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Social Media and Its Impact on the Food Business

by  Chef Dana Herbert on August 01, 2014
Social Media and Its Impact on the Food Business

There is no debate that social media has become a major part of many businesses worldwide.  With the enormous growth of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, social media has become a trusted source of information for individuals. 

In a world where everything boils down to dollars and cents, it makes sense to take your social media engagement and reputation seriously.  In the past, you would trust the word of a close friend or family member to say that a restaurant was good.  Over the years, we have seen a major shift.  Consumers can get quick information from sites like YELP and Google Plus.  In addition they can see what customers are tweeting and face booking about restaurants before they go.  

Restaurants are now becoming hip and engaging their customers in ways like never before.  Customers are sending pictures out instantaneously from their tables about their perception of the food and what they like about it.  Then through retweeting and sharing, a restaurant can get views exponentially without spending all the marketing dollars for a potential customer to visit and see taste food.  When done properly and creatively, your customers can help offset some of the marketing expenses.

Rating sites are also a major player in the food business.  Many rating sites use stars to rate establishments.  In most cases, a five-star rating is the best.  Moving your score from one star to the next can translate into big bucks, generally 5-10%.What’s great about the rating sites is that companies can grow their reputation quickly.

Every restaurant wants their social media to go viral.  To spread to areas that they have only dreamed of.  Years ago, a company could launch a product and hope for local saturation.  Now companies are trying to set up campaigns that can become viral, using catchy hashtags # and slogans.

Within my business, we have fully braced social media.  We utilize many of the social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn to reach our clients.  The result is truly a more involved client experience.  As with life, there are people with different preferences.  Some respond more to different social media platforms.  Social media diversification can be equally as important as having a diverse product line at your restaurant. Within social media today you have the advantage of video, photographs, text and more.  We are proud to say after a couple years, we have approximately 30,000 followers via Facebook and approximately 150,000 followers on Twitter and our other platforms on the other social media sites are growing. 

Now remember, with every positive, there is a negative.  You will see/hear more about experiences that were not so great as well and they will be public.  If you use the feedback constructively then you can turn the small defeat into a victory and become better.  At the end of the day, if a restaurateur is smart he/she will embrace social media and look at it as a way to turn up the volume on their business.

See you on Facebook, and Twitter!


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