we'll see more and more come around especially with FourSquare and GoWalla, etc coming into the fore front.

    • Thanks for that, Kristen. We're certainly on the same page!

  • Sounds great. You are invited to check out my new social media website for restaurants at http://www.restaurantsection.com It has a lot of features to market themsleves.

  • Jon

    Good article – I wonder if you have any advice on how restaurants can scale their social media efforts based on effectiveness? Afterall, they're busy running a business and all this stuff takes time just to even understand the difference between a Facebook Profile and Groups page, vs. a Tweet or a mention etc. Do you have any tips on how they should prioritize/grow their efforts intelligently?

    • That's a great question and a bugger of an issue to tackle. It's all
      going to depend on your personnel and your ability to trust/train
      them. However, I would say that you should operate social channels
      with measurable intent. Think of doing things that allow you to gauge
      how much foot traffic you're getting from your online efforts. Then
      you can see a real dollar value in the time invested and feel more
      comfortable putting full time help on it.

      I'm sure the restauranteurs in the room will have different/better
      answers, though. Thanks for the question.

  • We at Sterizon work with restaurants to bring online marketing (the exact points you were hitting on like Email, Social Media, Mobile Marketing) a lot closer to the restaurant customers. These restaurants see ton of customers each year, but barely < 5% of them end up signing up for Email or twitter or facebook or go yelp about their experience. There is a reason for that, customer is very busy and the moment they step out of the restaurant, there are million other important things for him/her and signing up with restaurant is at the bottom of the list.

    Restaurant need to get attention of their customer while they are still at the restaurant, get them signed up for everything before they leave. We facilitate exactly that using wireless handhelds for data collection. It's a win-win for both business and customer.

    • Great thoughts! Thanks for the insight into how you're doing it. Much
      appreciated.

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  • There are lot's of creative ways to use social media for restaurants. One company is using Twitter to attract local residence by announcing discounts via Twitters mini blog platform. Even large companies are using social media and online advertising techniques. I found Skittles advertising on Adwido, a low budget advertising network.

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  • Pretty basic stuff. Amazed business owners wouldn't know this already. Here's ours: http://twitter.com/monsooneast.

  • Pretty basic stuff. Amazed business owners wouldn't know this already. Here's ours: http://twitter.com/monsooneast.

  • Pretty basic stuff. Amazed business owners wouldn't know this already. Here's ours: http://twitter.com/monsooneast.

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  • I really enjoyed your article and tools. I have been using Social Media before it got coined that phrase about 2005 (http://tinyurl.com/ag8682). It since evolved into a much larger scale where I interact with customers and other market on Twitter (@dpzramon) and still on Facebook. I use many themed groups on FB to unite like users and post video blogs on Viddler: http://www.viddler.com/dpzramon/videos/ , YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/dpzchicago, KnowitUp:http://www.knowitup.com/videos.html . I also use 12secondsTV to update Facebook http://12seconds.tv/channel/dpzramon

    Customers are really surprised when they find out that Domino's Pizza is so open and accessible. I have taken peoples orders through IM (FB,AOL,Live), Twitter and text message. I enjoy interacting and keeping up with my customers. I am 95% about the conversation and 5% of the we talk pizza.

    Awesome Article!

    -DPZRAMON
    Operating Partner
    Domino's Pizza Chicago

  • I really enjoyed your article and tools. I have been using Social Media before it got coined that phrase about 2005 (http://tinyurl.com/ag8682). It since evolved into a much larger scale where I interact with customers and other market on Twitter (@dpzramon) and still on Facebook. I use many themed groups on FB to unite like users and post video blogs on Viddler: http://www.viddler.com/dpzramon/videos/ , YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/dpzchicago, KnowitUp:http://www.knowitup.com/videos.html . I also use 12secondsTV to update Facebook http://12seconds.tv/channel/dpzramon

    Customers are really surprised when they find out that Domino's Pizza is so open and accessible. I have taken peoples orders through IM (FB,AOL,Live), Twitter and text message. I enjoy interacting and keeping up with my customers. I am 95% about the conversation and 5% of the we talk pizza.

    Awesome Article!

    -DPZRAMON
    Operating Partner
    Domino's Pizza Chicago

  • I really enjoyed your article and tools. I have been using Social Media before it got coined that phrase about 2005 (http://tinyurl.com/ag8682). It since evolved into a much larger scale where I interact with customers and other market on Twitter (@dpzramon) and still on Facebook. I use many themed groups on FB to unite like users and post video blogs on Viddler: http://www.viddler.com/dpzramon/videos/ , YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/dpzchicago, KnowitUp:http://www.knowitup.com/videos.html . I also use 12secondsTV to update Facebook http://12seconds.tv/channel/dpzramon

    Customers are really surprised when they find out that Domino's Pizza is so open and accessible. I have taken peoples orders through IM (FB,AOL,Live), Twitter and text message. I enjoy interacting and keeping up with my customers. I am 95% about the conversation and 5% of the we talk pizza.

    Awesome Article!

    -DPZRAMON
    Operating Partner
    Domino's Pizza Chicago

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  • In my area, I haven't noticed too many restaurants starting up blogs, but a lot of the restaurant owners/chefs seem to participate in the local newspaper's popular food blog. Via the comments, they will often dispel rumors, clarify a review, or even offer up deals and specials to blog readers. I love it because all the information is in one place and I don't have to go hopping from restaurant blog to restaurant blog. It's a popular blog in the community and restaurant owners know that they can reach local foodies through it. http://blogs.timesunion.com/tablehopping

  • In my area, I haven't noticed too many restaurants starting up blogs, but a lot of the restaurant owners/chefs seem to participate in the local newspaper's popular food blog. Via the comments, they will often dispel rumors, clarify a review, or even offer up deals and specials to blog readers. I love it because all the information is in one place and I don't have to go hopping from restaurant blog to restaurant blog. It's a popular blog in the community and restaurant owners know that they can reach local foodies through it. http://blogs.timesunion.com/tablehopping

  • In my area, I haven't noticed too many restaurants starting up blogs, but a lot of the restaurant owners/chefs seem to participate in the local newspaper's popular food blog. Via the comments, they will often dispel rumors, clarify a review, or even offer up deals and specials to blog readers. I love it because all the information is in one place and I don't have to go hopping from restaurant blog to restaurant blog. It's a popular blog in the community and restaurant owners know that they can reach local foodies through it. http://blogs.timesunion.com/tablehopping

  • Christopher, thanks for sharing your expertise and insight. I agree that trying to implement new “tools” without a strategy is a disaster waiting to happen. Strategy, an updated online presence and a protocol for handling an online reputation should come first before trying to add any social media tools.

  • Christopher, thanks for sharing your expertise and insight. I agree that trying to implement new “tools” without a strategy is a disaster waiting to happen. Strategy, an updated online presence and a protocol for handling an online reputation should come first before trying to add any social media tools.

  • Oh sure David, go ahead and share all of our secrets! ;)

    We’ve been consulting with restaurants and Social Media for a few years. In fact we launched moto-i (http://www.moto-i.com), the world’s first sake microbrewery-restaurant outside of Japan, originally on Twitter 6 months prior to our PR campaign announcing their opening. We were successful in generating buzz we were fortunate to be included in Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s book; “Twitter Means Business: How Microblogging Can Help or Hurt Your Company.” We’re just launching social media campaigns for Baja Sol, and have been endorsed by the Minnesota Restaurant Association and their over 300 restaurant members. So I wholeheartedly agree that restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have a perfect business model for social media to work well. Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and more national chains are really amping up their social media tools, and it seems like the soda brands have been doing this all along.

    The biggest tip I can give above and beyond the list of tools, is that you have to have a strategy for how you will use these tools, the ability to integrate them into your traditional marketing – coupons, ads, press, etc., and most importantly the time to commit to these tools. I have seen many restaurants fail miserably because they start a blog, Facebook page, or other platform, but then let them languish by the wayside, where they frustrate or turn off potential fans and followers. A chef, owner, or GM is typically too busy with operations and in-house guest service, that they just can’t spare the time to maintain their online presence as well. Many restaurants need to make sure their own web presence is up to date, before adding the social media bells and whistles on top.

    One last point- is that they need to pay attention to their online reputation. Too many restaurants sign up for the online directories, but fail to be able to be aware of, react to, or handle complaints or negative reviews. We launched a whole new set of services last year to help clients that were in that kind of trouble.

    Thanks for the post and the opportunity to discuss!
    Cheers;

    Christopher Lower
    Sterling Cross Communications
    Traditional Storytelling Integrating Today’s Technology
    http://www.sterlingcrossgroup.com

  • Oh sure David, go ahead and share all of our secrets! ;)

    We’ve been consulting with restaurants and Social Media for a few years. In fact we launched moto-i (http://www.moto-i.com), the world’s first sake microbrewery-restaurant outside of Japan, originally on Twitter 6 months prior to our PR campaign announcing their opening. We were successful in generating buzz we were fortunate to be included in Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s book; “Twitter Means Business: How Microblogging Can Help or Hurt Your Company.” We’re just launching social media campaigns for Baja Sol, and have been endorsed by the Minnesota Restaurant Association and their over 300 restaurant members. So I wholeheartedly agree that restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have a perfect business model for social media to work well. Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and more national chains are really amping up their social media tools, and it seems like the soda brands have been doing this all along.

    The biggest tip I can give above and beyond the list of tools, is that you have to have a strategy for how you will use these tools, the ability to integrate them into your traditional marketing – coupons, ads, press, etc., and most importantly the time to commit to these tools. I have seen many restaurants fail miserably because they start a blog, Facebook page, or other platform, but then let them languish by the wayside, where they frustrate or turn off potential fans and followers. A chef, owner, or GM is typically too busy with operations and in-house guest service, that they just can’t spare the time to maintain their online presence as well. Many restaurants need to make sure their own web presence is up to date, before adding the social media bells and whistles on top.

    One last point- is that they need to pay attention to their online reputation. Too many restaurants sign up for the online directories, but fail to be able to be aware of, react to, or handle complaints or negative reviews. We launched a whole new set of services last year to help clients that were in that kind of trouble.

    Thanks for the post and the opportunity to discuss!
    Cheers;

    Christopher Lower
    Sterling Cross Communications
    Traditional Storytelling Integrating Today’s Technology
    http://www.sterlingcrossgroup.com

  • Oh sure David, go ahead and share all of our secrets! ;)

    We’ve been consulting with restaurants and Social Media for a few years. In fact we launched moto-i (http://www.moto-i.com), the world’s first sake microbrewery-restaurant outside of Japan, originally on Twitter 6 months prior to our PR campaign announcing their opening. We were successful in generating buzz we were fortunate to be included in Julio Ojeda-Zapata’s book; “Twitter Means Business: How Microblogging Can Help or Hurt Your Company.” We’re just launching social media campaigns for Baja Sol, and have been endorsed by the Minnesota Restaurant Association and their over 300 restaurant members. So I wholeheartedly agree that restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have a perfect business model for social media to work well. Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and more national chains are really amping up their social media tools, and it seems like the soda brands have been doing this all along.

    The biggest tip I can give above and beyond the list of tools, is that you have to have a strategy for how you will use these tools, the ability to integrate them into your traditional marketing – coupons, ads, press, etc., and most importantly the time to commit to these tools. I have seen many restaurants fail miserably because they start a blog, Facebook page, or other platform, but then let them languish by the wayside, where they frustrate or turn off potential fans and followers. A chef, owner, or GM is typically too busy with operations and in-house guest service, that they just can’t spare the time to maintain their online presence as well. Many restaurants need to make sure their own web presence is up to date, before adding the social media bells and whistles on top.

    One last point- is that they need to pay attention to their online reputation. Too many restaurants sign up for the online directories, but fail to be able to be aware of, react to, or handle complaints or negative reviews. We launched a whole new set of services last year to help clients that were in that kind of trouble.

    Thanks for the post and the opportunity to discuss!
    Cheers;

    Christopher Lower
    Sterling Cross Communications
    Traditional Storytelling Integrating Today’s Technology
    http://www.sterlingcrossgroup.com

    • Christopher, thanks for sharing your expertise and insight. I agree that trying to implement new “tools” without a strategy is a disaster waiting to happen. Strategy, an updated online presence and a protocol for handling an online reputation should come first before trying to add any social media tools.

  • James, thanks for the link. I'll check it out. http://www.crazymenu.com.

  • James, thanks for the link. I'll check it out. http://www.crazymenu.com.

  • Janet, classic example of a business that isn't “tuned in” to what their customers are saying. I read the bartender's response and I know he did everything he could. I hope that these comments where brought to the attention of the management staff and at the very least the complainants addressed.

    Quick tip: Make sure your listening to your customers offline and online. It could save your business.

  • Janet, classic example of a business that isn't “tuned in” to what their customers are saying. I read the bartender's response and I know he did everything he could. I hope that these comments where brought to the attention of the management staff and at the very least the complainants addressed.

    Quick tip: Make sure your listening to your customers offline and online. It could save your business.

  • Great idea! I think you're absolutely right. Knowing how to leverage the tools always supersedes the tool itself. I'll definitely take your suggestion into consideration.

  • Great idea! I think you're absolutely right. Knowing how to leverage the tools always supersedes the tool itself. I'll definitely take your suggestion into consideration.

  • Barbara, that's a great point. Every time I check out a restaurant online, I always look at their online menu. Most often, If it's out of date or they don't provide one I'm reluctant to check them out.

    However, they could kick it up and provide a video menu of a few of their signature dishes.

  • Barbara, that's a great point. Every time I check out a restaurant online, I always look at their online menu. Most often, If it's out of date or they don't provide one I'm reluctant to check them out.

    However, they could kick it up and provide a video menu of a few of their signature dishes.

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  • Come on, Adam. You know us better than that. This is a list of tools restaurants could use with some thoughts on how. If they want the secret sauce, they need strategic planning, market research and execution. That's where we come in with our paying clients.

    Instead to trying to smart off here, why don't you write a post on how you would advise a restaurant. We'll be happy to link to it.

  • Come on, Adam. You know us better than that. This is a list of tools restaurants could use with some thoughts on how. If they want the secret sauce, they need strategic planning, market research and execution. That's where we come in with our paying clients.

    Instead to trying to smart off here, why don't you write a post on how you would advise a restaurant. We'll be happy to link to it.

  • I think you got a little trigger-happy with your comment, Adam. As David mentioned: “Remember, that the effectiveness of social media isn’t the tool; its listening, answering questions and connecting with others. These tools are just opportunities to connect your customers to your brand and by connecting with them they’ll tell others about you.”

    I think that succinctly addresses your concerns for not providing a strategy to apply to this comprehensive list of tools. As you'd probably agree, developing a strategy requires a bit more effort than spouting off a list of tools and generic objectives. And that's what David and his team at Doe Anderson get paid to do for clients on an individually-focused basis, I'd presume.

    Great list, David.

  • I think you got a little trigger-happy with your comment, Adam. As David mentioned: “Remember, that the effectiveness of social media isn’t the tool; its listening, answering questions and connecting with others. These tools are just opportunities to connect your customers to your brand and by connecting with them they’ll tell others about you.”

    I think that succinctly addresses your concerns for not providing a strategy to apply to this comprehensive list of tools. As you'd probably agree, developing a strategy requires a bit more effort than spouting off a list of tools and generic objectives. And that's what David and his team at Doe Anderson get paid to do for clients on an individually-focused basis, I'd presume.

    Great list, David.

  • Good list, great resources and relevant to a Twitter discussion a few of us had the other day: menu updates on restaurant sites. I worked with a restaurant on their site. We surveyed and found that the greatest request was for the menu to be listed and updated regularly.

  • Good list, great resources and relevant to a Twitter discussion a few of us had the other day: menu updates on restaurant sites. I worked with a restaurant on their site. We surveyed and found that the greatest request was for the menu to be listed and updated regularly.

  • Good list, great resources and relevant to a Twitter discussion a few of us had the other day: menu updates on restaurant sites. I worked with a restaurant on their site. We surveyed and found that the greatest request was for the menu to be listed and updated regularly.

    • Barbara, that's a great point. Every time I check out a restaurant online, I always look at their online menu. Most often, If it's out of date or they don't provide one I'm reluctant to check them out.

      However, they could kick it up and provide a video menu of a few of their signature dishes.

  • A good overview list David. Each one of the tools/bullet points could be broken down it to it's own post on how to use each of these tools. For many restaurants, it's not knowing the tool exists but how to leverage it. Thanks!

  • A good overview list David. Each one of the tools/bullet points could be broken down it to it's own post on how to use each of these tools. For many restaurants, it's not knowing the tool exists but how to leverage it. Thanks!

  • A good overview list David. Each one of the tools/bullet points could be broken down it to it's own post on how to use each of these tools. For many restaurants, it's not knowing the tool exists but how to leverage it. Thanks!

    • Great idea! I think you're absolutely right. Knowing how to leverage the tools always supersedes the tool itself. I'll definitely take your suggestion into consideration.

  • Pingback: Social Media for Restaurants | Social Media Explorer | thesocialmediasecrets()

  • After my own heart with this post. I've been a waitress for a few years at some great restaurants – awesome companies – none of which made use of social media. You're right: It takes more than great food and great servers to make a lasting impression and get repeat customers. A social media presence helps reinforce a positive impression – or re-creates a negative one.

    Check out some comments on this wiki about my old restaurant. [[http://rocwiki.org/Bellini's_Italian_Eatery. ]] Not all are good, but luckily, one of the bartenders was there with a respectful response to help with damage control.

    Customers are not afraid to voice their opinions, and restaurants shouldn't hesitate to join the conversations.

  • After my own heart with this post. I've been a waitress for a few years at some great restaurants – awesome companies – none of which made use of social media. You're right: It takes more than great food and great servers to make a lasting impression and get repeat customers. A social media presence helps reinforce a positive impression – or re-creates a negative one.

    Check out some comments on this wiki about my old restaurant. [[http://rocwiki.org/Bellini's_Italian_Eatery. ]] Not all are good, but luckily, one of the bartenders was there with a respectful response to help with damage control.

    Customers are not afraid to voice their opinions, and restaurants shouldn't hesitate to join the conversations.

  • After my own heart with this post. I've been a waitress for a few years at some great restaurants – awesome companies – none of which made use of social media. You're right: It takes more than great food and great servers to make a lasting impression and get repeat customers. A social media presence helps reinforce a positive impression – or re-creates a negative one.

    Check out some comments on this wiki about my old restaurant. [[http://rocwiki.org/Bellini's_Italian_Eatery. ]] Not all are good, but luckily, one of the bartenders was there with a respectful response to help with damage control.

    Customers are not afraid to voice their opinions, and restaurants shouldn't hesitate to join the conversations.

    • Janet, classic example of a business that isn't “tuned in” to what their customers are saying. I read the bartender's response and I know he did everything he could. I hope that these comments where brought to the attention of the management staff and at the very least the complainants addressed.

      Quick tip: Make sure your listening to your customers offline and online. It could save your business.

  • james

    Another great tool is, http://www.crazymenu.com
    It allows restaurants to offer businesses group orders, add menus, coupons and twitter sync up for lunch meeting and outing planning for free. In addition all restaurants will be freely listed on the numerous crazymenu apps on facebook as well as hi5.com

  • james

    Another great tool is, http://www.crazymenu.com
    It allows restaurants to offer businesses group orders, add menus, coupons and twitter sync up for lunch meeting and outing planning for free. In addition all restaurants will be freely listed on the numerous crazymenu apps on facebook as well as hi5.com

  • james

    Another great tool is, http://www.crazymenu.com
    It allows restaurants to offer businesses group orders, add menus, coupons and twitter sync up for lunch meeting and outing planning for free. In addition all restaurants will be freely listed on the numerous crazymenu apps on facebook as well as hi5.com

  • Here's a great example of a restaurant that gets it. Search more for their TV show, they really explain a lot. More restaurants will be doing something like this soon. http://primecutsblog.com/

  • Here's a great example of a restaurant that gets it. Search more for their TV show, they really explain a lot. More restaurants will be doing something like this soon. http://primecutsblog.com/

  • Here's a great example of a restaurant that gets it. Search more for their TV show, they really explain a lot. More restaurants will be doing something like this soon. http://primecutsblog.com/

  • Social media for restos! Hit it right on the head. I haven't seen a resto here in Malaysia being SM'd to the hilt yet over here. :)

    There was this Korean resto owner, his operation didn't last long because he said all the traffic was being taken up by the bigger competition and their bad food. :) Anyways, me and my gf wanted to help him out so we suggested some SM tactics. Totally rejected them. Now he should be just about broke andwe never went back there.

    All the Best!

    Regards,

    Erwin Chua
    http://winning2win.com

  • Social media for restos! Hit it right on the head. I haven't seen a resto here in Malaysia being SM'd to the hilt yet over here. :)

    There was this Korean resto owner, his operation didn't last long because he said all the traffic was being taken up by the bigger competition and their bad food. :) Anyways, me and my gf wanted to help him out so we suggested some SM tactics. Totally rejected them. Now he should be just about broke andwe never went back there.

    All the Best!

    Regards,

    Erwin Chua
    http://winning2win.com

  • Social media for restos! Hit it right on the head. I haven't seen a resto here in Malaysia being SM'd to the hilt yet over here. :)

    There was this Korean resto owner, his operation didn't last long because he said all the traffic was being taken up by the bigger competition and their bad food. :) Anyways, me and my gf wanted to help him out so we suggested some SM tactics. Totally rejected them. Now he should be just about broke andwe never went back there.

    All the Best!

    Regards,

    Erwin Chua
    http://winning2win.com

  • I think that a tool-focused recommendation, especially for this kind of small business, is quaint (at best), and injurious to the bottom-line, at worst. I'm puzzled as to why there's no reference to behavioral targeting or any kind of established methodology. Is there a case study available from work that DA has done where a tool-focused strategy succeeded?

  • I think that a tool-focused recommendation, especially for this kind of small business, is quaint (at best), and injurious to the bottom-line, at worst. I'm puzzled as to why there's no reference to behavioral targeting or any kind of established methodology. Is there a case study available from work that DA has done where a tool-focused strategy succeeded?

  • I think that a tool-focused recommendation, especially for this kind of small business, is quaint (at best), and injurious to the bottom-line, at worst. I'm puzzled as to why there's no reference to behavioral targeting or any kind of established methodology. Is there a case study available from work that DA has done where a tool-focused strategy succeeded?

    • I think you got a little trigger-happy with your comment, Adam. As David mentioned: “Remember, that the effectiveness of social media isn’t the tool; its listening, answering questions and connecting with others. These tools are just opportunities to connect your customers to your brand and by connecting with them they’ll tell others about you.”

      I think that succinctly addresses your concerns for not providing a strategy to apply to this comprehensive list of tools. As you'd probably agree, developing a strategy requires a bit more effort than spouting off a list of tools and generic objectives. And that's what David and his team at Doe Anderson get paid to do for clients on an individually-focused basis, I'd presume.

      Great list, David.

    • Come on, Adam. You know us better than that. This is a list of tools restaurants could use with some thoughts on how. If they want the secret sauce, they need strategic planning, market research and execution. That's where we come in with our paying clients.

      Instead to trying to smart off here, why don't you write a post on how you would advise a restaurant. We'll be happy to link to it.