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Social Media and Sales in the Restaurant Industry

National Restaurant Consultants analyzes sales and marketing predictions

By Sarah Ann Noel - September 9, 2019

Whether your restaurant is in New York City or Des Moines, Iowa; Denver or Pensacola, Florida; Los Angeles or Dayton, Ohio; the playing field is leveled when it comes to the Internet and social media. Your restaurant is no longer relevant only to the residents of your community, but across the United States and beyond. Social media, a much debated beast, has shrunk the world, for better or for worse, and our restaurant consultants believe its power can do more good for business than harm.

Even without our consultants' input, it seems business owners agree. More than 90 percent of restaurants are using Facebook and 78 percent engage their customers on Instagram. Instagram has skyrocketed in popularity for restaurant promotion since last year, when only 24 percent reported using it.More than 60 percent of restaurants either have or plan to pay for social media ads in 2019. That's not just an Instagram account--that's pushed content, paid for as marketing.

"Social media has been crucial for awhile to stay relevant with a younger audience," says Trevor Noel, owner of Wander Unlimited creative agency, which manages social media for many Colorado restaurants and businesses. "But now, it's expected among on age groups and people from all backgrounds." 

Social media allows you to present your restaurant, not just as a place to eat, but as an experience to be had. The punch line of many late night show jokes, it's important to point out the truth in Millennial perception and value emphasis: 78 percent of millenials say they would rather spend money on an experience, such as a restaurant or other activity, compared to purchasing an item from a store

Often, there is fear around social media and an Internet presence because of negative reviews and trolling. It can be daunting to navigate such direct communication, but it is necessary to pay attention to it. When dealing with negative online reviews or in-person feedback, 23 percent of restaurateurs reach out directly to the person who gave the feedback. 15 percent put the feedback to use when giving performance reviews to front-of-house or back-of-house staff.

"It's important to view it as a direct line to people who may not otherwise engage with your restaurant," Noel says, noting the benefit of such close interaction. While it opens chains of communication for complaints, it also improves the feedback process, making your restaurant better.

Our restaurant consultants can assist with social media and other marketing strategy. Contact a restaurant consultant today. 

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash