Restaurants are Teaming Up With PR Firms for their Social Media Campaigns

By Joshua Klafter, Editorial and Social Media Intern

A restaurant teaming up with a PR firm typically has a negative connotation. Consumers are accustomed to associate that pairing with a health issue or lawsuit. Wipe that connection out of your brain, because there's a new reason why restaurants and PR firms are coming together.

Restaurants are partnering with PR firms to strengthen their social media campaigns. A report by Cron explains why this may be.

Cron explains that PR firms use social media for their clients in many ways. They often make accounts, keep track of analytics and narrow down which platforms to use for their clients. They also help train their clients on how to effectively use social media for themselves. Occasionally, PR firms are even responsible for creating social media content for their clients.

A recent example of a restaurant chain taking advantage of what PR firms have to offer when it comes to social media is Panda Express. The popular Chinese food chain Panda Express recently announced its partnership with PR firm Havas Formula for its social media campaign.

A report by QSR Magazine quoted Panda Express’ Vice President of Guest Marketing Dave Wallinga to better explain why.

“Havas Formula was selected due to its proven track record in developing integrated marketing campaigns and implementing best-in-class public relations and social media programs,” he said.

He explained that the pitches Havas Formula gave him perfectly matched with the goals of his chain, rendering them a perfect fit.

Although Panda Express is not the first, nor will it be the last, to partner with a PR firm for social media, it might be one of the biggest. As one of the largest fast casual chains in the nation, it becomes a trend setter when it makes any major decision, let alone partnering with a PR firm.

A list by The Muse explained what you should make sure you know before hiring a PR firm. Although this list isn’t targeted specifically towards restaurants and social media campaigns, it applies to them as equally as it does any other type of company and campaign.

The Muse urges you to pick a firm that will not only help you reach a large audience, but one that will also specifically match up with the ideals and values of your target demographic. Therefore, you will attract new customers, as well as keep returning ones, with your social media.

You must also make sure to know the exact members of the firm you are working with, or the core team behind your project. Therefore, you can have easier communication with the firm, which in turn will lead to stronger social media content. Read more

These Restaurant Apps are Popular Amongst Eaters

By Joshua Klafter, Editorial and Social Media Intern

Social media, particularly on the mobile app spectrum, is one of the largest growing industries of the past decade. Almost everyone uses some form of social media apps. However, not almost everyone, but literally everyone, needs to eat.

Naturally, a conglomeration of both social media apps and the restaurant industry is meant to be. Many restaurant chains have already taken advantage of this trend, constructing their own apps and social media accounts to reach out to customers. However, a new type of app is shaping the restaurant industry, one download at a time.

There is an emerging collection of popular apps that don’t just focus on one restaurant or chain, but on the industry as a whole. These allow you to compare and contrast, read reviews and sometimes even order in food from nearby eateries. Today, I want to take a look at some of the most popular of these apps and discuss what makes them stand out amongst the competition.

A list by Paste Magazine cites EAT24 as a unique restaurant app. Recently acquired by Yelp, not only does EAT24 provide you with reviews and star-based ratings of places you may want to eat at, but also allows you to order food in from over 25 thousand restaurants. That’s right, the creators of the app also run a delivery service. Although delivery times and fees differ for each restaurant, the process works the same for any listed. Therefore, you can order whichever type of cuisine you are in the mood for without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

Paste Magazine also lists Zagat as a popular dining app. Zagat allows you to filter restaurant options by cuisine type, location and, most importantly, price. Therefore, you save time by eliminating restaurants out of your price range right off the bat. With a unique scoring system that takes food, decoration and service into account, you can quickly find the dining location that’s perfect for you.

The also listed Dining Grades works similarly to Zagat, but with one key difference. It mainly focuses on a factor that its competitor left out: cleanliness. Using a letter scoring system, Dining Grades shows you which restaurants are clean enough to meet your standards. Whether you want a spotless, fine-dining environment, or simply just want to avoid another case of food poisoning, Dining Grades has you covered.

Mashable makes note of discount apps such as Groupon and Livingsocial on its list. Both work very similarly, allowing you to purchase coupons, and sometimes even free meals, for your favorite dining locations. Although they don’t only focus on the restaurant industry, that facet of these apps is one of their most popular.

Mashable also takes healthiness into account when listing Unified Lifestyle. This app catalogs a massive amount of individual restaurants, as well as chains. After finding the perfect restaurant for you, and dining there, you can use the app to record your caloric intake from the meal. This will allow you to better balance your daily calories and not go overboard. The app will prove especially helpful if you are someone who eats out very often.

Clearly, there are many apps out there to improve your dining experience. From easy delivery to health management, today, there's an app for almost anything restaurant related. For more app recommendations, read more.

Wingstop Introduces Ordering Food Through Facebook and Twitter

By Joshua Klafter, Editorial and Social Media Intern

Instagram: @wingstop

Instagram: @wingstop

Popular fast casual restaurant chain Wingstop isn’t chickening out when it comes to social media. A report by Nation’s Restaurant News said Wingstop is now allowing customers to order food through both Twitter and Facebook Messenger.

Users can send either “order” or “#order” to Wingstop’s Facebook page or Twitter handle to begin the process.

This new ordering platform was made possible by the restaurant's four-month collaboration with Dallas software company Conversable, Inc.

“Conversable is basically a service layer that fits in between the messaging platform, like Twitter and Facebook, and our e-commerce system,” Wingstop Chief Information Officer Stacy Peterson said.

This new feature allows customers to easily order via their smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, said a report by Globe News Wire.

Peterson said the software will walk the customer through the ordering process, providing them with menu options within the chat itself.

NRN explained that the software automatically provides responses to questions commonly asked by customers, such as the taste of certain flavors and allergy information.

As the chain does not deliver, users will be asked to provide their zip code and will be given a time to pick up their order at their nearest Wingstop location.

Peterson stresses that you do not have to be a past customer to use this software; first-time Wingstop eaters are welcome to order this way.

Wingstop is not the only restaurant chain to provide an ordering system of this nature. According to Computerworld, popular pizza delivery chain Domino's unveiled the ability for customers to order via Twitter in their tweet-to-eat campaign. However, Domino's has not yet tackled the Facebook messenger platform.

Although not many chains have attempted to release a system of this nature, this advancement opens the door for new possibilities. If Wingstop is successful in the implementation of Facebook and Twitter ordering, fast casual restaurants may view this as the future of the industry. This perspective will lead to Wingstop becoming a pioneer of a growing community rather than a lone entrepreneur.      

Peterson announced plans to eventually expand this ordering system to more platforms, including Slack, text messaging, and Amazon Echo.

“It’s all about the convenience,” she said. “We want to be where our customers are.” Read More

Big Data, Big Problems?

By: Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator and Brand Analyst

For the last half a decade, big data has been heralded as “the next big thing.” We’ve heard stories of the potential big data can bring and the potential it can have to improve your business. As time goes on, and as big data becomes a common term, we find more and more the importance of small insights. Small insights allow you to glimpse into your individual interests. The issue now becomes how do you harvest out the important and relevant information for your business?

When sifting through massive amounts of data, there are a few principles to base the data on to keep insights relevant to your business. We explore them below:

  • Personalize Your Results - From the consumers’ point of view, big data can cause mass confusion. The only way a customer can truly understand data is if it is refined and personalized to the his or her needs. One example of this is the Restaurant Social Media Index (RSMI). Through our RSMI, we can harvest targeted information and create reports on topics like Millennial and menu trends that are useful for operators in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

  • Get to the Point - Less is more in this case. Presenting more data isn’t always better, especially if the data isn’t ordered in a comprehensive, digestible way. Giving your consumers relevant information in a direct fashion will allow more users to utilize your data, as well as understand it. Think about it like this; Google is one box where you can search anything. Be like Google and keep it simple.

  • Keep it Relevant - In order to produce information valuable to the consumer, the content must be relevant. For example, a restaurateur may want to know what beers Millennials are drinking this season so the operator can keep it on tap. However, the same operator may have little interest in what kinds of foods millennials are eating because they own a bar with limited meal options. Your data should be relevant to consumers, otherwise they may stray to another source that caters to their needs.

  • Keep it Timely - Giving your consumer the right information at the right time is pivotal to the relevance of your data to the consumer. Giving your consumer spring trends in the summer is not relevant or timely, making your information useless.  

Understanding what the data means is only part of small insights. Learning how to use the combination of data from technology and devices, along with behavioral science, can be a recipe for success for any restaurateur looking to get the most out of small insights.

Read more about small insights and how to utilize it to its full potential here.  

How Consumers Using Facebook Professional Services Affects Your Business

By: Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator & Brand Analyst

Facebook  as a social media platform is like a fine wine — it has only improved with age. With each update, Facebook adds features, that if you maximize and adjust to your current strategies, can better your business.  When it comes to your brand, you want to make sure your ideal customer can easily find and connect with your page, and Facebook has just made that easier than ever. Introducing: Facebook Professional Services.

What is it?

Facebook Professional Services is, in a sense, a search engine inside Facebook for local businesses and consumers.  Its purpose is to help connect customers with their local, top-rated businesses by using keywords based on the specific product or function they are looking for. Social media marketing expert Mari Smith predicts that over time,  this new function  could become the new Yelp.

How can you benefit?

Using these tips and tricks you can help polish your already existing Facebook Page, or help you finetune your new, perfect page, all while generating more consumer visibility to your brand. These tips will also help improve your restaurant's visibility to local customers. Here are 4 easy ways to get noticed on Facebook:

1. Categorize Your Business

If you own a bar, choose bar. Simple enough! To make sure your local customers can find your establishment, use keywords and categories your customers would use.

2. The More Info, The Better!

Just making a Facebook page doesn’t guarantee success.  Make it easy for customers to reach out to your business. Provide basic information and more, including contact info, business hours and a short, killer description to sell your brand.

3. Encourage Check-ins, Rating and Reviews

Positive check-ins, ratings and reviews can only help better your Facebook page! Encourage your regulars and all guests alike to interact with your brand online by enticing them with special offers and exclusive content, which will result in shares and likes, and ultimately improve your reach and visibility. Facebook also  provides images to help customize signage for your local business, so take advantage of all of its functions

Discover the full list of tips to help elevate your page to the top of the search list here.



Fast Casual 2.0

The fast-casual concept is the brainchild of Chipotle, who we have come to know today as the biggest player in the segment. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and when it comes to fast-casual there are many. However, one player is making waves into what could be the next big phase in the fast-casual world, Fast Casual 2.0.

Who is pioneering this new wave of fast-casual? Enter Num Pang. Num Pang is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich concept with chef-inspired components. This New York City based shop has managed to fill the gap between fast-casual and full service dining, but how?

By removing the assembly line and bringing more upscale menu items, along with an expanded service model that could be a recipe for success. Num Pang has succeeded in stealing the hearts of New Yorker’s with its originality. With eight locations in New York and food quality par to fine-dining, this Fast-casual 2.0 is making a name for itself in the Big Apple!

Read more here.


LinkedIn Wants to Help You Find Employees

By: Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator

Social media has become a huge tool when hiring employees — on both the hiring and applying end. Whether you are checking out a potential employee on Facebook or posting a job opening on LinkedIn, it has become an integral part of the job search process.

LinkedIn has been the go-to social network for professionals by being an online resume that employers can look at. Now with LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Careerify, a recruitment site using technology to help employers connect with the right employee, the social platform has revamped its referral service. It is now easier than ever to track whether or not a candidate applied, completed an interview or received a job offer. 

LinkedIn Referrals

Most recruiters agree the best candidates are employee referrals. They tend to be an overall better fit, take less time to hire and perform higher. Unfortunately, most companies struggle to get employees to make referrals. With this problem in its sights, LinkedIn is pleased to announce its solution. The new referral product makes it easier than ever to find quality employees. It works by taking first-degree connections who are a match for your particular jobs search. Employees can then see their connections who are matches and can refer for open positions through InMail or email.

With a small annual fee, LinkedIn Referrals can also provide powerful insights into tracking referrals, measure engagement and ROI, as well as send customized messages to employees thanking them for the referral.

LinkedIn Recruiters

But wait, there's more! In addition to the site recreating its referral service, it has added LinkedIn Recruiter, a new feature that rolled out in early November. Employers will have an easier time finding the new perfect hire using their existing employee base. With this more efficient search option, all recruiters will need to do is enter their star employees' names and they will be presented with a search string based off the employees' credentials. They can then go in and edit the list as they see fit, allowing them to quickly identify which members are a match. 

If employers don't want to base their search on an employee name, they can also search different terms to create their recruiting list.. LinkedIn will then use data from the social network and provide a list of potential hires from top schools with top skills.

With all the new features to look out for this November, applying and hiring new employees will be easier than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Go get started. 

Read more on all the new features that will be available here.


Facebook Notes vs. Medium: Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

By: Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator 

Take note, netizens. Do you utilize Facebook Notes as much as you should? Even though Facebook hasn't promoted it much until its latest update, this feature has been around since 2008.

However, its first days didn't gain much momentum due to its lack of visual appeal and the fact that competing blog platforms were easier to navigate and had better aesthetics. Facebook’s experimental update on Notes seems to have gotten some positive attention. You now have the ability to write and post nicely-formatted long posts with images.

The new Facebook Notes is a much cleaner look, allowing the user to bold, italicize, underline and more. However many industry experts are saying Facebook took a page right out of the Medium handbook on this one.

In other Social Media news this week, Medium has just announced that it has closed a new $57-million round of funding, led by none other than Andreessen Horowitz, who did a similar-sized round for Buzzfeed last year. The question everyone's asking is: Did Facebook try and copy Mediums successful template? We have provided an example of both below.

Medium, founded by former Twitter CEO Evan Williams in 2010, has become the leading platform for web publishing. Medium has moved away from individually-hosted blogs and evolved into the biggest distributed media platform. With the success of Medium, it has become apparent Facebook wants to become a distributed media platform in a similar way Medium is. In an effort to set itself apart, Facebook is working on a new project which requests news outlets to upload their stories directly to Facebook, onto a feature called “Instant Articles.” The Washington Post recently said it was on board and is  going to be posting all of its stories to Facebook.

Even with Facebook’s new notes redesign and its partnering with media companies, it doesn’t ensure it will be able to attract the readers and partners it wants to. What will the future of Facebook Notes hold?

Read more here.

Twitter + Google = the Newest Power Couple

By Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator

Twitter is known for many things in the cyber-world, and is known for having the ability to not only break news, but to also keep up with real-time updates. Google noticed Twitter’s triumphs back in February, and we started seeing tweets appearing in mobile search results in May. Now, alas! We have this ability for desktop. You can now see the latest tweets alongside of Google’s lists of matches.

While Google is still the No.1 search engine, Twitter is the No.1 site to break news on, and often mends the gaps between news sites and social networks. Many have said Twitter never sleeps, and in this generation of millennials, entrepreneurs, and the always-on-the-go business worker, information that is a few hours old can become out-dated very quickly. 

The geniuses behind Google saw the potential of Twitter and swept in to create this matrimony of information. The murmurs of Google buying Twitter in its entirety has been whispers of the industry for years, although it doesn’t look to be happening anytime too soon, this joining of information is a major milestone.

People can now search for Twitter accounts, hashtags or trending topics in Google’s search box. What could this mean for the food industry? First, if your restaurant has a Twitter page (which is highly recommended), your page will pop up when consumers search for similar key words or hashtags. This will not only help for for brand recognition, but also with the right social strategy, you could potentially raise your following and customer base. 

How will these two digital giants evolve from this point on?

Read more here.

Social Media Etiquette you Need to Know

By Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator

With the explosion of social media in the past 10 years, many questions have come to light. The first and main question being: What is the proper etiquette for the social media world?  Below we have the unwritten rules for a brand or individual when representing a business.

  1. The Golden Rule - Who remembers being in kindergarten and learning about this golden rule? We do. Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you. Fast forward to 2015, a time when cyber-trolls are everywhere and no one seems to remember their Ps and Qs. With millions of profiles online, you need to find a way to stand out. Thank your followers who are constantly retweeting your social pushes. Don't be afraid to follow back. Show appreciation and kindness. A little goes a lone way.

  2. Think before you post - The Internet is forever. Once it's out in cyberspace, viewers can screenshot and have proof. People will remember. Draft your posts before sending them out through the digital landscape.  

  3. Don’t overshare - Let’s be honest. No one wants to know what you’re doing every minute of everyday. Same goes for your business! While sharing your business' promotions and causes is a great thing, consumers can be irritated when they see their timelines are being flooded or spammed by one brand or person. 

Spending time building connections with your followers is important to any thriving business. Remember these tips and you are well on your way to a great foundation for social media success!

Read more here. 


Trends Reshaping Social Media

By Myriam Rofrano, Social Media Coordinator 

Social media is always changing. One day Facebook is on top and the next day it’s Snapchat. Social media is now a necessary tool used by industries everywhere. It has given the mom-and-pops of the world a fighting chance against big corporations and chain restaurants. Now more than ever important to know where social media is going and how your business can utilize these trends to its advantage.

Facebook is moving towards an older demographic.

With the rise of new platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook has seen and will continue to see a decline in its millennials users and an increase in its older-generation users. What does this mean for your business? Knowing your target demographic is key. If you're looking for those younger customers, Facebook may no longer be your best bet. 

Social Networks are the new search engines.

Although Google is still the number one search engine, when it comes to the food industry, this king of search engines may not be your first stop. Consumers will look to sites such as Yelp! and Facebook to see if certain restaurants are worth trying. The reviews, photos and opinions across social media of other people who have already visited these locations play a determining factor in these decisions. Social networks have become the one-stop-shop for anyone looking to try a new restaurant. With that being said, it is important to keep your online presence authentic to your brand.

Big data can help you reach your customer!

People put all kinds of information online, such as their interests, likes, dislikes and thoughts. With all this virtual information flying everywhere, it has become a marketer's dream. It is easier and will continue to become even easier to find information on your customers. Finding out what engages consumers is a great tool to help reach businesses make more effective choices.

Read more on social media trends here.      

How Mothers and Fathers Use Social Media Totally Differently

Once upon a time, social media was something only "the kids" were doing. Well, those days are LONG gone. Today, parents are all over social media and they are not just on the parent favorite platform Facebook either.

However, mothers and fathers use social platforms in rather different ways. Social media has become the main source of news for users and is a major source for parenting advice, according to a recent study by Pew Research Center. 

Here are a few ways that mother and father social behaviors differ-

  • Mothers engage much more in their social networks than fathers. 37% interact frequently, 39% interact sometimes, 18% interact hardly ever and 5% interact never. 
  • Mothers use Instagram and Pinterest more than fathers.
  • Linkedin is the only platform used more by fathers versus mothers. 

Read more here

Five Misconceptions About Millennials

The Millennial Generation has been a buzzword throughout the industry. Experts analyze their habits and make important business decisions based on the perceptions a Millennial may make. But what characteristics are true and not true for this group rising to dominate the nation's buying power?

Many things have been said about millennials, but according to I.R.I Worldwide, Chicago, millennials will spend about 290 billion on consumer packaged goods by 2020. If marketers want their fair share in earnings, they'll need to understand this distinct consumer group. The president of consumer and shopper marketing for I.R.I, Robert I. Tomei, has been studying millennials to provide a complete outlook on their personalities, beliefs, values and actual purchase behavior. Marketers need to take full advantage and grasp all they could learn about millennials to enhance their sales programs. I.R.I identified what they consider "five myths" about millennials in their latest research. 

Myth No. 1: All millennials are self-absorbed.  

The I.R.I found that 90 percent of millennials have success at being a good friend and 58 percent have success in service or community work.

Myth No. 2: Millennials avoid the traditional path.

73 percent of millennials are employed, 28 percent are married, 37 percent own a home and 38 percent are parents. Not too far off from the traditions of older generations.

Myth No. 3: Millennials are constantly glued to their mobile devices.

Half of these tech-savvy natives said they could live without their smartphones, while less than a third said they use mobile apps to buy products.

Myth No. 4: Millennials are not loyal to brands.

Millennials will show loyalty to brands they consider worthy, but they also enjoy a good bargain. Over half of millennials will choose quality over price. 

Myth No. 5: Traditional marketing doesn't resonate with millennials. 

Millennials are all about social media and online resources, but about two-thirds will still pull out those loyalty cards and coupons. Read More

Twitter Revenue Rises While User Growth Plunges

Twitter Inc. is obviously doing something right. With revenue growth going up 61 percent in the second quarter, the company's advertising business is making a big impact. Sadly, shares went down 7.2 percent to $33.90 during after-hour trading, as the company went on to post a discouraging user growth. Still, revenue was significantly higher then it had been a year ago, hitting $502.4 million at the end period of June 30, compared to the previous $312.2 million. However, this marked Twitter Inc.'s worst quarterly revenue as a public company, which has led the social-media service to look to improving its spending on its direct-sales ads, which encourage users to download an app or visit a website.

There are still more challenges this company has to face. Twitter's potential to lure more users comes into question as it struggles to duplicate the temporary comeback it made during the first three months of the year. The company stated 316 million users sign in to Twitter at least once a month, up 2.6 percent from the prior quarter. Twitter also said 12 million people use the service through messaging platforms, up from 6 million the previous three-month period. 

Twitter's user growth is monitored closely by investors anxious to see the social-media service reach as high as rival Facebook Inc. Facebook isn't an easy competition, considering its user count is five times as much as Twitter's. Before former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down, he aimed at steering investors' attention beyond focusing on the metrics of users logging in once a month. And in effort to reach 500 million visitors who come to Twitter without logging in, the company has made content more visible to try to persuade them to return more and make an active account. What will the company do to get users to come back? The biggest challenge for the next CEO is to turn Twitter into a mass-market product. Read More.

CMO: Social Data and Branding

Today's CMO better be a social one and we don't mean a talker. We obviously mean that they are a social guru. Social has become the forum to promote a brand's news, awareness, to share content marketing, and for a few, commerce. Like most things, to make a successful marketing campaign, it takes planning. The social CMO will find success from the early days of promoting, to the big launch, and far past the settlement. 

When using data gathered from social platforms, the CMO should determine which online platform is best to engage the target audience. This is where you can test your audience. How are they responding to this product? Are they excited for the launch? What about once it is out on the market- how are they enjoying it? What is the social feedback? Use social to listen to your customer and quickly adapt with this feedback in mind. For example, one of the biggest complaints at the restaurant Olive Garden was about the slower casual dining service and how it was not an option for a work lunch. That is why they launched "Pronto Lunch" to appeal to the consumers' demand of quicker speed of service and customization. Social has become a channel for your customers to give their brutally honest opinion. Embrace it and respond quickly. A recent study showed that 53 percent of customers who asked a brand a question on Twitter expect a response back within an hour - rising to 72 percent if it's a complaint. 

Using your social data as an insight for strategic decision making and action will help differentiate the social CMO from the average marketer. Which category do you fall in? Read More

Taco Bell Delivery Service

Save the drive and order online! Taco Bell finally announced its delivery service launch, DoorDash. This new delivery service will be available to over 90 locations and more than 200 restaurants in California and Texas. The cost of delivery is $3.99, typically available from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and should take approximately 38 minutes in total. Customers can place their orders through DoorDash website or use the mobile app that's on both iOS and android platforms. 

This announcement elicited excitement from customers on Twitter with users begging Taco Bell to bring its services to their city. The chain will continue to spread to more locations worldwide, so they can meet the demands of customers wanting convenience. Read More

TGI Friday's: Bring in The Millennials

The need for millennials attention is on high demand. TGI Friday's might win this battle with one simple request: a tweet for a burger. That's right! It's that simple. On Wednesday, July 8, any customer at any location who orders a hamburger will redeem a code to share on social-media. The first person who clicks on the link and gets the code first will get a free burger!

Social media is very vital for restaurants looking to sway in a younger audience and bring in customer traffic. Restaurants like Denny's use Twitter as a way to increase sales with their humorous tweets, Chili's has improved the look of their dishes for more Instagram worthy images and Taco Bell's mobile ordering app has brought prominent results for the chains business.

Last July, Friday's made headlines when they offered $10 unlimited appetizers. Millennials everywhere were sharing and tagging endless photos. What did that promotion do for the restaurant? Lets just say millennials were 32 percent of Friday's guest that summer. That was prior to being 20 percent before the promotion hit. Will this new tactic have better results? How does free burgers affect revenue?

 Read More.

Facebook Is Useful For Restaurant Operators

In this digital space, does privacy really exist anymore? With social media platforms available to everyone, a simple post, can reach anyone. 

A recent post by a restaurant manager in Ohio may inspire other operators to do the same thing. Two men decided they'd do an old hit-and-run on his restaurant Crop Bistro and Bar. Both suspects, who were later found to be brothers, have done this more than once. They dined and ditched at five different restaurants in the matter of two days. Steve Schimoler, owner and chef at Crop Bistro and Bar, wasn't going to let this go. As a warning to other local restaurants, he posted a photo of the men on Facebook. The following day, at an attempt of leaving without paying, David Flower, Johnny's general manager, saw the post from Schimoler the day before and that helped him quickly identify the two men. With that one simple post, word got around and those suspects can say good-bye to dining out in Ohio for good. Read More.

Dickey's BBQ Pitt: Barbecue and Big Data

Barbecue and big data? Yes that's right. Dickey's Barbecue Pitt has mashed together two completely opposite topics so that they could increase sales and customer understanding. With the help from iOLAP, big data and business intelligence service providers, they were able to bring forth a proprietary system called Smoke Stack. Smoke Stack uses the data from point-of-sale system, marketing, loyalty programs, surveys, and inventory to provide feedback from sales and performance.

Data is looked at every 20 minutes in order to make decisions more efficiently. Dickey's use of big data has helped them choose exactly what items to place on the menus. All the analytics used has improved the restaurant's performance. Following these five metrics: sales, simplicity of preparation, profitability, quality, and brand. If all targets are met, they become the permanent fixtures for which ever one of the 514 restaurants they operate. iOLAP has delivered the data framework behind Dickey's big data operation. As CIO Laura Rea Dickey said, "We've been very fortunate in finding an excellent partner, and being able to pull together technology that's really met our needs - we've made barbecue and big data a kind of strange reality." Read More.

Tabletop Tech Improves the Restaurant Industry

Customers want a stress-free experience when they go out to eat. They want quality service and expect efficiency from their waiter/waitress. On a busy Friday night, service tends to be a little slower. Making it longer for customers to place their orders, receive their food, and pay to leave. But that's not that case anymore. Thanks to technology, customer to server relationships are beginning to wither away in hopes to increase customer satisfaction.

A new point-of-sale system being used is called RAIL. It's a digital checkbook that runs on Wi-Fi. So when guests receive it, they get their itemized receipt right away and can pay the bill immediately. Or maybe they prefer to use their own system of payment. TabbedOut and Zapper allows customers to use their mobile app to pay their tabs directly from their device. They could also be faced with a tablet at the table. This will ensure a customer's security, as well as enhance the speed at which the restaurant runs. How it works is fairly simple. The option of viewing the menu is right there. After that, placing the order. When the meal comes to an end, instead of having to wait for their credit cards to process, customers pay immediately at the table without their card ever leaving their hand. Read More.