Social media won’t save your restaurant from its woes.
Social media won’t drive customers through your doors, it won’t cause people to say good things about your food, and it won’t make your chef a household name.
I know this is not what you want to hear, but I’m going to tell it to you anyway.
There are five reasons why social media will not work for your restaurant:
- Your Food – Your restaurant is not consistently providing menu items that meet or exceed the expectations of your customers. Expectations differ for different categories of restaurant, but consistency is one of the most important ingredients for success in any business.
- Your Service – The service in your restaurant leaves your customers feeling like you don’t care. It’s a fact that customers will go where they are treated well. Even if the food you serve is excellent, customers will forsake you if they think you don’t care.
- Your Atmosphere – The atmosphere and cleanliness of your restaurant is unpredictable or predictably poor. Customers judge you and your food by the sensory cues that surround them. There are enough restaurants competing for every customer’s business that you may never get a second chance to make a good impression.
- Your Management – You don’t have a good grasp of the business administration of your restaurant. Inadequate record keeping, poor management of personnel, purchasing and inventory all prevent you from focusing on the things you dreamed about when you embarked on the dream of opening your own restaurant.
- Your Vision – You are spending all of your time working “in” your business, instead of “on” your business.
- Magnify the positive things people are saying about your restaurant.
- Form a community of people who share a love for the dining experience you provide.
- Become recognized as a leader in your field, both locally and on a larger geographic scale.
- Monitor, and respond to, the things people are saying about you and your restaurant.
- Not only be a part of, but actually influence the conversation that is taking place about your business.
- Yelp and other review sites
- A well-managed business naturally has a community of people saying positive things. Social media will likely help you identify some key community members who are willing to be evangelists for your business.
- Social media will allow a well-managed business to find ways to tweak, and make subtle improvements, whereas a poorly running business attempting to use social media will spend much of its time deflecting major complaints.
- If you’re spending a manageable amount of time working “in” your business, you’ll have time to create valuable content about your business, or effectively oversee the creation of that content by a qualified employee or outside consultant.
Chris S. Cornell is a public relations professional who believes that with a synergistic approach, businesses and organizations can use traditional and new media to build communities, grow audiences and increase revenues. An award-winning writer and photographer, Cornell uses quality content as the foundation for a successful marketing, social media and public relations plan. You can follow him on Twitter and converse with him on the Westchester Social Media Facebook page.