Category Archives: Technology

Restaurant Technology: What’s Coming?

Technology is evolving faster and faster each year.  If you are not keeping up with the latest, your restaurant could suffer.  Read on to discover the restaurant technology that is trending in 2017 and the potential benefits of getting on board!

Restaurant Technology: What are the Potential Benefits?

Digital Menu Boards

According to restaurantbusinessonline.com, digital menu boards are finding their way into more and more restaurants.  There are many good reasons to use these new digital boards, including:

  1. Digital menu boards are appealing to the eye.  Restaurants can use high resolution images of their offerings, and entice customers to buy.
  2. Provides the ability to update all the menu boards simultaneously with changes going live immediately.
  3. Offers more flexibility to showcase regular or limited time/seasonal offerings.

Kiosks

Also from restaurantbusinessonline.com, ordering kiosks are becoming more and more popular in fast and fast-casual restaurants.  This trend does not show any signs of slowing as customers recognize the benefits as well.  Among the top benefits are:

  1. Reduction in labor costs.  No need to have a staff member take orders or run a cash register.
  2. Offer customers a better ordering experience.  Guests are able to customize their orders and there is less risk of miscommunication.  Order accuracy can be improved.
  3. Higher check averages due to ability to customize and upselling opportunities.
  4. “Frequency lift”- people come more often because the experience has been made easier

Online and Mobile Ordering

Online and mobile ordering is gaining traction according to an article by toasttab.com.  Today’s customers seek convenience wherever they can find it, and many are finding it here.  See why below:

  1. Customers can see all of the menu options at once
  2. Bill is immediately updated as items are added and removed
  3. Free up staff members to take care of more crucial tasks
  4. Provides the ability to for customers to place their order from anywhere at any time.
  5. Better channel for upselling than the phone.  Photos of food items are more enticing.

Mobile Apps and Payment

Along with online and mobile ordering, mobile apps and payment are becoming more popular as people try to save time, according to toasttab.com.  The top benefits are listed below:

  1.  Mobile apps tend to be more user-intuitive than online ordering pages
  2.  App-based loyalty programs are more engaging and do not get lost like the old stamp cards of the past
  3. Good channel to notify customers about new deals, coupons, menu items, events, and etc..
  4. Allows for a convenient way for customers to place and cancel reservations.  Does not take up staff time
  5. Mobile payment is faster than paying in cash and way faster than the chip cards
  6. Mobile card readers on the tables speed up payment process and free up tables

Now that you know the latest restaurant technology and benefits, its time to get on board! But, before you jump headlong into any of these new technologies, consider the following from restobiz.com: “Since new features and technology are evolving so quickly, restaurant owners should choose technology that is regularly updated at no additional charge and that can be integrated with other programs such as accounting or scheduling”  You don’t want your technology choices to paint you into a corner!

Exciting Opportunity – Digital Entrepreneurship Rotational Program

We are looking for a recent college graduate or young professional with experience in a digital and/or startup environment for an exciting new “Digital Entrepreneurship” 18-month rotational program. You will be part of a top talent program, a global taskforce who will drive our digital transformation worldwide.

This is a learning opportunity for digital-minded individuals who will get experience is Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile Working Methods and Prototyping. After the program, TAKKT (Central’s holding company) is determined to trust you with a responsible role in one of our digital transformation initiatives.

View the entire description here, and then visit the online posting here.

Interested? Send your application (CV, short motivation letter, availability in Q1 of 2017) to startnow@takkt.de (to the attention of Mr. Felix Schachi).

Implement a POS System at Your Restaurant

If you’re new to the business, or have been using a cash register the entirety of your restaurant’s life, it’s time to start thinking about using a POS system! What exactly is a POS system? POS stands for point-of-sale, and is used with a computer. These systems don’t just ring up sales, they can accumulate information about your inventory and customers, which helps you keep control of your business.

The Perks and Pluses of a POS System

Most POS systems use a computer that runs a special POS software, and has a cash drawer, receipt printer, bar code scanner and credit card reader. Companies like Royal Sovereign have these systems already pre-configured for easy use, or you can purchase each piece as you like. Now, companies are starting to use tablets with their POS system already installed on them for easy and fast tableside service!

There are many benefits to purchasing and using a POS system at your restaurant. To start, these types of systems eliminate human error. If your employees are currently adding orders and calculating taxes on their own, there is a risk of error. A POS system would be a large investment at first, but it will help your figures and most businesses see a return within months.

By using a POS system, you can also eliminate your losses. This system can track and evaluate every step in a product’s (or menu item) life cycle from receiving from the supplier to customers enjoying the final product. You can use the POS system data to see where your losses are coming from and where the flaws in your processes actually are – allowing you to fix them.

Having the proper stock is required for any busy service at the restaurant. Have you experienced the awful scenario of running out of key ingredients beforPOS Systeme? A POS system can help you with that. It will enter sale information right into your inventory so you’ll no longer need to check inconsistencies between what you’ve sold and what you have in stock.

Another perk of a POS system? Knowing what your most popular menu items are! This helps you plan for more inventory of the key ingredients, and to increase marketing efforts (think sales, promos, coupons, etc.) on those top selling dishes.

Minimize checkout times with customers with a POS system. Now, tablets are huge for making the process as seamless as possible. Gone are the days of waiting for your receipt, putting your card down, waiting for her to take it and return it, and sign the receipt. With the tablets, you can do all of those steps right at your table without the waiter, minimizing the wait to leave. Your restaurant will be able to turn over tables faster, which is key during busy service times.

Finally, one of the best advantages about using a POS system is updating pricing. When you make a price change you only need to do it in one place and it will be updated across all locations in your software. That means anyone who is ringing up orders will be able to see the correct price. This is really great for restaurants who might have more than one location. This way, customers won’t be able to get a lower price at one restaurant over another.

Get Started Now!

If you’re still running your restaurant using a notebook and a pen and find yourself running into errors and mismatched inventory, it might be time to start using a POS system. Central just launched some new systems on our website, so go check them out! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to give one of our knowledgeable Product Consultants a call at 800-215-9293 or chat with them live!

Apple Pay

Apple Pay: Will It Impact the Restaurant Industry?

What is Apple Pay?

In October 2014, Apple will launch an alternative to the traditional wallet: Apple Pay. The goal of this new payment system is to give consumers a simple way to make transactions without having to fiddle through their wallet.

To use Apple Pay, a person will just have to put their iPhone near the reader, similar to a tap and pay credit or debit card, while holding the Touch ID (the center button on the bottom of the device). From there, the Touch ID recognizes a fingerprint and a purchase can be made.

Apple Pay“You don’t even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent,” Apple said. “A subtle vibration and beep lets you know.”

Apple ensures this method is secure, with actual credit or debit account numbers never being shared by Apple and the merchant. Transaction information is not stored either. The only record is in a person’s “most recent purchases,” which is saved in the Passbook app for the their convenience.

Visa, Mastercard and American Express, along with several banks, have teamed up so their credit or debit cards can be used with Apple Pay.  Many other banks are currently in the works to be on board too.

Restaurants Involved

To get started, Apple has partnered up with Panera, Starbucks and McDonald’s to have compatible software for Apple Pay. More restaurants are in the works and others may follow suit.

In an article by Nation’s Restaurant News, they interviewed Atif Rafiq, McDonald’s senior vice president and global chief officer, who said this new technology will provide a more convenient way for consumers to pay.

Not So Fast….

Since Apple Pay is a touch-and-pay system, the customer will have to hold their phone to the terminal, which doesn’t fit all restaurant environments.

“The system makes sense for those retailers with dedicated stations capable of hosting NFC-enabled payment terminals at check-out,” said the Wall Street Journal. “But for sit-down restaurants or drive-through windows, enabling Apple Pay likely won’t be easy.”

Then, mixing in the fact that only a small amount of merchants are currently on board with Apple Pay, and the feature is only available on the new iPhone models and Apple Watch, this new payment method is literally going to have to work from the ground up.

Apple Pay OpenTablePartnership with OpenTable

Restaurant reservation provider OpenTable has provided an opportunity for sit-down restaurants to use Apple Pay. In a press release launched shortly after the release of the iPhone 6, they announced the “Pay with OpenTable” option on the OpenTable app.

“Pay with OpenTable” is simple process for restaurants and guests as the entire transaction will be done in OpenTable as the guest will make the reservation on their iPhone, then launch the app during the meal.  The waitstaff can manage the check through their current POS system and guests will be able to view and pay the check at their convenience and leave when ready.

By using “Pay with OpenTable,” restaurants will free up more time for customer service.

Only Time Will Tell

Will Apple Pay take off? No one knows yet. But with many partnerships in the works, it will definitely have an impact on the restaurant industry and could create an easier experience for customers.

How Restaurants are Incorporating Social Media—Part 2

On Tuesday April 24, we broke down the latest on restaurants using social media and some information on using Pinterest.  The other heavy hitters in the social media game are Facebook and Twitter.

It may seem like there is a lot involved with keeping up with social media—but it’s really not as time consuming as you think, especially when there are websites available such as HootSuite or Later Bro.  Sites like these enable you to post in advance, because let’s face it, during any meal time rush, the last thing you have time for is to post.

Here’s a breakdown and the latest on Facebook and Twitter as well as a few ideas to help you rejuvenate your pages.

Facebook

On March 30, all Facebook fan pages got a facelift as they were automatically switched over to the new Timeline.  Some hate the new Timeline while others love it–but if you want to be on Facebook then you’re stuck with it. Don’t look at it that way though; the new Timeline feature actually brought on a few new really neat features that help to humanize your business. After all, your restaurant is more than words typed on a screen.

1. Cover Photo

The cover photo is at the top of your page and it’s a way to display what your business is about and grab attention.  Facebook did set a few rules on cover photos such as no calls to action, purchase information, contact information or references to interface elements (i.e. “Likes Us”).  So if you use one of these no-nos in your current cover photo, you may want to get it updated.  View the rules and cover photo tips here.

2. Contact/About Information

While you can’t outright promote in your cover photo, your contact and “About Us” area is where you can promote your business in your account settings.  There are actually a few different sections you can fill out—so write whatever works best to describe your restaurant.  The more information the better, so be sure to put in your address, website, phone number(s), hours of operation and anything else available.

3.  Apps

New word and new page placement, but same concept.  What are we talking about? Apps. Remember how you had “tabs” on your old Facebook page that were on the left side? For instance check-in, Like Us, maps, notes or a link to your blog? Those are now called “Apps” and they are located at the top of your page instead of at left. Four apps appear and you can add more (up to 12) in a drop-down. Just be sure the top four are your most important.

4. Top Pin

If there is something you want to be sure people see, such as a menu special or event, there’s an option now to make it a “top pinned post,” and it will stay at the top of your page. Do keep in mind, if you mark something as a top pinned post and it’s time sensitive, set a reminder for yourself to change it or un-mark it. According to a SmartBlog on Social Media article, top pinned posts can stay up for a week.

5. Pictures, Timeline and More New Features

It’s called the Facebook “Timeline” because it now allows you to tell the story of your business.   Things you posted in the past are easier for viewers to find and you can add milestones in your restaurant’s history such as when you first opened or a huge memorable event. It’s whatever you want to portray.

With the new Facebook Timeline, there is more of an emphasis of pictures–so if you can post some, whether it’s in a status or an album, do so!  And they don’t have to be anything epic.  Let’s say you’re having a special on one of your sandwiches. Instead of just posting a status update about the sandwich, why not include a picture with it?

Twitter

While Facebook and Twitter are both social media sites with a concentration being on words, they are completely different and should be treated that way.  You get 140 characters.  That’s it.  But it’s really not that much of a challenge.  In a recent Sociable360 infographic, they describe Twitter being best for “short, to-the point updates; monitoring conversations about your brand and finding potential customers.”

We live in a world where people’s attention spans are low. If you don’t capture someone’s attention in the first sentence of anything, they move on. So with Twitter, they make you get straight to the point. Here are a few quick tips on making the most of your restaurant’s Twitter:

  • Make your tweets different than your Facebook posts so your audience has fresh content on both platforms.
  • If do have to have Twitter linked to Facebook, or vice versa, try to make the Facebook status 140 characters or less. It’s obvious to people when a tweet is just an actual Facebook post because it cuts off.
  • Only use Twitter terminology (hashtags, @ symbol) on Twitter and not on Facebook.
  • Post specials or tips to get people to come in! Restaurants are really the exception to the “don’t be over salesy” rule for businesses on social media. It’s okay to post “Two tacos for $1 until 6 p.m. today!” or “Doesn’t a personal pan pizza sound like the perfect lunch?”
  • Use hashtags to your benefit. The hashtag (#) marks an important keyword in a post. It spreads your posts out further, just beyond your own followers.
  • Use trending topics to your benefit.  If there is a way to incorporate a trending topic into a post, do it! Don’t add it in if it’s irrelevant though—only if it fits with what you’re saying.
  • Tweet back. Engage with your followers that are trying to interact with you. And interact with people you follow.
  • You can post pictures and video by using sites like TwitPic or yfrog.
  • Don’t spend too much time trying to compose “the perfect Tweet” because it’ll already be old news within five or 10 minutes.  Don’t waste time, just post.

 

10 Creative Ways to Use QR Codes at Your Restaurant

There are many statistics on the number of smartphone users in the United States.  So if we estimate at least half of the population owns a smartphone, which is a number that continues to increase, that says a lot about the direction of the QR code.

QR code stands for “quick response,” and is a convenient way for smartphone users to get information.  All one needs is a QR code reader application, such as Kaywa or Neoreader, then can just take a picture which scans the barcode and redirects them to a link of virtually anything.

At one point, QR codes were just looked at as cool and fun.  But now, they are proving to be reliable way to share information.  For a quick QR code 101, check out this Social Media Examiner article. Once you’re ready, here are 10 creative ways your restaurant can use QR codes and potentially boost sales.

1. Front Door or Host/Hostess Area: Many times, especially during peak hours, customers will have to wait to be seated. Put a QR code in the area with a link to your website or menu to keep them busy.

2. Foursquare: It’s free and easy to get your restaurant on Foursquare—and upon claiming your restaurant, you get a free window cling to encourage people to check-in. Take it a step further to make it even easier for your customers and have a QR code at the entrance with a link to your venue on Foursquare.

3. Menus: Stick a QR code right in the menu. It could direct them to information on how certain products are made, pictures, videos of the chef cooking up an entrée or nutritional and allergy information.

4. Pagers or Coasters: People find it interesting to find a QR code in an unusual place. It’s almost like unlocking a secret. Put a QR code on your pagers or coasters that link out to drink-related things such as specials or a video of the bartender making a drink to shows off their skills.

5. Table Roll Stands: While the menu usually goes with the wait staff upon taking an order, many restaurants have table roll stands with appetizers, drinks and desserts on the table. Use a QR code on your roll stands to link to these items as an added effort for an impulse buy, whether it be a creative video, pictures, positive customer comments or additional information.

6. Bathrooms: Typically, guests take a trip to the bathroom while they are waiting for their food or their check. Place a QR code on the side of the door that exits the bathroom (so they’ve washed their hands!) that links out to appetizers and desserts to get them thinking.

7. Table or Signage: Similar to the first idea about keeping people busy while they wait, sometimes customers can be waiting for quite a bit on their food, especially during peak hours.  Put a QR code on the table or on created signage that links to all kinds of things such as your Facebook, Twitter, website, videos, etc. to keep them busy. Many times, using a phone at the table is rude to the other guest, so perhaps you could use the QR code in a way for multiple guests to interact such as trivia, games, etc.

8. Check Holders: It’s always great to get feedback about a customer’s experience and many places put a survey on the receipt.  Unfortunately, people get home and forget all about it or throw it away.  Put a QR code on your check holder to encourage customers to immediately leave their feedback and possibly even give an incentive for them to come back.

9. To-Go Cups or Packaging: You always want your customers to be thinking of you and when they will come back next.  Put a QR code on your To-Go packaging that links to a special “thank you for visiting” message, or even a special offer for them to print off and bring in for their next visit.

10. Advertising: When buying advertising space, using a lot can get expensive or it may just not be an option.  Give prospective customers more information and incentives to stop in with a QR code that links to information about your restaurant, current specials, top picks and more.

Even in all this smartphone-user talk, there are still many non-smartphone users and it may seem unfair to exclude them from specials and deals just because of their phone.  To help keep things balanced, Central usually puts the link under or around a QR code.  It is just much easier for those with smartphones to quickly scan it and be redirected immediately.  And after all, it may just put a little more money into your pocket too.

What interesting ways do you use QR codes at your restaurant?

Using Social Media for Your Restaurant: Foursquare

Image from Social Media Examiner

In our final installment of the “Using Social Media for Your Restaurant” series, we’re going to cover Foursquare.  The sites we’ve covered (FacebookTwitter, Yelp! and Foursquare) were chosen because they are well known, but there are more sites out there. If you find one you think will work well for your customers, by all means pursue it.

We first took a look at Foursquare when our home city, Indianapolis, declared April 16 as Foursquare day.  After looking into it, we realized Foursquare is much more than just “checking-in” a place.  A few weeks later we got in touch with Russ Chargualaf, executive chef of Houlihan’s (Castleton Square, Indianapolis) for a blog and learned how great of a marketing tool Foursquare is through his experience.

What is Foursquare? I think we hit the nail on the head in May’s Foursquare blog:

“The location-based social media site, Foursquare, is gaining popularity among millions of mobile app users worldwide and also for over 250,000 (and counting) businesses—many being restaurants. With over eight million users and over 2.5 million check-in’s per day, this is another great advertising tool for restaurants. Best of all, it’s free and doesn’t take much time at all.”

Image from Foursquare Website

Where to Begin? If you haven’t joined Foursquare, you can go here to get your account. Upon logging in, you will be able to see what your friends are up to, but you will want to look into information for merchants to get working on new things for your restaurant.

First, similar to Yelp and other social media sites we’ve discussed, you will want to claim your venue.  Once you’ve claimed your venue, you can update your bio, other contact information (i.e. Twitter, website, and phone number), categories, tags and more.

While logged in, you can also view your venue stats which will allow you to know your customers better.

Tips

Badge Image from Zagat Blog

When you’re logged in on your venue (or any venue) you will notice tips.

“Tips are generally things you’d recommend to others,” the Foursquare support site says.  For example, someone may leave a tip saying, “Try the bacon cheeseburger!” or “Stop in Friday nights for a free appetizer!”

Once joining, you will see people checking-in and writing tips on your wall. In one of Chargualaf’s many marketing strategies, he utilizes Foursquare’s tips on locations in surrounding areas.  We posted in our May blog:

“In Houlihan’s case, at every hotel or motel within a mile, Chargualaf will put in a Tip welcoming someone to Houlihan’s with a short history, specials and hours.  Also, he’s been creative by creating a Tip for Midas and other car repair shops that says, “Just got your bill? Come and share your sorrows with us.  Half off drinks all day, everyday at Houlihan’s Castleton Square Mall.”

Foursquare Specials

Restaurants are one of the key places Foursquare specials are used. These are implemented for both new and loyal customers upon checking into your establishment. Upon checking in, customers can earn badges as a reward.  You can use these badges to then reward your customers.

“Be it a mobile coupon, prizes, discounts, your name on it, we dig it,” Techsterr.com says in their Tutorial on How to Create Foursquare Special for Business.

Steps for Starting a Special (through a Campaign)
Click here for more information on Foursquare’s specials.

  1. Click “Manager Tools”
  2. Click “Campaigns”
  3. Choose “Start a Campaign”
  4. Choose which type of special you would like to run (Techsterr fills you in on all the definitions for which type of special to run here)
  5. Finalize the verbiage, in which you will be able to see on the right hand side of your screen what your special will look like
  6. Just before you begin your special, you’ll reach a screen to show your special and you can choose when the special ends, save it for later if you need to then click “Start Campaign Now” to get rolling

It’s More Than Specials…

Just like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp—there are multiple aspects of Foursquare and ways to use it to grow your business. While it’s free, you must remember these two words: Self promote.  Grab attention by placing a check-in widget on your website, blog, etc.  You can even add in a special tab for your Facebook page or WordPress blog.

We’ve told you in the other blogs in the series, get the word out to your customers in all ways you can, so inform them about your Foursquare presence at your establishment and online. In your restaurant, you can look into printing off “Check-in” signs or get window clings.

By making your presence known on the web, you won’t only be attracting your regulars; you will be attracting people in the area that find you. Via their phone or on a website, customers can search an area and see what’s around them. So by running specials, posting tips and just keeping current, you will attract a new set of customers while remaining loyal to your regulars.

Resources

Take a look at these resources to help you through your Foursquare journey. We hope our social media series has been helpful. Be sure to comment below with any of your own tips for using social media for your restaurant.

Foursquare Merchant Platform by Foursquare

Foursquare Marketing Tips for Restaurants by Rebel Marketing Cafe

Houlihan’s: A Foursquare Success by Central Restaurant Products

Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses by Financial Bin

Why Restaurants Should Be Using Foursquare by Harrison Marketing

Image from Foursquare

Foursquare for Restaurants and Bars by Twitter for Restaurants

Keys to Success with Social Media Marketing: Foursquare by ClickZ

Using Social Media for Your Restaurant: Twitter

In last week’s crash course on using Facebook for your restaurant, we learned just how important social media really is and how it can increase business to your restaurant. This week we’ll delve into Twitter.

If you’re completely unfamiliar to Twitter, visit the Twitter Guide Book for everything you need to know. This is also a great resource for frequent users as well.

Today’s blog will cover the basics. For those who use Twitter regularly for your restaurant, please comment below how it’s working for your business.

So what is Twitter? They said it best:

So you, the restaurant, are what people find interesting and compelling.  The end goal is to have people follow you—and they will. Like we said, you won’t see drastic numbers overnight. But as time goes by, your following will increase. Spread the word to customers in your signage, menus, website, etc. and it will help increase your number of followers too.

Getting Started

Get an account here. When choosing a name, you may have to be a little creative based on availability–but still pick a name customers will easily recognize.  They’ll walk you through the rest of the steps.

Composing Tweets

For anything people are reading, from news stories to magazine articles, if you don’t catch someone’s attention in the first couple sentences, you have lost them as a reader.  You can actually accomplish a lot in the 140 characters Twitter gives you because it’s forcing you to get down to the point. Keep it simple and relevant. You can tweet about things in the past or for the future, but as a restaurant, you can take advantage of the moment and tweet about what’s going on right now.  It might drive someone in the door. Twitter has especially been great for food trucks in letting people know where they are.

Examples

“Serving breakfast from 7a.m. to 11 a.m.!”

“Pork tenderloin special only available today.”

“Stop in for our famous BBQ bacon burger for lunch this afternoon.”

“The ABC food truck will be at the corner of 10th and Smith Street today from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.”

Topics

Many restaurants, like McDonalds, Hard Rock Café and Dominos, tweet conversation starters related to their restaurant but engage readers without just promoting a special. We learned last week in the Facebook blog that it’s okay to promote, but over-promoting drives people away.

“Today’s topic: diversity and inclusion at McDonald’s. We are a leader in the area and proud of the recognition we’ve received.” –@McDonalds

“Happy Birthday to the legendary Les Paul! He would have been 96 today.” –@HardRock

“Another 90+ degree day today at Domino’s HQ. No truth to the rumor that we’re cooking pizzas on the sidewalks.” –@dominos

Just like Facebook, you can connect with others too—which is a great way to get your name out there. Keep in mind Twitter is a live newsfeed, so the more you tweet the more people will see you.

The Twitter Vocabulary

Here are a few of the most commonly used words you will see when using Twitter. For all Twitter vocabulary words, check out the Twitter Glossary.

Tweet: Your message to the world.

Retweet (RT): A forwarded tweet.

At symbol (@): You have your username, i.e. ours is CRPRestaurant. The @ sign is used to call out usernames on Twitter. So, for instance, to message us, tweet @CRPRestaurant.

Mentions: You can click on @Mentions, next to timeline just under the “What’s Happening” box to see any messages tweeted to you.

Direct Message (DM): A private way to send messages.

Follow: Following is exactly what it means. When people choose to follow you, they’re following what you have to say because they’re interested. You can follow people (i.e. customers, resources) you’re interested in and respond to them.

Hashtag symbol (#): Marks keywords in topics in a tweet. You can use them in sentences or after. It’s a good way for people who aren’t following you to find you in the search box or even in trending topics. (i.e. “Stop by for #dinner tonight and enter in our #contest.” OR “Stop by for dinner tonight and enter in our contest. #dinner #contest”)

Trending: A trending topic is one of the most popular topics on Twitter at a particular moment in time. You’ll see everything trending on the right side of your page. You can take advantage of these when you can relate something you’re about to tweet. Let’s say “wings” is a trending topic and you just happen to have a special going on, take advantage of it. (i.e. “We have 2 cent wings tonight! #wings”)

In Conclusion….This is Just the Beginning

When it comes to the message, Twitter is incredibly simple. If anything, get an account to tweet information about your restaurant to customers.  But if you’re even the slightest bit of technologically savvy or simply interested in what else Twitter has to offer—there is so much more. Here are some other Twitter resources to look into that will help you utilize Twitter best for your restaurant. Happy Tweeting!

Tweetr: iPhone app with many high functions including scheduling tweets.

TweetDeck: Personal real-time browser allowing you to connect through a variety of social media sites.

Twitter Search: Find what topics you’re interested in on Twitter.

Tweet Button: Add this to your website or anything web related for you—especially great for blogs.

HootSuite: Another social media dashboard.

Link/URL Shortening: Your 140 characters are important—Twitter just began a feature that shortens links for you, or you can use sites to shorten URLs like Bitly, Ow.ly and Google URL Shortener.

Pictures: Similar to link shortening, you can use certain websites to upload pictures to then share them on Twitter from a link such as TwitPic, Lockerz, Yfrog, Pikchur or Twittxr.

Twitter Apps: As a restaurant owner, you probably find yourself most of the time helping your staff. Use a mobile app to help you with your on-the-go schedule.