Brick & Mortar, meet the Social Savvy Consumer

Now get used to it, they aren’t going anywhere. 


Take a step back for a moment.  Look at the devices you use in your personal life: phone, tablet, computer, all of them?  Compare that to 10 years ago.   A bit of a difference isn’t it?  Now let’s compare that to the way you manage your restaurant or retail company, is there a difference? How many times do you use your devices to find a business, rate a business, or purchase from a business on a mobile device or computer?  There are a lot of surveys, etc, that can give you various answers, but I can tell you with a high certainty that you are more connected outside of your business than you are within it.  My point is this: the consumer has vastly shifted, why hasn’t your business?


The sheer volume of check-in’s on Foursquare, mentions on Twitter, comments on Yelp, searches on Google, conversations on Facebook and many other avenues, tells a story of the shift in the way consumers are connecting with business.  Forget exact shock-value metrics, we all know social is engrained in consumer behavior, and it is not slowing down.  But what has changed in the way we run our small businesses to utilize and understand this?  How many small business owners manage their social profiles, update the information, and ensure accuracy (I would consider this a bare-minimum approach).   In my experience it is not many. 


I’m not going on this rant to sell a particular social marketing management tool, just a cry for business owners to understand the need to evolve and keep in-line with consumer trends.  It is an awkward conversation when I pull out my laptop, google a client’s name, and can’t find them, sometimes even a well-articulated search does not pull up a Yelp profile.  The first time this happened I found it a bit humorous, and thought it was a one-off from a non-technical guy (hence hiring me).    Although I find this all too often, it is engrained in the industry to focus on operations; operational focus is incredibly valuable, but the price of acquiring a new customer on the restaurant/retail level is getting cheap (free if you don’t count your time, but don’t make the mistake of considering yourself a non-cost, please?).  If this new customer acquisition venue is ignored it can only hurt a business.     


Brick & mortar businesses are and will forever be a major focus of mobile development companies, because they attach their mobile apps to something real, creating essentially a physical need to use the app.  There will consistently be new products and services at your disposal, if you don’t understand how Yelp, Twitter, or Foursquare work this year; you’re only going to dig yourself into a bigger ditch when the next big competitors arise to the market and obtain millions of users that either are or could be your customers.  


Social is the free-entry beginning to an adventure I encourage everyone to take into how technology can positively effect your business.  Restaurants/retail companies have consistently been over 10 years behind the curve as it pertains to the use of digital tools in the business compared to many major industries.  We are approaching a critical mass with consumers (and employees, if I dare say so), in which the frequency they use software and computers to find/research/learn about your business is so heavy that those who are not on board and understand are simply out of the game.  


Oh, and don’t even get me started on the epitome that is restaurant websites.  Please, embrace the world, get out of your shell, and explore.  It’s fun. 


David Stewart


Digital Restaurant Solutions

Views: 90

Tags: facebook, foursquare, google, management, media, restaurant, social, technology, twitter


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Tom Miller on August 15, 2012 at 3:11am

As stated can be fun but I agree critical to ones survival. Do not delay, reastaurants can fail in weeks by not keeping their business model current.

Comment by FohBoh on August 8, 2012 at 3:49pm

Great post! We have shed with our twitter followers too.




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service