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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 14, 2010

Restaurant owners lack time, money for social media

When MustHaveMenus surveyed restaurant owners in the U.S. they found that while many large chains are embracing the medium nearly half of restaurant owners aren't.

by Helen Leggatt

Time, money and a belief that social media isn't necessary were all reasons why many of the 1,300 or so restaurant-owning respondents aren't engaging with potential customers via the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

"Running a restaurant or catering business doesn't leave much spare time for owners and managers," said Jim Williams, CEO of MustHaveMenus, an online provider of restaurant menus and marketing designs for the food service industry.

"But we believe that social media deserves that extra effort as a marketing vehicle. Eating is a social occasion, and social media is a great way to turn a great meal into a tip for friends, family and foodies."

Key findings from MustHaveMenus survey include:

- 42% of restaurant owners and managers invest in social media efforts (including blog participation, and managing their Twitter and Facebook accounts).

- 12% of restaurants and caterers hire someone to manage their social media presence.

- 23% of respondents do not believe that they need to use social media as a marketing tool.

- 23% of respondents believe that they don't have time to devote to social media, along with all their other restaurant management duties.

Recent research (.pdf) from Digital Element, a provider of IP intelligence applications, found that, in one month, 58% of consumers ages 18-24 and 44% of consumers ages 25-34 used the Internet to find the location of a restaurant.

Tags: restaurant, social marketing

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  • Has this changed at all since the initial survey? Are more restaurants embracing and finding more time for social media? I know we limit ours to Facebook, twitter and Instagram. While we could spend more time on it I don't feel like we don't have time for it.

  • Helen, Thanks for sharing the survey results with your readers. I wanted to share a link to the entire story we published on the survey results.


  • There would be more credibility and accuracy to your story if you could qualify the type/kind of restaurants that made up the results of the research. "Restaurants" is too generic for you to publish findings like this ... and turn it into a story.

  • You're right, it's tough for restaurant owners to find time ... it's hard for them to find time to do any marketing.

    But the good news is that a whopping 42% are doing it. The headline shouldn't have been "restaurant owners lack time" but should have been "restaurant owners are finding the time ... and are also finding success."



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