Interesting read on how a restaurant used twitter to pack the house opening night and beyond. Ideas on how can we use this tactic with our b2b clients?
'Tweets' on the menu are a sweet deal
Restaurants using Twitter for cheap, effective marketing
On Dec. 2, computer consultant Jen Deaderick got on the social-networking site Twitter and posted: “Tupelo02139 is preparing.’’ It was her first missive, or tweet, on behalf of the Cambridge restaurant Tupelo, where her husband is a chef. The restaurant was more than four months away from opening.
“Our opening night was packed,’’ Deaderick said. “At least half were there because of Twitter.’’
What can you do with 140 characters or less, the length of each tweet? A lot, restaurants are discovering - everything from posting daily specials to luring followers with offers of free appetizers to offering a glimpse of kitchen life. It’s all good for business.
“It’s instant and free marketing,’’ said Chris Barr, a manager at L’Espalier, which joined Twitter this month.
Restaurants are starting to sign on by the dozens, inspired, perhaps, by the success of Kogi, a Korean barbecue taco truck in Los Angeles that gained national notoriety by tweeting its whereabouts. (In February, Newsweek called it “America’s first viral restaurant.’’)
“It was two or three a week [joining], and now it’s closer to two or three or four a day,’’ said Aaron Cohen of the Twitter stream @eatboston, which spreads the word about the restaurant scene. He estimates between 60 and 70 local restaurants have joined - everything from high-end establishments such as L’Espalier and Craigie on Main to quick-service chains like Boloco and Papa Gino’s.
One reason for Twitter’s popularity is that it’s both easy and inexpensive. There’s no need to hire someone to design a website. You just log on and start posting. “You could be a pizza guy at a greasy spoon sending text messages from a three-year-old cellphone,’’ Cohen said. “You don’t need technology to be spreading your message on Twitter. It’s very utilitarian.’’
At Myers + Chang in the South End, chef and co-owner Joanne Chang is an active Twitter user. She updates followers about menu items (she recently added a Kogi-inspired taco to the menu), events, and news, but also offers thumbnail vignettes and mini-recipes, explains ingredients, and solicits customer opinions.
At 4:41 p.m. on June 9 she tweeted: “Should cilantro be listed on menu item when it’s an ingredient? A customer has requested it - didn’t realize cilantro was *such* a hot button.’’
Not four hours elapsed before she had her answer and implemented it: “Cilantro haters have made their voices heard! Will now indicate which dishes have cilantro; all can be made sans ‘soapy devil.’ (I heart it)