In the Greater Binghamton Business Journal, we came across a survey which should settle the issue of marketing with technology and restaurants. Even now, some think that their restaurant can go without (or with minimal) marketing online. But, in the majority of circumstances, they are holding back their business, and if they continue, crippling their restaurant’s long-term outlook.

When I urge restaurant owners to market online (with a wise, effective marketing strategy), I am not talking about marketing in some far off future but right now. The survey done by Research Now shows that technology usage is the rule when it comes to influencing where or what a customer eats. The survey, which questioned 1,200 customers in fall 2010, documents customers migration over to websites, social media, online advertisements and review sites.

Now 52% of customers have chosen a restaurant based merely on an email offer or an online advertisement. 42 % of respondents research restaurants on online review-sites like Yelp or Zagat. Other results point towards the Internet having even a much greater influence in the future, as location-based deals appealed to many young customers.

This means it’s time for restaurants to take on technology, and take advantage of all the marketing opportunities that technology provides. Or a restaurant runs the risk of being left in the dust.

The original article appeared in the Greater Binghamton Business Journal.