Central Ohio restaurants rely heavily on social media

It’s undeniable how much social media have affected our world today, especially in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

We work in the business of people, and social-media platforms have given consumers the ability to share information to a wide audience instantaneously. Reputations ride on what people say about businesses online. In addition, social media provide a channel for restaurant owners to keep their business top of mind with consumers and employees and to position themselves as a thought leader and trendsetter in the industry.

John Barker is president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association.

Last month, an MGH survey found that 36% of TikTok users have ordered from a restaurant after seeing a video about it on their platform. Further, a recent survey by Upserve found that 86% of millennials would try a new restaurant after seeing its food-related content online. Additionally, social media have become some of the largest sources for reviews. Consumers are much more likely to visit a restaurant if other people they know have visited and enjoyed their experience. However, if consumers see something negative or nothing at all about a restaurant, they are much less likely to visit. Trust is critical, and social media play an important role in earning – and keeping – it.