The question of social networking for restaurants

Recent trends reflect the foodservice industry’s hesitancy to jump onto the social media bandwagon. It could be a tremendous source of revenue for your business, or it could be a public relations nightmare, if not properly managed and monitored. According to Fast Casual Magazine, most restaurants are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Many restaurants have implemented some form of social network, whether it be an online profile or a blog, but have found it difficult to engage their audience.

Some of the advantages of social networking include taking a one-on-one approach with customers, being able to answer questions and respond to comments, and to squash criticism before it becomes viral.

However, it is important to have a clearly communicated policy regarding comments about your establishment. Tell your visitors that you will respond to legitimate complaints and criticism via your profile or blog, but that you will not allow comments that are offensive, irrelevant or just plain rude. You can respond to these users in a private message, and let them know you’d like to help resolve their issue, but it’s important to control any chatter about you that occurs on your site—after all, that’s the whole idea behind social networking: it’s a means of communicating with others about a common theme.

Take a look at this blog’s comment policy here.

Social networking can also be a way for members of the foodservice industry to communicate with one another.

The most popular social network for the restaurant industry is FOHBOH, which boasts nearly 10,000 members from 100 countries. It is the self-proclaimed “water cooler” of the foodservice industry. It can also be a great way to share ideas, get feedback, make friends and new business connections and to learn and do business.

What kind of ways are you using the internet? Does your establishment belong to a social network? Do you have a blog? As always, your feedback is much appreciated.

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