Below are key takeaways from the first panel of the American Express Trade Program: Tech Talk: Marketing to Today’s Diner.
On the importance of newspapers:
It’s still important to be mentioned in local newspapers, but what matters more is that people from whom your customers get their news — such as their Facebook friends and who they follow on Twitter — mention you and your restaurant.
Small neighborhood newspapers can be crucial sources for customers. It’s important to be in the newspapers, partly because if you’re ignored by the local newspapers there’s this group of people who won’t know what you’re doing, especially those not involved in social media.
However, it was noted that a restaurant receives more comments if he’s mentioned on Eater.com than if he’s mentioned in a newspaper.
On Twitter (which they named their key social media outlet):
Twitter’s immediacy has a lot of power, the restaurateurs said, allowing them to respond to customer feedback in real time. It’s a wonderful way to take down the walls of the restaurant and do what you’d do if you were tableside, in a broader sense.
On technological priorities:
IT was noted that last year, for the first time, more mobile devices were shipped than desktop PCs and laptops. While restaurants remain focused on their websites, maybe more attention should be focused on their mobile presence.
Source: 23rd Annual American Express Restaurant Trade Program, 6.15.2012