How Will Snapchat’s New Context Cards Affect the Restaurant Industry?

How Will Snapchat’s New Context Cards Affect the Restaurant Industry?

Snapchat has proven to be a great social media tool for the restaurant industry. If used properly, the app allows loyal guests to form a closer relationship with their local eatery when it provides a fun behind-the-scenes look into the business’ initiatives and customer’s favorite dishes.

Earlier this week, the photo and video messaging app announced a feature that allows users to learn more about what they see on Snapchat.

The company calls it Context Cards.

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What is the Financial Impact of Restaurant Review Sites?

What is the Financial Impact of Restaurant Review Sites?

By Joe Welsh, Foodable Industry Expert

Over the past few years, many restaurant owners I have met with have been very skeptical of review sites, such as Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. They contended that the reviews are false, misleading or competitors just writing bad reviews about them. In some cases, they claim that Yelp was misleading in its representation of reviews.

Recently though, I’ve seen a shift in how operators feel about review sites. They have faced reality and accept the fact that it really doesn’t matter what they think. Consumers can visit as many review sites as they wish and will form their own opinion. If the majority of the reviews are positive, that will create its own impression and the consumer will make a decision. If they are negative, well we know what happens then.

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Does the Internet Accurately Portray Your Restaurant's Identity?

Does the Internet Accurately Portray Your Restaurant's Identity?

By Joe Welsh, Foodable Industry Expert

What does a consumer see when they search for your restaurant on the internet?

Many restaurant owners are so busy with running their business that they don’t have the time to think about how the internet has changed the marketing landscape and the impact it has on their business. Think about it, social media, review sites, and local search are tools that consumers use every day. The smartphone has made these tools available to them whether they are at home or not. Word of mouth marketing has now expanded well beyond speaking with your friends.

Many restaurant owners that I speak with still have the opinion that many of their customers do not use the internet at all. I ask a simple question, take a look at your restaurant customers and see who is using a smartphone or ask who owns one.  A recent study by Exact Target indicated that 85% of their survey respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life. Just as important, on average respondents report spending 3.3 hours a day on their smartphones. As you look to the future for growth opportunities, tools such as online ordering, email marketing and online reservations are used often by millennials who are your future customers. Is your restaurant visible and are you communicating with them?

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The Harsh Reality of Restaurant Review Sites

The Harsh Reality of Restaurant Review Sites

Primarily, restaurants are using technology to improve the consumer's dining experience. However, some ways that consumers are using technology, such as posting on review sites, could be hurting the reputation of the restaurant.

Instead of taking these criticisms into consideration, some French Chefs are blaming the sites, such as TripAdvisor, Cityvox, and Yelp. A petition in France named, "No to Damaging Restaurant Reviews," has been created to attempt to counteract the "unjust" negative reviews. The signers want review sites to moderate comments and to make sure the reviewer was in fact a restaurant diner.

With the abundance of review sites on the internet, more consumers are depending on review sites to make their dining decisions. Will future reviews from consumers be more highly regulated? Or are restaurant owners and chefs going to have to hope that consumers take online reviews with a grain of salt. Read More 

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Priceline and TripAdvisor to Battle it Out in the Restaurant Reservations Space

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

In an interesting turn of events, not far behind TripAdvisor’s May acquisition of OpenTable competitor LaFourchette, Priceline announced today it will be acquiring OpenTable for $2.6 billion. It seems that Priceline may now have an edge on its competitor. In comparison to OpenTable, LaFourchette — a French startup — has fewer restaurants within its platform. Additionally, OpenTable has already established a solid U.S. grounding, with partnerships in the lifestyle tech space, like Apple.

As more application startups try to shift the reservation model – Resy being one of them — it will be interesting to see how OpenTable and LaFourchette will fare. Read More