Study: Restaurants Using Social Media Win Loyal Customers


Social media savvy wine and foodies respond to engagement after visiting restaurants like The Peabody Orlando


Social Media and PR for RestaurantsConsumers using social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon and more, not only dine out more, but also are more likely to become return customers according to a 2011 study by the National Restaurant Association.

Since I’m in the social media and PR business, this does not surprise me. Living and breathing checkins is “what I do” and sometimes I feel immune to it personally influencing me. But a recent experience is case in point how offline PR bridged with online social media can influence customers’ appetite to come back for more.

Offline PR Conversations

A few weeks ago I met The Peabody Orlando Director of Food and Beverage John Askew at a local wine tasting. The hotel opened in 2010 after a $450 million renovation including a new Napa Valley wine-themed restaurant and bar very appropriately named – Napa – and a swanky lounge called Rocks. It is one of those places on my list of dining diversions.  My boyfriend and I drive by the hotel once a week (you can’t miss it against the Orlando skyline) and say to each other ‘we need to go there.’

John chatted with us, exchanged business cards and we promised to stop by the hotel and say hello sometime soon for a Napa glass of wine and dinner.

The very next weekend what was top of our mind? The Peabody Orlando and John’s encouraging words. Living in Orlando, we have tons of choices when it comes to luxury hotel dining and themes, but we picked The Peabody.

Online Social Media Engagement

I checked-in to Napa with Instagram and it streamed to Twitter, Facebook and foursquare. The hotel was beyond our expectations, dinner was an epicurean experience and flights of wine gave us all the tastes we could ever ask for. We were impressed.

Two days later I received a Tweet back from The Peabody asking how we liked our dinner! This seems so crazy simple. Of course it is exactly a social PR best practice, but it really wowed me and felt heard, acknowledged and appreciated. It left me wanting to go back for more, and they really cared about me coming back.

Offline or online, a restaurant’s ‘rules of engagement’ can make it or break it. It looks like The Peabody Orlando is a good tweet to follow in winning the customers back for one more glass of vino.

Follow @PeabodyOrlando to Napa or @lisabuyer to SES Chicago or #PubCon Las Vegas



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