The internet has changed how we do business in every industry and the restaurant sector is no different. How can restaurants use social media to promote themselves? We picked a few from a list by global restaurant consultants Aaron Allen & Associates that managed to do just this.

Restaurant promotion with a shot of caffeine

Tim Horton’s is a very successful Canadian coffee chain but back in 1986, it was virtually unheard of. That’s when the chain hit on the idea of offering prizes in tokens hidden under the rim of its takeaway coffee cups. Its “Roll Up the Rim” campaign included prizes from cars to doughnuts and resulted in a major boost in sales.

Make a request on a new platform

St Pete Brasserie in Florida sent out a plea for help on Facebook when it landed in dire financial straits. Local patrons took up the request and helped the eatery stay in business with a 40% increase in sales.

A Whopper of a restaurant promotion

Would you sacrifice 10 Facebook friends for a Whopper from Burger King? The fast-food chain offered patrons a burger for sacrificing their friends with an app it created. The result? More ROI and millions of free media impressions.

A healthy regard for social media

With more focus on wholesome food, Chipotle highlighted the superior quality of its products with a two-minute film featuring a song by Willie Nelson. The song aired at the Grammys, was the subject of thousands of tweets, was watched millions of times on YouTube, and reached number one on iTunes.

The meat of the matter

Our final choice is an impressive example of how a restaurant’s well-placed social media engagement can translate into a boost for business and effective restaurant promotion.

A travelling businessman wrote a cheeky tweet asking Morton’s Steakhouse to meet him with a porterhouse steak when he landed at Newark airport in New Jersey. Imagine his surprise when the restaurant actually complied. This feel-good story resulted in positive nationwide coverage which is certainly worth more than the price of a steak.

Restaurants all over the world are using social media to their advantage and are engaging with their customers directly on the Internet. Nowadays, using several digital platforms has become a crucial part of operating a successful restaurant.

But we know that restaurant management stretches beyond marketing. It also involves implementing methods to improve the customer experience, streamline operations and boost efficiency. Find out more about how you can do this in your restaurant by reading our e-book.

Author : Rudi Badenhorst