Social Media for Restaurants/cafes/bars.

Social Media for Restaurants/cafes/bars. We are all aware that social media is embedded in everyday life and it really comes into its own for social events.

Social media websites are full of people letting each other know which party they are going to, what coffee they are drinking and pictures of food from restaurants they are visiting.

Instead of ignoring all this information it makes sense for the businesses to use it to their advantage. Here is why:

Instant Gratification

We live in a world where we prefer instant gratification. If we have had a good meal we want to boast about it straight away.

Sending out a tweet with your eatery’s Twitter handle in it is a way for customers to say a personal thank you. It is also great for business as people will be drawn towards your Twitter account and in turn your website and menu – generating new customers.

Personal Touch

Eating out is a social event. Whether it is a three course birthday meal or a catch-up coffee with a friend, it is something we do to be sociable.

Having a grip on your social media channels will help bridge that gap between you and the customer. For instance, if a friend suggests a place to eat and we have never heard of it, the first port of call is genuinely Google, quickly followed by a search for your eatery on Twitter. That connection right from the beginning is crucial as someone mentioning they are looking forward to attending a meal at your restaurant or cafe is as good as a recommendation.

Instant Feedback

One thing that restaurants and other eateries need is feedback. You need to know what people think of the service, the food and the overall experience.

Before social media existed the only way this was possible would be to get the waiter / waitresses to ask customers if they enjoyed themselves (where they may not be as truthful as you may need them to be) or ask them to fill out a questionnaire or survey (which may put people off from returning for a second visit).

You will find people are generally more brutally honest on social media and will happily say if they have had a good experience or a really bad experience. Interacting with them and keeping on top of what has been spoken about allows you to deal with the situations accordingly.

An example may be a tweet saying the following:

  • Had a fabulous birthday meal @EnrichCafe. Thank you for having us.

This allows you the opportunity to reply with something simple yet effective, such as:

  • Glad you enjoyed your meal! Thank you for coming. Hope to see you soon.

Ocean Restaurant

Replying to your customers’ tweets builds a good relationship with your customers and allows you to show your followers how happy your diners are.

You can also retweet your tweet so your followers can be reminded of how great your food is.

Social media is also useful if people have had a negative experience. Social media provides you with a platform for you to apologise and tackle any issues customers may have had. If a customer has had a bad experience that has not been resolved before they left your restaurant, social media is your last chance to rectify the situation. If you’re not on social media the customer may give you a bad review, but you won’t be there to offer a solution and uphold your reputation.

 Advertising deals/special offers

Restaurants, cafes, bars etc. often offer promotions. Take this time of year as a prime example. Restaurants, bars and other such places will be holding special offers for Christmas and New Year meals.

Social media is the perfect way in which to tell new and existing customers about your offers and promotions. It not only saves you money in the sense that  less printing will be needed. but it also means that you can get the message out there straight away, allowing for the highest quality impact.

If you are a restaurant, bar or cafe, the chances are your competitors are on some form of social media. Make sure you are too.

Content Creater- Isabel (social media consultant)