The world is more connected than ever because of globalization and technology. The invention of the Internet was undoubtedly pivotal in market changes, including the food industry and restaurant business.
Social media has further connected customers to businesses, becoming a platform for both information dissemination and feedback.
More and more companies are now banking on technology to support their business' marketing strategy, with a substantial number considering technology a crucial element for their success.
According to Comcast Business' recent survey of people involved in the hospitality industry, 31 percent of the participants believe that technology would ensure their success.
People in LinkedIn connected to the industry were asked, "How are you setting your hospitality business up for success in the future?"
Comcast said technology only comes second to the top answer - leadership - which was cited by 42 percent of those surveyed.
A Michigan Live article pointed out that heavy social media usage are pushing restaurants to adapt and connect to their customers online.
From checking in to the restaurant through Facebook to posting a photo of their meal on Instagram, customers are utilizing social media to promote brands they like.
Recently, Facebook announced that its Facebook pages will have restaurant menu features.
"Beginning today, we're making it easier for restaurants worldwide to display one of their most important assets directly on their Facebook Page - their menus," a Facebook statement said.
Restaurants in the United States and Canada can upload their menus through SinglePlatform fromContant Contact, which is an online listings service that allows businesses to engage consumers.
In addition to interacting with costumers and getting feedback on their services, businesses in the hospitality industry may tap social media and other online channels to gain unique insights on their followers. What are customers getting hyped about? What do they want changed? Is the brand getting enough loyal followers?
Niche restaurant chains like The Original Soupman (OTC: SOUP), a company selling gourmet soup through establishments, food trucks and packaged goods, are using Facebook and Twitter to expand its presence and bring its website content closer to consumers.
The public company's Facebook page has more than 30,000 "Likes" while its Twitter account has more than 3,000 followers.
Unlike other brands that post only press releases or whatever is in their websites, Soupman's social media content is diversified per channel.
Its Facebook page utilizes the power of photos while informing the public of their new soup variants and products. The text is engaging instead of outright advertising. All the posts link back to the website, which is the primary holder of the brand's information.
Meanwhile, Soupman's Twitter account constantly acknowledges customer feedback and posts.
More restaurants are expected to follow suit and set up accounts on various websites, seeing social media not only as a trend but a necessity in business and marketing.
Quoted by Comcast, celebrity chef and entrepreneur Robert Irvine said, "The hospitality industry has been set in its ways for some time, but this 'old school' mentality has to change if the industry is going to adapt and thrive in this world of rapidly changing technology."