I found this info graphic on Joel Cohen’s Restaurant Marketing blog. A recent poll by Tundra Specialties, a restaurant supply company showed that 53% of restaurant owners agree that social media (Facebook, Twitter) has the most positive effect on their businesses when compared to online review sites like Yelp, online reservation sites like OpenTable, and discount sites like Groupon. Furthermore, 42% of restaurant owners agreed that discount service sites had the most negative effect on their businesses.
Logically it makes sense that social media is a favorite among small business owners. Facebook and twitter provide a direct line of communication between the business and the consumer. Unlike yelp reviews, social media offers a medium where the business can extend their brand, and engage customers in positive ways. It’s a way for the business owner to regain control of their image, and create their own content. Almost like a blog, but with more direct lines of communication with customers.
The negative sentiments towards discount sites stem from a lack of control, and the absence of direct communication between restaurant owners and customers. By running these promotions themselves, restaurant owners are having more positive experiences with discounted, pre-paid deals. Self service deals is an incredibly effective way for small business owners to leverage the success of this new form of deal lead generation, while remaining in the driver seat.