According to All Food Business’ website the ‘two main reasons are given from the restaurant industry to not be on social media are, first, lack of time and, second, their routines’. Even though these reasons seem founded, some still find the time to utilize social media and they are doing it really creatively. Since this industry is vulnerable to customers reviews. Those reviews can mean that you will either have more customers, if the service is good, or less customers, if you have too many bad reviews. The restaurant industry is really competitive, Dean Koutroumanis point out in his article that ‘hotels and restaurants are continually competing for employees, locations, and more recently information about customers.’ This means that the one that decide to go on social media will definitely have an advantage over others.
Restaurants will gain much more by being present on social media than they would if they decided not to get on board. Reviews will be written about you even if you are not there, might as well be there to respond. Chef Achatz interviewed by Jenny An likes to hear complaints from customers […] ‘the more we know about who is coming into our restaurant, the better we’ll be able to fulfill our obligation to do what will make them feel happy.’ This is the best way to deal with reviews, embrace them and respond. It will give you information and you will gain respect from your customers.
Social media is all about creating relationships with your current and future customers. When it comes to food, it’s all about what you see and social media is a great way to share pictures of the food they can have at your restaurant. ‘Fans enjoy seeing pictures of your delicious, appetizing food and drinks, and they respond well to it’ (Jenny An: For Restaurants, Social Media Is About More Than Just Marketing). Some restaurants go further than just taking pictures of food and their menus, some chefs like ‘Chef Joanne Chang of Boston’s Myers and Chang Flour Bakery personally tweet photos of the kitchen staff at work’ (Jenny An). So it’s not just about the food, restaurants on social media are also utilizing it to present their Chefs to their customers. This creates a special link between the customers and the restaurant… now they know the background of the person cooking for them.
Finally, here are some good practices for the restaurant industry when it comes to the usage of social media. First, get started, if you don’t have a profile get one, if you are not using it, start doing so. The only way you will get used to it is by practicing. Second, develop a social media strategy; determine which social media is most relevant to you and how you want to use it. Third, show off, people love to see where they’ll be eating and the different recipes they’ll be able to choose from when they visit you. When it comes to food the visual effect is crucial. Finally, be consistent online and offline; you have to live up to the expectations you are creating online or your customers won’t repeat their experience with you.