Many of our clients are restaurants, and many of our friends own restaurants as well, so we’re often asked for our opinions and suggestions on the matter.

A common refrain that we here is that a restauranteur doesn’t have time for Twitter. One bistro owner even implied that he wasn’t willing to make the choice between preparing dinner service and writing on Twitter. But that misses the point. Tweets are short, and you don’t need to put much thought into them. Just make it a habit.

For example, The Country Cat makes a fairly consistent habit of posting updates just before meal service, often highlighting daily food or drink specials. It takes little more than jotting a quick note on your cell phone. The timing is perfect because as they’re preparing dinner, we’re starting to get hungry. If we happen to peek at Twitter when we’re thinking about dinner, we’re likely to notice their message, and far more likely to go there to eat.

New BBQ braised beef on the menu tonight! Adam’s own capicola with cherries & goat cheese! Ridiculously goodless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®  Favorite  Retweet  Reply

Another good strategy is to remind customers of when your hours have changed or when you might be closed for the day. It can help folks who otherwise might not realize you have new hours, and prevents the frustration of driving across town to discover that you’re closed for the day. Our friends at Ona Restaurant are good at this.

Opening for our first lunch at 11am TODAY. Come sit on the patio and enjoy the sunless than a minute ago via web  Favorite  Retweet  Reply

Most smart phones have cameras, and most Twitter apps are photo-friendly, so don’t hesitate to share photos. Maybe there’s a particularly delicious drink you’ve just made. If I’m in the neighborhood and happen to be thirsty, I just might walk over to Nel Centro and try a refreshing beverage. Adding the location to the tweet is another way to help people discover your message.

If you have a restaurant in Portland, drop us a line. We’d love to talk to you about using Twitter and other social media to help your business. We also know a thing or two about making you a nice website.

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