Oh yes, chefs are hot into the tweeting game, just like everyone else.
Would you like to learn about a restaurant’s specialty for the night, or the chef’s breakfast meal? You can ask, but just make sure to limit your question to 140 characters.
Diners can now seek access to a restaurant’s chaotic, busy kitchen—thanks to Twitter. Restaurant chefs in superior yet inexpensive chef hats have also become as good in tweeting as they have been at chopping ingredients—and this recent trend is changing the manner that restaurants communicate with their consumers. A lot of chefs now tweet to their followers what they plan to cook for dinnertime, usually with photos that seek to encourage and attract followers to come visit the restaurant to eat.
Chefs Tweet About Anything
Chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto loves to use organ meats in his dishes, and has more than a hundred thousand followers. He regularly uploads photos of these ingredients—“take a look at this lovely green tripe!” Sometimes he tweets Twitter-only specials like “giving away two orders for tonight only! Douglas fir, ½ lb porcini, foie gras @ $40. You should show your twitter post!”
Just recently, he gave Incanto’s regular customer Donovan Unks a heads-up on one of his specials. He sent Unks a direct tweet, which the recipient alone can see—the customer responded right away, and he automatically reserved one table for that night.
A Better Dining Experience
Unks says that this type of interaction is what drew him to come, other than his great interest in the specialty dish. “Tweeting with the restaurant’s chefs in cool chef hats is what makes the dining experience a whole lot better,” he says. “There are times when I simply want to peek at who’s in charge of the kitchen and the food he eats. I tell the chef that I’m coming, and hope to meet him and speak with him,” he added.
We, of course, remember the era when it was impossible to talk to a chef. But times have changed, and now, top industry players say it’s not enough for restaurants to have creative dishes and impeccable service. Sometimes it’s not even enough for the restaurant’s chef to have a blog. Social media is the hot game these days, and chefs are bound to play.
Reaching Thousand of Customers For Less
“Tweeting is indeed a powerful tool. This opportunity to reach thousands, if not millions, of consumers used to cost not less than two hundred thousand dollars,” according to Chef Fabio Viviani of Los Angeles’ Firenze Osteria and Café Firenze. He himself has 35,000 Twitter followers, and sometimes updates his fans as much as 10 times a day with posts like his special marinara recipe, or his personal thoughts on anything. “There are even times when I get to say stuff that aren’t agreeable to some people,” he adds.
“Tweeting is time-consuming,” Viviani claims, “but it is not expensive.” It is also a great way to fill-up the dining room with last-minute table reservations, says Chef Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago.