In an era when people tweet more than they speak and most conversations are had over social media, restaurants need to embrace this turn to technology. The major interface through which restaurants can communicate with their customers is now social media.
On Friday, 12 June Twitter is launching #FoodFriday, to bring together chefs, restaurants and foodies across UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain and France. Although Twitter has already partnered with the likes of Wahaca, OpenTable and culinary giants like Chef Guy Martin, it is open to any and all applicants.
Why use Twitter?
While #FoodFriday will be useful for bigger chains in promoting their brand and pushing new items on their menus, it will be critical for local chains and independent franchises. Posting pictures of their food and engaging in dialogue with potential customers will give smaller franchises a chance to put their brand out there- both locally and globally. Using #FoodFriday, these franchises will be associated with bigger restaurants and chefs who are using the hashtag, and will thus be more likely to be recognised. Hence, through participation in this event, restaurants can build their Twitter following and attract new customers.
More than just recognition, Twitter provides a platform for restaurateurs to communicate with customers. With pictures of their food and of chefs behind-the-scenes, restaurants add a personal touch to their relationship with customers. By sharing tips, tricks and even recipes, restaurants can have a conversation with customers, even replying to their tweets directly. This can help to not only attract new customers, but also to build a relationship with existing ones. Modern day customer care is more than just the quality of a service at a restaurant, it is also when restaurants directly reply to customers on social media or retweet them. Personal relationships can thus be built between restaurants and customers over social media.
“If you make guests unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder, Amazon.com
Although Bezos was referring to e-commerce, this is equally applicable to the restaurant industry. With #FoodFriday, restaurants can use this opportunity not only to engage with customers but also accept and deal with constructive criticism. If customers are unhappy, restaurants can work to resolve any complaints. This can be as simple as personally apologising to customers or giving them complimentary services to alleviate any inconvenience caused. Only by attempting to fix a customer’s problems can a restaurant really build a relationship with them. By trying to resolve their complaints, restaurants are more likely to be reviewed positively. Customers will be more likely to remain loyal to a restaurant on social media and more inclined to tweet about their experiences at the restaurant.