Nation’s Restaurant News noted this week that in an effort to help build business in this dismal economy, some restaurants are turning to new technology, like Twitter, to help bring in customers.
According to the article, restaurants like Fado’s Irish Pub, are noticing that customers are more apt to read the shorter, sweeter Twitter messages than click through email newsletters or marketing blasts. At a limit of 140 characters, Twitter gets the message out to everyone subscribed to the restaurant’s feed, and according to many, the use of new technology is the only way to keep bringing in business. Reaching nearly 9000 customers electronically, through the use of Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages, Fado’s Director of Marketing, John Piccirillo, thinks it’s imperative that restaurants are able to adjust to the changing times.
“Ten years ago in e-mail marketing, we’d see a 90-percent open rate and a 30-percent click-through rate. It was new, and it grabbed them. People paid attention in a way they wouldn’t with TV or radio….Using Twitter for customer service—monitoring every time somebody writes ‘Fadó’ or ‘Guinness’ and dedicating resources to follow up—has been a huge win for us,” Piccirillo said. “We can answer basic customer service questions from ‘where is the pub’ to ‘what time does the band come on,’ and customers think: ‘Wow, they’re paying attention. This is cool.’”
While I certainly agree that the food service industry needs to adjust as necessary, I still believe that today’s technology, like Facebook, Twitter, and even email marketing, will only work efficiently for restaurant owners if your demographic is tech-savvy.