Someday soon I’m going to write that long overdue post I’ve been stewing over about measuring the ROI (return on investment) of social media for restaurants and food companies.  I really am.

But for today, I want to demonstrate how easy it is to create a simple restaurant promotion AND to track the ROI of it.  It’s easy, it’s simple and it will only cost as much money as you decide you want to spend.  Here we go:


Offer your Twitter followers something no one else knows about:

Stop in tonight @tastesam, mention my tweet and get a sweet bowl of chickpea frites and caper aioli!

Tonight’s Tweetup: Remember to say “Discover Kauai’ to get your free drink. I have 50 tickets, so get there early

Result: They feel special since they got an “insider” deal, plus you know exactly how many people take advantage of the offer so you have exact ROI



Reward your Twitter followers with a special offer (slight string attached):

Be the next to sign up for this Thursday’s wine tasting and get a free bottle!

FREE Entree coupon emailed to you once you sign up for our e-newsletter! <insert tinyurl>

Result: They get a “freebie” which drives them into your restaurant at some point (repeat business) AND you capture valuable contact info for future specials and offers


Attract new customers or reel in frequent dinners with an impromptu special:

Don’t let tonight’s rainstorm keep you cooped up – come in before 9 pm for dinner and your first cocktail is on the house!

Chef is trying out new appetizer recipes – next five people to say “Twitter’ to bartender Jesse get them free!

Result: You can fill empty tables or bump up a slow night by reaching out to Twitterers looking for a “deal” or something new; get them in the door and they’ll likely spend more

I’m sure there are many more examples of these types of offers, but that’s a good start.  These are quick, easy, often inexpensive ways to create additional traffic in your restaurant AND measure the success of your effort.

I’d love to hear your examples and feedback in the comments below!