The Role of Community Management in the Hospitality Industry

Thursday 9th June 2022

Blog Author Beth Perrin by Beth Perrin

The Role of Community Management in the Hospitality Industry

Thursday 9th June 2022

Community Management, which is the process of interacting with your brand’s audience across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram, is essential for the hospitality industry. Whether you’re running a restaurant, café, pub or bar, it’s vital that you have a consistent online presence and are available around the clock to answer guests’ queries and comments - both positive and negative.

Not convinced of its importance? 71% of customers are more likely to recommend a restaurant if it responds quickly on social media, and people are willing to spend around 40% more with restaurant brands who engage with their followers. Keep reading to learn more about the significant role Community Management plays in the hospitality industry.


Table Bookings

Over 80% of restaurants have moved their table reservation systems online, so if your establishment isn’t offering an online booking service, it’s likely that you're missing out to competitors. Guests prefer this method of booking too, with 47% of restaurant consumers saying that making reservations online is easier than making them in other ways, and 44% agreeing that they are more likely to book a table if they have the option to do so online.

Community Management takes this one step further and makes it even quicker for your guests to book, as they can simply drop you a message on Facebook or Twitter containing their personal details, party size and desired time, without having to navigate a separate booking widget or even visit your website at all. Once they have sent you this information, you can then make the reservation on their behalf and respond to let them know their booking is confirmed.


Live Complaints & Real-Time Interactions

A huge benefit of being active on social media is that it enables you to swiftly identify and respond to any real-time issues raised by guests who are currently inside your establishment. Some of the most common complaints made by restaurant visitors relate to subpar food and drink quality, poor customer service, order mix-ups and lack of cleanliness, and 47% of people will use social media to voice these complaints. Waiting too long to reply to them - or failing to respond at all - can lead to customer dissatisfaction and added stress for your in-house team, whereas taking control of the situation online and providing a solution straight away can resolve negativity before the guest has even left your location.

While complaints can definitely feel disheartening for your business, simply answering them can actually increase customer advocacy by 25%. This goes to show how in many cases customers won’t mind too much if a resolution can’t be found immediately - they just want confirmation that their concerns have at least been heard and that you’re doing everything you can to find a fix. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for you to take your time and forget about the customer, but offering reassurance and acknowledgement should be your first move before you begin to investigate the matter.


Encourage Reviews & Feedback

When interacting with a guest who is still in your restaurant (or one who has just returned home after a great experience), you have the opportunity to request that they leave a positive review on a platform such as Google, Tripadvisor or Facebook. 70% of customers are happy to leave a review when asked by a business, so it’s certainly worth reminding them to do so. Guest feedback builds social proof and shows prospective visitors what they can expect from your restaurant, ultimately informing their decision to book a table. That’s why it’s crucial to amplify your success stories and encourage satisfied customers to share their thoughts. Keep an eye out for our next blog post which will delve deeper into the impact of reviews on the hospitality industry!


Personalisation & Recommendations

76% of consumers say that personalisation is a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, which is why bespoke recommendations are a major part of Community Management. This is especially true for the hospitality industry, where guests’ individual tastes, preferences and dietary requirements play a huge role in their choice of where to eat - such as the availability of vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free options. In fact, nearly 80% of consumers are interested in receiving personalised menu recommendations based on their past orders and 84% of them trust restaurants with their personal data, such as order history, in exchange for a better experience.

Chatting to your audience on social media and forming relationships with both regular and potential customers is an excellent way to learn about their needs, so that you can suggest specific dishes to make their visits as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. It also increases the sense of proximity and familiarity between you and your guests, making them feel special and valuable rather than just another cover.


User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content or UGC refers to photos, videos and other media posted by your guests during their visit to your location. Engaging with UGC, such as liking it or commenting on it, can grow customer relationships and demonstrates that your brand is genuinely interested in what its audience has to say. It can influence people to try out your restaurant too, with a massive 93% of people believing that UGC is very helpful when making a purchasing decision.

What’s more, sharing UGC onto your own social media pages can greatly enhance the effectiveness and authenticity of your marketing strategy. Ads featuring UGC garner 73% more positive comments on social networks than traditional ads, and campaigns that incorporate UGC see a 50% lift in engagement compared to those without it. Always make sure to ask the original poster for permission before using their media in your own content, and remember to tag them or give them appropriate credit where required.



Overall, it’s clear to see just how influential Community Management is for brands and businesses in the hospitality industry. We’ve specialised in providing this service to restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés, both large and small, for many years, making us experts in this sector. If you’re struggling to keep up with all of your incoming messages, comments and bookings, get in touch with our dedicated team to discover how we can help your business 365 days a year - or check out our work with wagamama to see some of the results we’ve achieved for the UK’s favourite Japanese restaurant chain.