According to The National Restaurant Association’s 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, almost one-third of consumers were prepared to follow a restaurant on social media if special offers were available. The study also found that social media environment has become cluttered with too many different platforms and restaurant owners’ efforts were frustrated by limited resources and understanding of how to approach social media for their businesses.
According to Mr. Babool Khan, Restaurant Manager, Punjab Grill, “Social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, and also websites like Zomato, help in promoting the restaurant business to a larger extent”. He added that as the generation is becoming more and more techy, it is very easy to hold their nerves through these networking sites.”
On handling negative criticisms that appear on social networking sites about the restaurant, Mr. Khan adds, “Critical appreciation is always good for a restaurant to grow; we welcome the negative as well as positive from the customer. If a negative comment is posted by the customer on our networking site, we contact the person, mail him an appraisal letter and also offer free dinner or lunch at our restaurant so that we can look into the problem that he faced at our restaurant.”
Social media from a business perspective is all about listening. Listen to what consumers want and try your level best to give them the best service. If you are using Facebook to promote your restaurant, post new launches and videos of your restaurant on your fan page; if you are a Twitterer, search for keywords on https://twitter.com/search-home relating to your restaurant. You can even search for “where should I go for dinner?” or “which is the best restaurant in the market?” and you’ll get back a bunch of tweets pertaining to your search query. Simply answer their queries and tell the Twitter user about your restaurant.
According to Mr. Akhil Pallai, Senior Restaurant Manager, Mad over Donuts, “Social media is not only helping in the restaurant’s growth, but also hampering the image of the industry by the negative posts made on these sites”. He agrees that social media sites help in creating authenticity about a particular restaurant because one can advertise oneself by posting new launches and displaying new offers and discounts in your restaurant.
A Gurgaon-based restaurant Lemp Brewpub and Kitchen trended on Twitter India on 11th June after an anonymous blog post slammed it for cheating and misbehaving with customers. A visit to the restaurant for a Hawaiian Sunday Brunch turned out to be a nightmare for a group of youngsters who were mistreated by the restaurant management.
The blog post, named Lemp experience, alleged that the group of youngsters had gone to Lemp Brewpub and Kitchen after checking out Sunday brunch events listed on Zomato, a website that provides information on restaurants.
In the blog post, the group claimed that they were not served Hawaiian food and were also asked to pay Rs. 12,000 for a brunch that was supposed to cost Rs. 999 per person.
The alleged victims filed a case with police and also accused the police of siding with the restaurant owner. However, they have not taken any legal action yet. The blog post, which was not signed by anyone, has been shared by hundreds on Facebook and Twitter.
This is Shocking --> How a lunch at Lemp Brewpub Gurgaon turned out to be the most horrid experience ever lempexperience.blogspot.in/2013/06/the-en… — Chintan Vora (@theunsocialguy) June 11, 2013
Where NEVER to go for food - Lemp Brewpub in Gurgaon: ow.ly/lUnPH - via @deejthtraveller @beastoftraal - How terrible! — Shivya Nath (@shivya) June 11, 2013
This will make your blood boil! Lemp BrewPub Gurgaon, Read what happenedlempexperience.blogspot.in/2013/06/the-en… … — Gabbar Singh (@GabbbarSingh) June 11, 2013
According to Lighthouseinsights, after the blog went viral, the user rating for Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen on Zomato fell to 1.3 points from its earlier 3 point something.
Though the restaurant kept silent on the issue, both the blogs were later deleted.
(as published in dna on 12 June, 2013)
It is a fact that a good customer service goes a long way. Shying away from customer feedback will do more damage than good to your restaurant. Every customer complaint needs to be addressed. If there are a lot of unhappy dining customers out there, they will never bother to return to the restaurant.