Technorati is reporting on a recent survey by MustHaveMenus, a provider of restaurant menu templates. It revealed that nearly half of the 1,300 restaurant owners, managers and caterers that were polled, do not use social media to attract customers to their eateries. While social media usage among restaurateurs is growing, a large percentage of eating establishments are social media holdouts.

Here are some of the key findings from the study:

  • 42% of restaurant owners and managers invest in social media efforts (including blog participation, and managing their Twitter and Facebook accounts).
  • 12% of restaurants and caterers hire someone to manage their social media presence.
  • 23% of respondents do not believe that they need to use social media as a marketing tool.
  • 23% of respondents believe that they don’t have time to devote to social media, along with all their other restaurant management duties.

“Running a restaurant or catering business doesn’t leave much spare time for owners and managers,” said Jim Williams, CEO of MustHaveMenus, an online provider of restaurant menus and marketing designs for the food service industry. “But we believe that social media deserves that extra effort as a marketing vehicle. Eating is a social occasion, and social media is a great way to turn a great meal into a tip for friends, family and foodies.

Here in the Isle of Man we are seeing a number of local restaurants dipping their toes into the social media waters. Harbour Lights was an early adopter. 14North has a FB page and seems to be tweeting, if somewhat sporadically. Dominos, The Taj Mahal and Fusion have all entered the frey. I don’t know of any offering Foursquare incentives (other than Dominos).

I’d love to hear about all the Isle of Man restaurants using social media, and how they are using it. All comments welcome!