Jan Colson is the Marketing Director for Pizzeria Venti systems. Jan has been with the Company for two years and has seen the growth associated with Twitter. The restaurant’s approach with customers is one-on-one. Twitter has allowed Pizzeria Venti to maintain contact with their large number of clients and followers. Jan took a few minutes to answer a few questions about the restaurant and to give a few tips for restaurants on how to effectively use Twitter.
FriendsEat: What was your first reaction when you heard of Twitter?
Jan Colson: Cool idea but we didn’t know how it could be utilized as a marketing tool
FE: Did you initially think that Twitter was something your restaurant could put to use?
JC: Yes. We have always worked to build a useable database and this was a way to expand it.
FE: When did your restaurant start using Twitter?
JC: 11 months ago
FE: Can you share with us the first Tweet? Was it hard composing the first Tweet?
JC: Not that was rather easy. It was “Hi” we have since learned to get our message out in as few words as possible without sounding to cutesy
FE: How important is Twitter in your restaurant business?
JC: From an immediacy stand point it’s invaluable. To be effective for our purposes, Twitter must be used to actually say something.
FE: Has Twitter significantly contributed to the restaurant? How?
JC: It has helped us bring new customers to our restaurants by the power of networking but in a fun, new way that lets people feel they are part of a special thing, happening at that moment
FE: Your restaurant is very active on Twitter, how much time do you devote daily to this task?
JC: Truthfully, less than an hour a day. We make it part of our routine.
FE: How is the interaction with other people on Twitter?
JC: Extremely good. People ask questions, share info and make us
FE: What advice would you give to a restaurant that is just starting to use Twitter?
JC: Use it-don’t abuse it. Twitter is like talking to a friend. Too much information and they get bored. Too little and they get annoyed. Be normal
FE: Was there any memorable Twitter-related incident that will go down with the history of the restaurant?
JC: Responses to our food drives and fund raising efforts never fail to surprise and inspire us. The Twitter community is truly awesome.
FE: Have you ever experienced anything negative from Twitter? How did you handle it?
JC: There is always the occasional negative comment but overall no.
FE: What is your opinion on the validity of Twitter as an effective tool in marketing the restaurant?
JC: We’re still learning how to use it effectively and responsibly.
FE: How do you fit tweeting into a restaurant’s already busy schedule?
JC: It’s perfect! Fast, concise and efficient.
FE: Do you see Twitter as a long-term component in your restaurant’s activities?
FE: What do you find are the most effective tweets?
JC: Those which provide simple and direct useable information
FE: Do you see any changes or modifications in the future as to the Tweet content of your restaurant?
JC: We’ll have to let you know
FE: What strategies should restaurants utilize when Tweeting?
JC: Develop your own style and yes, this can be done on T. Stay true to your own style
FE: How active do you get in order to increase your number of followers on Twitter? Does it even matter?
JC: It does not matter. Good info begets good response, begets followers,
FE: Has there been an unexpected result from using twitter?
JC: We did not expect it to be as viable as it is
FE: Do you think Twitter is instrumental to the success of the restaurant business in general?
FE: Do you use other social networking sites other than Twitter to promote your restaurant?
JC: For now, just Facebook and our website.