There are slightly over 300 million people in the United States. There are over 500,000 users on Twitter. Tweets are impermanent at heart; they are for the here and now and linger less than posts on other sites. The transient nature of Twitter's interaction has been the subject of jokes to some, but has resulted in new and rich exchanges for many more. The quick, insightful or mundane 140-character blasts amount to 'people watching' on the Internet, but as a 2-way street for conversations between the 'followed' and the 'followers.' It's also an unprecedented and unparalleled medium for feedback and topic-based exchanges.
Having a Twitter handle provides an easy way for guests to reach out with compliments or complaints. You'd love to hear everything personally but many people are more frank hiding behind a screen, if you encourage them to reach out via Twitter you have the opportunity to respond!
There are many more people fascinated by food and the restaurant biz than are active within it; posting about trips to pick up produce or changing your table layout may seem trivial to you, but many of your followers can be captivated by the details.
Potatoes not get delivered? Tweet that you'll be missing a menu item so guests don't walk away disappointed. Extra ribeye from a function? Spread the word about tomorrow's special!
If there's a community wide event, it may be promoted with a hashtag like #bostoncraftbeerfest or a weekly show of support like #FarmersMarketFridays where you can join a broader conversation to share your unique perspective.
People, including your customers, like to feel like they have a voice. Use opportunities, like coming up with a name for a new signature cocktail, to engage your followers and also to give you fresh ideas! You'll end up with some great input (and, admittedly, some not so great), and your customers will feel important because you care about what they have to say.
Don't be afraid to share how weather conditions may affect your business or mention that a big game in town could alter traffic patterns and to plan accordingly. Restaurants are staples of the community and if people identify you as an interesting source for local content in a general sense, you're increasing the odds that they follow you and check you out as a customer.