In this new world of always connected, there are two kinds of restaurants. We’re not talking about price points. And of course, there is always going to be good food and not-so-good food. But, for the sake of argument, we say that restaurants embracing the social media revolution are tweet-worthy just because they make the ‘ask.’ Restaurants daring to suggest camera phones be switched off are tweet-worthy, too, but for exactly the wrong reasons.
Even a no-frills club sandwich or a standard banquet lunch can be tweet-worthy, if you ask for the referral.
In the beginning
In 1926, Michelin introduced star ratings for restaurants. Tweaking the system over the following decade, they settled upon a three star hierarchy, the second of which indicates “worth a detour” and the top accolade, “worth a special journey.” Fair enough, they were a tire company producing a road guide, after all, so it was all about the drive.
If you can’t fight ‘em…
Cars aside, what makes a restaurant worth your while these days? And, why would we need to wait for the annual publication of a guide book series to let us know? Customers are fickle; restaurant successes can be famously fleeting. However, word of mouth has never gone out of fashion. And it never will.
Going for the top
Instead of a top level meeting to review what can take your restaurant to the top trending list, how about a jumping off place of simply inviting comments? If you have loyal guests who frequent your restaurant, why not ask them to comment or post about their experience. You may think it’s gauche, but you will get over it. If you offer free WiFi in your restaurant or bar, why not promote your social media handles on the tent cards displaying your WiFi name and password. Just think of how many tent cards are found in the average hotel room these days.
These conference organizers totally get it, suggesting that delegates have Twitter conversations about the program content and speakers at #GtoGlobe. Great. And you can bet these organizers are confident that they’ve put on a good show.
But there’s really no reason why the same ‘ask’ couldn’t refer to the meal. By the way, that “Got a Twitter Account?” question could use a refresh. It’s nearly as out-of-date as asking someone if they’ve got a smartphone.
We’ve all been trained that one mustn’t overlook asking for the sale — or in this case, the tweet. A tweet-worthy restaurant is, quite simply, one that asks for the free PR.