Restaurants put social media on the menu

New York City restaurant owner Sean Connolly says he “majored in babes and minored in booze.” That education led him to a successful career in the volatile world of high-end eateries.

The secrets to running three thriving restaurants in the country’s most demanding market in a weak economy are great chefs, creative menus, loyal staffs and a lot of luck, says Connolly. He opened Eatery during the 2000 recession. Whym debuted just before the current economy collapsed and he opened Ktchn this past spring. Despite the eye-popping timing, Connolly’s rolling in the black.

Yet, this experience didn't necessarily come with an education in social media, which is something Connolly mastered along the way. 

“It’s as much a part of the job as anything else,” he explains. You’d be a fool to ignore social media, or fight it, he says. 

Online review sites, such as Yelp, Angie's Lists and Trip Advisor, can make or break a restaurant. But they've come under increasing scrutiny, as some scammers have tried to blackmail owners, threatening bad reviews.  Others have questioned how sites appear to encourage payment for the placement of positive reviews, while studies have shown that some reviews are fake or have been posted by owners. Read More