There’s no denying that social media plays a major role in the success of restaurant brands as recent studies show that restaurant eaters are dependant on social media when seeking a restaurant to visit. At Kinde LDN we take pride in working alongside food brands from global food delivery platforms such as Uber Eats to your local food heroes such as Big J’s Kitchen; enhancing the brand experience through social media & beyond. As a team we love experiencing great restaurants whether it is your in house takeaway options such as Temi Ty’s Kitchen (TTK) or your upscale 'boujee' restaurants such as Hakkasan or Novikov.
Social Media is a representation of the voice by which brands can establish dialogue with customers where taking part in this can help achieve marketing & communications. In this way restaurants can connect with consumers more effectively by engaging them in meaningful & lasting conversations. If you’ve ever studied anything business related, you would have probably come across the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) from the Marketing Mix, well social media has it’s very own 4 P’s; People, Platform, Participation & Promotion.
We have seen local restaurant brands use social media to their advantage. From the comfort of their own home food entrepreneurs have started restaurant services and have used social media to aid growth in becoming a sustainable restaurant. Examples include Temi Ty’s Kitchen who releases a alternating menu to followers via social media and allows customers to pre-order meals through the same medium often selling out before delivery day. Similarly Caribbean restaurant Juici Jerk has built their social media profile by taking pride in posting quality mouth watering images as well as involving the customer in decisions via IG polls or running competitions engaging followers. Their efforts has lead to them becoming members on both Deliveroo & Uber Eats as well as occasionally collaborating with other shop owners to host their menu.
Source: @juici_jerk Instagram Post
Now if we’re talking social media domination, who remembers Trap Kitchen ? Now I’m sure most of you do due to their sudden rise to fame on social media. The South London homestyle cooking caught the eyes of many on social media. The best way to describe this is to use an expression you've most likely heard from your parents that “you eat with you eyes” well Trap kitchen is the true definition of this. Using visual images Trap Kitchen has created another level of food porn where they use IG & Snapchat to trigger our emotions through the imperfection of images that creates an authentic feel and will have us buying on impulse. With over 49k IG followers & without a shop front location, Shakka; Trap Kitchen founder's success has exceeded beyond social media and his South London "trap"
Source: @trapkitchen Instagram Post
His Trap Kitchen will be featuring in the latest episode of new BBC series Million Pound Menu, where 12 restaurants seek major investment to launch their brands. Million Pound Menu challenges small restaurant brands such as Trap Kitchen and tests them out to see if they can handle a level of service that demands more than an efficient social media service. If investors are pleased with the overall experience then they’ll invest in the brand however they see suitable. I do hope Trap Kitchen attracts some sort of investment which I would prefer to return to the south of the river, where it started.
Source: BBC banner for new series Million Pound Menu
However social media doesn’t always go in favour of the restaurant or any brand in fact. People are publicly exchanging information, experiences and opinions on products, services and brands whether restaurants are participating in them or not. On May 12th UK rap duo Krept & Konan reached a huge milestone in their career as they opened up the highly anticipated restaurant “Crepes & Cones” in a partnership with J2K. Despite backing from celebrities & fans, the new venture was still at risk of negative reviews as a handful of unhappy customers took their reviews to social media. One young lady took to social media to express her views on the lack of communication from staff despite calling them "young black queens", she also complained of a small portion for her £13.95 spent. This complaint lead to a lot of backlash from other social media users accusing the lady of attempting to tarnish the brand.
Source: Images taken from @crepesandcones Instagram Page
Now, the Power of e-wom (electronic word of mouth) is essential so it is important that restaurants try to eliminate any possibilities of a negative review. However no one is perfect and not even the biggest restaurant chains are immune to negative reviews. Social Media users will always turn to the platform to voice opinions whether they are right or not, so the best thing to do when a situation arises is to understand the mistake, address the situation and use it as a tool to better your consumers experience. I'm sure you remember when KFC FCK'd up and ran out of Chicken, yeah they weren't immune but instead they "got corned" for days but this lead them to making a public apology via a social media campaign. The new parlour selling the finest crepes, waffles, grilled food, milkshakes, cocktails & more has now been open just under a month and has seen over 5.500 customers and one of the founders Krept is a proud man. He took to social media to clear all slander and to express his feelings since the opening:
Source: @kreptplaydirty Twitter Page
It’s fair to say that from the above discussion social media plays a major role in the success of a restaurant. Positive e-wom can increase a customer’s intent to purchase whilst negative e-wom can decrease a customers intent to purchase. However since no one can control social media it is important that restaurants respond to the negatives in the best way possible. On Twitter @ReasWorld explains "Businesses use their social media sites as promotional hubs, retweeting positive reviews from their customers so if someone is unhappy for any reason why can social media not be used to share these views?" & I couldn't agree more.
Source: @yung_ranzel16 Twitter Post
It’s vital for any restaurant that wants to do well to create a unique social media page where they can connect with potential customers, establish awareness and build relationship with existing consumers. This means strong community management and involving your consumers in your business every step of the way, taking the 4 p’s of social media very seriously; people, platform, participation & promotion. To implement this more effectively restaurant chains are now using celebrities & influencers to create a value proposition such as Rick Ross who has become a key influencer for the American-based restaurant chain; Wingstop. The chain launches its first out of the 100 planned for the UK, & the flagship store will be arriving in London’s very own Shaftesbury Avenue some time in Summer. So if you’re feeling hungry this summer head over to Crepes & Cones....or Wingstop.