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The humble online blog has been a staple of many restaurants’ websites for years, so much so that the format has started to look a little stale. Tumblr is a blog site, but it’s a bit different than its elders. You can post photos, text and videos like with any other blog platform, but it also has a secret weapon that is catching the attention of restaurant operators: community. On Tumblr, no blog is an island.
Ruby Tuesday’s narrowly averted cheese-biscuit apocalypse demonstrates how social media’s role is evolving from marketing to operations. The chain has spent several years working through a major brand refresh, migrating from a down-home bar-and-grill to a more upscale-casual concept. To that end, the company decided to phase out the free cheddar biscuits given to diners, testing the new program in one area where the biscuits went AWOL. The reaction was telling: customers had a fit, sharing their displeasure through social media.
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