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#SocialRestaurant: 78% of negative tweets posted while customers are inside restaurants

By Lauren Houghton , 17-Sep-2014
Last updated on 17-Sep-2014 at 14:51 GMT2014-09-17T14:51:36Z

52 per cent of Twitter users get information about restaurants using the platform
52 per cent of Twitter users get information about restaurants using the platform

Restaurants should regularly monitor Twitter because the vast majority of negative tweets are left while customers are still in the restaurant and could be sorted there and then, an expert has advised.

Speaking at the Digital Innovation Forum in London yesterday, Twitter’s Eimear Lambe said that just over half (52 per cent) of Twitter users get information about restaurants using the social media platform, so it is important that restaurants monitor their Twitter feeds and ensure they present themselves well.

“The overarching message from restaurant customers on Twitter tends to be positive,” said Lambe. “To put that into context, there are seven tweets about a restaurant for every one TripAdvisor review and of those we surveyed 72 per cent who tweet about a restaurant are actually leaving positive comments.

“Also 78 per cent of those who leave a negative comment are still in the restaurant while doing so. This means that if you are monitoring your Twitter feed, you have the opportunity to nip it in the bud and actually go over and solve the customer’s problems and turn it into a positive interaction.”

A positive Twitter impression

Lambe also detailed ways restaurants can run their own Twitter accounts to attract more new customers in. She informed delegates that one in three Twitter users follow restaurants on Twitter, and interacting with customers directly is likely to influence a visit.

According to Twitter, 52 per cent of users on the social media platform are more likely to visit a restaurant if some sort of discounted visit or promotion is tweeted about by the restaurant, while 43 per cent are attracted by pictures of its dishes. A further 39 per cent are more likely to visit if people have tweeted about receiving great customer service at a restaurant, while 79 per cent are incentivised by a tweet about the food being great or positive information about the menu.

Lambe also advised operators to use Twitter to get the personality of the restaurant across by telling its story or using pictures to take people behind the scenes of what goes on in the kitchen.

Twitter strategy

The Digital Innovation Forum also saw a panel of restaurateurs and publicity teams for restaurants discuss their feelings on how Twitter works in their businesses. There was agreement that interaction over the platform should be kept informative but at the same time fun, and that sometimes a strategic plan has to fall by the wayside.

Pizza Pilgrims co-founders Thom and James Elliott believed it was important to keep their tweets fun and in the moment, and didn’t aim to follow a particular plan.

“We’re in the restaurant every day and lot of things present themselves for us to tweet about,” explained James Elliott. “Amusing things that happen when we get deliveries, celebrities visiting, that kind of thing.”

Thom added: “We keep everything in the moment so we don’t have any tick lists. If we had a plan of tweets for the day then a moment could pass and we’d miss a good tweeting opportunity.”

Libby Andrews from Pho Restaurants said: “We know that we have to be flexible but consistent in our tweeting, that’s sort of a strategy in itself. You can have scheduled tweets, but we don’t really like them, we’d rather be in the moment. You never know what’s going to happen that day in the restaurant or the world and scheduling tweets risks getting the tone you’d like to put across at that time wrong.”