Category Archives: Restaurants

Chao Bistro delivers a few new favorites

Have you ever felt like you totally understand your tastes, and nothing a restaurant is going to dish out will change your mind? Well I have, and the recently opened Chao Bistro on Capital Hill (1200 E. Pike) took me by surprise on a number of delicious dishes.

To set the stage, I was participating in the first local gathering of Tastecasting, an event where restaurants host a complimentary menu tasting for a small group (10-15)  of active social media enthusiasts.  In return, the group broadcasts their experiences and opinions to their followers, fans and connections via social media.

Photo: Diana Johnson

So we gathered on a cold, windy, rainy Seattle evening (what a shock!) to take a spin through the menu at Chao and share our opinions.  What I “thought” I knew about my tastes would be challenged – namely, I don’t drink (or like) sake, I like my calamari in little “rings and legs”, spam is to be avoided at all costs, and anything with gravy in the morning is to be avoided.  And you can guess what I found on the generous 17-item tasting menu – all of the above!

We tasted the menu in three sections – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised by the breakfast items (served Sat-Sun, 8am-3pm) and would definitely return for most of the dinner items, either during regular hours (6-11 pm) or the incredibly well-priced happy hours (3-7pm, 11pm-1am).

As for breakfast, gravy is not something high on my list – nor is anything with spam! Oh but I was wrong.  The Island Fried Rice was a beautifully balanced salty-savory dish, with two over-easy eggs atop a mound of spam-speckled fried rice. Uh oh, spam.  Really?? But it was great, and went well with the portuguese sausage, barbecued pork, onion and carrots, with a nice touch of sesame oil. 

And the gravy? Whoa, it came slathered over the Chicken Fried Steak, a mountainous 11-ounce ground beef steak, atop a bed of hash browns. Yowsa, that could feed a whole tableful of hungover diners, and the rumor is that only one person has ever finished the whole plate by himself.  I believe it, since the plate easily served 5-6 of us, and we lapped up the gravy, speckled with bacon and sausage, like nobody’s business.  So, two myths down – spam is actually good, and gravy works for breakfast.  Who knew?

In the dinner segment, we tried 11 different dishes and it gave my palate a workout!  There were some great Pan-Asian takes on traditional dishes, such as the Miso Cream Fettuccine (with chicken or salmon), the Wasabi Caesar Salad (a unanimous favorite with all 10 of our diners!) and a great Chao Salad with candied walnuts, Asian pear slices and lychee vinaigrette.

But the three dishes that really stood out for me were the Calamari, Lemongrass Crab Cakes and Whole Fried Chicken.  As previously mentioned, I like my calamari in little fried “rings and legs”, as you would find in most restaurants – but I have a new favorite!  This dish delivered perfect little strips of solid calamari, cut from a full steak, breaded in panko, chili powder and orange peel and fried quickly and perfectly. It was served with a lemon ginger aioli that was a perfect accent, and I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to eat “rings and legs” again – this is the new standard in calamari for me!

Note: A special offering from Tastecasting: You can try a free calamari appetizer with dinner and a minimum $15 purchase! It’s good until Nov 30 and you just need to mention you read about them on Tastecasting!

 

The Lemongrass Crab Cakes were a meaty, crunchy blend of crab, panko, lemongrass, coconut, red peppers and shallots, served with the same lemon ginger aioli (above) and a nice sweet chili mango sauce.  Perfect!

And the whole fried chicken, you might wonder, what’s the big deal with that?  Well, it was beautifully served on a platter with small dishes of pickled daikon, salt & pepper, and sweet chili sauce, and the skin was a perfectly crispy crackly delicious finish.  And it’s not just a Sunday comfort food dinner – the owners related that in Korea when people go out drinking, this style of chicken is what they would order to eat while they are imbibing.  Hmm, so much for bad nachos and wings, like they serve at most bars late-night!  This bird was just $25 and would easily serve 3-4 hungry (and buzzed!) diners well, and it was fabulous.

And what about the fourth food myth – that I don’t like sake?  Well I don’t – and I passed on the first three samples that were served with dinner.  More for everyone else, right? But then came that aroma –  enticing sweet crisp fresh – that arrived before the cup even hit the table.  Wow, I thought – but I don’t drink that.  Bummer.  But the aroma prevailed, I tasted the lovely green apple sake and my mind is forever changed!  I think it could be a very dangerous drink for me, you have been warned…

We tried many more excellent dishes – waffle cut sweet potato fries, wok-seared edamame, 12th Ave french dip, ahi trio, etc. and you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices.  In fact, if I lived closer to Chao, I’d be in serious danger of eating several times a week here, thanks to the great variety in the menu. Many thanks to co-owner Tony, manager Paula and Chef Kevin for a fantastic evening.

And now, back to the drawing board for my “food myths” – I think I need to work on a couple new ones…can’t wait for the next Tastecasting event to find out what they will be!

Chao Bistro & Bar, 1200 E Pike, Seattle, 206-324-1010 www.chaobistro.com

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Are you on the list of 136 Twittering restaurants?

It’s time again to update the list of Seattle-area restaurants on Twitter – we’re up to 136 restaurants/chefs now!  Please take a look at the list and let us know if there’s anyone missing or any new restaurants we should add.

The holidays are a great time for restaurants to be tweeting about specials, holiday parties, group events, and other festitivites to draw customers in for another visit.  And we know everyone is trolling around out there on Twitter looking for a great deal or to discover the new hotspot, so this is a great time for companies to establish their presence.  Building the clientele – or strengthening the relationship – during the already-busy holiday season is a great headstart for the post-holiday months when sales drag and clients are few and far between.

Here we go – please add any additions in the comments!

35th Street Bistro 35Bistro
5 Spot ChowFoods
Alabardero Taberna_Seattle
Andaluca (chef) chefwaj
Andaluca Restaurant Andaluca
Anitas Crepes AnitasCrepes
Archery Bistro ArcheryBistro
Art of the Table ChefDAOTT
ART Restaurant ARTRestaurant
Atlas Foods ChowFoods
Barrio Restaurant HeavyRestaurant
Bastille bastilleseattle
Beach House Kirkland BHKirkland
Belltown Pizza Belltownpizza
Benihana (corporate) Benihana__
Bin on the Lake binonthelake
Bistro on Yale BistroOnYale
Black Pearl BlackPearlSEA
Blue C Sushi bluecsushi
Blue Moon Burgers BlueMoonBurgers
Boat Street Café BoatStreet
BOKA Kitchen & Bar BOKAchef
Boom Noodle BoomNoodle
Boxleys boxleys
Brasa Tamara_Murphy
Brasserie Margaux Margaux_Seattle
Brouwers Café brouwerscafe
Buckley’s Pubs buckleyspubs
Café Campagne Cafe_Campagne
Café Campagne (chef) daisgord
Café Flora CafeFloraVeg
Café Revo CaféRevo
Campagne Restaurant EasyFrench
Canlis bcanlis
Carmelita carmelitaveggie
Chandlers Crabhouse SchwartzBros
Circa Ale House circaalehouse
Coastal Kitchen coastalkitchen
Counter Burger counterburger
Crush Crush_Seattle
Cucina Fresca CucinaFresca
Daniels Broiler SchwartzBros
Del Rey DelReySeattle
Delancey Pizza delanceyseattle
Dragonfish DragonfishSEA
El Gaucho Bellevue ElGauchoBell
Elemental/Elemental Next Door Elemental_Food
Elliott Bay Brewing elliottbay_beer
Emmer and Rye emmerandrye
Endolyne Joes ChowFoods
Enotria enotria
Epulo epulo
Feedback Lounge feedbacklounge
Fox Sports Grill (Seattle) FSGSeattle
Fresh Bistro freshbistro
Frontier Café FrontierCafe
Frontier Room frontierroom
Gordon Biersch (corporate) Gordon_Biersch
Grand Cru Wine Bar grandcruwine
Herbfarm Herbguy
Here and There Grill heretheregrill
Hi-Life ChowFoods
Homegrown homegrownian
Huiyona huiyona
Hunt Club TheHuntClub
Icon Grill iconGrill
Il Bistro ILBistroSeattle
Il Fornaio ilfornaio_sea
Ivars IvarsClam
Jimmy’s On First JimmysOnFirst
Joule joulerestaurant
Julias Café JuliasSeattle
La Bocca LaBocca
Lark larkseattle
Licorous licorousseattle
Lombardis lombardisdining
Lowells Restaurant LowellsSeattle
Maggianos (corporate) Maggianos
Malt & Vine MaltandVine
Marination Mobile curb_cuisine
Maximilien maxi_sea
Maximus/Minimus somepigseattle
Meza mezaseattle
Mioposto mioposto
Mobatta mobatta
Monsoon East MonsoonEast
Night Kitchen night_kitchen
O/8 Twisted Cork TwistedCork
Olivar Restaurant OlivarSeattle
Olivers Lounge OliversLounge
Pagliacci Pizza pagliaccipizza
Pearl Bar and Dining PearlBellevue
Pike Brewing Company pikebrewing
Pike Place Chowder PikePLChowder
Ponti PontiGrill
Poppy poppyseattle
Portage Bay Café portagebaycafe
Purple Café HeavyRestaurant
Queen City Grill queencitygrill
Rays Boathouse raysboathouse
Redhook Brewery Redhook_Brewery
Rovers thechefinthehat
Ruth Chris Steak House – Seattle RCSHSeattle
Salty’s SaltysSeafood
Seastar SeastarRawBar
Seastar (chef) ChefJohnHowie
Serafina Osteria SerafinaOsteria
Shallots Bistro ShallotsBistro
Six Seven Six_Seven
Skillet Street Food skilletstfood
Sorrentinos MammaEnza
Space Needle space_needle
Spazzo Italian Grill SchwartzBros
Spinasse spinasse
Spring Hill Restaurant springhill_us
Stir Martini Bar STIRBellevue
Taphouse Grill taphousegrill
TASTE Restaurant tastesam
The Hunt Club TheHuntClub
The Loft theloftlounge
The Spot Off Main TheSpotOffMain
Tidbit Bistro Tidbit
Tiki Bob’s Cantina TikiBobsSeattle
Tilth (chef) mariahines
Tom Douglas Bakery TDRBakery
Tom Douglas Restaurants TDRcreampuff
Top Pizza top_pizza
Typhoon Restaurants TyRestaurants
Uber Tavern UberTavern
Urbane Seattle urbaneseattle
Ventana VentanaSEA
Watercress Asian Bistro Watercresslily
Woodman Lodge WoodmanLodge
Zaw Pizza zawpizza
Zayda Buddy’s ZaydaBuddy
Zeeks Pizza zeekspizza

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Filed under Restaurants, Twitter

26 ways to Dine Around Seattle!

It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year for a “foodie” in Seattle – it’s Dine Around Seattle month !  For the better part of November (every Sunday-Thursday, with some exceptions), you can score fantastic deals at 26 of Seattle’s finest restaurants – so get your appetite on!

Now in it’s 7th year, Dine Around Seattle provides a great opportunity to sample our city’s great cuisine at fantastic prices – as in a three-course meal for only $30!  Many of the restaurants also offer a three-course lunch deal for only $15.

The full lineup can be viewed below and full contact info is at this link: http://www.dinearoundseattle.org/restaurants.php.  By clicking on each restaurant logo, you can view the scrumptuous menu choices before you go….warning, drooling may ensue!

And as the Twitter-happy strategist that I am, I have conveniently listed all the restaurants with their Twitter addresses below – so you can “eat and Tweet” and let us know all the juicy details of your culinary outings!

And p.s.  I’m still working to get ALL these restaurants on Twitter, so if you can make an introduction to any of them for me, I’d be happy to chat with them about how I can help create a splash on Twitter!

DINE AROUND SEATTLE Twitter Address
35th Street Bistro 35Bistro
Andaluca Andaluca
ART Restaurant ARTRestaurant
Barking Frog  
Barolo  
Campagne EasyFrench
Chez Shea  
Dahlia Lounge TDRcreampuff
Earth & Ocean  
Etta’s TDRcreampuff
Eva  
Flying Fish  
Hunt Club TheHuntClub
Lola TDRcreampuff
Monsoon    
Monsoon East MonsoonEast
Nell’s  
Nishino  
O/8 Twisted Cork TwistedCork
Ponti PontiGrill
Rays Boathouse raysboathouse
Restaurant Zoe  
Serafina Osteria SerafinaOsteria
Spring Hill Restaurant springhill_us
Steelhead Diner  
Szmanias  

So, which one is your favorite?  Which menu looks the most enticing to you?  The dish I’m most excited about = pumpkin risotto at Andaluca! Please come back and share your comments – bon appetit!

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Filed under Events, Restaurants, Twitter

39 great reasons to dine out in October

savor seattle aug09 028October is one of my favorite months of the year – football, pumpkins, falling leaves, Halloween – and now Urban Eats!  Of course I – The Incredible Chef – would have a favorite dining activity to recommend, so listen up!

Urban Eats is a special dining out program that features 39 Puget Sound region restaurants providing fabulous 3-course dinners for just $30!  As they say, it’s a good deal for a great meal, and I’m already trying to figure out how many of them I can visit during the Oct 1-29 promotion (Sunday-Thursday nights).

As a huge proponent of Twitter who actively seeks to help restaurants use Twitter to be the “talk of the town“, I’m listing the Urban Eats restaurants here along with their Twitter accounts.  I hope you’ll “tweet” often about your great experiences with each establishment, and let us know how you eat well and spend less!

But I do have to ask – why are only 16 of these 39 restaurants on Twitter?? So if you dine with a non-Twitter restaurant on this list, please do me a favor and ask them why they aren’t using Twitter to make more money and talk with their customers!  And then kindly point them in my direction – and let’s keep the regional Twitter foodie scene live and vibrant…bon appetit!

p.s. You can find Urban Eats on Twitter @urban_eats_Sea

URBAN EATS — SEATTLE ON TWITTER
94 Stewart  
Anchovies & Olives  
Anthony’s Home Port Shilshole  
BOKA Kitchen & Bar BOKAchef
Brasa Tamara_Murphy
Carmelita carmelitaveggie
Crush Crush_Seattle
Divine  
Huiyona huiyona
Il Bistro ILBistroSeattle
Impromptu Wine Bar Café  
Juno  
La Rustica  
Maximilien maxi_sea
Palace Kitchen TDRcreampuff
Salty’s at Redondo Beach SaltysSeafood
Salty’s on Alki SaltysSeafood
Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar SeastarRawBar
Shuckers  
Six Seven Six_Seven
Stumbling Goat Bistro  
Taberna del Alabardero  
Tavolata  
Ten Mercer  
The Georgian  
Tidbit Bistro Tidbit
Tilikum Place Café  
Union  
Urbane Seattle urbaneseattle
   
URBAN EATS – EASTSIDE  ON TWITTER
Anthony’s HomePort Kirkland  
Bin on the Lake binonthelake
Cellar 46  
Flo Restaurant and Sake Bar  
Pearl Bar and Dining PearlBellevue
Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar SeastarRawBar
Terra Vista @ Snoqualmie Casino
The Calcutta Grill  
The Third Floor Fish Café  
Trellis  

 

RELATED: “You Are What You Tweet – Using Twitter as a recipe for your online success!  Oct. 19 event for non-Twittering restaurants and food companies

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Filed under Events, Restaurants, Twitter

Perfect event for “non-Twittering” restaurants, chefs, food-companies!

YOU ARE WHAT YOU TWEET!
Using Twitter as your recipe for online success

Monday, October 19, 2009
Mayflower Park Hotel, Seattle
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
$50 for early-bird registrations (by Oct. 9); $65 after Oct. 9/at the door (if space available)
http://youarewhatyoutweet.eventbrite.com/

As a restaurant, chef or food company, do you dream of:

  • Being “the” neighborhood destination for socializing, eating and drinking
  • Connecting with customers and your community
  • Making more money
  • Multiplying repeat business
  • Making frequent customers feel special
  • Attracting a steady stream of new customers
  • Getting name recognition for making delicious food

If so, we have an event for you! Using the micro-blogging tool “Twitter”, you can accomplish all these things and more! This is a customized event for restaurants, chefs, wineries, breweries, and food-related companies that are not using Twitter – but that are pretty sure they should be! If you are scared, curious, skeptical or not sure about what Twitter can do for your business or how to get started then this is the event for you!

You’ll hear success stories and sage advice from featured panelists:

We’ll show you how using Twitter effectively can deliver:

  • “Talk of the Town” status
  • Access to your customers through engaging conversations and feedback
  • Full restaurants/stores with adoring fans
  • Loyal customers as you provide inside info and/or special offers
  • “Raving Fans” by acknowledging and interacting with your customers
  • New customers attracted by recommendations and special promotions
  • Positive feedback about your food in a highly visible and viral platform

And the end result of this event? You’ll be inspired and motivated to take the plunge and join us on Twitter, thus creating a more robust community for all of us in the Puget Sound food scene. Information will be provided on programs available to help you start Tweeting! We look forward to seeing you there!

TO REGISTER: http://youarewhatyoutweet.eventbrite.com/

Hosted by the Mayflower Park Hotel and Andaluca Restaurant

Food and beverages provided by: Andaluca Restaurant, Woodhouse Family Winery, Buchanan Chocolate

http://youarewhatyoutweet.eventbrite.com/

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Filed under Beverage Companies, Events, Food Companies, Restaurants, Twitter

99 Seattle-area restaurants on Twitter

twitter163Have you ever wondered if your favorite restaurant is on Twitter?  Have you searched and not found them?  Often it’s because they’ve used a name slightly different than their official restaurant name, or use a chef’s name or a number of other reasons. And sometimes the Twitter search function just can’t find them!

To help ease your searching, I have compiled a list of all the restaurants I’ve found (and follow!) on Twitter, mostly in the greater Puget Sound area.  But I must preface it with this – I know lots of restaurants are missing!  That’s a given – and I hope you will chime in with additions, corrections, etc. and help make this a more robust list.  I will make my best effort to keep it updated so we all can use it as a tool to keep track of our favorites – and give a little nudge to those that haven’t joined us in the Twitterverse yet!  Also, I have not included individual chefs – that’s another list to come later!

Given the competitive nature of the food industry, I’m sure there will be plenty of scrambling to “get on this list” so I offer this project up with the best intentions of getting EVERY restaurant in our area to play with us on Twitter…imagine that!  (and if they need help getting started on Twitter, you know where to send them! Here we go: (updated from 82 to 99! 9/16/09)

5 Spot ChowFoods
Andaluca (chef) chefwaj
Andaluca Restaurant Andaluca
Archery Bistro ArcheryBistro
Art of the Table ChefDAOTT
ART Restaurant ARTRestaurant
Atlas Foods ChowFoods
Barrio Restaurant HeavyRestaurant
Bastille bastilleseattle
Beach House Kirkland BHKirkland
Belltown Pizza Belltownpizza
Benihana (corporate) Benihana__
Bistro on Yale BistroOnYale
Black Pearl BlackPearlSEA
Blue C Sushi bluecsushi
Blue Moon Burgers BlueMoonBurgers
Boat Street Café BoatStreet
BOKA Kitchen & Bar BOKAchef
Boom Noodle BoomNoodle
Brasa Tamara_Murphy
Brasserie Margaux SeattleMargaux
Café Campagne Cafe_Campagne
Café Campagne (chef) daisgord
Café Flora CafeFloraVeg
Café Revo CaféRevo
Campagne Restaurant EasyFrench
Canlis bcanlis
Chandlers Crabhouse SchwartzBros
Circa Ale House circaalehouse
Coastal Kitchen coastalkitchen
Counter Burger counterburger
Crush Crush_Seattle
Cucina Fresca CucinaFresca
Daniels Broiler SchwartzBros
Del Rey DelReySeattle
Delancey Pizza delanceyseattle
Dragonfish DragonfishSEA
El Gaucho Bellevue ElGauchoBell
Elemental/Elemental Next Door Elemental_Food
Elliott Bay Brewing elliottbay_beer
Endolyne Joes ChowFoods
Feedback Lounge feedbacklounge
Fox Sports Grill (Seattle) FSGSeattle
Fresh Bistro freshbistro
Frontier Café FrontierCafe
Frontier Room frontierroom
Gordon Biersch (corporate) Gordon_Biersch
Grand Cru Wine Bar grandcruwine
Herbfarm Herbguy
Here and There Grill heretheregrill
Hi-Life ChowFoods
Il Bistro ILBistroSeattle
Ivars IvarsClam
Jimmy’s On First JimmysOnFirst
Julias Café JuliasSeattle
La Bocca LaBocca
Lowells Restaurant LowellsSeattle
Maggianos (corporate) Maggianos
Marination Mobile curb_cuisine
Maximilien maxi_sea
Maximus/Minimus somepigseattle
Mioposto mioposto
Mobatta mobatta
Monsoon East MonsoonEast
Olivar Restaurant OlivarSeattle
Olivers Lounge OliversLounge
Pagliacci Pizza pagliaccipizza
Pike Brewing Company pikebrewing
Pike Place Chowder PikePLChowder
Poppy poppyseattle
Portage Bay Café portagebaycafe
Purple Café HeavyRestaurant
Queen City Grill queencitygrill
Rays Boathouse raysboathouse
Redhook Brewery Redhook_Brewery
Rovers thechefinthehat
Ruth Chris Steak House – Seattle RCSHSeattle
Salty’s SaltysSeafood
Seastar SeastarRawBar
Serafina Osteria SerafinaOsteria
Shallots Bistro ShallotsBistro
Six Seven Six_Seven
Skillet Street Food skilletstfood
Space Needle space_needle
Spazzo Italian Grill SchwartzBros
Spinasse spinasse
Stir Martini Bar STIRBellevue
Taphouse Grill taphousegrill
TASTE Restaurant tastesam
Tidbit Bistro Tidbit
Tiki Bob’s Cantina TikiSeattle
Tilth (chef) mariahines
Tom Douglas Bakery TDRBakery
Tom Douglas Restaurants TDRcreampuff
Typhoon Restaurants TyRestaurants
Urbane Seattle urbaneseattle
Watercress Asian Bistro Watercresslily
Woodman Lodge WoodmanLodge
Zeeks Pizza zeekspizza

 

So as my partner says, “Posted is better than perfect” – so let the corrections begin!  Please add your comments in the “leave a reply” space provided below – thanks!

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Filed under Restaurants, Tools, Twitter

5 reasons why restaurants should use Twitter

twitter163In my new venture of social media advising and strategy, many have asked me “why should restaurants use Twitter? What’s in it for them?”  So I thought I’d share a few recent examples to illuminate my strong feelings about how they could benefit from this fantastic social media tool!

There are at least 5 major benefits restaurants (and food-related companies) stand to gain from investing time and effort into using Twitter:

  1. Larger client base with deeper relationships
  2. Increased visits, more sales, greater loyalty
  3. Decreased marketing expense and greater overall ROI
  4. Dialogue that leads to positive word-of-mouth marketing
  5. Increased visibility for establishment, products, website

I have encountered at least a baker’s dozen real-life examples recently, where restaurants missed great opportunities to increase their exposure, gain new customers and learn more about their guests’ experience – all because they aren’t on Twitter.

You might wonder – what’s the big deal? What are they missing out on?  So here’s what I’ve learned: 

Restaurants have the opportunity to capitalize on the “buzz” being tweeted (discussed) every day as people make plans and debate where to go for happy hour, dinner, etc.  They could even tweet back and offer a special deal or mention that night’s specials. During the recent 100-degree heat wave, smart restaurants on Twitter were reminding potential customers that they had air-conditioning, offering cool drink specials and just being a part of a “hot” conversation (pardon the pun)!

Once we, the diners, are actually in the restaurant, we will probably tweet updates during the meal and/or post photos, showing potential customers all the great items you have to offer.  It’s not a bother – we like to do this!  (A recent study by Socialnomics.net showed that 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices, showing that people update anytime, anywhere.)  But we aren’t going to the trouble if you aren’t using Twitter and aren’t benefitting from it – we just aren’t.   But for you, it’s free advertising: “Come eat here, eat beautiful food, be happy!”  That kind of positive, instant word-of-mouth marketing is priceless.

And once you’ve delivered a great meal, your customers tweet to all their friends, along with thanking each other for the dinner, etc.  It’s more exposure for your brand and practically invites new customers to visit.  Back to the Socialnomics.net research, 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, and only 14% trust advertising – so where do you want to put your marketing efforts?

And one smart strategy employed by some restaurants that use Twitter is to actually “thank” those customers via tweet!  Talk about building customer loyalty – you just thanked me for spending money with you in front of all my friends!  Where do you think I’m going out to dinner tomorrow? Yup, back to my Twitter-friendly restaurant!

Do you see the beauty of this?  We, tweeters, want to patronize your establishment because you are “one of us” and we want to tell everyone how great you are.  Is there a better reason to be on Twitter??

I want to wrap up by telling you about a fascinating concept called Taste and Tweet (Twitter @TasteAndTweet),   The organizers, Clay Loges and Blaine Millet, invited a Twitter-happy group of foodies to El Gaucho Bellevue (Twitter @ElGauchoBell)  to help raise awareness and increase visibility for the restaurant – which is not ideally located in a somewhat-hidden office building down a side street.

tasteandtweetI was invited, along with 18 other active social media enthusiasts, to enjoy a multi-course lunch, in exchange for tweeting details as the event progressed.  It was an amazing feast of four cocktails (yes, 4!) , four superb dishes and one lovely chocolate ganache lollipop for dessert.  Chef Steve Cain came out to describe each dish and the pairing to the cocktail, and General Manager David Scherling (Twitter @DavidScherling) supplied additional details and answered questions constantly during the event.

So what was the result?  For their investment of 2 hours and lunch for 19, the restaurant received nearly 310,000 unique impressions (323 tweets during the event, mulitplied by number of “followers’ each person has) on Twitter, along with a multitude of blog posts and other publicity in the week that followed.  I’d say El Gaucho got their money’s worth – how about you??  And I probably don’t have to tell you about the buzz that’s now been created for future events like this – everyone wants to participate, restaurants and “taste-tweeters” alike!

So now, do you think restaurants should use Twitter?  I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

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Filed under Food Companies, Restaurants, Twitter