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Fast Food Chains Want You to Embrace ‘Fourthmeal’

8 Aug

What do you all think about adding extra meals to the day? Fast food chains hope you are in favor of it- and they are marketing more heavily towards consumers who want to find munchable deals after midnight or before 6 a.m. Great article from TIME Magazine was published today about the ‘questions’ that several well-established fast food chains are posing to consumers. For example, ‘2a.m. breakfast, anyone?’

Fast Food Chains Want You to Eat More Than the Usual Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

You’d think that McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and other chains would be satisfied to draw in crowds who come during the normal meal hours, and who order food and beverages that are normally enjoyed during those hours. Instead, in the never-ending quest to boost sales at all hours of each and every day, chains find it far too limiting to accept classic nutritional concepts — like that there should only be three meals per day, and that it’s not a good idea to start the day off with a sugary soft drink.

Here, a few questions fast food giants are posing to consumers:
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2 A.M. Breakfast Anyone?
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For a few weeks now, reports Columbus Business First, McDonald’s has been testing out “Breakfast After Midnight” at more than 100 locations in central Ohio. As soon as the clock strikes 12, customers can order Egg McMuffins, breakfast burritos, hotcakes, and other favorites normally only served during the morning hours.
The program is part of McDonald’s “Nocturnivore” campaign, aimed at attracting late-night (or very early morning) diners who are hungry, or perhaps just bored and looking for something to do, to its restaurants, which are increasingly open 24 hours a day. For obvious reasons, the wee hours of the morning are the slowest for business at fast food restaurants. Just 1% of quick-service restaurant foot traffic arrives between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. But McDonald’s wants to change that, and is waving the prospect of an extremely early breakfast as a way to drum up business during the normally dead time period.
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Soda: Breakfast of Champions?
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USA Today recently highlighted the mini push to encourage fast food diners to have a sugary soft drink with breakfast, rather than the usual orange juice or coffee. In one promotion, Steak ‘n Shake was offering a free breakfast taco with the purchase of a $1.79 28-ounce Coca-Cola between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. A 28-ounce soda, by the way, would be a full can’s worth (12 ounces) in excess of the soda ban proposed in New York City.

Since May, meanwhile, many Taco Bells have been promoting what it calls “MTN Dew A.M.,” a concoction mixing Mountain Dew and orange juice, served until 11 a.m.

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What Can Facebook, Twitter, and Smartphones Do For Your Restaurant?

15 Feb

Hi everyone,

Take a look at this informative article about the ways restaurant owners can integrate social media into their business. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter helps promote visibility, promote specials, sales, and coupon offers, interact more closely with customers, and find employees. How are you using social media for your own marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Facebook, Twitter, and Smartphones Lead Social Media-Fueled Innovation Within U.S. Foodservice

RestaurantNewsResource.com
2011-02-09

Restaurants that create a presence on social media can generate brand awareness, promote upcoming events and limited time offers, engage with the customer base, recruit employees, and build brand-loyalty.

Social networking sites and smartphone apps are changing the ways consumers interact with restaurants and with their fellow restaurant goers, creating exciting opportunities for foodservice operators and marketers, according to “Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market” by Packaged Facts. Restaurants that create a presence on social media can generate brand awareness, promote upcoming events and limited time offers, engage with the customer base, recruit employees, and build brand-loyalty.

“We believe the restaurant industry is in the midst of being shaped by the convergence of the mobile, yet always connected, consumer; location-based and context-aware technological innovation, and mobile payments, which already demonstrate the potential to redefine how to cultivate restaurant guest loyalty, incentivize dining occasions, and better tailor marketing messages,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Restaurant lifestyle engagement informs technology use, according to the report. For example, according to Packaged Facts’ proprietary survey, 31% of adults who consider going out to restaurants as “part of their lifestyle” use their computer to place orders, while 21% use their cell phone or other portable device to do so.

Social media outlets Facebook and Twitter in particular are providing fertile opportunities for innovation. As Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill have discovered, Facebook interaction offers tremendous potential for restaurant brands seeking consumer mind share; through well-timed and tailored online incentives, the brand can weave its way into consumers’ lives, according to the report. And because Facebook users are also frequently on the go, the foodservice industry can use the site to ramp up location-based marketing. Packaged Facts expects such efforts to explode in 2011, as the industry increasingly uses social media to guide patrons to a particular restaurant while they are mobile and deciding where to eat.

Twitter offers restaurants a significant opportunity to reach a younger, more urban, multi-cultural audience, because Twitter usage is particularly popular within the Hispanic, African American, and Asian populations. And, according to the report, Twitter has proven itself to be critical in attracting followers — and patrons — to food trucks, an urban-based and exploding segment of the foodservice industry. Meanwhile, handheld devices and technology are allowing point of sale and in-restaurant tools to evolve and expand. Some of these devices streamline a customer’s visit and maximize efficiency for the restaurant. Introducing such technologies may also reduce the instance of human error in order taking and bill calculations. Mobile phones are already ubiquitous, and Packaged Facts recommends that restaurants stay abreast of quickly emerging ways to tap into the restaurant guest early in the decision making process.

“Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market” focuses on the quickly evolving social media and technology trends currently shaping the future of the restaurant industry. The report specifically assesses the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as it relates to consumer-to-consumer interaction, consumer-to-business interaction, and the ramifications and opportunities for the restaurant industry. It also identifies and assesses emerging technologies and smartphone applications that Packaged Facts believes will help reshape the industry within just a few years. Emerging multi-concept ordering platforms, popular online consumer review platforms, and innovative food blogging & photography sites are also identified and assessed. For further information, please visit: http://www.packagedfacts.com/Social-Media-Technology-2848312/.

Eddie Eats Out – And So Can You.

12 Jan
Hello, readers!
Today we’ve chosen a selection of reviews from a charming website called Eddie Eats Out“The only Restaurant Review Site for Dogs.” The writer of the blog takes her dog with her to local New York City restaurants, grabs pics with the staff, and writes reviews about the food and environment. We love the tone and humor, and we’ve posted a selection of reviews below – been to any of these places? We’d love to hear about your experience!
Bonus tip: If you haven’t tried something creative for your restaurant, and are planning ahead for the warmer months, consider a program similar to the one this writer recently sponsored on her Facebook page, called “Dog Restaurant Week.” Take a look at the posts and pics – it really got a ton of different communities involved, and even received coverage from the Huffington Post! Pets are a great way to encourage business, and with social media so accessible, advertising and networking is easier than ever. Eddie Eats Out also has a twitter account set up for the site and used a #hashtag -#drw2010 – to get everyone organized during the Dog Restaurant Week event. A good example of creative thinking, catering to what interests your customers, and making it happen using social media.
Enjoy the reviews!
-The DineLocal-USA Team

Dog friendly restaurant
Sophie’s
New York, NY
509 E 5th St
212-228-5680
Service
Water Bowl
Food
Overall

I got to go inside because it was chilly out. This bar kind of a dive, but the bartender was great and a dog lover. The service was fast and the drinks were cheap. The bartender gave me a chicken strip doggy treat and a real water bowl! As a dog, I got served before my human friends, which is the way it should be. I also got lots of pets from the staff. My mommy said that the bathrooms were nice and clean despite the fact that the bar was a little dirty.

B Side
New York, NY
204 Ave B
(212) 475-4600
Service
Water Bowl
Food
Overall

This is a little dive-ish but not too dirty. It is a sports bar with TVs to watch the game. I was allowed inside the bar, as there is no kitchen.

Customers are allowed to bring in outside food (we brought in pizza). I loved the atmosphere here because I got lots of attention! As the only dog at the bar, people were taking turns spending time with me and giving me tidbits of food… (I got French fries and a bite of a burger. YUM) I made lots of new human friends at B Side and I can’t wait to go again!!

La Bottega – The Maritime Hotel
New York, NY
88 9th Avenue
(212) 243 8400
Service
Water Bowl
Food
Overall

Mommy and I went to La Bottega, which is the Italian restaurant at the Maritime Hotel. There is lots of outdoor seating, some of which is covered, so it’s great for a hot day when you don’t want to sit in the sun! On that day, it was really hot out, so we got drinks first. I got a ceramic yellow water bowl…. and they even put ice in it! Mommy had a cocktail, and she said it was really good.

The waiter came over several times to check on how I was doing. I was having a great time because I got to meet lots of other dogs. We finally decided to order a Margherita pizza. It was so yummy! I kept begging for more

Regional Thai
New York, NY
208 7th Ave
(212)-807-9872
Service
Water Bowl
Food
Overall

The other day we went for Thai food in Chelsea. We ate outside, and the waiter immediately gave me a bowl of water in a take-out plastic container. They even put ice in it. The guy at the table next to me let me have some of his calamari…. I had never had calamari before, but I loved it.

My sister had Regional Thai Ginger Chicken…. She thought it was great, but a little spicy for me.

Overall I really had fun at this restaurant, and was glad I was able to try some new food.