The owner of a Chinese restaurant in Manchester has credited a recent upsurge in bookings to her use of social messaging website Twitter.
Lisa Tse (pictured), who runs Sweet Mandarin with her two sisters, says she filled the restaurant`s diary with bookings for Valentine`s Day in just a few hours after one of the restaurant`s followers requested a table via an alert on Twitter.
Twitter, for those as yet unfamiliar with it, is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to post messages of up to 140 characters that other users, known as followers, can read and respond to.
The service is rapidly becoming a hit with restaurants wanting to keep in touch with customers without having to send out news via more traditional methods. Galvin at Windows is one restaurant that has embraced the idea and has built up more than 800 followers.
Tse, who was introduced to the site by a customer, now uses the service to post details of the restaurant`s dish of the day, details of special offers and even take orders for take-aways.
Sweet Mandarin now has 400 followers on Twitter and Tse says she has noticed a marked rise in bookings and orders since she started making postings. Using the site has also helped her and the restaurant forge relationships within the community.
"Twitter has not only been a fun past-time but is now central to our marketing strategy. I want the next Manchester Tweet up to be hosted at Sweet Mandarin. I can`t wait to serve our dim sum and cocktails," she said.
As well as using the site as a marketing tool, Tse is planning to teach her followers how to cook some of her dishes via Twitter in her Sweet Mandarin Cookery School Tweet on February 28.