Signature items, loyalty programs, more direct interaction with chefs among top expected U.S. restaurant marketing trends for 2012, marketing agency president says

LOS ANGELES , December 20, 2011 () – The president of a San Francisco-based marketing agency pointed to signature items, loyalty programs and more direct interaction with chefs as among the top expected restaurant marketing trends for 2012, Nation’s Restaurant News reported Dec. 19.

Carin Galletta Oliver, president of word-of-mouth marketing agency Ink Foundry, said the role of the signature dish would become increasingly important as consumers are tending to search more for certain food items as opposed to generic restaurant terms.

Also, more restaurant operators will be integrating social gaming aspects in their loyalty programs, said Oliver, whose company has worked with such restaurant brands as Bonefish Grill, Fogo de Chao, California Pizza Kitchen, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill and Carl’s Jr. Rewards for things like referrals or multiple visits will be seen more in loyalty programs, she said.

Though the social media boom has allowed consumers to engage more with restaurant chefs, Oliver said that next year, customers will be demanding even more interaction. She said to expect chefs to send personal messages to their best customers regarding menu changes, specials and food suggestions based on previous orders.

The primary source of this article is Nation’s Restaurant News, New York, New York, on Dec. 19, 2011.

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