Yes, it is real. A real pair of glasses you put on your face. No, they are not some trendy, fashion glasses in the Google colors. No, they are not co-branded with Dolce and Gabbana. They are an ultra-techno-cool pair of glasses that is like a visual Android phone that you don’t have to lug around, put in a holster, etc.
Best explained like this…remember when Tony Stark is in the Ironman suit? He gets all of the information peripherally about what is going on around him? Well, it’s like that but…better.
But imagine how that affects your restaurant. Someone walks up to your door and all of a sudden all of the reviews about your restaurant, the service, the food quality, ambience and more pops-up peripherally? You better have a great product or great service because the potential customer with the Google Glasses could just look around and find another restaurant with a better rating. Or, even worse or better, reviews from the people you trust, friends in your Google+ circles, show-up and one person had a bad experience? People who think that online doesn’t affect offline are, or will be, mistaken in their assumption that it doesn’t translate directly to business.
However, there are opportunities for restaurants for people using Google Glasses. Promotions. Imagine someone gets out of a Yankees game in New York with a group of people. They are excited and want to get drinks and food. Potentially, they could look up the street and if your promo says two for one wings, get a pitcher and sharable appetizers – wow. The power of that is crazy. It’s like Foursquare on steroids. Now there’s another channel you need to market to. Mobile, social, web…local storefront business is becoming more online than offline and independent restaurants will be forced to hire marketing people to ensure they compete. Of course, word of mouth and location marketing will still be in play, but friend reviews will affect people’s decision. This takes the lazy – “let’s go downtown to eat” and see a great sign and try something new to a new level. Now it could be, “let’s try something new – oh wow, Belinda says it took an hour to get food. Let’s try next door.”
Watch the Google Glasses Video:
If you think you can just stay away from all of the online and mobile marketing and then you can be sure people won’t say bad things about you, you are horribly mistaken. The conversation goes on without you. Places like Zagat, Yelp, Restaurantica and staples like Twitter and Facebook are all talking about you. Whether you have 20 covers or 200 a night. You need to monitor and be involved in the online communities – like FOHBOH. Your competitors could potentially disparage your business and you may never know if you’re not managing your reputation. Restaurant review websites are versed in locating shady reviews by competitors and can trace the reviewer’s comments and you can complain and have some reviews removed; however, this always takes time.
You need to make sure you manage your reputation, look for marketing opportunities, and make sure your restaurant passes all health inspections. There are websites out there where savvy customers can go to check if a restaurant has any infractions – these could potentially pop-up to the customer, wearing Google glasses, who has their hand on the door handle. One infraction can live forever online. (Shameless plug…stainless steel has sanitizing properties. Make sure your commercial refrigeration and other restaurant equipment has stainless steel on the inside. Health inspectors love stainless.) If you have infractions you need to manage the information online. Online has changed to a full disclosure and honest radar experience. Be honest and forthright and it goes a long way in attaining customer trust – we are not perfect. If you are found with an infraction make sure you address it “this is our first issue in 10 years and the person responsible is no longer with us.” Tell your customer why you’re not a food safety deviant. If you are, you may as well hang the closed forever sign on your door. You can’t hide it anymore.
Surveys. You could do a quick survey to passersby. Why didn’t you come in today? Not hungry, restaurant looks sketchy, not open, bad experience, etc. Then you can remarket to them. Bad experience people get two for one meals on their next visit. “Didn’t have time” people get a coupon for 10% off. Etc. This is also great for menu research. If you had the choice between chicken supreme or stuffed chicken – which would you prefer?
Images: review sites are now allowing customers to upload pictures. A picture tells a thousand words. Was one of your employees cleaning a table with a dirty rag and not washing their hands after? Was the food that came out a piece of art? Everything you do is under scrutiny. Do everything well. Google Goggles could pop-up your menu and relevant pictures. You need to monitor what is being uploaded.
Watch the parodies: http://cellphonequick.com/google-project-glass-parody-videos/
Make sure you follow the online trends and monitor your business online, give great service and a great product. With Google Glasses, your restaurant could be half full or half empty. You choose.