The Daily Rail: How Social Media Can Literally Save Your Business

August 31, 2016

Today's Specials

Watch: How Bars & Restaurants Can Use Instagram Stories [UNDER 60 SECONDS]

Heard of Instagram Stories but have no idea how your bar or restaurant can use it? Watch this short video to get some ideas on how you can use the new feature to boost your social media presence & digital marketing efforts.

Rail Poll: Tell Us About Your Email Marketing

Many of you use email marketing to drive business and stay engaged with guests. We have asserted for a while that any email connections you have are far more valuable that your social media lists. With email you don’t have to get permission from Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to get the attention of your connections. Additionally, the way most people interact with email guarantees they will at least see your name and subject line. This is more than Facebook can claim, especially since they changed their algorithm to favor a friend’s content over a page that you follow.

Furthermore, email can be inexpensive if you manage it yourself. But how do you know how often, what content and what good results look like? That’s where our little poll comes into play. Please take a minute and answer these five questions about your email activities. We will report them back to you and then you will know where you stand against your peers.


A Big Win for a Citizen of the Rail!

Congrats to our friends over at Malone’s in Lexington, KY. They were named Kentucky’s best steakhouse by The Daily Meal. They also sell their own line of steaks online. Pretty cool. Congrats, Malone’s!

Madden 17 Delves Into the Deep End

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has been the center of controversy for refusing to stand for the national anthem as a protest of the treatment of minorities of people of color. Well, EA Sports is jumping on the controversy by updating commentary for Madden 17 from in-game broadcasters. Kaepernick’s decision will be part of the update, so you can rage or applaud as you see fit.

Not so Lemon Fresh

According to scientists, lemons used to give water some flavor and garnish a cocktail are breeding grounds for bacteria – despite the fact that lemons and other citrus fruit are associated with freshness and bacteria-killing abilities. In a 2007 study, 76 lemons were swabbed among 21 restaurants and 70% were found to have at least one of 25 different germs – many that can be harmful to humans.

MCDONALD’S: McChicken = McLovin’

Why it’s important to you: One way to insure your hashtag is trending.

We don’t often offer NSFW materials on The Daily Rail. It’s just not our style, but today we are making an exception. In mid-August the term “McChicken” was topping trending lists. So you would think, “Hmmm… sandwich reboot, celebrity endorsement or even maybe foodborne illness.” Nope, that’s not what people found when they clicked on the “McChicken” link on their trending list. Instead they viewed a disturbing video of a young man in a passionate encounter with his sandwich. There is actual foreplay (yes ladies, sometimes men can do that, too). You can check out a tamed version here, but it’s still NSFW.

So there is a little lesson here. Trending is great until it isn’t. Take the Starbuck’s Holiday Red Cup controversy. The coffee giant dominated trending topics when an Arizona-based Evangelist posted a video saying his name was Merry Christmas in order to force the barista to say it. That video was viewed over 12 million times and shared by nearly 500,000 people. That’s the nature of a viral trend; you can’t control what will or won’t spark interest. Just ask the guys over at Chipotle.


Why it matters to you: Social media addicts can literally save your business.

John McMillan -- the chef and owner of Whitbie’s Fish & Chips -- could barely afford to pay himself sales were so slow. His business was failing until he shared his story with a hungover late-night guest who decided to help by posting a heart-felt review to Facebook. The following day, Whitbie’s received 500 visitors, and the customers just kept coming. McMillan has even had to hire a second chef to keep up with the demand.

The review itself has garnered almost 9,000 shares on Facebook and the story has even made headlines across the world. Colin Ross, our influencer in this story, has 2,479 friends on Facebook, which means he has a decent circle of influence. As an operator you should know who your influencers are. Endorsements on Facebook from trusted individuals are as good as gold. How often are these people eating at your establishment and what are they sharing with their friends? It can make the difference between closing up shop or expanding to new locations. 


Why it’s important to you: Because Pizza!

Do you know what motivates your staff to be productive and efficient? Most of us would answer blithely something about money is the best motivator. Well a study done at an Intel manufacturing facility in Israel concludes that pizza is solid motivator of employee performance. The study identified three motivators and compared productivity results after introducing the incentive. They were cash, compliments and pizza; there was also a control group that got nothing at all (poor folks). The study found that those who received cash bonuses actually showed a 6.5% drop in productivity. The real winners were pizza and compliments. Turns out telling someone they did well and you appreciate it actually works -- just not as well as giving them pizza.

We at The Rail have long maintained that pizza should have its own food group. You know --breads/cereals, fruits/vegetables, meat/dairy and pizza/french Fries… Now that we have learned that pizza is also a tremendous motivator we are even more convinced. On a somewhat serious note, might we suggest you follow suit. For example, if you don’t serve pizza, then do an occasional trade with a local pizza operator to reward your staff. Best case you will improve your staff’s morale/efficiency and worst case -- PIZZA!