Now, I love social media as a way to promote business: it's cheap, easy, and fun. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest offer unique ways to reach out to customers. But sometimes, social media can go terribly, terribly wrong. This was the case with Amy's Baking Company, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo had a total Facebook meltdown following their appearance on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, in which they refused to take advice from the celebrity chef. Of course, some say that there is no such thing as bad press. Still, I recommend these tips for using social networks, instead.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Diaz
Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board that let's you collect and organize images, is one of my favorite ways social media platforms. It is easy to use, fun, and offers unique ways to connect with customers, both old and new.
Are you looking to get started with Pinterest? Check out these 10 ideas to make your restaurant more Pinteresting!
Longtime readers know my love of lists, so needless to say I was very excited about the release of Restaurant Magazine's The World's Top 50 Restaurants. After three years in the number one spot, Noma, out of Copenhagen, has been ousted by El Cellar de Can Roca, located in Girona, Spain. Have you been there? Share your story!
Top 10 Restaurants
1. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
2 . Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
4. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
5. Eleven Madison Park, New York, United States
6. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
7 . Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, Britain
8. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
9. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
10. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Photo Credit: Laboheme
Now that your restaurant is awesome, it's time to focus on your staff. Awesome staff starts with an awesome owner. As the owner or manager of a restaurant, you are in charge. And whether you like it or not, you are giving your staff permission to act as you do. If you come into work in bad mood and treat people poorly, guess how your staff is going to act? On the other hand, if you come into work with a smile and a good attitude, it's likely your staff will model that behavior...read more.
Photo Credit: Seattle Municiple Archives
Looking for ways to improve your restaurant? Or are you getting ready to open a new restaurant? Check out these ideas for improving everything from your staff, to customer service, to general day-to-day management of your restaurant.
I haven't had to dine out with babies or toddlers in a long time, but I still empathize with parents who are trying to enjoy dinner, while dealing with a toddler or baby. A kid friendly restaurant can make all the difference for frazzled parents. Simple things like a larger table, sippee cups, crayons and toy cars can keep kids busy and allow mom and dad to have a few minutes peace and quiet. It can also encourage them to come back often, because they know that their kids enjoy dining out at your restaurant, just as much as you do. Read on for ways to make your restaurant more kid-friendly.
Becky writes in and asks:
I found a good location for my restaurant in a busy downtown area, where it's really hard to find an open spot there, ever. The space used to be a woman's clothing store and needs a complete makeover before I can open my restaurant. So who should pay for the renovations? Me or the landlord (who wants me to pay for everything). I'm worried that if I have to pay for all the renovations, I won't get enough financing from the bank. So, what is a standard lease for opening a new restaurant?
Check out my answer here.
Because that is just what one restaurant in Beverly Hills is doing. Noah Ellis, co-owner of Red Medicine has been tweeting names of customers who make reservations then bail. What do you think? Bold move or bad idea? Would you ever do that at your restaurant?
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Dave M. asks about how effective Twitter is for restaurants:
Everyone I know is using Twitter these days. I have to admit, I just don't understand it. I have a website and a Facebook page. Isn't this enough? Do I need to use Twitter too?
I know as a restaurant owner, your to-do list is never ending. It's only natural that you are overly excited about adding another social media site, especially when you are already managing your website and Facebook page. However, I don't think you should write Twitter off, just yet...read more.
Jennifer writes in and asks:
I have had some staff turnover in the past few months and I feel like my new staff isn't offering the best customer service. I don't have a front of the house manager. I try to stay on top of issues that come up, but I can't be everywhere at once. What are some ways that I can train my existing staff as well as new staff to give good customer service consistently?
Check out my answer here.