When Social Media Marketing for Restaurants Goes Wrong And How to Make It Right Quickly
Last Updated on October 1, 2022
Ouch! When it comes to social media marketing for restaurants, an angry Tweet can be your defeat.
Don’t hit “Reply” yet! Social media marketing for restaurants isn’t just the pictures you plan to send out; it’s also the spontaneous replies and comments you make. Everything you do online impacts the perception people have of your place. And for one restaurant, one night on Twitter may have cost them dearly.
Back in 2013, a small eatery in Beverly Hills had booked a full Saturday evening of reservations. So much so, that walk-in diners were turned away. Only, many of those reservations turned out to be no-shows. That is, of course, incredibly frustrating, and it’s a significant loss, too, for the restaurant and waitstaff.
However, the restaurant decided to Tweet a “big thanks” to the people who missed their reservations, calling them out by name. Several people replied, commenting on their lack of professionalism, or wondering why they didn’t just release the tables. Whether or not this was the beginning of the end is up for discussion, but the restaurant closed the following year.
That’s only one way to sabotage yourself online, but there are plenty more. The good news is that you can generally recover from even the worst social media disaster.
Want to spread the word of your restaurant without lifting a finger? Create monthly contests that incentivize customers to snap photos of your food and share them on social media, and once there, you can display them on screens in your restaurant with Everwall!
3 Ways to fix mistakes in social media marketing for restaurants (with examples)
Mistake: Failing to respond to complaints
It’s not at all difficult to find complaints on Twitter. Look up #restaurantfail, and you’ll find plenty. As you can imagine, some are gripes from people who like to complain. “The water was too wet,” or the “I wanted lunch at 8 a.m., but they didn’t open until 11.”
Some complaints, however, need to be addressed. Such is the case with a restaurant that refused to add parmesan cheese to a customer’s pizza because the chef/owner doesn’t believe that the dish needs it. The customer went on to post a one-star review on Yelp, as well as a few other review sites, and tagged the restaurant in a Tweet about her experience.
There’s no way to know who is “right” in this case, but the restaurant’s failure to respond to the complaint makes it appear as though they don’t take the customer experience seriously. Always respond to complaints; It shows, if nothing else, that you hear your customers and care about their experience.
One word of caution: When you do respond to a complaint, don’t do it like our next restaurant.
Mistake: Responding to complaints inappropriately
This particular story is based on an email, rather than social media, but it’s not uncommon for similar emails to end up viral on Twitter or Instagram. A Wendy’s customer in New England wrote to the corporate office with some complaints regarding customer service at one particular location. The district manager responded in a way that we can only say is lacking in communication skills. In part, it reads:
“I apologize for your experiences at this location. Not an excuse but the town […] has little to no talent pool to hire from. We are constantly interviewing and hiring any and all qualified candidates. Unfortunately, those candidates are hard to come by, as most are recovering addicts, and we cannot hire them.”
Simply put, there is never a reason to blame staffing problems on the people who live near your business. And while there may be plenty of people the manager can’t hire, it’s unlikely the entire town (including the customer) is without enough talent “to hire from.”
So before you lay the blame on the people who apply to your job listings, take a breath and think of a better response. Preferably one that addresses the original issue.
Mistake: Posting incomplete ideas
This one is pretty funny, and it won’t ruin your restaurant. But it is an excellent example of how to recover from a mistake.
If it can happen to McDonald’s, it can happen to you. Just hold onto your sense of humor, and you will be fine. It’s perfectly acceptable to make a mistake here and there. The real test comes in how you handle that mistake.
And if we may be so bold, we’d add that ignoring your social media within your restaurant could be a mistake, too. Think about that line of people waiting to get in. They might be thinking about whether or not they want to stay and how hungry they actually are. Wouldn’t it be great advertising if they could see a digital wall with Tweets and Instagram posts from your already-seated guests? Mouth-watering food, comments about the perfect wine, and pictures of happy people enjoying dinner is the best word-of-mouth advertising you could ask for.
Everwall gives you an easy way to create an Instagram Wall that you can show ongoing in your restaurant or for special events. We even offer an option to monitor posts so that nothing unsavory shows up on your digital screens.
Don’t make the mistake of letting your guests walk out before they know what they’re missing!
Get started with hashtag marketing with a customizable Everwall for your bar, restaurant, or hotel that includes the ability to monitor and filter posts. Start building your social wall today!
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