Using social media to build your menu

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If you run a restaurant, then the review system can literally make or break you.  Research has shown that a slight increase in your average review can have a 20-30% impact on your chances of selling all tables in an evening.  Typically, that has been the extent of restaurants delve into the world of social.  They’ve created profiles, promoted their wares, and tried to solicit good reviews for what they offer.

Maybe that should change.  A company called BrandAnalytics is putting the social chatter about a restaurant to a slightly more innovative use.  They’ve been monitoring the top 100 restaurants according to the amount of online chatter about them.  They then crawled the reviews for these restaurants, and from the 150,000 comments uncovered just what it is that customers were liking about them.

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You can see from  image above that whilst there may be some expected treats, there are also a few unusual things pulling the diners in.  This kind of data can help when devising your own menu, although of course your attempts at being unique will limit the extent to which you decide to act on the insights.  It may give you a flavour of local trends however that you can then add your own twist to.

Trawling the social chatter on a regular basis can of course provide you with valuable feedback on your own performance.  Customers may be wary of providing negative feedback to your face, but are likely to be much less inhibited when they venture online.  As it’s in the public domain, it also of course provides a nice opportunity to learn not just what your own customers think, but also those of your rivals down the street.

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