Yes it’s all been drummed into our heads constantly for every business owner – social media is the key to success in this technologically and electronically tuned society.

While the reasoning can be highly obvious it is useful to contemplate the not so obvious reasons, especially for hospitality owners.

Hospitality is an industry that involves continuous connection and contact with the public, arguably it’s the one industry that requires the most positive connection with their day to day customer transactions. This also leads to establishing potential loyalty amongst certain members of the public who have positive experiences at your business – they are your base, your bread and butter – and keeping in contact with these members will benefit you in the long run, while establishing an online presence gets your business seen.

An Online Society

Let’s firstly clear the most obvious reason – everything is now online. Yes customers looking for a feed are looking at their phone and computer screens to find where to go. This can start from simple Google searches through maps, which can find local places within a specific area to eat at, and if your business has zero online presence then google will be less likely to be able to provide customers with information on what you can offer.

As mentioned in our previous post, through research found from a respondent survey conducted by Eating Out Australia – 22% of consumers look to book at a restaurant or café through the internet.

In the same survey, social media presence and an online website were the two highest rating factors customers looked towards in trying to acquire information about a specific restaurant or café. These basic statistics show that zero overt existence through the internet can lead to a significant loss in potential business and profit.

Feedback and Forming Connections

An online body allows for customer interaction and feedback. It gives your customers an option to convey their experiences and feelings at your establishment, while providing good insight into what you’re doing right and what can be improved.

Improvements based on feedback can provide potential for success and help manage your business for the better. Responding to feedback is also an incentive to your customers to make them feel as though their voices are being heard and that their opinion is important.

If feedback is positive then that’s beneficial online publicity, If feedback is negative then you can communicate with those customers and acquire their opinions on what they think needs to change or their feelings regarding their negative experience, which enables you to then provide options in terms of compensation - such as a discount on their next visit.

At the end of the day, responding to online feedback shows to the public that your business cares about their opinion and thoughts and it makes customers feel more inclined to trust your restaurant to deliver the highest quality customer service possible.

It also helps you establish a relationship with potentially loyal customers, who can be rewarded through different initiatives (coffee cards, discounts, loyalty programs).

Transactions and Building

Creating an online presence also helps with your transactions and managing your business. Asides from the obvious (providing information), you can also utilise your online presence to sell and purchase, for example, if you’re a café owner you could also consider selling the beans you grind for your coffee online or, if you’re a restaurant owner, give customers the option to book tables through your website or purchase food for takeaway/delivery (if your establishment provides that service). It’s the little things that helps accentuate your service and drives the highest potential profit and customer satisfaction.

This can also help with purchasing resources you require online. The most necessary items being stock/ingredients and restaurant equipment. Communicating with a transparent online presence builds trust and allows for a smoother and more swift transaction (if you intend to purchase online).

As mentioned, one of the biggest requirements for establishments is catering equipment and commercial kitchen supplies and creating a line of contact with a trusted food equipment distributor can initiate a great transactional relationship, especially through an online world, where our daily dealings, agreements and purchases are gradually leaning towards.