How to Use Social Media for Restaurants as Great Recession Comes to an End

In December of 2008, at the beginning of the bleak recession, the New York Times featured an article outlining a trend among restaurant customers: eating in.

The Dark Days of the Economic Downturn
Thank goodness we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as the Great Recession begins to come to an end. During the darkest days of the economic downturn, job loss by the hundreds of thousands was a common, monthly occurrence and consumers scrambled to make ends meet.

According to a 2008 New York Times article, one of the most popular methods was most challenging for restaurant owners: eating in. The article underscored the bleak reality by sharing the results of a survey conducted by marketing research firm Mintel International, which discovered that 60% of those surveyed said they had begun to eat in more and dine out less in order to save money.

Customers Return to Eating Out
Although consumers are beginning to take tentative steps toward resuming their pre-recession habits, including dining out more frequently, improvement is slow. Factors like a nearly 17% food inflation rate and a continuing rise in fuel prices are causing growth to stagnate. Capturing those customers ready to trade their kitchen aprons for cloth napkins at their favorite dining establishment may require creativity among restaurant owners.

Using Social Media to Grow Consumer Base
The rise of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook have caused many business owners to consider how implementing the services could grow their consumer base. Those who have successfully used the networking services suggest:

  • Use social networking to create a dialogue beyond the restaurant.
  • Use the sites to send information about news, sales and events related to the restaurant.
  • Avoid too much sale-pitch related information.
  • Cover things going on in the local community.

Using social media allows restaurateurs to connect with those who want to hear from the restaurant. It allows customers to see the restaurant in a new light.

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