“No dead fish here!” seemed to be the most-tweeted message from restaurants over the past couple weeks.
Beyond that, though, how are Redondo Beach bars and restaurants using Facebook, Twitter, and the web?
Many don’t bother. Dozens of cozy cafes will probably never put themselves on the internet, and that works fine for them.
As for chains such as Ruby’s Diner, , and , most have Facebook and Twitter pages. Their corporate headquarters send generic messages to the entire country and beyond. While fans may read of special offers, a personal connection is unlikely to develop.
The in Redondo Beach decided to go a step further and set up its own Facebook page. The retro restaurant hosts fundraisers for schools and charities, so a local Facebook site helps spread the word.
“We’re just adding friends right now,” said General Manager Raylene Armour. She pointed out that the page has only been up two months. “We’re just doing posts on any events or things we have going on in the restaurant.”
For the many supper clubs in Redondo, use of the internet varies. , for example, maintains a colorful and elaborate website, but has not branched into social media. Aimee’s Bistro set up a Facebook page in 2010 but has not used it; it’s fairly static website gives menu and contact information.
Smaller places often pass on websites entirely.
But attitudes and marketing practices constantly change. , a tiny Thai take-out restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway, has a website and uses a Facebook page to announce monthly specials. It has 144 fans. As fan pages go, that’s not much— but Facebook is free, and if all those people check in, 144 people will think about the restaurant once a month because of those announcements.
With a little effort and innovation, a savvy web-and-social-media presence can build loyalty among regulars and attract new customers. In that respect, Naja’s Place on the International Boardwalk has set the bar pretty high.
uses Facebook and Twitter to let beer aficionados know what new brews will be on tap or in bottles, and to advertise pint nights, tasting parties and beer fests. Their beer inventory shows up on Facebook too.
“With Facebook, it’s great because we’ve developed a social community,” said Martin Svab, who manages Naja’s media feeds using his IPhone. “Every time we hit a milestone—1,000, 2,000, 3,000—we threw a Fan Appreciation Party.”
He pointed out that when Naja’s Place hosted an event in pre-Facebook days, fliers were handed out and posters put up around the bar.
“But these days, it’s almost compulsive: Everybody checks Facebook,” Svab said.
Besides posting pictures and announcements, Svab uses Facebook to give followers a chance to reserve early for tastings. He tweets what games are on Naja’s hi-def TVs, or when Urban Dread or other bands will be playing.
“Between the word of mouth, posters, onsite, and now Facebook-Twitter, slow nights turn into full houses,” Svab said.
Every Facebook page is a little different, reflecting the personality of the restaurant and its staff.
Quality Seafood, Naja’s neighbor, also uses Facebook and Twitter to build a sense of community. posts event announcements, sends birthday greetings to friends, publishes photos, and even spreads local news.
Ortega 120 likes to put up pictures of its food and announce specials— like those celebrating National Margarita Day last month. Ortega 120, by the way, also sends out a newsletter, tweets, maintains a website with musical accompaniment, and even developed an Iphone app.
uses their website to promote the musicians appearing at the restaurant and park their menu. The restaurant’s Facebook page consists of weekly announcements about specials and live entertainment, lots of tributes from customers, and plenty of photos featuring those fabulous sunsets.
We could go on, but by now you’re probably ready to hop on Facebook and see what’s going on at your favorite place. Before you do anything else, be sure to Like Redondo Beach Patch.