Your guests – and sudden boosts in sales – can come from unexpected places. That’s especially true at a time when a restaurant can be observed from afar in a range of online channels, unbeknownst to an operator. Take the recent example of the struggling Las Vegas restaurant Frankensons suddenly becoming a viral sensation after it emailed out a plea for visitors. It caught the attention of a social media influencer who visited the restaurant, loved the food and posted a glowing TikTok review. Now, the owner of Frankensons has a better problem – trying to meet the steep rise in demand for his food. An MGH survey published in late 2022 found that 53 percent of millennial TikTok users had visited a restaurant after seeing it on the social media platform. Research from TouchBistro about the state of the restaurant industry this year indicated that while Facebook is the most popular platform for social media promotion for restaurants (62 percent of operators report using it for marketing) and Twitter isn’t far behind at 59 percent, only 40 percent of restaurant operators report using TikTok for promotion. When you consider your marketing efforts for the year, think about the stories you can tell, what makes your brand special, and how you can translate it using videos, photos and words through a mix of channels – including but not limited to social media. Your most loyal new guests might find you where you least expect it.
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