Smaller chain restaurants may not be able to compete with major chains in terms of volume, but they do have a vital way of bringing in business and keeping customers happy: Facebook. A story in Nation’s Restaurant News illustrates how restaurants are reaching out to customers through social media.
The story details how regional chains Lenny’s Sub Shop and Toppers Pizza have used Facebook and other forms of social media to grow their businesses. They have one advantage over larger companies such as Subway and Pizza Hut: fans per unit. Nation’s Restaurant News cites statistics from No Limit Media Consulting, showing that Lenny’s Facebook page had more than 84,000 likes for its chain of 147 locations — roughly 578 fans per unit. Subway, by comparison, may have 15 million likes, but they’re also more spread out, with 469 fans per location. Toppers recorded 1,228 fans per location.....
Roughly a week ago Yelp offered an interesting post on its blog. The post reveals how Yelp prevents false check-ins or “check-in fraud.” But more importantly it’s about how Yelp matches reported user location with business locations.It’s also a comparison of positioning methods and a discussion of their relative accuracy.
Yelp explains the three ways to locate a mobile device: GPS, cell tower triangulation and/or Wi-Fi positioning. Yelp then compares the accuracy of the systems and the devices that use them: iPhone vs. Android vs. iPod Touch.
The leading use of dining apps, by far, is finding a spot to eat. But these apps can also recommend a wine to go with your meal, tell you the nutritional value of your dinner, and help split the check when dining in a group.
Many foodies start with the free Yelp YELP -1.95% app, which compiles restaurant reviews from users. If you're really hungry, Yelp's "Nearby" feature, which works with GPS, will reveal the best-liked restaurants close to you. Or use the free TruxMap app, by developer F.I. Pardo, available in many big cities, to see which food trucks are parked nearby. For more-personalized recommendations, try Alfred—a clever app from Google Inc. GOOG -1.26% that gradually learns about your tastes by asking about your favorite (and least favorite) dining spots. Alfred, free for Apple and Android devices, offers local recommendations based on your answers.
Last week we brought you an interview with New York Alcohol Discovery startup Drynk.me. They provide an app that makes it easy to discovery new alcoholic beverages, snap pictures, jot down ingredients, and share with friends. This week we have an interview with Pittsburgh startup RhoMania who have just released a new app called “Grail” to restauranteurs to help restaurant patrons with their alcoholic beverage selection. Grail is available in an iPad and web app version which allows restauranteurs to have servers bring an interactive alcohol menu which highlights the selection on site at that restaurant and pairs beverages with the food on the menu. Grail serves as an interactive wine and cocktail list which can be much more robust than traditional two sheet lists. Where Drynk.me is a consumer facing app, Grail is designed to be utilized by restaurants. The hope is that the app will help increase liquor and beverage sales. We got a chance to talk with the team behind RhoMania and the Grail app......
While Millennials are credited with leading the digital charge, restaurant customers of all ages are embracing digital technology as a way to stay connected to their favorite brands. As both digital technology and the end user continue to evolve, restaurant operators must grow and change with them.
Mobile phone applications, online and tablet ordering, and digital menu boards each drive customer engagement in its own unique way and, when tied together, can create a user experience that drives both retention and new trials.
Angelsmith recently conducted a survey of more than 500 self-described food aficionados in an attempt to find out how they influence the dining decisions of others and in turn how their personal restaurant choices are made.
Even though nearly half (48.9 percent) of survey respondents seek information from trusted friends first, more than eight of 10 (80.1 percent) respondents go on to do additional research after receiving a restaurant recommendation.
Zaarly Anywhere, launched in July 2012, lets you turn any piece of online content into offline reality. With just a few clicks on any of our partner sites, you can post a request to Zaarly, connect with an local seller and get exactly what you wanted. It’s like having your own personal Make/Do/Help button as you browse the web.
May 1st of this year Google publicly launched Google Business Photos. Jim Hilker, owner of Places.Mobile, is one over 200 certified Google Trusted Photographers working on this new new program. Each month new cities across the US and Canada are being added into the program, with a goal of getting the majority of businesses to participate. The following interview with Mr. Hilker provides readers with details about the Google Business Photos program and how it will benefit your restaurant.
What is Google Business Photos?
Google Business Photos uses the Street View technology to providing viewers with the ability to take a “walk-through” 360 degree virtual tour inside your place of business. A trained and certified Google Trusted Photographer uses special photography equipment to capture a series of 360 degree panoramic images at strategically placed points beginning outside and working in and throughout the establishment. The photographer then uses Google Street View technology to “stitch” the images into a crystal clear and smooth virtual tour which is then uploaded into the Google Map system and connected to Street View. Along with the 360 panoramic images the program requires the photographer to take specific high-resolution still images as well, such as interior decor, signage, menus, food plates, and more........
Next month, restaurant marketing, communications and customer service professionals will gather in Chicago for the second annual Foodservice Social Media Universe (#FSMU) -- the first and only conference to provide social media insights and best practices specifically for restaurant operators.
In advance of #FSMU (I'll be emceeing the event, BTW), we thought it would be interesting to compare the social media reach of the biggest brands in the QSR and fast casual segments. We've compiled the results into the infographic below.
A word of caution as you view the infographic...As you'll undoubtedly learn at #FSMU, a successful social media strategy is about much more than just accumulating the highest number of "likes" or followers. Real success will come from how effectively you engage your followers and how well you use that engagement to improve your bottom line.
It's summertime, and that means cookouts and barbecues. But that also means an increase in cancer risk — both from the act of cooking food on the fire and from the processed, red meats that commonly make their way onto the grill.
When Matt Levine was opening Sons of Essex, a restaurant on New York City’s Lower East Side last fall, he decided to use YouTube to promote the establishment and its menu offerings.
“We live in a society where information travels fast, and the entertainment value and visual stimulation of videos seemed like a great way to get a creative and innovative message to our guests,” he says.
The success of Sons of Essex’s videos can be a lesson to other small businesses. While restaurants have an advantage in that the things they purvey — food and drinks — are pretty universally appealing, many industries can benefit from creating videos....
Social media marketing may be cheap, but it definitely isn't passive. As anyone who's launched a company's Facebook page or Twitter account can attest, it takes hard work and a bit of creativity to generate enough 'likes' and follows to build an effective social media marketing campaign. Offerpop is a platform that businesses of all sizes can use to build the types of Facebook and Twitter campaigns that customers will actually notice.
How It Works The average small business Facebook page is static. A business owner might occasionally update the company's weekly specials or limited-time sales, and customers might ask questions or post mini-reviews from time to time. For the most part, however, Facebook isn't an effective marketing tool for small-business owners who aren't willing to take an active role in the promotion of their pages.....
Next to Google, there's probably no more important site for small businesses than Yelp. Yet perhaps no other site is as poorly understood. For instance, is it a good idea to encourage your customers to give you good reviews on the site? Does Yelp pay for reviews? How do you go about countering bad reviews?
Since Yelp is such a juggernaut, it's important to get the facts straight. With that in mind, take a look at these 10 things you may not have known about the service.
1. Most of its traffic is from its homepage. You might think that in 2012, most people would be accessing Yelp from their smart phones, but that's not the case. Sixty percent of searches are from desktops, and the company's mobile apps are used by about 7 million people. Yelp.com gets 78 million visitors per month. However, like other social media companies, the trend is definitely favoring mobile.
This is a common fact in today’s marketing. Using social media to boost and slingshot sales and traffic. Social media is a very very powerful tool for marketing and the food industry is not exempted. In fact, for me the food industry will be get the most benefit from social media.
With the skyrocketing popularity of different social media sites – Facebook, twitter, even tumblr, pinterest, and blogs, peoples opinions and voices were amplified a million times. If one person says that your food was good posted on facebook or tumblr and creates a tweet for it, a lot of people will take notice about how good the food was, what restaurant, who cook it, etc. and it will all lead to your food, to your business!
NewGusto offers you the opportunity to experience new gastronomic moments for free enriched with home hearth and new people to meet. A birthday or a holiday away from home will always be enjoyable occasions to share food and culture.
Ever call your favorite restaurant to order lunch, then wait an excruciating amount of time in line to pay and pick up your meal — only to get home and realize the restaurant gave you tuna salad instead of tuna niçoise?
That’s the problem that OrderAhead, which came out of beta test mode on Tuesday, is hoping to solve. The company offers a free mobile application that lets users skim through a catalog of restaurants, select what they want, pay for it and then quickly grab their order at the restaurant.
User influence monitoring service Kred, has created Kred Story, a rich visual experience for viewing one’s social stream. Kred has traditionally competed with Klout on influence measurement, the new Kred Story takes a different approach as it aims to find and display influential activity in a visually appealing layout.
The layout places more of an emphasis on images pulled from links and social accounts for an appealing newspaper-esque layout. Included with the updates are top influencers, locations, related words and top bloggers around an account or hastag.
Changing diets and consumer preferences are forcing restaurants and food brands to find ways to share nutrition and ingredient information with their customers. Also, restaurant chains with 20 or more locations are now required to provide detailed nutrition information on their menus, thanks to a provision upheld in ”Obamacare.” But many don’t have have central databases to easily organize and publish this data. Similarly, startups building recipe, grocery, and restaurant nutrition and discovery tools face major challenges with obtaining accurate consumer packaged good (CPG) data and nutrition data. These startups are forced to clean and restructure data on 7,500 basic items from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database or to license expensive – $100,000+ annually- and often outdated, CPG databases from companies like ESHA, Nutribase, Gladson and FoodFacts. Nutritionix is trying to tackle this problem by building a suite of tools that allow restaurants and food brands to organize and publish their nutritional data, thereby making it easier for consumers to interact with it.......