Boost Your Bar Sales and Increase Your Guest Count with Social Media Presence and Deals

Today’s consumers are increasingly web and social media savvy; people turn to the web first for information on new hot spots to try. Consumers value what their friends have to say and frequently turn to social media for recommendations on what’s new and exciting. To be absent in these markets is really missing the boat. Social media marketing is easy to use, free, and invaluable for restaurants and bars. In this tough economy with increasing competition, leveraging social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to reach new guests, communicate with your patrons, and encourage feedback is the way to go.

If you haven’t already, try using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Four Square to reach your guests using a variety of techniques. You simply can’t get a better review than a follower “liking” your post for all their friends to see or re-tweeting your special to all of their followers.

  1. Encourage patrons to connect with you to view special deals and promotions – websites like Facebook and Four Square allow you to offer special deals to guests who ‘check-in’ when they visit your restaurant or bar. Not only will you increase the likelihood of getting new bodies in the door by offering a special deal, you benefit from the social aspect of those customer’s social media contacts seeing their friends ‘check-in’ at your establishment, and hopefully, raving about what a great time they had. Word of mouth goes high-tech!
  2. Show off all you have to offer and what you’re proud of at your establishment with a YouTube video. Join countless other bars and restaurants that are taking advantage of social media to promote their happenings and special features with videos. Why not create a video of one of your bartenders giving a tutorial on how to create one of your signature drinks? It allows you to showcase your restaurant, your staff, and also show off some of what makes your establishment unique. Want to promote an upcoming special event? Show video viewers what they can expect, and get it up on the web for customers to see.
  3. Interact socially with Facebook, Twitter and more. Social media allows you to have a conversation with your customers. Thank your patrons for tweeting about how much they loved their visit, answer questions and offer recommendations for the night’s specials or available reservation times on Facebook, even get in touch and ‘make it right’ if someone shares about a less than stellar experience at your establishment. Keeping the conversation fresh, fun and exciting shows your customers that you care and want to offer them an excellent customer service experience.
  4. Encourage feedback and connections by letting your customers know that they can find you in social media channels. You have to start somewhere, and making sure it is easy for your patrons to find you is the first step. Make sure to provide links to any of your social media channels on your website and print marketing, and you can even provide web addresses or a reminder to “Find Us on Facebook” on your menus or business cards.

Customers keep track of recommendations and places they like, and when the weekend rolls around and there is a decision to be made about where to go, it could be your business, simply because you tweeted about a special or a friend ‘liked’ your page! You can also find TAM® of Nevada on Facebook and Twitter. Join us socially and stay up-to-date on industry news and events, facts and figures about alcohol awareness and education, TAM® course and schedule information, how-to videos, cocktail recipes, industry job listings, and more.

Be cautious when using social media. There are no specific regulations regarding social media but remember that social media is advertising and available to everyone, including law enforcement. Do not put anything on social media that you cannot put in a print ad. Do not post activities that occur in your establishment on social medial that can be a violation of the statute or the rules.

© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Tweet While You Eat? Some Restaurants are Encouraging Patrons to Get Involved

It’s considered rude to talk on your cell phone at the dinner table, but in an increasingly tech-savvy world and competitive dining industry, restaurants are breaking their own rules. Samantha Murphy of Tech News Daily explored some of the newest technology trends popping up in restaurants in her article, “Restaurants Offer iPads® & Tweets with Eats.” Some restaurants are looking for new ways to appeal to consumers and reach the largest audience possible – asking patrons to get more involved in the dining out experience by sharing their experience on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare, or ordering or viewing menus on tablet devices such as the iPad® is a new way to do that. We here at TAM® of Nevada really enjoyed this article and are interested to see if, and how, this technology will continue to grow, especially in the Las Vegas area. In fact, we encourage OUR students to connect with us on Twitter and tweet about their class experiences too!

Of course as with any new technology, iPad menus and ordering also run the risk of becoming a passing fad. For another opinion on this new movement, check our Michael Austin’s article for the Chicago Sun-Times, “Pour Man: iPad wine lists let your fingers do the ordering.” Do you think moving away from paper menus and into iPads is going to go the way of the Betamax, or is there a chance this will catch on and become mainstream? Only time will tell.

Have you seen these types of programs in use anywhere yet? What do you think about allowing customers to order off of iPads: great idea or doomed to fail once the first drink is spilled on a device?

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Want to Stay Up-to-Date on Alcohol Awareness? Join Us Socially!

TAM® of Nevada is dedicated to providing superior education and service to Nevada’s hard working service professionals. We are happy to be a provider alcohol awareness education and alcohol education cards for over 25 years now. In addition to this, we are happy to now have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals socially, and invite you to join us! You can find us on both Facebook and Twitter. Connect with us to stay up-to-date on industry news and events, facts and figures about alcohol awareness and education, course and schedule information, how-to videos, cocktail recipes, industry job listings, and more. Need even more incentive? By joining us, you can be the first to learn about any coupons and deals available for enrollment in a TAM® course, available only to our social media followers.

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada